All-in-one dynamic processors are not a new thing in music and audio production, but they keep evolving and surprising us with their performance. One of those dynamic processors is, without any doubt, the iZotope Neutron 2.
Discover iZotope Neutron 2
The iZotope Neutron 2 is a powerful tool that uses the latest technological advancements, audio analysis, and machine learning to provide you with a powerful mixing plugin for starting and finishing your music with confidence. It possesses essential audio dynamic processing tools such as compressors, gate, dynamic equalizer, harmonic exciter and more. One of the most advanced features incorporated in the iZotope Neutron 2 is the Track Assistant. That is why we will cover it in detail in the following tutorial.
We will start by adding the iZotope Neutron 2 to the master track of the SoundBridge: DAW project which I have previously made.
First of all the Track Assistant is the latest feature in machine learning and intelligent audio processing. It provides you with the starting point for your mix. The Track Assistant has also been updated from the previous version of Neutron with a refined user interface. It gives you more control over the suggestions it provides for your audio. With smarter controls, new instrument classification and a new user interface, Track Assistant prove to be the most advanced version of this technology yet.
When we open iZotope Neutron 2 interface, we can see a significant number of sections and parameters. On top, there are tabs for switching between Gate, Equalizer, Compressor 1&2, Exciter and Transient Shaper. Those are the critical components of this advance plugin. On the right side, we can see a dedicated metering section with input and output controls. Below this section there are controls for width, panning, limiting and so on. In this part of the tutorial, we will concentrate on the Track Assistant feature which we have mentioned above.
The Track Assistant can be accessed by click on the tab with the same name in the upper part of the overall interface. After clicking on it we are switched to the next dialogue.
The new addition to the iZotope Neutron 2 Track Assistant is the ability for auto-detecting a wider range of instruments, as shown in the picture below.
Choose your instrument
So the Track Assistant intelligently applies the appropriate amount of processing for the selected category of instrument, whether it is Voice, Guitar, Piano, etc.
We will run the Track Assistant on the master channel and apply it to the full mix. Since full mix contains many different elements, we will leave the base setting of “Auto Detect” and leave the Track Assistant to choose what would be the best choice for the overall mix. Besides this, we feel that this mix lacks some middle and high frequencies and it originally sounds a bit muddy, so we will go with “Style” set to “Upfront” and “Intensity” set to “Medium”. After clicking “Next,” we need to wait for a while until Track Assistant calculates and applies new dynamic processing.
Lets now hear the difference before and after processing with the Track Assistant.
~Full Mix – Unprocessed)
~Full Mix -Processed with Neutron 2/Track Assistant)
The Track assistant greatly helped with bringing up the dynamics and middle and high frequencies more upfront. In my opinion, it is an advanced tool which can help with just about any mix or recording.