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iZotope Neutron Advanced 3.0 Review: The Future of Mixing is Here



iZotope Neutron Advanced 3.0: A Smart and Modern Mixing Suite




Mixing is one of the most challenging and creative aspects of music production. It requires a lot of skill, experience, and attention to detail to achieve a professional-sounding mix that sounds good on any device. However, mixing can also be time-consuming, tedious, and frustrating, especially if you don't have the right tools or guidance.




iZotope Neutron Advanced 3.0


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That's where iZotope Neutron Advanced 3.0 comes in. It's a powerful audio mixing software that uses artificial intelligence to help you craft a professional mix faster and easier than ever before. Whether you're a beginner or an expert, Neutron 4 can help you achieve better results with less effort.


In this article, we'll take a look at what iZotope Neutron Advanced 3.0 is, what are its new features, and how to use it in your mix. By the end of this article, you'll have a better understanding of how Neutron 4 can help you improve your mixing skills and workflow.


What is iZotope Neutron Advanced 3.0?




iZotope Neutron Advanced 3.0 is the latest version of iZotope's flagship mixing software. It's designed to help you mix smarter and faster with a suite of features that analyze and optimize your mix. Here are some of the main characteristics of Neutron 4:


A semi-modular channel strip with seven processing modules




Neutron 4 is a semi-modular channel strip that lets you choose from seven processing modules to shape your sound. You can use the modules in any combination and order, and also as individual plugins. The modules are:



  • Equalizer: A powerful EQ with up to 12 bands, dynamic mode, mid/side mode, masking meter, and spectral shaping.



  • Compressor: A versatile compressor with up to four bands, sidechain mode, vintage mode, punch mode, auto-release mode, and gain reduction meter.



  • Gate: A flexible gate with up to four bands, sidechain mode, hysteresis mode, lookahead mode, and gain reduction meter.



  • Exciter: A harmonic enhancer with up to four bands, four saturation modes (tube, tape, retro, warm), trash mode (a new distortion mode), blend control, and spectrogram.



  • Transient Shaper: A transient shaper with up to four bands, three contour shapes (sharp, medium, smooth), attack and sustain controls, and spectrogram.



  • Sculptor: A spectral shaper that applies targeted processing to specific frequency ranges, based on the instrument or sound profile you choose from a list of presets.



  • Limiter: A brickwall limiter that prevents clipping and ensures loudness, with three modes (transparent, modern, classic), true peak detection, and adaptive release.



A suite of intelligent features that analyze and optimize your mix




Neutron 4 is not just a collection of modules. It also has a suite of intelligent features that use artificial intelligence to analyze and optimize your mix. These features are:



  • Mix Assistant: A feature that listens to your entire mix and automatically balances the levels of your tracks, giving you a solid starting point for your mix.



  • Track Assistant: A feature that listens to your individual tracks and automatically creates a custom preset for each track, based on the instrument or sound profile you choose from a list of presets.



  • Unmask: A feature that detects and fixes masking issues between tracks, making sure that every element in your mix is clear and audible.



  • Tonal Balance Control 2: A feature that lets you monitor and adjust the tonal balance of your mix, using reference curves from different genres and styles, or your own custom targets.



A flexible and user-friendly interface that adapts to your workflow




Neutron 4 has a flexible and user-friendly interface that adapts to your workflow and preferences. You can customize the interface by:



  • Choosing the edition: Neutron 4 comes in three editions: Elements, Standard, and Advanced. Each edition has different modules and features available, depending on your needs and budget.



  • Choosing the view: Neutron 4 has two views: Assistant View and Module View. Assistant View is a control center that lets you access the intelligent features quickly and easily. Module View is a detailed view that lets you access the modules and their parameters fully and precisely.



  • Choosing the layout: Neutron 4 lets you change the layout of the modules by dragging and dropping them in any order or combination. You can also resize the modules by dragging their edges.



