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 Post subject: Reference tracks
PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2016 2:38 pm 
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So for those of you who have a reference cd or collection of tracks which you refer to when A/Bing or auditioning speakers etc, whats on your reference list, and why?
Not just techno here..


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 Post subject: Re: Reference tracks
PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2016 3:03 pm 
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I'll add a few of mine:
Massive Attack - protection and Portishead - Wandering Star : for the kick and low end mix
Isis - Carry and In Fiction for the acoustic drum sound
Kryptic Minds - One of Us : real subby bass
Mazzy Star - Still Cold : love the vocal and guitar tones
Ed Rush n Optical - sick note
Biosphere - Mir - I just know this so well
Veruca Salt - seether - 90s female fronted grunge


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 Post subject: Re: Reference tracks
PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2016 3:42 pm 
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Massive Attack - Teardrop sounds pretty phenomenal on decent speakers. It's a good bar to aim for and one of the tracks I always go to when listening to new speakers. That whole album is a good reference really...


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 Post subject: Re: Reference tracks
PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2016 5:58 pm 
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Hmmm. Well mostly it`s about, for me, making sure the mid range is as accurate as possible (mostly), as this is wear our ears focus (human vocal range).

Arvo Part - Tabula Rasa on Deutsche Grammophon 1999. Fratres - Very good test of mid range voicing and dynamics/response time due to the attack of the violin. This will show the weakness in mid range very quickly. (Ribbon tweaters have a weakness at their lower frequency limits, such as adams, this will show this very clearly).

Massive Attack - Butterly Caught. Mid range voicing (3d`s vocal is very breathy), response time (kick drum), low end integrity (lows are very low and pure), high frequency distortion/roll off (hi hats go very high)

Anthony and the Johnsons - Hope there`s someone. Mid range voicing, (piano and very well recorded vocal).

Nine Inch Nails - Piggy. Flood production.... Always a good fidelity guide. Low end test, dynamics, response time, mid range voicing, punch. Lots of dynamics, close mic`d vocals, low bass, punchy drums, crisp highs. This will test any system to it`s limits. If the drums sound like they are actually "in the room" then you know that your speakers are really performing well.

Morphine - Souvenir.. Great test of everything, this was recorded very old school, lots of valve mics, old desk, but really recorded well. Very very good test of bass, mid range voicing.

Esbjorn Svensson Trio - Ad Infinitum.. Nicely recorded jazz piece, good dynamic test of mid range as there are very pure pads sitting behind some distorted piano. Then pure piano comes over the top. Good speakers will maintain the purity of the piano that will sit inside the distortion without losing imaging.

goldie - inner city life, pressure, jah- Response and dynamics from the drums, mid range definition from the vox, and that sub sweep will tell you if your speakers are men or meeces.

These go with me whenever I do a speaker test or engineer a soundsystem. They helped me get my latest monitors. When I played pressure and the bass made my chest cavity vibrate, I knew I was on the right track.

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 Post subject: Re: Reference tracks
PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2016 10:03 pm 
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Lost to the Void wrote:

Esbjorn Svensson Trio - Ad Infinitum.. Nicely recorded jazz piece, good dynamic test of mid range as there are very pure pads sitting behind some distorted piano. Then pure piano comes over the top. Good speakers will maintain the purity of the piano that will sit inside the distortion without losing imaging.



Happy to see you mention this one. A true favorite of mine both music wise and sound wise.

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 Post subject: Re: Reference tracks
PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 2:37 am 
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Mattias wrote:
Lost to the Void wrote:

Esbjorn Svensson Trio - Ad Infinitum.. Nicely recorded jazz piece, good dynamic test of mid range as there are very pure pads sitting behind some distorted piano. Then pure piano comes over the top. Good speakers will maintain the purity of the piano that will sit inside the distortion without losing imaging.



Happy to see you mention this one. A true favorite of mine both music wise and sound wise.



Amazing music . So sad the guy died.

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 Post subject: Re: Reference tracks
PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 4:14 am 
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:/ I don't reference anything. Just another way of me being lazy with production.

