Cubase Pro 10.5 vs. Izotope Ozone 9


If I’m running Cubase 10.5 Pro, are the mastering plugins provided with this DAW as good as the Izotope Ozone 9? I’ve been recommended to use this plug in in conjunction with Cubase Pro but considering what Pro version offers and the cost of both software, before I make a $1,000 investment for both software, I really need to know if Ozone 9 is redundant to Cubase Pro. Please advise.

Plugins included with Cubase Pro are fine and very usable, if you are happily with how they work then you can definitely get by with them alone.
That being said Ozone 9 is an excellent plugin and offers in one place some great modules, and has its own Mastering Assistant AI function which when used on the main output bus of pretty much any track will usually quickly get you to a good starting point for a mix down.
I myself love their plugins, and have their whole Music Production Suite and nowadays would not want to be without them!

OK, so before I purchase Pro, if I’m already using Cubase AI Elements 10.5, instead of upgrading to Cubase Pro, should I simple get the Izotope Music Production Suite?

It’s not absolutely necessary to have Ozone to accomplish mastering. The eq’s, limiter’s, and compressors in Cubase work fantastic, and these can be used for mastering. Probably the biggest value in Ozone is its presets - these show you the starting points for different mastering goals.
I personally use Ozone 7.

I think the most important thing in mastering is having a reference track to listen - basically a finished commercial track that has the sonic characteristics you’re look for. You then go about reproducing those characteristics on you’re own track.

That all depends on what your personal needs are. As mentioned the Cubase included plugins are all good. If Cubase Elements is holding you back in any way, then upgrade to Cubase Pro. You can always buy third party plugins at a later date if necessary.
You just need to work out what your priorities are, what is most needed, and buy accordingly :slight_smile:

I’m getting deep into Mastering that’s why I’m concerned. I’ll take your word however, knowing that I want to master vs. just mix and produce, does that change your opinion? Do you master or do you only mix and produce?

And I’m not opposed to getting both, I just want to be sure it’s absolutely necessary in the mastering process.

I wouldn’t say anything is absolutely necessary. Different people prefer different tools. I produce and mix in Cubase. I would never consider myself to be a mastering engineer, but if I need to compile and master to CD for instance, I’ll do that post production in Wavelab. (Other Izotope tools such as RX7 can come in handy for mastering too.)

You really need to check out WaveLab for your mastering needs, IMO. Ozone 9 works in either Cubase or WaveLab - and you may find some features in Ozone 9 indispensable - but you can go a long ways towards mastering and CD production in WaveLab, even WaveLab Elements, without Ozone 9. I have all 3, and I know these are the ‘right’ things to have, but there’s a learning curve to all of them, right? You can download trial versions, too, to see if they are what you need, but remember that learning curve thing. Another point, the cats that are running a mastering studio biz (or a version of) are all going to be posting in the WL forum. If you have the software you might learn something there. Last thing, Cubase is not a ‘mastering’ software, even with the addition of Ozone 9.

John Rogers disagrees a little. What are your thoughts on Audio Mastering Secrets The Pros Don’t Want You To Know by John Rogers. Frankly, I have a clientele that currently pays me to master for them and I use Digital Performer and Reason, so I was really looking to step my game up and I purchased this book I referenced. Considering I purchased some new gear that gave me a free version of Cubase Elements AI, once I began reading the book and this celebrated engineer was using Cubase with ozone, I moved towards purchasing Ozone. I then realized that Elements AI wasn’t the Pro Version, so I looked into that software and upon reading about it, I started to question my need for Ozone. And here we are…

ozone exciter is definitely a “stranded on an island with 1 plugin only”-plugin

Awesome insight. Thank you very much.

I don’t want to be limited to AI 10.5 you can look at those features at: Compare the Versions of Cubase | Steinberg
For instance - I know I want more than 2 instruments! I want to render DVD. I know I want the pro effects, like Frequency! & multibandComprssr wow! the list is REALLY a long one - do your self a favor and download the DEMO, you really want PRO! (depends on what you want to do) I wouldn’t want to try to do what you are wanting to do without pro. I can do without ozone. I was lucky I picked up the FREE release of ozone elements for users that had previous ozone 5 version, its is cool, Ozone is Cool. But I want to do pro level audio, even as just a hobbyist.