Izotope Ozone 11 Review: Elevating Audio Mastering to New Heights

I want to share my experience with the New Ozone Plugin from Izotope. Over my years as a mixing and mastering engineer, I’ve witnessed the evolution of audio mastering tools, and few have made quite an impact, like iZotope’s Ozone series. With the release of Ozone 11, it’s time to delve deep into what this new version offers and how it stands against its predecessor, Ozone 10. This comprehensive review will explore every facet of Ozone 11 Advanced, providing insights and comparisons that will aid both seasoned professionals and newcomers in the field.

Understanding Ozone Software

What is Ozone Software?

iZotope Ozone Advanced has long been a staple in the audio mastering world. It’s a comprehensive mastering suite that combines numerous modules into a single plugin, offering everything from EQ and compression to spectral shaping and maximization. This suite is designed to provide mastering engineers with the ultimate collection of tools needed for putting the finishing touches on any project, whether it’s the next chart-topping hit or a personal composition.

The Evolution of Ozone – From Earlier Versions to Ozone 10

Before diving into Ozone 11, it’s crucial to understand its journey. Starting from its early versions, Ozone has continually evolved, introducing cutting-edge features with each iteration. Ozone 10, for instance, was a significant leap forward, offering advanced AI-powered workflows and modules that maximized the spectral power of tracks while maintaining musical integrity. It set a high bar for audio mastering, making subtle mastering moves with confidence and ensuring music sounds professional and polished.

What’s New in Ozone 11?

Ozone 11, the latest addition to iZotope’s mastering suite, builds upon the foundation laid by its predecessors. It introduces new features like the Clarity Module and enhanced AI capabilities, further pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in mastering. The Clarity Module, for instance, is a game-changer for achieving transparent and balanced mixes, ensuring your music sounds professional without sounding harsh.

User Interface and Usability Enhancements in Ozone 11

The user interface in Ozone has seen significant improvements, making it more intuitive and user-friendly. This is crucial for mastering, where every slider and knob can have a substantial impact on the final product. The streamlined interface ensures that both new users and seasoned professionals can navigate the suite with ease, focusing more on crafting the perfect listening experience.

In-Depth Review of Ozone 11

Ozone 11 an Amazing Limiter with AI features built in

iZotope Ozone 11 – Standout Features

Ozone  is packed with features that cater to every aspect of mastering. The Master Assistant, for instance, uses AI to analyze your track and suggest starting points for mastering and adapting to your music’s genre and style. This feature is particularly useful for those new to mastering, providing a solid foundation to build upon. It will add EQ, compression if needed, maximizer, and any other plugins the AI thinks you might need.

Here is a breakdown of all the cutting-edge ozone modules:

  1. Master Assistant: Utilizes AI algorithms to analyze your track and suggest a starting point for mastering, tailored to your music’s genre and style. It helps in setting levels, EQ curves, and other parameters for an optimal starting point.
  2. EQ: Offers precise equalization controls for shaping the tonal balance of your track. It includes both analog and digital EQ models, allowing for surgical adjustments as well as broader tonal shaping.
  3. Dynamics: Provides multiband compression and expansion. You can control the dynamics of different frequency ranges independently, which is crucial for mastering complex mixes without affecting the overall balance.
  4. Maximizer: A limiter designed to increase the loudness of your track while preserving its dynamics. It’s essential for achieving competitive loudness levels in your final master without introducing unwanted distortion.
  5. Imager: Allows for precise control over the stereo image of your mix. You can adjust the width of individual frequency bands, enhancing the spatial aspect of your music.
  6. Exciter: Adds harmonic saturation to your mix, enhancing warmth, character, and tone. It offers different saturation modes, including tube, tape, and solid-state, for various tonal options.
  7. Low End Focus: Designed to enhance and clarify the low frequencies in your mix. It’s particularly useful for managing bass-heavy genres or tracks where the low end needs more definition.
  8. Spectral Shaper: Helps in smoothing out harsh frequencies. This module is especially useful for taming overly bright or harsh elements in a mix without affecting the rest of the frequency spectrum.
  9. Match EQ: A powerful tool for matching the tonal characteristics of your track to a reference track. It’s useful for ensuring consistency across an album or for achieving a specific tonal quality.
  10. Vintage: Includes Vintage EQ, Vintage Compressor, and Vintage Tape. These modules emulate the warm, rich characteristics of classic analog hardware, adding a vintage feel to your digital masters.
  11. Clarity: Newly introduced in Ozone 11, this module focuses on enhancing the clarity and balance of the mix, ensuring that the music sounds professional and polished without sounding overly processed.
  12. Utility Tools: These include features like Codec Preview, Dither, and Gain Match. They are essential for finalizing your master, allowing you to preview how your music will sound in various formats, apply dithering for bit-depth reduction, and match levels for A/B comparison.
izotope_ozone_11_clarity advanced_

