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How to use reference tracks, and EQ matching plugins?

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How to use reference tracks, and EQ matching plugins?

Postby KAF » Sat Apr 04, 2020 4:48 pm

Hello community?

I'm consolidating my setup fur the nomadic production of Ethnic EDM (if you've followed my other threads you know I'm a newbie).
I had not though at all about mixing and mastering, because it's gonna take a long while before I'm that far, so I was concentrating my easily overwhelmed attention and few money on production tools (hardware, DAW, VST/sounds, etc).

But by chance I've been given Ozone 8 essentials, and offered EQuivocate for a very affordable price, and I've started investigating on EQ Match.
I have understood that there are many softwares which do that, and that the most acclaimed are FabFilter, Melda, and Ozone.
But they are very complex and expensive.
IK Master Match and EQuivocate seem to be the two most reliable among the affordable ones.

So, I'd like first of all to hear your opinion about how they compare.

Then, I've understood that many people avoid EQ matching because they say it's almost impossible to find a track which is so similar to yours, that the EQ matching will have a positive result. If for example the instruments are the same but the scale is different, EQ Match will ruin your music.

I totally agree that learning how to do things without automatism might be beneficial.
But as said, in this very moment, I only want something easy for if I'll have a track ready and I want to share it with someone.

But I admit, with all three objections I've read about EQ Match, now I wonder, is it maybe only useful for very standard "predictable" (no offence meant) music, where you can easily find similar tracks?
Would it work with something like Ethnic EDM?

Thank you again!
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Re: How to use reference tracks, and EQ matching plugins?

Postby desmond » Sat Apr 04, 2020 5:04 pm

I use Logic, and it comes with Match EQ, and since it had an overhaul in LPX (it was a bit fiddly in earlier versions), it's actually a really great tool - *but*, as always it comes down to how you use it - but I've found it useful in helping with overall energy.

After you've "matched", then you have a target slider of between 0% and 100%, so if your reference track has a tigther bass end, pulling your mix say 10% towards the reference might balance things out better.

If you match over time (say, a few bars or a whole section), you'll get an average spectrum, or you can match on a specific event, say a snare drum hit, or a bass drum hit, to help get certain sounds in the ballpark. But really, whatever tool you're interested in, you should get a demo and play with it, so how how effective it is.

I don't consider them essential tools, but they can be useful in the right circumstances, but they are certainly not a quick fix way to sort out a dodgy mix ;)
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