iZotope Neutron 3 | Tech Spotlight
iZotope Neutron 3 makes the whole mixdown process much easier with the new assistant technology and variety of modules.
iZotope Neutron 3 is not only an incredible all-in-one tool for processing – featuring a variety of high-end modules from EQ to compression, the “Visual Mixer” is an interesting and intuitive way to mix your entire track.
The plugin comes with a “Relay” plugin that is used to pass audio from several channels to iZotope Neutron 3 and the new Mix Assistant feature uses machine learning to analyse incoming audio from the Relay plugins and apply changes it deems are necessary to create the ideal balance between all of the mix elements.
The new Mix Assistant technology is probably the biggest introduction to iZotope Neutron 3, much like Vocal Assistant in Nectar 3 and Master Assistant in Ozone 8, these features attempt to take a lot of the setup of groundwork out of the equation to speed up workflow.
For beginners this is fantastic as it creates a good starting point for a mixdown, or it allows you to concentrate on the more musical stuff.
iZotope Neutron 3 can be used on an overall mix, where Relay is used to pass audio information to and from multiple channels, but it can also be used on individual channels – and again the mix assistant gives you a great starting point to start tweaking or leave as is and get into the creative stuff.
Another huge introduction in iZotope Neutron 3 is the Sculptor Module, it uses a technology called spectral shaping, which can be attributed to a combination of EQ and compression, however much easier to quickly dial in settings. There are several preset settings for various instruments or vocal styles or an “all-purpose” setting to fine tune it yourself.
The Sculptor Module is a great way of quickly shaping sounds and moving their spectral content to fit, without damaging the fidelity of the signal – often subtractive EQing can remove a lot of the audio content, which may not be ideal in a sparse mix.
The plugin comes with a ton of very useful presets, from creative to technical stuff.
iZotope Neutron 3 introduces a new revamped masking meter. Masking is the result of several audio signals playing in a similar frequency range – decreasing the audibility of either signal or muddying up the overall sound.
A classic example would be a kick drum and bass sound playing at the same time, EQ is often used to carve out frequencies in each signal to lessen the masking effect – however it takes time to identify and fix these issues.
Neutron 3 attempts to speed up this whole process, using Relay to grab audio from several tracks – it can identify how much of which frequencies are overlapping, and displays them on the EQ window.
While Neutron 3 has a large number of features aimed at making life easier for beginners, it’s also a fantastic tool for professionals.
There are a large number of new features aimed at increasing workflow, and for engineers who mix a lot of tracks – a speedy workflow is everything.
Neutron 3 is a great tool, however I feel it is aimed at the more mainstream mixing engineers and producers as opposed to electronic music producers, like myself.
That being said, iZotope’s tools are high-end, so if you know what you’re doing and you’re looking to dive a bit deeper than presets – this is a great all-in-one channel-strip style plugin.
iZotope Neutron 3 retails at USD $249 (Around R3900) however it is currently on special for USD $174 (Around R2700).