iZotope have released a free plugin, Neutrino, a subtle yet useful mix enhancing plugin designed to be placed on every track. It works discreetly with the intention of creating a more coherent mix when applied in multiple instances across the project (one per track).
The point of this plugin is simplicity, with only two tweak-able parameters and four "instrument types" to choose from. There is also a handy bypass button.
While this plugin doesn't compare to VSTs with more advanced control, such as Pusher, it does allow a lot of improvement to the overall mix. One point I should make, is that they recommend it isn't placed on the master track, but for instruments and sub groups it is great.
Neutrino listens to the track and makes adjustments from there, so there is a latency after tweaking the parameters for the new settings to kick in, you may also find that it's effect is only apparent when it is applied on more than one track - as I say, this is a subtle enhancer!
It's four modes are:
- Voice - to add clarity and detail, without compromising on harshness.
- Bass - brings punch to the low end
- Instrument - preserves the timbre and natural sound while evening out the resonances
- Drums - adds transient details and prevents mud
I would have to say, this plugin is not for beginners. The subtlety of the enhancement is admittedly miss-able especially on lower end monitors and headphones and the effects will be negated with any amateur mixing mistakes. The video below demonstrates just how discreet the effect is.
So by all means get it, because it is free, but it will not magically fix your mix. If you have the budget, you'd be better off using Pusher, or Terry West's free plugin MHorse P3.