Automatically optimize the sound of a track
The popular iZotope plugin「Neutron」.
It’s a channel strip with high quality EQ/compressor/transient shaper, but its biggest factor is being able to automatically set up optimal plugin settings with the「track assistant function」.
Because it’ll automatically change to match the source material, it works great for those who aren’t great at mixing, or don’t want to spend too much time on the process.
In addition, you can use the parameter results from Neutron as a reference in your own mixing. Try comparing it to your own usual settings for fun too!
Of course, there are many variations to the automated setting, allowing you to designate sounds you like, and receive results accordingly.
We will take a look at some basics to using Neutron.
Neutron track assistant – Tutorial video
Neutron has a rich variety of functional presets.
Bring up presets by clicking the「Presets」area.
By selecting a preset for a specific instrument,
the preset will be instantly applied.
By dragging each plugin left/right, you can change their order as well.
Because this order makes a big difference in the overall sound, if you’re not feeling a particular set up, try moving them around!
Applying track assistant
Track assistant automatically finds an optimal plugin setting for a track, and edits the parameters accordingly.
Apply Neutron to a track and select「Track Assistant」.
After this screen comes up, let the track play on your DAW.
We recommend letting the track play for around 4〜10sec to give Neutron time analyse.
When finished, after returning to the edit screen, the parameters will have changed to fit the track.
In addition, there is a mode that allows you to determine how strong the track assistant is applied.
「Mode」Determine the strength of the effects applied
- Subtle : There will be the least amount of changes made, and is best for just adding some flavor to the original sound.
- Medium : There will be a normal amount of effect levels applied, and is the easiest mode to work off of.
- Aggressive : There will be a considerable amount of effect levels applied, and works great for drastic changes to your sound.
「Preset」Select the sound character.
- Broadband Clarity : Achieve a natural result without any extreme edits.
- Warm and Open : Achieve a strong and punchy sound, that works great on drums and sounds with strong attack.
- Upfront Midrange : Achieve a quality sound, that works great on vocals and other central sounds in a song.
By using the masking function, you can edit sound on a Neutron applied track with another.
For example, this works well with「kick」and「bass」which tend to clash frequencies.
Here we will apply a masking function for the kick and bass track.
Because the drum track already has Neutron applied, we will also add Neutron to the bass track.
Return to the drum track’s Neutron.
Turn on the equalizer’s「Masking」, and select the bass.
When the track is played we can see that there are frequencies interfering with each other.
You can select how much of this clashing it reads from the「Sensitivity」.
If you aren’t seeing the interference’s that you’re looking for, edit this parameter.
By keeping the frequency interference in mind, and using EQ to lower one or the other, you can tidy up your sound as a whole.
Turning on the「invert link」gain links the sounds to either
「raise one or lower the other」.
This helps prevent sounds from clashing.
This masking function can be used for vocals/guitar and other tracks that function in similar frequencies.
From track assistant to masking, new and innovative functions are included in this plugin.
The track assistant is especially functional,
and allows you to find you ideal sounds in an instant,
or even take your sound in directions that you wouldn’t have thought of otherwise, proving as a useful tool for mixing and production.
There is a demo version available too, so if you’re interested you can give it a try.
In our next article, we will take a look at the effects included in Neutron.