Some of you expressed the desire to hear my feedback of Ozone 3 from the chat the other day. Well, here it is...
Upon just plugging Ozone into the master effect out in Cubase and loading some random presets that seemed to fit what I was doing, I was instantly impressed. The user interface is friendly, but does require the user to be knowledgeable in the terminalogy required for mixing/mastering. There are a lot of adjustable parameters that will scare some people, but the impressive amount of presets present novice users with enough rough working material until they familiarize themselves with the program.
There are a lot of presets. This is a good thing. They sound very good and are well presented and are far reaching in that they are not confined to certain categories (there are presets orchestra, pop, drum, rock, guitar, etc. etc.) It will take me a while to exhaust them and better yet is that there are more of them on iZotope's site. Nuff said.
There's a lot to be said for the equilizer, the limiter, the mastering reverb, the exciter, and the stereo expander included in this program and I don't have time to go into a lot of unneeded details. Suffice it to say that they all perform their jobs splendidly. Perhaps better than I expected. The mastering reverb included in Ozone 3 is as good as any algorithmic reverb I've used. It works well as you're only 'go to' or as a way to add that final touch on a mix. The limiter is very impressive. I am as happy with it as with Elephant from Voxengo. Very usable for increasing the overall loudness of a piece without affecting the dynamic. The EQ is very well laid out and is easy enough to figure out, even for a novice like myself. Add a point in the range you wish to adjust and drag up or down. Simple. The stereo expander is also another gem. I've been looking for a good one ever since I demoed a comparable product from Wave Arts. The one in Ozone does the job better since there are less artifacts in the resulting file. The Wave Arts suite added a lot of mud and their mastering reverb added a metallic sound to the mix. I haven't had much time to mess with exciter, but it works as well as the other FX in the program.
I was in the market for an alternative to the myriad of offerings by Waves, Wave Arts, IK Multimedia, and I didn't want to break the bank. At the current price of 250.00 this program is well worth the asking price and then some. I was not expecting to get what I did and from my limited experience thus far, it performs just as well, if not better than these other programs. One nice thing about it, that I didn't like about the others, is that there's only one plug. You load it once and you tell it which effect you want to use and you're done. There's no loading 5 plugins. As far as CPU usage is concerned, I was pleased with the it. The program is pretty CPU friendly, even when using a large reverb and all the effects turned on. I think it performs as well in this regard as any other plug I've tried. Certianly the fact that you only load one of it affects the CPU positively. Would I rely just on it for mixing? You bet. Its the best quality/value plug on the market as far as I'm concerned. For what they're asking and what you're getting, its a steal. The mixes I produced in the last few nights with my limited experience proved its worth to me. There's also a very useful pdf available on their site detailing how best to use the plug and the information in it about mixing/mastering can be applied to just about any program out there. Its well worth downloading for the information it contains. So, anyone out there looking for a good mixing/mastering plug, take note, as I highly recommend Ozone 3 so download the demo and give it a go. I look forward to their future releases and my impending purchase of iZotopes Trash.