izotope_ozone_11_clarity advanced_

New Transient and Sustain Features

  1. Transient Feature:
    • Purpose: The Transient feature in Ozone 11 is a feature that wasn’t in the previous version of Ozone. It is designed to control the initial attack of sounds in your mix. This is particularly useful for emphasizing or softening the impact of percussive elements like drums, plucked strings, or piano notes.
    • Functionality: By adjusting the transient controls, you can make the attack of these elements sharper and more pronounced or softer and more blended with the rest of the audio. This adjustment can add punch and clarity to your mix, making it more dynamic and lively, or it can create a smoother, more cohesive sound by reducing the sharpness of the transients.
  2. Sustain Feature:
    • Purpose: The Sustain feature in Ozone 11 focuses on the decay or the tail of sounds. It’s used to manipulate how long these elements linger in the mix, affecting the overall texture and feel of the music.
    • Functionality: By increasing sustain, you can make elements of your mix sound fuller and more resonant, as it extends the decay of sounds. This can be particularly useful for adding richness to sparse arrangements or creating a sense of space and depth. Decreasing sustain, on the other hand, can tighten up the mix, making it sound cleaner and more focused by reducing the tail of sounds.


Performance and Efficiency: Ozone 11 in Action

In terms of performance, Ozone 11 is both powerful and efficient. It handles complex processing without overwhelming your system, a crucial aspect for professionals working with multiple tracks and plugins. The suite’s efficiency means you can focus on the creative aspects of mastering without worrying about technical limitations.

Ozone 10 vs. Ozone 11

A Comparative Look at Ozone 10 and Ozone 11

Ozone 10 was already very powerful, but Ozone 11 takes these features and refines them further. The Master Assistant is more advanced, with improved AI algorithms that offer more accurate and genre-specific suggestions. The most notable addition is the Clarity Module, a groundbreaking tool designed to enhance the clarity and balance of the mix without introducing harshness. This module alone sets Ozone 11 apart, offering mastering engineers a new level of control over their final sound.

The Dynamics Module in Ozone 11 has also seen enhancements, particularly in the handling of transients and sustain. This allows for more nuanced shaping of the dynamic aspects of a mix, providing a level of control that can make a significant difference in the final master. The Maximizer Module has been refined for even more transparent limiting, ensuring that the final product is loud yet dynamic and clear.

In terms of user experience, Ozone 11 stands out with its improved interface. It’s more intuitive and streamlined, making the complex process of mastering more accessible, especially for those who might be new to the field. This focus on user experience doesn’t just simplify the workflow; it also allows for deeper exploration of the software’s capabilities without feeling overwhelming.

While Ozone 10 was already a powerful tool in the mastering arsenal, 11 elevates the experience with its new features, enhanced AI, and user-centric design. It’s not just an update but a significant step forward in digital mastering technology, offering both new and experienced users the tools to achieve a polished, professional sound.

User Experiences: Ozone 10 and Ozone 11

User feedback on Ozone 11 has been overwhelmingly positive, with many praising its advanced features and user-friendly interface. Professionals who have used both versions note the tangible improvements in 11, particularly in its ability to deliver clearer, more balanced masters.

