FabFilter's mixing suite offers insane precision with incredible mixing plugins such as Pro-Q 3 and Pro-C 2 being found in professional studios around the world. iZotope's Production Suite 4 features a fantastic, all-in-one plugin, that covers all your production needs for post-production.
Both iZotope and FabFilter are extremely well known names in the music production world. While at first glance they might look similar, their offerings are quite different. So not to mince any more words, let's look into which of these two is best for you!
iZotope Music Production Suite
✅ Intelligent Mixing and Processing
✅ Perfect for Mixing, Mastering, Audio Repair and more
✅ Beautiful User Interfaces
✅ Comprehensive features
✅ Flagship AI and Processing Algorithms
❌ Some Plugins can have a Steep Learning Curve
iZotope's Music Production Suite is one of the best Mixing and Mastering suites available today.
This $999 beast contains 11 plugins, many of which are very specialized and precise tools.
In addition to intelligent mastering and mixing plugins like Ozone and Neutron, you also get creative tools like the awesome Nectar Vocal plugin, and Stutter – a creative vocal chop tool.
iZotope have made some of the most well-known, and widely adapted mixing and mastering utility plugins ever. Of these, you're probably familiar with Ozone.
Everything you might need for Mastering, in one plugin, with a helper mode, and EQ Match.
iZotope plugins very much lean into machine learning and artificial intelligence functionality, to give you super quick and easy mixing and mastering results.
This makes them some of the best ways to get a presentable product, very quickly. Whether you need to hand in a demo really quickly, or you want a great baseline to start your mix from, the AI assistants can sort you out really quickly.
That being said, iZotopes plugins aren't all about the AI and Machine learning, which a lot of less experienced producers tend to forget.
Each of the plugins in this bundle are extremely in-depth.
Plugins such as RX are so deep and powerful, that you need to take time to learn how to use it all properly. But, when you've mastered them? All that stands between you and a great mix is, just doing it.
The iZotope Music Production Suite is easily one of the best audio processing bundles, and covers most of what you would need when mixing or mastering.
While it's definitely not cheap, everything that you get, is worth the price 10 times over, and if you were to buy similar plugins separately, it would end up costing more.
The 11 Plugins you get with Music Production Suite 4 are:
- Ozone Advanced – Intelligent Mastering Suite
- Neutron Advanced – Intelligent Mixing Suite
- Nectar Plus – Vocal Mixing Suite
- RX Standard – Audio restoration and cleanup
- Neoverb – Intelligent reverb plugin
- Stutter Edit – Creative vocal chops and stutter effects
- R4 – Modulated Reverb plugin
- VocalSynth – Vocal FX
- Insight – Metering utility plugin, with a spectrogram
- NIMBUS – Organic and natural reverb plugin
- Tonal Balance Control – Frequency analyzer, great for comparing your mixes to preset targets.
Ozone is iZotope's flagship mastering suite.
Easily, the most advanced and feature-rich mastering plugin in the world, Ozone is an all-in-one approach to mastering plugins.
The integrated machine learning can instantly give you great results after analyzing your audio. And, is great for getting down basic mastering settings, so you can adjust them further down the line.
Ozone has been the answer to mastering for tons of producers, for years, and it's easy to see why.
In most mastering YouTube tutorials, you'll see the iZotope or Waves mastering range pop up.
Neutron is pretty much Ozone, but for Mixing.
Neutron is great at pinpointing issues in your mix like, identifying clashing frequencies, addressing stereo issues, and even including an individual track link-up feature, which allows you to see all your frequency spectrums in one place.
Add to that the mix assistant (an AI tool that is shockingly accurate), Neutron can help you get a great initial mix balance, quickly, and easily. Once you have a base, you can use the tools to further pinpoint, and fine-tune your mixes.
Neutron in particular comes with quite a few processing utilities, such as Compressors, Exciters, Gates, Transient Shapers, as well as the Sculptor spectral shaper.
Neutron is the perfect tool to cover all your mixing needs.
RX is one of iZotope's most popular plugins.
Featuring everything you need for audio restoration, and cleanup, RX 8 is a must-have for podcasters, or musicians working with noisy recordings.
(it's also fantastic for making *almost* studio acapellas)
Instantly clean up noise, remove hum and resonance, rebalance mixes, separate stems, etc. If your audio can't be fixed by RX, it probably can't be fixed.
Even if you have a professional studio, having RX can be the difference between a good recording and a mediocre one. RX is one of the iZotope plugins, that pretty much everyone who works with audio, should pick up.
If you're a fan of glitchy vocals and effects, Stutter Edit is definitely for you.
Stutter Edit is perfect for weird percussion loops, chopped vocals and warped sample textures.
Experimentation is the key when working with Stutter Edit, but you do get a little help with the awesome automatisation, and easy to use UI. This means getting unique sounding sample edits, is easier than ever with Stutter Edit.
The newly added Time Variant Modifiers even add customizable LFOs that can modulate any effect parameter.
Essentially a multi-effects unit, Stutter Edit is one of the most interesting and fun iZotope plugins. Beloved since its release, Stutter Edit 2 will add extra depth and detail to your sound design
You can get iZotope plugins of 3 ways:
- Purchase the full package – one off fee of $999
- Splice 0% Rent To Own (Neutron & Ozone) – $14.99/month for 14 months
- iZotope Music Production Club – $19.99/month, or $199/year (every month, every year)
We've personally seen iZotope's Music Production Suite 4 on sale for as little as $593, so it might make sense to wait for a sale, before purchasing.
Fabfilter Total Bundle
FabFilter is undoubtedly one of our favorite plugin developers ever.
Their incredible mixing plugins such as Pro-Q 3 and Pro-C 2 are commonly found in professional studios around the world.
