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Michael Finnity

What's the best way to import a reference track?

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Seems like a dumb question, but with modern laptops not having cd rom drives, it's a bit more difficult. Also, I can't even remember the last cd I bought, so using a reference track for mastering with a modern cd, would be tough for me. I can record audio through my interface, but it'd be tough to get an exact volume through an interface. If anyone has any idea let me know thanks. I know I could just open Spotify or whatever and compare, but having the wav file to see and analyze would be preferable 

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I'd got for the External drive, makes perfect sense and cheap as you like

One thing to remember, when you've imported your reference track route it straight to your main out/interface

It will already have been mastered once so if you route it to your master bus, you'll "double up" on any MB processing

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You could use a MP3 file you download as they will at least represent a good portion of what your trying to achieve. There are lots of sites that offer music in the Flac format which should be much better quality and the same as a CD, or so they say. It really depends on what your goal is for using the track. Just a quick listen? or deep analyzing using measurement tools? This would determine how high a quality was required. 

Myself I actually use my own songs. I have songs I think were as close to perfection as I will ever get. So if my other songs don't sound as good I go back to that one and figure out what it was that worked. There's a different approach to mixing a whole collection of songs than just focusing on one.  

Edited by John Vere

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External cd drive is a good option if you already have  cd's  containing the tracks you want to reference.  

Otherwise -

1. Buy the mp3 download 

or

2. Record the output from Spotify/Youtube  with Audacity to create wav/mp3,  Audacity is  free and reveals a loopback driver option (on my system) that lets you record whatever audio is currently playing.   Quality would plenty good enough for a reference track (for me anyhow).

Steve

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1 hour ago, Steve_B said:

External cd drive is a good option if you already have  cd's  containing the tracks you want to reference.  

Otherwise -

1. Buy the mp3 download 

or

2. Record the output from Spotify/Youtube  with Audacity to create wav/mp3,  Audacity is  free and reveals a loopback driver option (on my system) that lets you record whatever audio is currently playing.   Quality would plenty good enough for a reference track (for me anyhow).

Steve

Can one really trust that the files from Spotify or Youtube have not gotten manipulated too much? The reference track should be (almost?) exactly the original. Especially different sorts of compression or loudness are often a problem in the files of many such service providers, and those are the worst distractors if you want to compare files.

I'd recommend getting an external CD/DVD-unit. They're so cheap.

Edited by Kalle Rantaaho
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