Ozone 8 (and Ozone 9, as just announced!) by iZotope is truly impressive mastering software, especially it’s artificial intelligence (AI) Master Assistant algorithm. It can literally listen to your song and master it! All you need to do is cue up your song, answer a couple of Master Assistant’s questions and it takes over the entire mastering process for you. Ozone retails for $499, but goes on sale sometimes for half this price, and there’s a discount available for currently enrolled Berklee and Berklee Online students.
However, Master Assistant isn’t the only mastering AI in town. There are a few online mastering AIs that have been popping up. One of the pioneers in this field is LANDR, an automated, cloud-based mastering service developed by MixGenius in Montreal (Canada). For a low monthly fee (current sale prices are between $4 and $25 a month, dependent on the services you want) you can upload your music to LANDR and have it automatically mastered using its mastering AI. LANDR will email you when your master is ready for download.
Of course, this begs the question, which AI does a better job and what are the pros and cons of each? In this video I compare a song mastered using Ozone 8’s Master Assistant and LANDR’s online mastering service. I take a detailed listen and look at the results using several meters to check LUFS, true peak, and overall frequency balance. The results are very interesting and I hope that this comparison will help you to choose the software or service that fits your needs and your budget.