The FabFilter Total Bundle contains all 14 FabFilter plugins, with free updates, whenever they come out.
With The FabFilter Total bundle, you get everything, from EQ and compression, to reverb, multiband distortion, and even a synthesiser.
The FabFilter Total bundle has everything you need to achieve professional level mixes and masters.
All FabFilter plugins have tons of variability and control, while being super clean, and transparent, as well as easy on your CPU.
The UI of all FabFilter plugins is also super intuitive and easy to understand. Everything tends to be laid out in a single screen, so you shouldn't be scrolling through too many drop-downs and sub-menus. They're so simple and easy to use, that you wouldn't expect them to be the industry leading mixing plugins that they are.
While you would probably expect to hear some drawbacks by this point, there just aren't any… if you don't mind paying almost a thousand dollars for 14 plugins, that is.
When it comes to sound, usability and workflow, there just isn't anything, that's quite as good as FabFilter.
All 14 FabFilter Plugins (Total Value – $2030)
FabFilter Pro-Q is easily, the best and most precise EQ out there. You use Equalizers on everything, from shaping your guitar tones, to mixing and mastering.
EQ is also one of the most important effects for any musician, which is why you probably need the best of the best. Pro-Q is just that, the best, with unparalleled sound quality, an extremely intuitive interface, and quick workflow.
If you don't already have Pro-Q, you really should pick it up.
Just like Pro-Q 3, Pro-C is one of the most versatile compressor plugins you can get. With eight different styles of compression, a lot of your compression duties will be taken up by Pro-C2
Pro-C however, unlike Pro-Q has some things that it can't really do. If you're looking for a particular Compressor sound, like the LA-2A or an 1176, you'll need an emulation of those compressors. Where Pro-C shines is as a mixing utility that's clean and transparent.
With an incredible depth of control, from Side-Chain EQ, to Gain change Range, Pro-C 2 is easily one of the best Compressors on the market, and a great addition to any DAw setup.
Pro-R is FabFilter's Reverb plugin, which takes a uniquely simple approach to Reverb.
Pro-R manages to be incredibly easy to use, while offering beautifully designed room models, and gorgeous Space controls.
Pro-R is an awesome plugin, if you need some natural sounding reverb. That being said, the sound of Pro-R can get a bit same-ish if you use it on everything, but when used subtly, it's a really cool plugin.
Incredibly easy to set-up and shape, Pro-R is the perfect Reverb to use as a send for your mix buses.
FabFilter's Pro-L is Toms' go-to Limiter plugin (Harry likes the L3 Ultra Maximizer), and for good reason. Pro-L is extremely clean and distortion-free, which means that you can push our masters up by up to +20dB without much audible distortion.
Pro-L features highly advanced algorithms as well as linear phase oversampling, and a lot of other technical things you probably don't care much about. To shorten the feature-set, Pro-L has all the FabFilter goodies, in addition to a professional sound.
With extensive metering, True Peak Limiting and tons of loudness, there's not much more you could want from a Limiter.
✅ Intuitive User Interfaces
✅ Gorgeous Retina and Full Screen support
✅ Comprehensive Features
✅ Clean and Transparent sound
✅ Total Bundle contains everything you need to achieve a professional Mix
✅ Low-CPU consumption
❌ There aren't any
FabFilter's Total Bundle is available on Plugin Boutique for $1,021, for a total value of over $2,000 in plugins.
If you only need Pro-Q 3, Pro-C 2 and Pro-R, you can purchase the FabFilter Essentials Bundle for $403
iZotope vs Fabfilter Verdict
iZotope's Music Production Suite 4 and the FabFilter Total Bundle can seem quite similar on first glance, but they offer quite different packages.
FabFilter Total is your go to bundle for the the basics of, mixing and mastering, including an awesome EQ, Compressor, Multiband, etc.
iZotope's Music Production Suite is everything that a modern mixing and mastering suite could be. iZotope plugins such as Neutron or Ozone combine all the separate stages of a mix or master, into a single hub.
It's hard to say exactly, which of these will be best for most people, without being too biased. Preferably you'd have both, but since they're both around $1000, that's probably not an option many of you have.
If you're a mixing engineer, or are looking for the best of the basics, FabFilters Total Bundle is the obvious choice. FabFilter plugins can be recommended to anyone who already doesn't have them, because, chances are, they're better than what you're already using.
With that in mind however, it cannot be overstated, how awesome iZotope's Music Production Suite is. While the individual effects and processing aren't better than FabFilter's, you just get way more with iZotope than you do with FabFilter.
If value for money is a big consideration, the iZotope Music Production Suite 4 is exactly what you need.
We own both bundles, so it's hard to make an objective choice when you're spoiled for choice. That being said, we tend to reach for Pro-Q or Pro-C way more than we do for Neutron or Ozone, make of that what you will.
Whether you prefer iZotope's multi-level approach to mixing and mastering, or FabFilter's surgical precision and quality, no matter which developer you buy into, you won't be disappointed.
Both Bundles contain everything you need to create an incredible mix and master. If you can't, then it's probably because you're lacking some vital skills or information.
So whether you're just at the start of your mixing journey, or updating your plugin library, either of these bundles are a must-have.
Toms is a music producer & DJ, born and raised in Post Soviet Latvia. Currently based in Brighton, Toms has had over 6 years of experience with all things production and in that time, he's done a tonne of cool stuff! He's played multiple festivals, had experience in the field with mixing & mastering and even become a freelance journalist in the music industry.
Toms currently creates music under the alias Sovereign. Producing music that's intimate and subtle, while full of edge and energy, the young producer combines the artistic sounds of Trip Hop artists like Massive Attack, with the energy and youthfulness of producers like Flume, Jamie XX and Yaeji. You can check his stuff on Soundcloud.