This new plugin shows you why your mixes don’t sound as good as your reference tracks

Comparing your own mixes to those by artists you admire can be both useful and depressing. On the one hand, you’ll give yourself something to aim for, but if you can’t get close to the sound you want then it’s easy to get frustrated as you try to work out why.

Mastering The Mix’s new Reference plugin is designed to help. Not only does it enable you to compare your mix or master to up to 20 reference tracks, but it’s also designed to show you the sonic differences between these and your own music.  

There are various elements to the plugin. The Trinity Display shows you how your frequency balance, stereo width and compression compare to your reference track, and gives you the option to solo the movable frequency bands for more detailed insight. The Level Match tool, meanwhile, accurately matches loudness, which is essential when making comparisons.

Additional tools include Track Align, which lines up different versions of the same song automatically so that you can switch between them for comparison, and Wave Transport, which enables you to create multiple loops so that you can quickly compare specific sections of your own track to your reference material.

Available for PC and Mac in VST/AU/AAX formats, Reference can be tested for 15 days without charge. The full version costs £49/$63/€54, and you can find out more on the Mastering The Mix website.

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

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