iZotope's AI-based plug-in suite grows ever more intelligent with the addition of an automated mix-balancing tool.
iZotope's Neutron is a suite of mixing and mastering plug-ins with a difference, the difference being the use of artificial intelligence to help you make decisions about what processing to apply. If you're not already familiar with Neutron, it's worth checking out SOS's reviews of versions 1 (January 2017) and 2 (May 2018) for a complete overview.
Like earlier versions, Neutron 3 can pinpoint masking issues, as well as suggesting suitable processing for individual tracks and for sweetening the overall mix — but it goes further than they did, thanks to a new automatic Mix Assistant (only included in the Advanced version), which can help establish an initial balance for a stereo mix.
While the machine-learning technology used behind the scenes must be seriously advanced, iZotope have put a great deal of effort into keeping the user interface as straightforward as possible, with on-screen prompts to help you follow the correct workflow. Nevertheless, there are still so many 'moving parts' that referring to the various tutorial videos can save a lot of time when scaling the learning curve. The software has been optimised to help minimise CPU load and to speed up graphic redraws, but if your session is already close to the edge, running a Mix Assistant balance analysis might just push it over.
Neutron Advanced comes as a suite of plug-in modules that includes the individual processing plug-ins, the Neutron 3 'Mothership' itself, an updated Visual Mixer (which displays simultaneously all Relay levels, shown vertically, and their pan positions, shown horizontally) and a module called Relay that is deployed in each of the tracks or submix buses in your mix so that it can monitor levels and also impose level and pan changes. As before, the individual processing modules can be used as separate plug-ins, or they can be combined within the Neutron 3 plug-in. Neutron 3 would normally be...