With over 7,500 albums under his belt, Greg Calbi (Senior Mastering Engineer at Sterling Sound) is an accomplished mastering engineer like few others. iZotope has teamed up with the legendary engineer to offer presets built for users of Ozone that are designed and used by Greg on a daily basis.
Each preset is crafted to achieve a certain sonic goal, to be a solid starting point for mastering your material. Auditioning each preset at the beginning of your mastering session can be a great way to quickly sample different aesthetic possibilities and decide on the direction to take your master.
Remember, though, that these presets are intended as a starting point to get you going in the right direction. While magic could happen on the first try, it’s rare that a preset will be perfect without some additional tweaks for your source material. Presets are like a window into where your mix can go on the journey towards a final master. It’s important to experiment—and have fun!
The Calbi method
So how does Greg use these presets? One approach is to make swatches of compression. “I take usually the first verse and chorus of a song, create swatches with the different presets, and shoot them out to find the best possible preset,” he says. “I'll take the swatch that I determined was the best of all my Ozone presets, and then I'll manipulate inside that preset.”
Sometimes, for instance, a particular preset may be great for guitars but the bass drum becomes accented in a way that compromises the mix. So you’ll have to consider critically the effects each preset has on your material, then make the appropriate adjustments for success.
Listen to these examples to see how Greg Calbi Mastering Presets for Ozone can start transforming your sound into a more polished, professional-sounding mix: