Mixing compressors and equalizers

I’m very much attracted by complex suites of mastering tools like iZotope Ozone or FabFilter. I don’t like the default settings of Ozone 9, but that’s expected, and can be easily dealt with by using the plethora of fine-tuning controls it offers.

In the end, after having finally found a way to deal with it, I find that Ozone’s processors are very transparent and very effective. They sound good, if not overused, and can be on a par of some of the best stand-alone effects.

Still, I’ve my favorite dynamic processors and equalizers. Among my favorites are Softube’s modeled Manley Variable Mu Limiter/Compressor and Massive Passive EQ. I often set them in chain, with some subtle parallel compression adding a bit of tube saturation, and a light middle/side widening and smooth crafting of frequencies.

Then come Ozone, with more surgical refinements: that precise lowering os resonance around 500 and 3500 Hz to avoid nasality; some dynamic equalizing to prevent boomy basses of annoying frequencies; some spectral shaping to remove sibilants and smoothing the highs; a bit of low end focus; and finally a hint of transparent maximizing, to balance everything and make it compliant with consumer speakers.

So, I first craft my sound, and then do all the final retouching to make it stay strong.