• #77136
    William Smith

    I keep reading that one should always use a “reference track” when mastering (note: have went through some of your videos on this and still working on making drum beat–getting a better grip on it all). Anyway, my question is how do you know if your reference track was mixed and mastered by a good engineer. I am worried I could pick a bad reference track which would make my final song bad. Also, this seems like a crutch to me instead of using my ears. I don’t know. Haha


    Reference tracks are extremely powerful.

    This is because audio isn’t really seen like a picture or video is.

    While we have an audio frequency analyzer to give us an idea if anything is odd about the mix, like too much bass, or if the highs are WAY louder than the rest of the song, there’s nothing like a reference track to compare your song’s loudness and frequency balance.

    I guess the biggest thing to take into account is that the reference song is similar to yours in a sense that is it a dance track, a hip-hop track, or a rock track?

    The goal of a reference track is not to copy the reference’s mix, but to get an idea of how your track compares on a listener’s playlist on an .MP3 player.. for example, if the song ends, and your song comes on next on the playlist, is your song way quieter, or is it not as bright?

    If you use a reference track this way, you’ll know you’re at least in the ball park of other music, and not stand out in a weird way.

    William Smith

    Where do you get your reference tracks? I am not sure, for real. Also, don’t want to pay a lot of unnecessary money or fall for marketing gimmicks. I think you might have mentioned in your course, but a lot to take in. Haha


    Reference tracks should never be paid for!

    You can use music you hear on the radio etc.

    The goal is to compare your music’s balance to the song’s balance.

    Reference tracks are not audio stems.

    Audio stems are the individual parts of the song exported into .WAV to collaborate, or get into stem mixing.

    A reference track is a single audio file which you can compare your master to, and see how it compares in terms of loudness, and frequency balance!

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