Ozone vs. T-Racks vs. ?

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by kmetal, Dec 2, 2010.

  1. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Hey everyone,
    I searched for a direct comparison between T-Racks and Ozone. The closest i came to it was remy's post saying she's used T-Racks since version 1 w/ bugs.
    I understand that experience, the room, ears, gear, and an awsome finished product, is what makes mastering the artform. My goal w/ this purchase is to introduce myself to mastering tools, and how to use them, as well as enhance my mixes. I think it will help me communicate more clearly with any future ME's i will have to work w/.
    I got a staff job at a local pro studio about 6 mo. ago. The studio owns the waves mercury bundle, which is out of my personal studios' current budget.
    I've been mixing on a DAW for about 4 yrs., prior to that, a tascam 4-track cassette machine for 5 yrs.
    I tried the Ozone demo, and i had a few hours on my buddies' T-Racks. With such little time in on both programs, i am hoping for some opinions from more experienced users.
    The software i purchase will be used in my personal, 2-room studio, for my demo's, and for clients who want a very basic, project studio master. I dunno if this info should be included, but i mainly run a modest (dual 1.6ghz laptop, FW1814, ART MPA, DBX 166, 414, sm57, ceiling cloud, corner resonators, mirror point abosorbers)
    If it's not worth investing in ozone or t-racks in the long run, i will wait until my budget can afford a higher end software suite. I don't intend on being a ME so i will leave my mixes up to 'em. Just looking for the smartest 'first step' into ME tools. Want something that'll be usefull for a few years, at least.
    Any reccomendations for other software i'll certainly give fair try. It has to be native, as i own just a laptop. Mastering hardware is out of my budget for quite a while, although it'd be fun to demo them at the store or wherever.
    Thanks!
     
  2. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    Personally? Don't waste your time on Ozone. I've got nothing against Izotope, but maul-the-band this and maul-the-band that, Haas effect this and Haas effect that (especially on the low end - That was a brilliant idea)...

    Let's just say it's not exactly "subtle" in a typical application. T-Racks is at least "I need this (comp, EQ, etc.) - Let's use it" and it doesn't start you out by wrecking an otherwise perfectly decent mix (although it will certainly allow you to wreck it on your own easily enough).
     
  3. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    One of the big deals in mastering Studios, was the " Repeatable settings" equalizers, like SONTEC's and the associated hardware compressor/limiters. There aren't any other tricks going on in the mastering suite. And when you have a great engineer supplying a great mix, there is not much for a mastering engineer to do. And so even your resident dynamics & EQ processing in whatever DAW you use should conceivably be perfectly adequate. It's when you want that specific brand or model of color that you start going after these other types of UAD type DSP-based emulation cards. They're trying to re-create the specific footprint & character of certain pieces of analog equipment because there ain't nothing that sounds like analog but analog. And of course software emulation of analog.

    Occasionally I like to emulate a pretty woman not just a broadcast broad
    Mx. Remy Ann David
     
  4. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    Ozone is a good program if you want an "all in one mastering program" but as John mentioned it is the user that has to make the wise decisions. Just calling up a preset and running everything through Ozone is NOT going to work very well if you are trying to do a good job mastering your material. When the Finalizer first came out you could almost hear what preset was being used by how the material sounded. No one bothered to change anything so the presets were showing up on lots of material that people were trying to "self master". What ever program you decide on really take time to read the documentation that comes with it and learn what the plug in is really doing to your material before you use it for mastering. Best of LUCK!!! and let us know which one you chose and why...
     
  5. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Thanks All.

    Massive- unless 'haas effect' stands for "heavy aas sh--t" i will certainly be careful with the multiband dynamics, which is one tool i haven't learned enough to use to my advantage.

    Remy- color isn't just for painters, it's just way more expensive for engineers. 'repeatable settings' screams stepped knobs to me. Just looked up that 250, and the new version looks pretty and tidy inside, but 'modern' w/ those ribbon style plugs/wire runs. With the transparency of my plugins, and inputs (tascam M-30/34b excluded), i've realized i'm looking for color here. Much listening to hardware/ME's ideas, will tell me what i'd like in my pallette.

