Music Gear Review: iZotope’s Iris Opens a Brave New World of Sonic Possibilities

The biggest problem with creating electronic music is finding new sounds and textures. Countless hours can be spent un-successfully digging thorough sound libraries. Alternatively, we find ourselves tweaking oscillators looking for that perfect tone. iZotope’s Iris is a new sample based re-synthesizer that just made your search so much simpler.

The install of Iris is extremely simple. There was no advanced configuration needed, since Iris recognized all of my aftermarket hardware. Iris has a user-friendly interface with drag and drop functionality.

The great thing about Iris is that gives the end-user a graphical representation of the audio. Therefore, with Iris’ spectral display we can see every aspect our sounds. Now that I can see what is going on in my sample I can edit, layer or enhance the sample with amp envelopes and assignable LFOs. The Iris effects consist of Distortion, Chorus, Delay and lush Reverbs, with the signal flow in that order.

Iris takes any captured sound and performs intelligent root note detection. Once your sound is captured, it is yours to tweak in any way your heart desires. Iris also comes with a library of over 500 patches and 4GB of sample content to get you jumpstarted.

I fell in love with the Moog inspired bass patches and some of the old ARP patches. The ARP patches bring me back to the glory days of The Who and Jimmy Page. With Iris you can also create bass and sub-bass that rumbles the building. The out of the can ambient patches and pads would be a godsend in any commercial music or video production shop.

There are a ton of great industrial samples for you Trent Reznor devotees. There are also some great organic sounds; bees, birds, rainfall, and wind are also available. Mixing and layering the industrial and organic sounds, I came up with some beautiful and bizarre sound combinations. I was also very impressed with the vocal patches. The various human samples were clear and natural.

With a price of $249, or $299 if you include the Glass and Wood sound libraries, Iris is an inexpensive way to set your imagination wild. There are endless sound combinations and possibilities at your fingertips. This is a great professional sound tool at a price accessible to the hobbyist and even the novice. For you pro sound shops out there this is necessary addition to your studio.