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 Post subject: Re: Reference tracks
PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 8:04 am 
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Dead Can Dance - Into the Labyrinth, just all round blow your mind production, amazing separation, stereo image and everything basically.



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 Post subject: Re: Reference tracks
PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 8:45 am 
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StacieAnne wrote:
:/ I don't reference anything. Just another way of me being lazy with production.


I don't do it either. I like to think that each track will have its own sculpture.

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 Post subject: Re: Reference tracks
PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 9:01 am 
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Once I'm done with the track, I often load it up to a DJ'ing software app and mix it with a similar track to hear how they differ. I think it's a good way, cos the crappiness of my productions really comes through when you mix it like a DJ would. If you listen to them individually your (well, my brains do anyway) brains reset a bit and things can sound better in isolation.

I usually use Aril Brikha's Groove La Chord, as I've heard it out a lot and it sounds awesome on every PA I've ever heard. Sometimes I use Robert Hood's Rhythm from Minimal Nation. Using something completely different kind of music like jazz when making techno sounds like a strange idea to me. I do listen to jazz though, especially free jazz. It's just so different in every possible way that I don't know what techniques I could extract from it, that would be useful when making bangin' club tracks.

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 Post subject: Re: Reference tracks
PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 2:01 pm 
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Yeah I don't do this either. I probably should. And I know that. But I don't. Some people just can't be helped.

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 Post subject: Re: Reference tracks
PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 2:17 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Reference tracks
PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 5:24 pm 
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Barfunkel wrote:
Using something completely different kind of music like jazz when making techno sounds like a strange idea to me. I do listen to jazz though, especially free jazz. It's just so different in every possible way that I don't know what techniques I could extract from it, that would be useful when making bangin' club tracks.


I think people are talking about different concepts here... Steve and Mattias are talking about checking and tuning PA's/studio monitors, or just any speaker setup, while others are thinking about comparing their own tracks with released tunes.

The reference tracks Steve has posted are for checking your speaker system (normaly after adjusting the PA processors with pink noise and sine sweeps and something like Smaart software, tuning phase of the speakers and/or x-overs), not for comparing between tracks. Once you have set up the system with above scientific procedure, you use your reference tracks to make some more fine tuning to make the PA sound more musical again.

Of course you don't compare your techno tune to a jazz track (at least, I wouldn't). :)

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 Post subject: Re: Reference tracks
PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 5:43 pm 
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Lost to the Void wrote:


Amazing music . So sad the guy died.


National sorrow on that one I swear.

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 Post subject: Re: Reference tracks
PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 9:13 pm 
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borg wrote:
Barfunkel wrote:
Using something completely different kind of music like jazz when making techno sounds like a strange idea to me. I do listen to jazz though, especially free jazz. It's just so different in every possible way that I don't know what techniques I could extract from it, that would be useful when making bangin' club tracks.


I think people are talking about different concepts here... Steve and Mattias are talking about checking and tuning PA's/studio monitors, or just any speaker setup, while others are thinking about comparing their own tracks with released tunes.

The reference tracks Steve has posted are for checking your speaker system (normaly after adjusting the PA processors with pink noise and sine sweeps and something like Smaart software, tuning phase of the speakers and/or x-overs), not for comparing between tracks. Once you have set up the system with above scientific procedure, you use your reference tracks to make some more fine tuning to make the PA sound more musical again.

Of course you don't compare your techno tune to a jazz track (at least, I wouldn't). :)



Well not just soundsystems, I use that music to reference new speakers, or when working in another studio, or testing headphones etc

But I do generally, when producing, use music with high production values to reference against, rather than techno.
Aim high I reckon.

It`s like a chef trying to judge the quality of his own food. Do you compare it to McDonalds or to a Michelin Star gaff?

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 Post subject: Re: Reference tracks
PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2016 8:21 am 
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Lost to the Void wrote:
[
But I do generally, when producing, use music with high production values to reference against, rather than techno.
Aim high I reckon.

It`s like a chef trying to judge the quality of his own food. Do you compare it to McDonalds or to a Michelin Star gaff?


