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iZotope's Melissa Misicka on Simplifying Music Creation

Brand marketing director at iZotope, Melissa Misicka, discusses the ways in which the company has pivoted during the pandemic, how it has tried to adopt a more agile mentality throughout the company, and how it continues to streamline the music making process for creatives.

“The pandemic has become a great time for iZotope to connect with more users who maybe hadn’t been around their DAW for a while, but are now getting back into it,” begins Misicka. “It’s a seismic shift as an organisation for us to change to a subscription business model.

“We’ve been exploring new ways to organise our work to make it more centralised, and help everyone be more aware of what everyone else is working on. It’s so critical when everyone is working remotely to make sure we’re all on the same page.”

Having worked at iZotope for over a decade now, Misicka has seen the company evolve in more ways than one. Following her music technology degree, she secured a paid internship as a quality assurance engineer at Cakewalk, although the barriers to entry as a woman working in the audio industry were palpable, and she was heavily discouraged from applying for it by her male counterparts. Despite the apparent odds, Misicka smashed the interview and got the job.

“What’s notable about that internship was that there was another QA intern there whose name was Mark Ethier, who is now the CEO and co-founder of iZotope,” she recalls. “For a while I moved over to technical writing, but I really felt a longing to get back into the music world. It was a serendipitous time where there was a role open at iZotope; me and Mark connected again and it was the right fit. So that’s how I got back into the audio industry, and I’ve been so happy to be here since.

“In terms of gender equality in the industry, I would say it’s only been getting better over these last few years. We’re definitely not where we want to be in terms of our workforce representing the breadth and type of folks we serve, but this is a big focus for a lot of us – as well as starting to think about how we can get more involved in the community and help the next generation of talent come up. It’s not something that can be immediately fixed, but iZotope has been really great for friendliness and inclusiveness.”

And when it comes to industry trends that have driven some of the recent marketing efforts at iZotope, Misicka makes sure she has her finger on the pulse at all times.

iZotope Spire Studio

iZotope Spire Studio

“With music production technology moving so quickly, and with more and more people becoming creators, and creating a platform for themselves, we at iZotope have a lot of healthy debates around who we focus on right now, because I think an anti-goal we have is to try to be everything to everybody at all times,” she shares. “How can we package our stuff in a way that is easy to use? Previously there has been quite a learning curve to our products because they’re so powerful, and we were packing in so many features that were not always clearly visible.

“That’s where we have been transitioning – to still include all that power and control, but try to service things a bit differently, like with our Intelligent Assistants. But in all cases, if somebody does just need something quickly, we’re there to help them get to a better sound more intelligently right away based on their content.”

The key, Misicka says, is establishing how to reduce friction throughout the creative process.

“I think that is a real core value for us – that the friction can just be in the lack of understanding of audio itself,” she concludes. “We have some really amazing researchers and audio experts, and at iZotope we’re always looking at different ways of making complex things simple, and describing them in a way where we’re not doing it just to sell Ozone, or another of our products. We just want to help everyone better understand what it is they’re working with, and why things sound the way that they do!”