Neutron- Essentially an iZotope channel strip. In practice?
Cumbersome, CPU hungry as all hell, superfluous for the experienced, & likely just dangerous for the beginner.
Neutron is marketed towards lots of it's features but none so heavy as this:
Track Assistant (and now the "visual mixer")
Track assistant is very similar to the machine learning in Ozone's "Mastering Assistant" for track by track vs the whole mix. For the record I found the Mastering Assistant was far more useful to a beginner and can even be handy for those who know what they're doing
So I took a look at it. Slapped it on all manner of sources and WOAH. The crap it came up with. It's incredibly over the top.
Kick drum (inside)
Gate, EQ, Dynamic EQ, Transient Shaper, Exciter, and a Compressor.
Little over the top, ya think? It was well captured but needed some shaping sure... but what a convoluted way to get there.
Without exception no matter the source I found Neutron came up with the most complicated "solutions". Not just because I'm not a fan of Exciters with a few rare exceptions. Not only did I find the "suggestions" didn't sound good- more importantly they muddied the waters. This is where I really take issue.
It could be argued a few ways:
1: It's not a product made for a seasoned engineer- This is a tool for people not as experienced
2: These are only starting points and you tweak from there
For the beginner this just far over complicates things. Adding a dynamic EQ where a regular EQ would have worked perfectly, etc. just adds more confusion and it's completely unnecessary. This could lead to someone to think they should try to learn by reverse engineering the "suggested" settings. With it always picking the most complicated solutions it's just another thing in the way- a hindrance not a "Assistant".
To say nothing of running it on multiple channels would require a seriously heavy duty computer- again, something the beginner isn't like to have...and how is it helpful to undo all the unnecessary work on multiple channels!
I think that #1 answers #2 in large part as well. The same reasons that make this a cumbersome (possibly corrosive) utility for the beginner is the same reason it's a pain in the ass if you are an experienced engineer- you must 1st undo the unnecessary suggestions to arrive where you want to be- doesn't sound like much of an "Assistant", right?
I got my copy during a sale with a bundle or I'd never have bought it separately.
I STRONGLY recommend you pass on this if you're a beginner. HARD pass.
This is truly something special. This is the FUTURE! Im having trouble finding out where to begin. I can get creative or technical with this plugin and have MASSIVE control over all parameters and processing. The masking feature is one of my favorites.