> Step by step
2. Basic A/B referencing (Sample Magic’s Magic AB)
1 We’d like to compare this mix against a commercially-mixed track, so we’ll call up version 2 of Sample Magic’s Magic AB on the master channel. Placing this after our mastering plugins at the end of the chain ensures that these processors won’t affect Magic AB’s signal.
2 Magic AB features nine slots. We click in the first slot and grab a pro track from our hard drive. The track’s waveform populates the central window – click through to start playback from that point. The A and B buttons switch between our DAW output (A) and the reference (B).
3 Magic AB playback starts and stops in sync with our DAW – turn off Latch to keep the track running. To set one of four cue points, place the playhead and hit one of the 1-4 buttons. Hit the same button to restart playback from there. Once set, we can engage Loop and set a loop range around a section of the reference track.
4 Even though we’ve tried to master our mix, the reference sounds louder, so we turn this pro track down by -2.4dB in Magic AB by dragging its slider to the left. This exposes our mix as a little dull compared to the professionally mastered track, so we call up our master bus EQ and dial in more treble ‘air’.