Reference x2

Reference 1

Every blog and every tutorial covering music production tips and tricks state the importance of reference tracks. For a good reason I must add, but unfortunately I haven’t applied it to my own productions. Until now. I always thought it was too fiddly and the reference tracks were always mastered and way louder, and being lazy, I couldn’t get myself to set up busses and level match and stuff. Enter Reference by Mastering The Mix

I’ve been using Levels and Exposé from the same guys before but never really saw the need for Reference. I was wrong. This thing is excellent in every regard. This isn’t a review so I won’t go inte too much detail, but basically you put this at the end of your mixing and/or mastering chain, add a reference track, press the level match button and you’re good to go. Whats especially good about Reference is that it’s multiband. Being able to solo the different bands from within the plugin is super helpful. It also shows you the perceived loudness and width per band. One thing I have yet to come to grips with is the puchdots. I get that they’re supposed to show you dynamic range in some sense, but to be honest, I don’t pay to much attention to them. I like my mixes dynamic but most reference tracks I use in the same genre are smashed to bits by a limiter so…

Reference 2

The second reference I want to mention is the one by Sonarworks

After demoing this I will never believe a “neutral” and “flat” headphone again. I use ATH-M40x most of the time and I always thought they sounded excellent. And they do, but they really boost the low and high end as shown in the picture above. This is a real problem since I’ve ended up cutting too much highs and lows from my productions. They sound good on systems that too use the V-shape but on a completely flat system they sound kind of, hm, muffled and midrange-heavy. What Reference does is negate the curve and flattens the response out in a really transparent way. Works both system-wide and inside of the DAW. Simply brilliant. The sound takes some time to get used to, but it’s well worth it.

I really wish I had found out about these tools earlier. But at least my upcoming track have been mixed and mastered using these tools.

//Matt

2 Replies to “Reference x2”

  1. If you own Ozone mastering tools you are able to do the same thing as the Reference plugin. If a person does not own Ozone then Reference is a great economical alternative.

    1. Do you mean the Tonal Balance Control? You’re right, that does more or less the same thing, but I always found Ozone a bit unintuitive. I really wanted to like Neutron 2 and Ozone 8 but for me Fabfilter fits my workflow better.

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