Practical Applications and User Scenarios

Who Benefits Most from Ozone 11?

Ozone  is a versatile tool that caters to a wide range of users. Professional sound engineers and music producers will find its advanced features and AI-powered workflows invaluable for achieving top-quality masters. However, its intuitive design and Master Assistant also make it accessible for beginners, providing a powerful learning tool for those starting in music production.

Real-World Use Cases of Ozone 11

In real-world applications, Ozone 11 offers a range of features that can be quite effective in various mastering scenarios, such as when working on a full album. Its ability to maintain sonic consistency across different tracks is a notable aspect, although achieving this uniformity can sometimes be challenging, depending on the diversity of the tracks in the album. While Ozone aims to streamline this process, it requires a careful and skilled hand to ensure that each track not only aligns with the album’s overall sound but also retains its unique character.

Modules like the Low End Focus and Spectral Shaper are useful tools within Ozone 11’s arsenal for individual track adjustments. The Low End Focus, for instance, is designed to enhance or control the bass elements in a mix. However, it’s important to use this tool judiciously, as overemphasis or excessive tampering with the low end can lead to a loss of balance in the mix, especially in bass-heavy genres. Similarly, while the Spectral Shaper can smooth out harsh frequencies, there’s a risk of over-processing, which might result in a sound that’s too polished or lacking in character.

It’s also worth noting that while these modules are powerful, they are not a one-size-fits-all solution. Mastering, especially for an entire album, is a nuanced process that often requires more than just preset adjustments. The effectiveness of Ozone in this context l argely depends on the skill and experience of the user. For those new to mastering, there might be a steep learning curve in understanding how to best utilize these tools to achieve a desired outcome.

Pros and Cons

Advantages of Upgrading to Ozone 11

  1. Enhanced Clarity and Balance: The new Clarity Module offers unprecedented control over the mix’s balance, ensuring your music sounds professional without being overly processed.
  2. AI-Powered Efficiency: With improved AI capabilities, Ozone  can make intelligent suggestions, saving time and enhancing the mastering process.
  3. User-Friendly Interface: The streamlined interface makes it easier for users of all levels to navigate and utilize the suite’s full potential.

Potential Drawbacks of Ozone 11

  1. Learning Curve for New Users: Despite its user-friendly design, the sheer number of features can be overwhelming for beginners.
  2. System Requirements: As a comprehensive suite, Ozone 11 may require a robust system for optimal performance, which could be a limitation for some users.

Conclusion and Recommendations

Final Thoughts on Ozone 11 and Its Comparison with Ozone 10

Ozone 11 is a significant step forward in the realm of audio mastering. It builds upon the solid foundation of Ozone 10 and introduces new features that enhance the mastering process. Its balance of advanced capabilities and user-friendly design makes it a top choice for professionals and beginners alike.


  1. How does the Clarity Module in Ozone 11 differ from traditional EQ?
    • The Clarity Module offers more nuanced control, focusing on balancing the mix without altering the fundamental character of the music.
  2. Can Ozone 11 handle different music genres effectively?
    • Absolutely. Ozone 11’s AI and vast array of tools make it adaptable to any genre, from classical to heavy metal.
  3. What is the difference between Ozone 11 standard and Ozone 11 advanced?
    • Ozone Standard and Ozone Advanced differ primarily in their range of features and intended user base. The Standard version offers a comprehensive set of essential mastering tools, including basic modules like EQ, Compression, and Maximizer, making it suitable for users who need fundamental mastering capabilities or those who are new to mastering. On the other hand, Ozone eleven Advanced includes all the features of the Standard version and adds advanced modules like the Low-End Focus, Spectral Shaper, and additional Vintage modules. It also provides more in-depth control options, expanded metering tools, and the ability to use individual modules as standalone plugins within a DAW. This makes Advanced more suitable for professional mastering engineers who require a wider range of tools and greater flexibility in their mastering process.