New Toys:  iZotope Neutron 4 Plug-in

Neutron 4, also part of the Music Production Suite 5 Universal Edition, loads up to eight plug-ins and has an AI (artificial intelligence) engine. It is designed to get any audio mix to a good-sounding place fast—basically as soon as you play your music! Now all machine learning via Mix Assistant is under the new Assistant View.

The expandable GUI has eight slots you may populate in any order with: Compressor 1, Compressor 2, a twelve frequency equalizer, Sculptor—a spectral shaping tool, Gate, Unmask, Exciter, Transient Shaper and Equalizer.

The new Unmask Module discovers and fixes masking problems between two sonically competing tracks. You may carefully define the differences sound between two guitar tracks or between a kick drum and the bass instrument as examples. You can use a new Target Library to match a tone to a stem or sample.

Neutron 4 also brought back their Trash algorithm for adding distortion and dirt as required. The Compressor module now has a Punch Mode and there is a Tone Slider to adjust the mix of low or high frequencies quickly.

A lot to take in here, so check out Neutron 4—it comes with Visual Mixer and Relay to help plug-ins talk to each other, plus use Tonal Balance Control 2 to view your levels as you mix. All plug-ins included with Neutron 4 feature Apple M1 native silicon compatibility. It sells for $399 MSRP. Music Production Suite 5 Universal Edition is $999 MSRP.