Canadian Musician - March / April 2018 - Page 31

DIGITAL MUSIC Bobby Love is a Toronto-based electronic artist and producer blending house and R&B. Check out music at By Bobby Love The Importance of Referencing When Mixing & Mastering T wo years ago I stumbled upon a plug-in that allows you to instanta- neously reference songs with your own music inside your working project. It has improved my mixing and mastering like you wouldn’t believe and it has now become a staple in my creative process. There are many plug-ins available on the market and all of them do a great job, but you can also do this yourself inside of any DAW to immediately notice problems in your mix and master. Here’s a very simple rundown of how you can do it yourself: 1. Bounce your track out of your DAW (with your mastering chain on) once you feel your song is “finished.” 2. Start a new project and load two audio tracks, one with your track and one with a ref- erence track of your choice. (You can load as many songs as you want for reference.) Pick a song that is generally similar in genre/sound/ vibe to what you’re going for. This can get complicated when you’re like me and you’re unsure of what genre you’re making or where your music fits in, so I generally just grab three or four songs I like from a mixing or mastering perspective and go from there. 3. Do your best to match the volume of the tracks by going back and forth between the two songs by soloing them individually, or load a LUFS meter onto your mix bus and do your best to match the RMS levels of both tracks. 4. Once the levels have been matched, you can actually start the referencing part. Essentially, this just involves soloing each track whilst listening back and forth between the two songs, paying