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Using a Reference Track

Lesson 6 from: Mixing Electronic Music In Ableton Live

Isaac Cotec

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Lesson Info

6. Using a Reference Track

Next Lesson: Preparing Your Mix

Lesson Info

Using a Reference Track

but listening to other tracks. This really helps get over yourself, that whole ego thing. Now you want to hear other people's tracks to remind you one of the huge things I noticed because I do a lot of mastering for people that a lot of musicians send me a master that is very dull sounding because they're listening over the their speakers for hours on end making it, and by the time they finish it, the high end is really subdued. Because they're not, there's they're getting used to their own sound too much. Where is it? If you reference turn on a track, you'll be like, Oh, oh, that's way brighter than mine So you kind of make up for it. So referencing throughout is going to help a lot. It's gonna help you get appropriate volumes. Um, and remember, if you are referencing that there master tracks, so they're going to sound better. You know, they're going to sound finished because they are. But, uh, it will remind you of what it sounds like, and we'll go over that with I showed you before.

I have these different ones assistant shade that song, and I'll just turn on generally because we can't just play Britney Spears or anyone else right now, but put whatever song is closest to your track, right? You put it in your reference track, and then you just turn it on once a while and that will remind you kind of what it's like. And to do that, um, I'm just so to show an example of that, I'm going Teoh, open this awesome guys track Theo here in the studio audience goes by in fio his music, him and his partner family, they're fantastic. I don't mean to say that we're gonna play it later on, but I'm just going to show you real quick how you create a reference track. I have no idea where that plug in is, by the way, it's always missing a plug and I cannot find it for the life of me, it will come up later. So all you do is you insert an audio track and this is where you put your reference and then you can just turn it off. Turn on. So I'm just gonna actually I copied my last reference track just for sake of speed. Come over here. Copy it. I mean, normally I'm just dragging in from wherever I have music. Now, since we're doing the K 14 system, right, I would actually turn down the volume to around that I put on a commuter. Make sure it's around that scene level because otherwise, if its way louder than your smack is always gonna sound better than your track. So just bring it down. Inappropriate bowling, and then you can always just turning it on off right and comparatively. Now this is pretty well mixed in terms of frequency, so I'm not hearing as much of that dullness. But you might notice right off the bat. Some makes you have like, Whoa, I'm obviously missing low and are obviously missing this piece, so referencing often it's often as you can without feeling bad that your music sucks because it's not true. It's just not done yet. Okay, listen often. Next thing is take breaks. A rule of thumb is 15 minute breaks for every two hours. At least now this kind of get into how to live healthy because personally, I like to work an hour, take a 10 15 minute break to little stretch, work another hour, do a little stretch and then take 1/2 hour break two hours and so on, and I'll do another to us. So I due to our incumbents, right, Um, that's just my preference will figure out your own flow. Also, you can get, like, an IPhone app or something to time you to just ring at a certain point. So two hours it rings. Step away from the speakers because the longer you listen, the more Dole your hearing becomes. It's called here fatigue, and if you take a break and come back, you'll hear differently. So just take breaks often at least every 15 every two hours. And why I say it's why you're having that break. Why don't you stretch? You know? I mean, I was obsessed with music five years ago, making an album, and I totally wrecked my body like back heard everything. Now I'm in the habit of just stretching through a little exercise. My life has gotten a lot better, so take that advice. If you just take that, I think you'll have a healthier, happier life. Uh, so that's how we can take care of our ears by taking breaks. Also, don't go too loud above 80. That begins to hurt them. Great. So, um, now, let's just look back at this, right? We have where we are is our speakers in a room, our speakers and good there at a good volume. You know, the case system, You know, we set our volume there. We know our room is good because we acute it. We can a b reference it. We know how to objectively listen by referencing somebody else's track. That is how we give our ears something to realize. Oh, I'm hearing different than what this finish track might sound like. Also to take breaks and where we're going is by using reference tracks and pink noise, which Oh, that's something I forgot. Um, so I'm going to save this. We're going to get into using pink noise to help you with your mix. After this section, we're gonna actually start getting into mixing, and it's gonna get way more in depth hands on. But we have to go through the beginning to get to the end. And one of the things is when you get the class, you'll be able to have these files and they'll be some pink noise in it under the samples. And if I go here, you have two options with references. One is there is Lex Chamber. Yeah, Yeah, we'll find it. Maybe after, But, um, if I insert audio track, I can put pink noise and you might be like, Well, why would you ever listen to a pink noise over a track? Well, remember, we're We're going to try to get the same frequency escape as the pink noise. Like I was saying before, So turning on pink noise is just a refresh. Just a reminder of what? Listening to everything. Sounds like it's kind of like, Well, what is every frequency at one sound like? OK, it kind of helps remind you, with that ozone matching become useful at all with using your pink noise and try to compare it like what frequencies. Air hot in your normal track. A normal track. Yes. Yeah. Uh, and we're gonna do pink always mixing, Which answers a lot of that. But yes, you can totally do a being and you can also, with that matching it's fantastic for mastering engineer because you can listen to liken, ought track or some musician you like then play your track and then compare the twos frequency and match it. And it actually will bring out sounds that you didn't even notice or or it's very helpful. Credible. Well, but so, like I was saying, You can just come in here reference. If I turn this wonderful sound on. It's kind of like a clean slate. It cleans your ears in a way, and then when I go back, e have a fresh perspective.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Drum Placement
Frequency Worksheet
Read Me - Mixing with Ableton Live
Sharing Tracks
Ableton Live Pack

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Ratings and Reviews

Jose Gerardo Rendon Santana

Excellent Course, Isaac Cotec is a great instructor and a great producer. The course is very well organized explaining each important step of the mix. as well as great tips and techniques. He also includes a great deal of support material with the course including an Ableton Live Pack with tons of great presets and tools to put to practice the knowledge acquired in the course.

a Creativelive Student

Isaac covers an amazing amount of material in a clear and concise way. Great intro to mixing with Ableton or review for the intermediate user who wants to solidify their best practices, DAW knowledge as well as gain some production tips.

Ian turner

this is the best thing money can buy in my life. Isaac makes it look easy and the way he teaches makes you understand everything and makes it easy for you as well. its exactly what i wanted to learn in each video! i cant even sleep because another video loads and im like "ohhhh i need it" lol. i thank god for this class being affordable and the real deal.

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