Reference mixes and why

    • April 2, 2023 at 2:06 pm #5672
      Bob Olhsson

        Jason Hiller asked for a list of reference mixes. I think it’s a great idea for a pinned topic.

        At Motown, we always had the Billboard chart’s top 5 pop songs sitting on the console in each mix room. One record stayed in that pile long after it was gone from Billboard’s top 5.

        That record was “Honky Tonk Women” by the Rolling Stones. We checked everything against it. I ran a 15 ips two-track copy that I’ve heard in almost every “name” control room in the United States. I went digital with Bob Ludwig’s SACD remaster and still use it to check speakers and headphones. The intro reveals a great deal about the low-end and midrange.

        My other reference is the Trio Jeepy album by Branford Marsalis.

        Everything else is Amazon Music FLAC streaming.

      • April 3, 2023 at 2:22 am #5677

          <p style=”text-align: left;”>That’s great Bob, thank you! Did you make the copy Honky Tonk Woman? From vinyl? I never used reference mixes until I was told how much they can help a few years ago, but I still find it strange.
          I love to play the Getz/Gilberto Girl From Ipanema which I think sounds just wonderful but more importantly I use it to demonstrate restraint. If you listen to Jobim’s piano, it is the tastiest most beautifully understated accompaniment that only adds and never gets in the way and I try to hammer that point home to whatever band I am producing.
          As I mentioned, Buddy Holly’s Everyday is masterful to me and I listen to it often on different setups because on a great system you are truly in the room with him. The 3 dimensionality is breathtaking. On crappy speakers it holds it’s own just fine but on a great system…oy!</p>
          And the last one I mentioned, Taj Mahal’s Leaving Trunk because it just rocks so hard and the drums (and everything else) sound incredible. And the drums are panned hard left and since I love panning things hard left and right (including drums) it’s a good ref to play. 🙂

          Looking forward to checking out Trio Jeepy!

        • April 3, 2023 at 12:02 pm #5685
          Bob Katz

            I have a Qobuz “best sound” playlist that I feel is reference quality:


            Remove the quotation marks.

            I’ll check out Jason’s and Bob O’s recommendations as well!

          • April 5, 2023 at 1:30 am #5698

              I can’t seem to open that link, obv without the quotation marks.


              • April 7, 2023 at 4:04 pm #5726
                Bob Katz

                  Hi, Jason, it’s a great list! I assume that you have Qobuz? The link asks you to open Qobuz.

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