Anyone using Ozone elements for mastering?

I recently got this seeing it was being offered as a freebie through focusrite. I am still learning it but it seems to be so easy to create something that’s sounds fairly polished so easily.
The first few of my old tracks I remastered I did on the master assistant using high intensity. When I listened to them on my iPad I realised they were too hot and overpowering. Last time I used the medium CD setting on another track and it sounded really good.
To my thinking theres no substitute for proper gain staging of your tracks and plug-ins so Ozone is seeing them at an appropriate input level to work its magic.
I was wondering whether I need a compressor on the master bus with Ozone or not.

I sometimes use Ozone Elements to compare with my attempts at mastering. The AI does a pretty good job, but too extreme for my tastes. You’re right, dial it back and select different presets according to material and taste, and then tweak a bit. As a comparison tool I find it helpful sometimes. None of my mixes have ended up with Ozone on the master channel, but that maybe because my style of music doesn’t need ‘in-your-face’ EQ and limiting.

I’ve been using Ozone 9 and 10 [Advanced], and the Master Assistant is really just a way to get you started. As you observed, it can sometimes suggest a mastering chain that’s too intense (and sometimes, not intense enough!), and its suggested EQ settings usually need pretty significant tweaking.

FWIW, I use Ozone basically as a pre-mastering tool to make demos to share with a limited audience before release, and then have tracks mastered in a dedicated mastering studio by a dedicated mastering engineer for release. Ozone will get you most of the way there, but I’ve yet to see it beat what the mastering engineer does :slight_smile:

And you’re right proper gain staging is important to make all the plug-ins work optimally. I have yet to come across a situation where a compressor on the master bus isn’t necessary to make levels manageable and glue the mix together, so most likely yes, a compressor will usually have to be part of your mastering chain.

I hope this helps!

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Thanks for your input. I must try a compressor before Ozone and see how it pans out. There are some good presets for the different compressors in Cubase so I must experiment with those. I used a gain plug-in before ozone to drop the db levels down to -3 and that made the track sound way better after I reran the AI again.

I use the light version of Ozone 8 which I got for free a few years back. It’s a good tool with a lot of power but if you just choose presets and let the AI do its own thing it goes way over the top with loudness and compression in most cases. Mastering is better performed as a manual process where you create a sonic chain for specific purposes at each point. At the very least, get ready to do a lot of work on selected presets if Ozone is the one-stop shop. All the tools are there but do need human intervention. There are some good texts out there about mastering:

There’s nothing stopping you from doing all the mastering with Cubase as well:
https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-d&q=mastering+in+cubase

I found the master assistant seems to give a similar eq shape on different instrumentals I’ve recorded. It seems to always boost the high end which to my ears is too much treble. I’ve tried the presets and they all sound different and it’s hard to quantify whether they sound better or just different?
I’ve previously just used the Cubase strip EQ and run the high cut and low cut filters till it sounds ok and sweep the mid ranges to determine whether it needed a cut or boost.
Ozone does have a nice EQ so maybe I will just use that and play with it.

Ozone also gives you the chance to use a reference track and then the AI works as per the reference track to give you what it thinks should sound like.

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“Ozone also gives you the chance to use a reference track and then the AI works as per the reference track to give you what it thinks should sound like.”

Thank you for this!

I totally forgot about the reference track feature. I’ve just finished mixing down a Techno track and thought I’d try a quick “master” in Ozone using one of my usual reference files. Love the way the “assistant” analyses the dynamics as well. This saved me a bunch of time fiddling with EQ Match in PRO Q3 :wink:

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In my opinion, the reference track feature in Ozone [10] does a much better job producing a quasi-usable mastering chain compared to the AI assistant with one of the few presets that come with Ozone. Those mastering chains are usually a bit too intense and require quite a bit of tweaking, but I’ve had great results with the reference track feature coming up with very musical sounding starting points for the mastering chain suggestions!

I recently got Ozone and I think it does a good job. For me, taking your tracks to a good mastering engineer is worth it because they have the experience, gear, and the room to a make good mix better.

Happy to be of help!!