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How to Use Spectrum Matching EQ in Ozone 5


Hey guys, Eric Tarr here for I’m gonna show you a cool feature of the iZotope Ozone 5 plugin. This feature is Spectrum Matching. In order to understand this feature, you must first understand frequency analysis.

This plugin has a frequency analyzer built in as part of the equalizer section of the plugin. So as soon as you open it up and click on this tab, you’ll see the graphical user interface here display a frequency analysis. What this is gonna tell you is the relative amplitude or energy of different frequencies that are part of the signal that’s feeding the plugin.

I’ve got this plugin inserted on my mix buss. Or as the first insert slot on my master fader here. Then I’ve got all these other tracks in my session feeding the mix buss from my drums, synthesizers, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass and so on. All going into this master fader. And so when I press play, the frequency analyzer is going to tell me the relative amplitude of all the frequencies of my full mix. So here it is.

[full mix]

This frequency analysis feature on it’s own can be very helpful if you’re trying to make decisions about doing things like EQ. It’ll tell you maybe where frequencies are too loud or too quiet. And help you decide whether you need to boost or cut certain frequencies.

Taking this a step further, you can actually use the frequency analyzer in the plugin to match the relative amplitude of different frequencies in your mix, to some other reference mix that you’re using. So what I’ve got in my session is all my tracks going over to this particular bus called music mix. I’m gonna mute that. Then what I’ve done is brought in a reference track that I like to use. This is a song mix from a band called Flight Path from Nashville. I like their sound a lot. So what I’m gonna do is feed the signal from my reference track into the iZotope plugin and look at the frequency analysis here on the display of my reference track.

[reference track mix]

Maybe you noticed just visually that there might’ve been some differences in the spectral content, maybe there was too much highs too little highs in my mix. And so just visually you can probably tell some of these things. The nice thing about the iZotope Ozone plugin, is it will actually remember these settings and come up with a way for you to match or automatically equalize your mix to match this reference track you’re using. So the first thing you need to do is go in and capture what a snapshot. These snapshots are going to be used later by the plugin to figure out how it should automatically change or EQ the mix you’re feeding it. So I’ll start out and capture a snapshot for my reference track.

[reference track playback]

That should be good. Stop the capture. I can call this one the reference. Perfect. And I’ll save that. iZotope is gonna use this later on. Let me create a different snapshot then for the actual mix I’m working on right now.

[mix playback]

I’ll call this one mix. Alright. So what you can see displayed on the screen now, the purple line is the frequency analysis of my reference and the yellow line is for the mix that I’m working on right now. You can see that there’s some subtle differences and for the most part it’s pretty close. But what I can do is use this — switch over from the snapshots tab to the matching tab — and have the plugin automatically figure out what the differences — what things need to be changed — by using the equalizer such that my mix matches more of my reference. Use this one called reference here, and I’m gonna apply it to my mix. Then you have to click this match button right here and you’ll see that the equalizer automatically snaps into place. Then it’s up to you to decide how much you want it to fix — so I can make it more dramatic — or you can also change how smooth it is. If it’s a gradual change in the spectrum or if it’s more pronounced. Typically you don’t want all these ripples showing up when you’re trying to do this matching. But what it’s gonna show you is, my mix might have been to heavy on the low end relative to this reference, but also might not have been bright enough if that’s the particular style I’m working on, then I want to make sure all these things are pretty consistent to other tracks that other people are listening to.

So let’s then listen to what the plugin is doing to my mix.

[mix with eq spectrum matching on and then bypassed]

So this is a way you can use the frequency analyzer built into the iZotope Ozone 5 plugin to match the spectrum for the song you’re working on with a reference track.

Eric Tarr

Eric Tarr

Eric Tarr is a musician, audio engineer, and producer based in Columbus, Ohio. Currently a Professor of Audio Engineering Technology at Belmont University in Nashville, TN.
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