  • Choosing the color: Neutron 4 lets you change the color of the modules by clicking on the color icon next to each module name. You can choose from a palette of colors or create your own custom color.



What are the new features of iZotope Neutron Advanced 3.0?




iZotope Neutron Advanced 3.0 is an update from the previous version, iZotope Neutron Advanced 2.0. It introduces some new features that make it even more powerful and efficient than before. Here are some of the new features of Neutron 4:


Assistant View: A control center that produces fast and personalized results




Assistant View is a new view that lets you access the intelligent features of Neutron 4 in one place. It's designed to produce fast and personalized results for your mix. You can use Assistant View to:



  • Use Mix Assistant: Mix Assistant is a feature that listens to your entire mix and automatically balances the levels of your tracks, giving you a solid starting point for your mix. To use Mix Assistant, you need to select an anchor track (the most important track in your mix), select the other tracks in your mix, and let Mix Assistant do its magic.



  • Use Track Assistant: Track Assistant is a feature that listens to your individual tracks and automatically creates a custom preset for each track, based on the instrument or sound profile you choose from a list of presets. To use Track Assistant, you need to select an instrument or sound profile for your track, select the intensity level (low, medium, high), and let Track Assistant do its magic.



  • Use Unmask: Unmask is a feature that detects and fixes masking issues between tracks, making sure that every element in your mix is clear and audible. To use Unmask, you need to select a source track (the track you want to unmask) and a target track (the track that is masking the source track), and let Unmask do its magic.



Unmask Module: A tool that discovers and fixes masking issues for clarity




Unmask Module is a new module that lets you discover and fix masking issues between tracks. Masking is when one sound covers up another sound in the same frequency range, making it less audible or clear. Unmask Module helps you solve masking issues by using artificial intelligence to compare the spectral profiles of the source and target tracks, and applying dynamic EQ to carve out space for the source track. You can use Unmask Module to:



  • Discover masking issues: Unmask Module shows you a visual representation of the masking issues between the source and target tracks, using a spectrogram and a masking meter. You can see how much masking is occurring at different frequency ranges, and how much Unmask Module is reducing it.



  • Fix masking issues: Unmask Module automatically applies dynamic EQ to the target track, based on the spectral profile of the source track. It creates notches in the target track's EQ curve, where the source track is most prominent, to create space for the source track. You can adjust the amount of unmasking with a slider, and also fine-tune the EQ curve manually.



  • Compare before and after: Unmask Module lets you compare the sound of the source and target tracks before and after unmasking, using a bypass button and a solo button. You can hear how Unmask Module improves the clarity and separation of the tracks.



Trash Mode in Exciter Module: A distortion mode that adds character and edge




Trash Mode is a new distortion mode in the Exciter Module that lets you add character and edge to your tracks. It's based on iZotope's Trash 2 plugin, which is a powerful distortion and saturation plugin. Trash Mode lets you choose from four different distortion types (clip, drive, fuzz, trash), each with its own character and tone. You can use Trash Mode to:



  • Add warmth and richness: Trash Mode can add warmth and richness to your tracks by applying subtle harmonic distortion. This can make your tracks sound more analog and organic.



  • Add grit and aggression: Trash Mode can add grit and aggression to your tracks by applying more intense distortion. This can make your tracks sound more edgy and powerful.



  • Add color and texture: Trash Mode can add color and texture to your tracks by applying different distortion types. This can make your tracks sound more unique and interesting.



Punch Mode in Compressor Module: A compression mode that adds impact and energy




Punch Mode is a new compression mode in the Compressor Module that lets you add impact and energy to your tracks. It's based on iZotope's Ozone 9 plugin, which is a powerful mastering plugin. Punch Mode uses a special algorithm that preserves the transients of your tracks, while compressing the rest of the signal. This creates a punchy and dynamic sound that enhances the groove and rhythm of your tracks. You can use Punch Mode to:



  • Add impact to drums and percussion: Punch Mode can add impact to drums and percussion by making them sound more crisp and snappy. This can make your drums cut through the mix better.



