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Referencing

Postby awjoe » Sun Oct 20, 2019 3:14 am

i'm finishing up an EP of six songs, all of which consist of voice and ukulele. For references, I didn't have any voice/ukulele tracks to hand, so I bunged six or seven acoustic guitar and voice tracks into Ozone and referenced to those. Each of them has a rather different sound - Nick Drake is so dark and Dylan is bright and I even included a ridiculously thin-sounding Robert Johnson track. Although they all sound very different, I like the sound of all of them. Okay, when I compare my stuff to those references, I'm not trying to match the sound of my stuff to any of them, I'm just trying to get my recordings to sound as attractive in their own way as the other members of the group.

Do you ever reference this way? Am I being idiosyncratic? Or stupid, perhaps?
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Re: Referencing

Postby Arpangel » Sun Oct 20, 2019 8:33 am

awjoe wrote:i'm finishing up an EP of six songs, all of which consist of voice and ukulele. For references, I didn't have any voice/ukulele tracks to hand, so I bunged six or seven acoustic guitar and voice tracks into Ozone and referenced to those. Each of them has a rather different sound - Nick Drake is so dark and Dylan is bright and I even included a ridiculously thin-sounding Robert Johnson track. Although they all sound very different, I like the sound of all of them. Okay, when I compare my stuff to those references, I'm not trying to match the sound of my stuff to any of them, I'm just trying to get my recordings to sound as attractive in their own way as the other members of the group.

Do you ever reference this way? Am I being idiosyncratic? Or stupid, perhaps?

It's up to you, and it's an interesting thing to do, but I never do it.
I think it's better to work in isolation in this respect, and come up with your own sound, one that seems to suit your music best, to your ears.
I think we all pick up and insert little pruduction ideas into our music that we've heard on records by people we admire, but beyond that, there's a lot to be said for actually not listening too much to other people.
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Re: Referencing

Postby awjoe » Sun Oct 20, 2019 5:17 pm

I don't listen to anybody in terms of what we're talking about right up to the point where I'm starting to finalize the mix, but I still want and need that reality check to see if I'm as close as I think I am.
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Re: Referencing

Postby blinddrew » Sun Oct 20, 2019 8:00 pm

I do it sometimes, I'm not sure how useful it is, but I do do it if I can't find anything that's a good fit.
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Re: Referencing

Postby CS70 » Sun Oct 20, 2019 8:56 pm

awjoe wrote:Do you ever reference this way? Am I being idiosyncratic? Or stupid, perhaps?

Instruments, balances and timbre of successful music (whatever it's your definition) are all over the place. I remember the first times I tried to find if I my mix had a "good vocal sound" and it was ridiculous, none of the stuff I loved and thought had something similar were remotely near each other! It was hilarious, because I'd never really realized.

I use referencing if I have a certain sound in mind and want to get somewhere in the same ballpark, and to test levels so that I do something in the same loudness ballpark of what sounds good to me when I spotify it.

But my $.10 is that, especially for original music, "attractiveness" is way more about musical theme, melody, subject, lyrics, arrangement, dynamics, choices of instruments, vocal performance and so on than any specific "sound".
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Re: Referencing

Postby zenguitar » Sun Oct 20, 2019 10:44 pm

Try some Cliff Edwards/Ukulele Ike tracks for a reference.

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Re: Referencing

Postby Martin Walker » Mon Oct 21, 2019 11:02 am

I routinely use the ADAPTR MetricAB plug-in from Plugin Alliance for referencing within a project.

You can load up to sixteen reference tracks into it for loudness-matched comparison, and I use a mix of other people's songs in a similar genre, and a representative selection of my other tracks that have been mastered.

For me, the ability to very quickly reference against my well known selection has proved invaluable in making decisions about bass and top end and so on.