    Thomas- interesting point about the use of presets. As diy kid, i tend to forget that people do use presets un-tweaked. I thought ozone's presets' were simply a good 'showcase' of what could be done w/ the program. i spent most time tweaking from 'point A'. i won't buy a program based on it's intro hype, but based on how 'cool', and 'useful' i think it'll be for me overall. excellent reminder! i'll look into the finalizer for fun.

    So far, for an "all in one", T-racks is getting an edge, it seems to offer the same basic capabilities as Ozone, w/ the yellow rack stuff, but adds emulation of somebody's choice gear. I saw a 'Cartec' (i think) EQ selling for like $4000 and it wasn't 'truly' a clone (lacked 'true' point-to-point wiring). The SOS reveiw of this was positive. It was full of tubes and transformers, and had a lower noise floor than a Pultec. I am usure of exactly what pieces i'd want in analog (or their emulations), due to inexperience.
    UAD (cardbus) is not out of the question. Since i haven't got my ears on any mastering eq's/comps, my judgement of quality will not be how 'accurate', but how subjectively 'cool/useful' these algorithms sound. Seems that t-racks is offering some transparent/scientific tools, as well as some flavor. But how tasty? I gues i need to compare emulations.
    So, still at the drawing on the board. Low-priced analog bus eqs/comps are out of the question. They will likely lack the amount of (full, rich, silky, pleasantly nasty) color i'd like, and one of them is priced as much as an "all in one" program. ...and so it goes.
    My procrastonation/research will not stop, but i'll certainly post when i purchase! All thoughts will help me in the meantime! thanks!
     
  6. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    The Haas Effect has to do with time -- You can actually delay your L/R in maul-the-band fashion with Blowzo-- I mean, Ozone. You can literally apply several milliseconds of delay from one side to the other in the low end.

    For some ungodly reason, people actually do that. Typically, when I get mixes in with particularly horrible, "I can't believe you didn't notice this" type phase anomalies in the low end, I call the mix engineer and ask if they used Blo --- Ozone. Almost invariably, the answer is "Sure did - Isn't it awesome?"

    Then I try to not freak out and ask if they actually bothered to listen to what it was doing to the low end -- I save myself from doing that as it would probably cost a certain amount of repeat business.

    In any case, I'd probably suggest seeing if you can get a cross-grade to Samplitude Pro (10 or 11). Once you get a taste of the native processing in Samplitude, you won't feel the need for much else as far as plugs are concerned.
     
  7. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Guess they didn't check mix in mono. Why would a mixer uses 'mastering' tools, if it's going to be sent out? I'm looking into samplitube pronto. Don't kill your customers massive! (making fun of them is ok, they'll laugh)
     
  8. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    Mastering engineers are needed when Bastaring Engineers have worked their black magic and overcooked their musical meal.

    I have gas... ooops...
    Mx. Remy Ann David
     
  9. Jeemy

    Jeemy Well-Known Member

    Calrec?

    'truly'?

    clone?

    pultec noise floor?

    wut?
     
  10. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Jeemy- i'll try to clarify a bit. the brand is "cartec" (typo) model is the EQP1A. I paraphrased a reveiw from SOS's Oct. 2010, issue pages 72-77. Product Review - Cartec EQP1A This link will only help to those who are e-subscribers, so i'll quote the hard copy a bit.