  • Add energy to vocals and instruments: Punch Mode can add energy to vocals and instruments by making them sound more lively and expressive. This can make your vocals stand out more in the mix.



  • Add cohesion to your mix: Punch Mode can add cohesion to your mix by making it sound more balanced and consistent. This can make your mix sound more professional and polished.



How to use iZotope Neutron Advanced 3.0 in your mix?




iZotope Neutron Advanced 3.0 is a versatile mixing software that can be used in different ways, depending on your goals and preferences. However, here are some general steps that you can follow to use Neutron 4 in your mix:


Step 1: Load Neutron 4 on your tracks and choose the edition that suits your needs




The first step is to load Neutron 4 on your tracks as a plugin in your DAW (digital audio workstation). You can load Neutron 4 on as many tracks as you want, but keep in mind that it's a CPU-intensive plugin, so you may need to freeze or bounce some tracks if you have a lot of them.


Next, you need to choose the edition of Neutron 4 that suits your needs. Neutron 4 comes in three editions: Elements, Standard, and Advanced. Each edition has different modules and features available, depending on your needs and budget. Here's a table that compares the three editions:



Edition


Modules


Features


Elements


- Equalizer- Compressor- Transient Shaper- Limiter


- Track Assistant- Visual Mixer- Relay


Standard


- Equalizer- Compressor- Gate- Exciter- Transient Shaper- Sculptor- Limiter


- Track Assistant- Visual Mixer- Relay- Unmask Module- Tonal Balance Control 2


Advanced


- Equalizer- Compressor- Gate- Exciter- Transient Shaper- Sculptor- Limiter


- Track Assistant- Visual Mixer- Relay- Unmask Module- Tonal Balance Control 2- Mix Assistant- Individual Module Plugins


You can choose the edition of Neutron 4 by clicking on the edition icon at the top right corner of the plugin window. You can also switch between editions at any time, but keep in mind that some modules and features may be disabled or removed if you switch to a lower edition.


Step 2: Use Mix Assistant to get a balanced starting point for your mix




The next step is to use Mix Assistant to get a balanced starting point for your mix. Mix Assistant is a feature that listens to your entire mix and automatically balances the levels of your tracks, giving you a solid starting point for your mix. To use Mix Assistant, you need to:



  • Select an anchor track: An anchor track is the most important track in your mix, usually the lead vocal or the main instrument. You need to select an anchor track by clicking on the Mix Assistant button on the Neutron 4 plugin window of that track, and choosing "Set as Anchor".



  • Select the other tracks: The other tracks are the rest of the tracks in your mix, excluding the anchor track. You need to select the other tracks by clicking on the Mix Assistant button on the Neutron 4 plugin window of each track, and choosing "Add to Balance". You can also group tracks by similar instruments or roles, such as drums, bass, guitars, keyboards, vocals, etc.



  • Let Mix Assistant do its magic: Once you have selected the anchor track and the other tracks, you need to click on the "Begin Balance" button on the Mix Assistant window. Mix Assistant will then analyze your mix and adjust the levels of your tracks accordingly. You can monitor the progress and results of Mix Assistant on the Mix Assistant window, and also on the Visual Mixer window.



After Mix Assistant is done, you will have a balanced mix that sounds good on any device. You can then fine-tune your mix further with the modules and features of Neutron 4.


Step 3: Use Track Assistant to get a tailored preset for each track




The next step is to use Track Assistant to get a tailored preset for each track. Track Assistant is a feature that listens to your individual tracks and automatically creates a custom preset for each track, based on the instrument or sound profile you choose from a list of presets. To use Track Assistant, you need to:



  • Select an instrument or sound profile: An instrument or sound profile is a category that describes the type of sound or instrument that you are mixing, such as vocals, drums, guitars, keyboards, etc. You need to select an instrument or sound profile for each track by clicking on the Track Assistant button on the Neutron 4 plugin window of that track, and choosing one from the list.



