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iZotope Neutron 4 — Product of the Week

Neutron 4 is the latest version of iZotope’s AI-assisted, modular channel strip plug-in.

iZotope Neutron 4,
iZotope Neutron 4.

New York, NY (June 6, 2022)—Neutron 4 is the latest version of iZotope’s AI-assisted, modular channel strip plug-in, which features seven processors and several separate utilities such as Visual Mixer, Tonal Balance Control 2 and Relay. It’s available for purchase ($299) and through Music Production Suite 5 Universal, a subscription program ($19.99/month).

You’ll find quite a few new and upgraded features in Neutron 4. One of the most significant is the Assistant View, which replaces the Mix Assistant. Pressing the Assistant View button tells Neutron 4 to analyze the audio on the track it’s inserted on. After several seconds of processing, it suggests a starting-point setting using modules such as EQ, Compressor, Sculptor (spectral shaping), Exciter, Transient Shaper and more.

Neutron uses its machine-learned reference database to develop its settings suggestions. A powerful new feature called the Target Library lets you upload any audio file to use as a custom tone reference.

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The Assistant View provides three large adjustors called Intent Controls, which allow for quick modifications to the Punch, Distortion and Width of your track. According to iZotope, they’re designed to “pull or push your audio toward your personal taste.”

Neutron’s distortion capabilities have been significantly upgraded with the new Trash Mode. You can access it with an Intent Control in Assistant View or in the Exciter module in Detailed View). It allows you to dial in distortion options taken from iZotope’s popular Trash plug-in. Another addition to the Exciter is the Tone Slider, which lets you focus the processing on the low- or high-end of the frequency range of the source audio.

In Trash Mode, you can choose from harmonic profiles labeled Overdrive, Scream, Clipper or Scratch and even blend between them to create custom distortion sounds. For more subtle saturation, switch to the Classic Mode, which features Warm, Retro, Tape and Tube profiles.

Punch Mode is new in the Compressor module (and the Assistant View), joining the returning Vintage and Modern modes. Punch is designed to affect the impact of a sound by adjusting its dynamic range, among other parameters. IZotope also augmented the Compressor module with a sidechain metering function that uses the new Oscilloscope View, allowing you to visualize your sidechain audio.

To better deal with tracks that mask each other in a mix, iZotope added a dedicated Unmask Module, that automatically finds and fixes masking problems between a pair of selected tracks.

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