Mixing is all about perspective. And when you’re deep into the mix for your latest song or album, it can be easy to lose that perspective.
The simple reason is that as you mix, your ears and brain are acclimating to the sounds you’re hearing.
In fact, a muddy or uninspiring mix can, over time, start to sound kind of nice! The more time you spend “in the weeds,” the more likely you’ll lose your perspective on your mix.
Then, when you head out to the car to listen to how your track is coming together, you might be a little surprised (in a not-so-good way 😫).
But there is a way to keep your ears and mind tuned to the sound of a great-sounding mix. And that’s by using reference tracks while you mix.
I’ve been mixing alongside references for years. They are such a help in guiding me through the ups and downs of a mix. And that’s because I have a way to compare how close (or far) my mixes are from sounding great!
But what is a reference track? Where do you find these magic tracks? And how do you use them in your Logic Pro Projects?
“Reference track” is fancy speak for “great sounding mix.”
They’re typically professionally mixed and mastered tracks you dig for the track’s production value. You’re not necessarily focusing on whether you like the song itself (though it certainly helps). But you’re looking for tracks that you think sound great for the quality of the mix.
So if you’re mixing a rock song, you’d most likely choose 2-3 rock-based references from different albums/artists. And you’d load those references into Logic Pro so you can occasionally compare your mix against those references.
But where can you find reference tracks you like? How do you download them? And how do you get them into Logic Pro?
That’s what today’s video is all about. In the video above I’ll explain how to:
- Identify reference tracks to use to help guide your mix efforts
- Download tracks from iTunes
- Load your references into Logic Pro
- Watch out for Apple Music/iTunes settings that might trip you up
- Create a library of reference content that you rely on
- Working around Atmos file limitations using a 3rd party app from Sonnox called ListenHub (affiliate link)