How to… ref­er­ence the stereo im­age of com­mer­cial tracks

Future Music - - PRODUCER’S GUIDE -

Drop a few of your favourite records into your lat­est project (on sep­a­rate au­dio tracks in your DAW), then turn them down so they’re the same level as your own mix. Next, place a M/S-ca­pa­ble stereo util­ity plugin on your master buss, then sum the out­put to mono. Now, when you flick be­tween the ref­er­ence tracks and your own mix, you’ll be able to com­pare how the mix’s mono im­age has been built up, and how the over­all bal­ance is af­fected be­tween mono and stereo. Sim­i­larly, switch the util­ity plugin to the 100% side sig­nal, and you’ll de­ci­pher how pan­ning, re­verb and stereo ma­nip­u­la­tion have been used.

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