I don't think the comparision works really... techno and jazz or whatever are just different forms of music, with different production values and goals. IMO, techno producers could learn a lot from jazz from the musical side of things (which I think people should focus more on in modern techno, instead of minor technical issues), but the production values in good techno are already good enough for the purpose it serves. It's not like people in clubs are disgusted by the sounds emerging from the speakers and stop dancing because of it when you start playing some techno.

I do understand your point though, I just personally think that techno sounds the best when it's a bit rough. Mixing techno like a high end pop, jazz or a classical record just doesn'tt tickle my fancy usually. Techno is more like punk to me, it should sound raw.

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 Post subject: Re: Reference tracks
PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2016 12:23 pm 
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I'm not cut out to explain this to make it somewhat understandable today so I'll just get to the point;

The more music you listen to the better knowledge you gain to apply to your technical and musical perception of your own work.

Take an artisan or painter as an example. The more he views & accumulate different scenery & people the better understand s/he gains for his own work.

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 Post subject: Re: Reference tracks
PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2016 12:54 pm 
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Barfunkel wrote:
Mixing techno like a high end pop, jazz or a classical record just doesn'tt tickle my fancy usually. Techno is more like punk to me, it should sound raw.


Again, i'm reading this word 'raw' on this forum and rolling my eyes a bit. Rawness is fine, but it's not an excuse for lazyness. I think there's far too much half baked techno around, the guys with talent are swimming in a sea of shite. Is there any other electronic genre that accepts such a low standard? For every excellently made track, there are a hundred really bad ones.

Learning to produce well is a worthwhile skill. Aspiring to higher levels is a good thing. That's why we're (mostly) all here in this forum- learning.

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 Post subject: Re: Reference tracks
PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2016 3:01 pm 
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Barfunkel wrote:
Lost to the Void wrote:
[
But I do generally, when producing, use music with high production values to reference against, rather than techno.
Aim high I reckon.

It`s like a chef trying to judge the quality of his own food. Do you compare it to McDonalds or to a Michelin Star gaff?


I don't think the comparision works really... techno and jazz or whatever are just different forms of music, with different production values and goals. IMO, techno producers could learn a lot from jazz from the musical side of things (which I think people should focus more on in modern techno, instead of minor technical issues), but the production values in good techno are already good enough for the purpose it serves. It's not like people in clubs are disgusted by the sounds emerging from the speakers and stop dancing because of it when you start playing some techno.

I do understand your point though, I just personally think that techno sounds the best when it's a bit rough. Mixing techno like a high end pop, jazz or a classical record just doesn'tt tickle my fancy usually. Techno is more like punk to me, it should sound raw.


Good mixing is good mixing, you learn more from listening out-genre, especially from high production ethic genres. There really isnt much difference in technique terms between mixing jazz and mixing techno. The same principles apply. With Jazz you have to be a little more careful to fully capture the nuance, and this attention to detail is a beneficial lesson.
Again, raw does not mean shit. You still can make a "raw" sound, sound good with good technique.
Rough = shit.
Overproduced, whatever that means, just means bad production too. If its too clinical, then it's badly produced. good production does not = overproduced.
Good production = good production.
Great sounding punk records are ones that have been produced well, ones where the engineer has captured, exactly, the sound of the performance. It's not raw production (shite production), that's the band who are raw, the production, if it has captured that, is good production.

Even William Bennet extoles the benefits of good production and mastering, and you really dont get much more raw sounding music than Whitehouse.

it's not about being good enough, no art is, its the striving that drives innovation and leads to serendipity.

How fucking sad is that?
Oh it sounds good enough......
That right there, is pop music mentality.

"But its the same chords they use on every song."
"Yeah, but its good enough, we'll just produce it well and get the bird to wave her ass about in the video. That'll be good enough".

Again, and I've probably said this like a billion times, good production means the music translates, so that wherever it is played, it sounds how the artist intended, how it was first captured.
Shit production, doesnt do that, it might only sound good in one specific club or one one set of headphones.



But sure, go for the low hanging fruit, it is easier at the end of the day.

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 Post subject: Re: Reference tracks
PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2016 3:13 pm 
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In a production forum biggin up shite production values...
Wtf?

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