Platforms:Windows (XP, x64, Vista, 7),Mac OS X 10.4 or later (Universal Binary)
Formats: VST, Audio Units, DirectX, MASPC, Pro Tools 7+ (RTAS/AudioSuite)
This is one of those products where you want to include a dozen screen shots; we’ll settle for showing
a Macro page.
iZotope’s Ozone has been a favoriteamong project mastering engineers, butas DAWs started using more powerfulcomputers, people started using thissuite of software processors as a channelstrip. Which is cool, except that’s notwhat it was designed for, and it’s notexactly light on your CPU.So iZotope added somefeatures, removed others,put it on a CPU diet, andvoilà—Alloy, your new bestfriend channel strip.
Alloy has eight processorsthat connect in series:EQ, Exciter, multiband Transient Shaper,two Dynamics processing stages (whichcan work in parallel), De-Esser, PhaseTools, and Limiter. What’s more, you canput these in any order. It also has abunch of presets; these include an extra,way-cool feature called “MacroFaders.”When you call up a preset and click on the Macro button, you’ll see a mini-userinterface incorporating multiple modules,with controls for the most crucialparameters. Some faders even controlmultiple parameters to produce a particulareffect.
Now let’s check out the highlightsof individual modules.
This 8-band EQ has the expected features—choice of filter response,boost/cut, etc. What keeps it frombeing boring is the excellent spectrumanalyzer display, with my favorite featurebeing the option to average theresponse from real time to infinite. Thisgives a really good indication if thereare frequency response anomalies(e.g., room resonances) that might notbe discernible with a realtime display.
It’s easy to go for fine-resolutioncurves, as you can change the x-axisamplitude readout from +5dB to+15dB. Furthermore, you can eventhrow in saturation, and “audition” partof the spectrum without actually havingto change EQ settings.
Speaking of spectrum analysis,Alloy can show a “mini-spectrum” aspart of every effect display (other thanlimiting, which has its own, moreappropriate display). However, thespectrum options are global, so youcan’t see a different resolution withone effect compared to another.
The meters can read the overall inputand output, or the signal going intoand coming out of individual modules.Meter resolution is editable, too.
This is one of those effects you didn’trealize how badly you needed it untilyou have it. What it can do with drumsis mind-boggling: Sharpen the lowermidkick beater click, while addingbody to the kick’s bass range via sustain.You can also do the reverse, andsoften percussion transients on signalslike synth bass if it’s too “aggressive.”You’ll love this module.
By the way, the “multiband” aspect ofall multiband modules is optional—you canremove bands to have a one- or two-bandprocessor, or go for the full three bands.
Here’s another winner. It combinesparts of ...