Why You Need To Use Reference Tracks

Have you ever opened up a new mix session and immediately felt overwhelmed because you didn’t know where to start?

Maybe you thought…
– Where should I pan the instruments?
– How loud should my effects be?
– How much attack should I have on the kick?

Or maybe you finished your mix, got it sounding great in your studio, then went to play it in your car only to discover that it didn’t translate at all? Perhaps, all of a sudden, your track had too much low end? Or your vocals seemed to disappear?

We often have a rough idea in our mind of what we want our mixes to turn out like – but rarely do people actually compare their mixes to other songs during the mixing stage.

Using reference tracks in your mix sessions can be extremely handy. They allow you to have a standard to measure your mix against.

They also help with:

  • Creating mixes that translate from speaker to speaker
  • Guiding you to getting the right balances between instruments
  • Identifying what settings to use for EQ, compression, and effects
  • Learning how professional mixes should sound on your monitors

I’ve put together a video to show you how to use reference tracks.

In the video, you’ll learn how to use reference tracks to help you understand your studio monitors better – as well as what to pay attention to while using them in the mixing stage.

You’ll also learn a common mistake people make while using reference tracks and how to avoid doing the same thing.

I’ll even walk you through my reference track playlist and identify the reasons why I choose to use these songs. Don’t make fun of me; you’re about to discover one of my biggest guilty pleasures to listen to…

– Mike


Looking for more tips on how to create pro-sounding mixes from your home studio?

Check out The Ultimate Mixing Blueprint: A free guide on how to use EQ and compression across a variety of instruments so that you can create great mixes quickly.