    "...press releases for this product claim 'point to point' wiring in the Cartec- and this is the typical approach in vintage and vintage-styled vavle equipment. The 'points' are usually isolated metal 'tags' on paxolin strips, bolted to the internal chassis, where a number of components are soldered together to form a circuit connection. However, the current production versions of the Cartec don't employ this old-school construction technique at all, and a cursory inspection of the internals would suggest a more modern PCB is employed instead...-(those three periods are in there)- casting some doubt on the point-to-point wiring proclaimed in the publicity bumf. -(<- not a typo)-
    However closer inspection reveals that the single large PCB that carries most of the components and valves is not a PCB in the conventional modern sense at all. Although the fiberglass board is copper clad on both sides, there are no conventional circuit tracks as such. instead, the components are actually connected in point-to-point fashion, via isolated islands of copper on the underside of the fiberglass board- which is why the layout seems rather haphazard and untidy compared w/ modern PCB design. There are no copper tracks linking physically spaced components together (as there would be on a conventional PCB design), and large areas of the PCB are employed for ground plane screening. Clearly this arrangement works well at a practical manufacturing level, and Cartec claim that it also brings benefits as far as technical specifications are concerned." pg 74-75.
    Most of this stuff is over my level of understanding but i'd love to learn about it. I should have said 'traditional' instead of 'true' and saved myself 20min typing. lol.
    On to the noise floor quote at this point. the article's summary is comparing a Pultec to the Cartec. titled "Even better than the real thing?"
    "...-and the Cartec EQP1A delivers exactly the same qualities character and overall tonality, but without the control crackles and inconsistencies of a vintage unit. Furthermore it does all this w/ a quieter and smoother background noise floor. Yes, it's an expensive product, but theres no doubt you get what your paying for, and the price is still very comparable with the best of the alternatives."
    PHEW- jeemy, thanks for making me check my words more carefully! I'll be Carefull!!!!
    "alternatives-...include Manley EQP1A, Summit Audio EQP200b, and he Tube Tech PE1C- although there are numerous others that bring variation to the same theme."
    I'm outy!! enjoy!!
    p.s. Should i have said 'physical emulation' instead of 'clone'? i dunno.
    p.p.s. SOS's price quote was $2895 not the $4000 i said.
     
  11. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Remy, You didn't get the 'pepto' pluggin from waves yet? It comes w/ the 'singer has talent' bundle.
    i'm leaning more and more against these 'mastering plugins', but if i could be modest...Deliver a master that people actually want to 'turn up'.
    I recently gave my boss an overcooked meal (mix) and he showed me a cool function on the D8B that decreases all the faders' gain's at once, while preserving my balance (which was approved).
     
  12. Jeemy

    Jeemy Well-Known Member

    Ah OK, I understand now. Was a bit confused as you suddenly changed tack from mastering plugins to outboard EQs and I didn't understand what you are saying. I'd agree with you that (most, ymmv, etc) mastering plugins are a bit of a waste of cash. I'd put forward that a good set of mix plugins - compressor, reverb, broadband limiter & dither, and EQ - will give you the same results and be far more useful in both mix and 'finalizing'.

    The UAD is very high on my purchase list once I stop agonizing about the A/D chain. However I do have the Sonnox plugins which I believe came in a set of 4 with exactly those 4 functions and I thought were fantastic. You can download a demo as long as you have an iLok key to put the demo license on.
     
  13. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Yeah sorry, i did jump around.
    i usually see the sonnox bundles in ads. i have an i lok, i'll try 'em. They are more pricey than Ozone/T-racks. Seems to me, mixing tools should be my focus. (i probably should move this out of 'mastering' forum) perhaps 1 'overall volume pluggin would be enough to please my clients, as they never seem to be appreciative of the mix dynamics, just RMS volume. My boss said, 'a sign of people liking a song, is actually turning it up'. I'd hate to destroy the dynamics just to get playback volume. (i know it's a worn issue) "Finalizing" may be just enough for 'em.
    What do you mean by "agonizing about the A/D chain"?
     
  14. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    I think that means he's really, really concerned about having/tweaking a particular A/D before he's going to worry about anything else.
     
  15. Jeemy

    Jeemy Well-Known Member

    Indeed I do. I'm starting to feel crippled by having only 10 good A/D ins/outs - I have a further 24 "meh" ins/outs, but its something I will do before looking at the UAD - but its definitely on my list.
     
  16. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Better in's haven't hurt yet.
     
  17. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    I think the inputs on my Alesis HD 24xr sound more than adequate. What are people looking for exactly? So people really just want a wire with gain. I think you can get that if you cool the wire to -325°F?? Where is that tank of liquid nitrogen I had lying around here?? I'll show ya, hee hee he...

    It's even colder in the basement
    Mx. Remy Ann David
     
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