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Reference track

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Reference track

Postby TNGator » Thu Dec 19, 2019 7:13 pm

Hey folks
My room is awful...period. Small cube. My attempts to make DIY bass traps are not a great success and anyway, the corners of my room are not very accessible. So I didnt buy any of those monster sized professional traps.
So rather than sit here twiddling my thumbs doing nothing, I got a set of nice open back headphones. So Im working on a song using both my monitors and the cans. Plus.... I've dragged a pro song tinto the project to use as a ref. Is anyone else in a similar situation. Im hoping that if my song sounds similar to the pro song it should be ok...even though the room has no treatment. Just a thought.
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Re: Reference track

Postby CS70 » Thu Dec 19, 2019 10:00 pm

Indeed! Headphones take the room out of the equation.

Great to have a reference track, just keep in mind that commercial tracks are mastered. For one that means louder - so you want to change the volume so that it's comparable when referencing (or use an A/B plugin) to avoid being fooled by the difference in volume.

The other thing is that, for too many masters from the last couple decades, they can be quite overcompressed. So try and find a reference that isn't, or attempting to replicate that sound might lead you to oversquash things..

Best of luck!
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Re: Reference track

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Dec 19, 2019 10:34 pm

Making bass traps is easy, making ones that look good, not so much*. Making 'broadband absorbers' is easier still, but with the same caveat...... Mirror points will make the most obvious difference (from low mid up), sorting the bass in a small room is difficult (or nigh on impossible) but get some broadband absorbers at the mirror points and you'll likely have a usable space, stick in whatever bass traps you can then check/mix the bass on your headphones.

* How much do you need them to look nice?
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Re: Reference track

Postby TNGator » Thu Dec 19, 2019 10:45 pm

CS70 wrote:Indeed! Headphones take the room out of the equation.

Great to have a reference track, just keep in mind that commercial tracks are mastered. For one that means louder - so you want to change the volume so that it's comparable when referencing (or use an A/B plugin) to avoid being fooled by the difference in volume.

The other this is, for too many masters from the last couple decades, they can be quite overcompressed. So try and find a reference that isn't, or attempting to replicate that sound might lead you to oversquash things..

Best of luck!
Thanks C. Do you mean I should turn down the fader on the pro song to lower its volume. What Im really trying to compare is that low end due to the absence of treatment in my room. Im listening for the kick and bass in mine and the pro song and trying to compare those.
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Re: Reference track

Postby TNGator » Thu Dec 19, 2019 10:48 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:Making bass traps is easy, making ones that look good, not so much*. Making 'broadband absorbers' is easier still, but with the same caveat...... Mirror points will make the most obvious difference (from low mid up), sorting the bass in a small room is difficult (or nigh on impossible) but get some broadband absorbers at the mirror points and you'll likely have a usable space, stick in whatever bass traps you can then check/mix the bass on your headphones.

* How much do you need them to look nice?

I don't really need them to look nice at all bro. But the ones I made had no difference when I ran the room EQ wizard software. The before and after graphs were huge mountains and big valleys. And as i say, the corners in my room are not very accessible anyway.
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Re: Reference track

Postby CS70 » Thu Dec 19, 2019 10:51 pm

TNGator wrote:Thanks C. Do you mean I should turn down the fader on the pro song to lower its volume. What Im really trying to compare is that low end due to the absence of treatment in my room. Im listening for the kick and bass in mine and the pro song and trying to compare those.

Yes, definitely worth trying to get comparable levels. I dont usually recommend spending money, but an AB plugin can be very useful for immediacy. I use the old Magic AB but there are newer and better for not so much, the gents here had a good thread on the subject a few weeks back if I recall well. Otherwise it's just to lower the fader, yes.

It depends on the reference and the genre of course..
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Re: Reference track

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Dec 19, 2019 11:44 pm

TNGator wrote:
Sam Spoons wrote:Making bass traps is easy, making ones that look good, not so much*. Making 'broadband absorbers' is easier still, but with the same caveat...... Mirror points will make the most obvious difference (from low mid up), sorting the bass in a small room is difficult (or nigh on impossible) but get some broadband absorbers at the mirror points and you'll likely have a usable space, stick in whatever bass traps you can then check/mix the bass on your headphones.

* How much do you need them to look nice?

I don't really need them to look nice at all bro. But the ones I made had no difference when I ran the room EQ wizard software. The before and after graphs were huge mountains and big valleys. And as i say, the corners in my room are not very accessible anyway.

Measuring a difficult room is fraught with potential problems. WRT corners, you only need to access them once. Treating mirror points will make a much more obvious improvement to the overall sound of your room than a couple of bass traps, even if it is not fully effective in the bass frequencies the room will sound much better.
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Re: Reference track

Postby The Elf » Fri Dec 20, 2019 10:55 am

Reference tracks are always a good idea. And I mix/master in headphones 90% of the time. So, yes, it can be done.
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Re: Reference track

Postby TNGator » Fri Dec 20, 2019 11:51 am

The Elf wrote:Reference tracks are always a good idea. And I mix/master in headphones 90% of the time. So, yes, it can be done.

Thank you kind sir. These last few days have seen some negative vibes coming my way. Nice to get something positive today :)
In case we don't chat in the meantime, Merry Christmas guys and all the best for 2020. :clap:
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Re: Reference track

Postby fxsoundscapes » Thu Jan 02, 2020 6:49 pm

Use a reference track AND spectrum analyzer plugin on your master channel. Voxengo Span is great for that. Also put it in your reference track channel. That way you can compare and maybe SEE something your ears might miss because of the untreated room. This works pretty well.
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Re: Reference track

Postby Zukan » Fri Jan 03, 2020 9:59 am

Which headphones did you get TN?
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Re: Reference track

Postby TNGator » Fri Jan 03, 2020 6:22 pm

fxsoundscapes wrote:Use a reference track AND spectrum analyzer plugin on your master channel. Voxengo Span is great for that. Also put it in your reference track channel. That way you can compare and maybe SEE something your ears might miss because of the untreated room. This works pretty well.
That sounds like a brilliant idea. I'll do that on the next track. The song I just finished I put it on soundcloud and so far folks are enjoying the mix. I've had some nice replies in relation to the vocals and guitar sounds. So the use of monitors, phones and a ref track seems to have worked. But I have a copy of that voxengo which I'll use next. Thanks for the tip.
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Re: Reference track

Postby TNGator » Fri Jan 03, 2020 11:06 pm

Zukan wrote:Which headphones did you get TN?

Hey there. Someone here on the site recommended AKG K72 and had seen them on sale. So i went to the link (I think it was Amazon) and got a pair. They are open back and so far seem to be doing the job nicely.
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