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Now that we have a clear and punchy mix that is engaging from the intro to the final note, it’s time to make sure the mix will work out in the real world and not just on our speakers at home. Welcome to the painful process of referencing. As unique and special as our mix is, we need to reference the real world in order to bring our mix in balance.
We reference in two ways. The first way is to simply listen to your mix on a second set of speakers or headphones. Each speaker has it’s own EQ curve (no matter how “flat” the manual says it is) and you can use that to your advantage. Run your mix through speakers that sound totally different to your main monitors and take note of anything that is missing. Go back to your mix and adjust slightly to make sure it sounds good on both sets of speakers.
The second way we reference is by pulling in a professional mix that we thing sounds great. Once inside our DAW you can simply volume match the pro mix to yours and then compare. Try to bring your mix closer in balance tonally (top end, bottom end, etc) to the reference mix. This will go a long way to getting your mix to translate better on all speakers.

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