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Reference Tracks

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Mustang_Sally, Jan 11, 2011.

  1. Mustang_Sally

    Mustang_Sally Member

    Dec 27, 2010
    I was wondering how many of you guys use reference tracks to mix to. And if you do, are they mastered tracks??

    I know I've always had a couple tracks I turn to when I'm doing mixes, but I actually go the my mastering engineer's website that I submitting the tracks to, and listen to his or her "before and after" samples to see if my mixes are comparable to the others and to see how the mastering will affect it.

    Just something I've never really discussed with other engineers. What's your guys' input?
  2. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff Resource Member

    Mar 20, 2000
    Prince George, BC
    Home Page:
    I will use favorite CD's at times if I feel I need a change of perspective.
  3. lambchop

    lambchop Active Member

    Feb 14, 2003
    New Jersey (right outside the Big Apple!)
    Home Page:
    I honestly don't use reference tracks when recording. I just strive for a well balanced, articulate and pleasing sound. I record primarily jazz and jazz fusion based music for your information. .
  4. Big K

    Big K Well-Known Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    Munich / Germany
    Home Page:
    Only, if the customer wants the job done to sound close to an existing production.
    Otherwise, we put in reference CDs only to quickly check if we are still as bleedin' good as always....
  5. BobRogers

    BobRogers Distinguished Member

    Apr 4, 2006
    Blacksburg, VA
    I use reference CDs when I'm in a new room or using new monitors. Not something I use on a regular basis.
  6. Boswell

    Boswell Distinguished Moderator Resource Member

    Apr 19, 2006
    Home Page:
    I can think of some occasions when I would use reference tracks (not necessarily CDs):

    1) Live sound in a new venue: the first thing I might do having got the mixer and PA working is put through a couple of tracks I know well to check that they sound as I expect, and that the room/venue is not going to give me any surprises. This would not influence recorded tracks, but may give pointers to any EQ adjustment needed in the live sound.

    2) Mixdown with an unfamiliar monitoring setup (it does happen!): again, a couple of known tracks to tweak my ears to how this setup is going to sound. These are often tracks of mine that I have recorded and then mixed in a known environment.

    3) Customer demand: the artist comes along clutching a commercial CD saying "I want to sound like this!", to which the reply is usually "OK, but you have to perform like that!".
  7. niclaus

    niclaus Active Member

    Dec 28, 2007
    Paris, France
    Oh god, i should write that down...!!!
    I'm always having the hardest time to make people understand why those "big bands" sound like they do....

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