Hint - if you like the look of MetricAB, wait until it's next in a sale - I personally think the full retail price is way over the top, but got mine for just £39.99 ;)


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Re: Referencing

Postby awjoe » Mon Oct 21, 2019 2:41 pm

zenguitar wrote:Try some Cliff Edwards/Ukulele Ike tracks for a reference.

I don't know how much of his stuff I can use for referencing, but I'm enjoying listening to it. Plus a different style of uke playing!
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Re: Referencing

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Tue Oct 22, 2019 2:10 pm

Martin Walker wrote:I routinely use the ADAPTR MetricAB plug-in from Plugin Alliance for referencing within a project

I got this on Martin's recommendation and use it on every single mix. Even if you don't use it for track on track referencing it has some incredibly useful comparison tools within it for splitting the mix into frequency bands, checking dynamic range etc etc.

I find referencing a crucial tool for making a mix 'sound like a record' if you know what I mean. It's so easy to get your ears tuned in to your track you lose all sense of perspective of whether there's too much bass, not enough bass, too much harshness etc etc.

I guess you could argue this isn't quite so key in a voice and ukulele mix where you have a lot less to think about, in theory, but I'd still use a commercial reference, if only to force yourself to think about alternative ways of approaching the sonics.

I just mixed a strictly for fun album of two acoustic guitars (6 and 12) and two voices and it's amazing how much scope you have for crafting the sound even with just four source tracks.
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Re: Referencing

Postby Zukan » Wed Oct 23, 2019 8:34 am

There's a good plugin by Mastering the Mix called Reference that does referencing but with a twist. You can solo specific bands and reference only those bands against your mix. I could go on but I suggest you watch the vids on their site and demo the product.

If you need multiple referencing sources then use, as Martin has suggested, Magic AB. I have that too but have yet to use it TBH.
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Re: Referencing

Postby Martin Walker » Wed Oct 23, 2019 10:20 am

Zukan wrote:There's a good plugin by Mastering the Mix called Levels that does referencing but with a twist. You can solo specific bands and reference only those bands against your mix. I could go on but I suggest you watch the vids on their site and demo the product.

If you need multiple referencing sources then use, as Martin has suggested, Magic AB. I have that too but have yet to use it TBH.

MetricAB also has good bandpass filters so you can solo specific areas of your frequency response and compare them with commercial mixes - VERY illuminating, particularly below 100Hz and above a few kilohertz!


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Re: Referencing

Postby Zukan » Wed Oct 23, 2019 11:44 am

Ah, good to know. I didn't know Magic did all that. Thanks.
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Re: Referencing

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Sun Oct 27, 2019 4:31 pm

There's some confusion here, Zuke, we're discussing two different plugins. METRIC AB and Magic AB. The latter just does basic referencing, and is no longer supported/sold. Metric AB, on the other hand, is a new plugin and does a whole range of incredibly useful things on top, as Martin says, more like Reference that you refer to. I looked at Reference but went for Metric AB. See here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0lhEhzoHTg&frags=pl%2Cwn
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Re: Referencing

Postby Zukan » Mon Oct 28, 2019 9:46 am

Ah ok, thanks for the clarification Huge. Makes sense now.

$199???? Are they serious?
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Re: Referencing

Postby Martin Walker » Mon Oct 28, 2019 1:20 pm

Martin Walker wrote:Hint - if you like the look of MetricAB, wait until it's next in a sale - I personally think the full retail price is way over the top, but got mine for just £39.99 ;)

This re-quote of mine is for Zukan :mrgreen:


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Re: Referencing

Postby Zukan » Mon Oct 28, 2019 1:40 pm

Martin Walker wrote:
Martin Walker wrote:Hint - if you like the look of MetricAB, wait until it's next in a sale - I personally think the full retail price is way over the top, but got mine for just £39.99 ;)

This re-quote of mine is for Zukan :mrgreen:


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Thanks Myth! I shall wait.
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Re: Referencing

Postby Dr Huge Longjohns » Tue Oct 29, 2019 11:18 am

Yes, got mine in the sale too, total bargain for under £40.
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