What's new

Ozone 9 - maximiser


New Member
Be warned this is a noob question - I know it is likely to be something obvious and I have watched a few YouTube videos and read guides but I think I am missing something.

For ozone 9 maximiser - Most of the guides say the threshold should not be more than -4db (for best quality) but when using the learn feature at 14lufs (for YouTube) I have two issues:

1) it gives me a threshold of -12 to -20
2) That threshold is constantly moving (it doesn't settle) and if I set it at say -20 then the quiet sections are too quiet and at -12 the loud sections are too loud.

So what am I missing? For reference I was just playing about with an audio file for practice. That audio file was a mix of piano playing.


New Member
Sounds like the audio file you're playing through the maximiser is just too dynamic. I'd resolve that by applying an appropriate level of compression and/or automation to the track.

Use your ears and a good loudness meter (I don't find the maximiser is good enough) that will show what LUFS you're hitting. For streaming services, that should be around -14 LUFS, the level you've set "learn" to.
Last edited:


Senior Member
It also depends on how loud your mix is. If you have 10 dB of headroom you have to expect it's going to add significantly more threshold.

Basically: The wording of whatever you're referencing is poor, the wording should be a threshold of 4 dB once the incoming signal is properly GAIN STAGED for mastering, (which is of course completely different). So until you see Ozone's limiter being triggered it's doing nothing more than turning the volume up, as if it were just a gain knob. Just like a compressor you have to cross the threshold before it's doing any actual real work.

While 4dB of reduction seems like a lot, for louder genres like EDM this is actually somewhat normal... (Although this can be backed down with the use of something like a soft clipper in front of a limiter, effectively allowing you to only limit by 2 or 3dB).

The balance of your low end also has an enormous impact of your LU/RMS level as well. For example, if you have too little low end you could be smashing your track significantly more before you see the same LU/RMS level.

Low end has the most energy, and plays the biggest role in the loudness numbers you set as a target, or refer to on a meter. You can even verify this by artificially raising the gain of the sub bass on a reference track using an EQ and looking at the LU or RMS number before/after. The more low end you add the hotter the LU/RMS level you'll see displayed.

FYI I've always hated Ozone 9's auto leveling. Even with a well balanced mix I find it does a frankly dreadful job and over limits everything. Also, the feature is intended for you to zero-in on a STATIC level, and disable the "auto feature" once it reaches something in the ballpark you're happy with. Leaving it on for an entire mix will just cause it to constantly raise and lower its volume which isn't good for anyone, is not how an actual mastering engineer worked - ever, and their documentation about this is piss poor.
Last edited:


Active Member
Your mix just has a lot of headroom. Without any master effects how many db below zero is the mix? You can go into a master with more than 4 db of headroom. 4 db is just like the minimum amount you want if someone else is mastering it.

I think what you are thinking of though, after I went back on Izotope to check, is the amount of gain reduction should not be more than -4 db or you will definitely hear the pumping of the limiter as it smashes the music down. Once you set the limiter you can watch what it is doing and see if it hits for more than -4 db in reduction.

If you use the assistant to set the limiter on the loudest part of the mix you won't have to worry about that. You can then play it back and watch the meter and see how much gain reduction it hits and how often. You can set up in the assistant how aggressive you want ozone to be to get increased loudness. The most aggressive setting will pound the limiter harder obviously.
Top Bottom