  • Select an intensity level: An intensity level is a parameter that determines how much processing and enhancement Track Assistant will apply to your track, ranging from low to high. You need to select an intensity level for each track by clicking on the slider below the instrument or sound profile list.



  • Let Track Assistant do its magic: Once you have selected an instrument or sound profile and an intensity level for each track, you need to click on the "Next" button on the Track Assistant window. Track Assistant will then analyze your track and create a custom preset for it, using the modules and parameters of Neutron 4. You can monitor the progress and results of Track Assistant on the Track Assistant window, and also on the Module View window.



After Track Assistant is done, you will have a tailored preset for each track that suits the type and style of sound or instrument that you are mixing. You can then fine-tune your preset further with the modules and features of Neutron 4.


Step 4: Use the modules to sculpt your sound and fine-tune your mix




The next step is to use the modules to sculpt your sound and fine-tune your mix. The modules are the core components of Neutron 4 that let you shape your sound with different types of processing and enhancement. You can use the modules to:



  • Use the Equalizer: The Equalizer is a powerful EQ with up to 12 bands, dynamic mode, mid/side mode, masking meter, and spectral shaping. You can use the Equalizer to adjust the frequency balance of your tracks, remove unwanted resonances or noises, enhance specific frequency ranges, create stereo width or depth, and avoid masking issues.



  • Use the Compressor: The Compressor is a versatile compressor with up to four bands, sidechain mode, vintage mode, punch mode, auto-release mode, and gain reduction meter. You can use the Compressor to control the dynamics of your tracks, smooth out volume fluctuations, add punch or warmth, glue together similar tracks, and create parallel compression.



  • Use the Gate: The Gate is a flexible gate with up to four bands, sidechain mode, hysteresis mode, lookahead mode, and gain reduction meter. You can use the Gate to reduce or eliminate unwanted sounds or noises from your tracks, such as bleed, hum, hiss, or clicks. You can also use the Gate to create rhythmic effects or transitions.



  • Use the Exciter: The Exciter is a harmonic enhancer with up to four bands, four saturation modes (tube, tape, retro, warm), trash mode (a new distortion mode), blend control, and spectrogram. You can use the Exciter to add character and edge to your tracks by applying subtle or intense distortion. You can also use the Exciter to create different tonal colors or textures by using different saturation modes.



  • Use the Transient Shaper: The Transient Shaper is a transient shaper with up to four bands, three contour shapes (sharp, medium, smooth), attack and sustain controls, and spectrogram. You can use the Transient Shaper to enhance or reduce the transients of your tracks, which are the initial peaks or spikes of sound that occur at the beginning of a sound wave. You can also use the Transient Shaper to create more crispness or smoothness in your tracks by using different contour shapes.



  • Use the Sculptor: The Sculptor is a spectral shaper that applies targeted processing to specific frequency ranges, based on the instrument or sound profile you choose from a list of presets. You can use the Sculptor to improve the tonal balance and clarity of your tracks by removing harshness or muddiness, boosting brightness or warmth, or adding fullness or airiness.



  • Use the Limiter: The Limiter is a brickwall limiter that prevents clipping and ensures loudness, with three modes (transparent, modern, classic), true peak detection, and adaptive release. You can use the Limiter to increase the loudness of your tracks without distorting them, and to make sure that your tracks don't exceed a certain level of volume. You can also use the Limiter to create different styles of limiting by using different modes.



You can access the modules by clicking on the Module View button on the Neutron 4 plugin window, or by opening the individual module plugins. You can adjust the parameters of each module by using the knobs, sliders, buttons, or graphs on the module interface. You can also use the presets, learn functions, or intelligent features to help you with the settings.


Step 5: Use Visual Mixer, Relay, and Tonal Balance Control 2 to control and monitor your m


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