How to mix your music with iZotope’s Neutron 3 Advanced

iZotope’s Neutron 3 Advanced is an all-in-one mixing suite that takes the guesswork out of mixing.

It comes with top-notch versions of all the standard tools you might need when you’re approaching a mix: an EQ, exciter, gate, transient shaper, compressors, and more. That said, Neutron 3 Advanced also boasts several innovative features that make it a seamless but powerful addition to any mixing workflow. In this feature guide, let’s explore two modules that are brand-new to Neutron 3 Advanced and learn how they can help you mix both better and faster.

1. Mix Assistant

When working with a dense production, it’s easy to get lost and bogged down in setting levels for what should’ve been simple in theory: arriving to a good starting point. Neutron 3 Advanced’s Mix Assistant helps you quickly arrive to a solid initial mix so that you can focus your time and energy on the creative decisions. Mix Assistant isn’t any old preset; rather, it listens to your entire session and intelligently mixes your tracks to produce a balanced starting point around your song’s vocals, or any other specified focal point(s).

If you’re interested in using Mix Assistant, an instance of the Relay plugin needs to first be assigned to each track that you want to have included in our mix. Don’t be concerned if you have a lot of tracks; Relay is essentially made solely for inter-plugin communication, and is very light in regards to CPU consumption.

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Once you have Relay on all of your tracks, load an instance of Neutron 3 Advanced on your master track and hit the Mix Assistant button. From there, select the BALANCE option and hit Next.

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You’ll now see a menu that asks you to select the Focus of your track. Your focus will differ from mix to mix — perhaps it’s the vocals for one song, but the drums for another. You shouldn’t select too many, but you don’t necessarily need to narrow it down to a single focus either. Star 1 – 3 tracks that you want Mix Assistant to prioritize as the centerpieces of your mix, and hit Begin Listening.

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Mix Assistant will now prompt you to play your song from beginning to end. As you do, it’ll make observations on what each track is doing in the mix to come up with some initial levels.

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Once the track finishes playing, hit Go To Results and you’ll be presented with Mix Assistant’s recommended initial mix. You can make any additional tweaks from there, and just like that you have an intelligent starting point for your mix, without all of the headache.

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2. Sculptor

Neutron 3 Advanced’s new Sculptor module provides a per-band army of compressors and EQs that operate as one to shape your tracks. It also works with the TRACK ENHANCE feature in Mix Assistant (the alternate option to BALANCE) to identify the instruments you’re working with and implement dynamic settings.

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When you use Sculptor, you’ll be prompted to select a target to begin shaping your audio. If it’s on your master track, one of the All-purpose targets such as Add Fullness or Add Punch may be a good option. Note that you also have the ability to load Sculptor (and any of the other eight modules in Neutron 3 Advanced) as its own plugin on an individual track; this saves CPU resources when compared to running multiple full instances of Neutron. If you’re using Sculptor on an individual track, there are a variety of instrument-specific targets (Acoustic Guitar, Dialogue, Sub-bass, etc.) that you can pick from.

Once you select a target, Sculptor will listen to your track and generate an intelligent setting for you to work off of. Circular sliders can be used to adjust the Dry/Wet mix, Tone, and Speed of Sculptor’s processing.

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Mix Assistant and Sculptor are just two of many new enhancements in Neutron 3 Advanced. From making significant performance improvements to revamping legacy modules like the Masking Meter, iZotope packs a lot of value in this latest version of Neutron. Let us know if you have any questions regarding Neutron 3 Advanced in the comments below, and if you don’t have the plugin, give it a try with a free three-day trial on Rent-to-Own.

October 3, 2019

Harrison Shimazu Harrison Shimazu is the editor of the Splice blog and a composer for video games and film.