Using reference tracks to compare your music to is a common technique - with numerous plugins allowing you to cue up a number of tracks for audio perusal. In this video Dan Worrall explains a more philosophical approach to reference tracks, asking why we use them, instead of the more familiar how.
Using an analogy from a Whisky tasting session, he illustrates how we need often use them as a palette cleanser to reset our ears. He explains how a direct comparison of two tracks can often be flawed and a like for like copy of whats been done by your heroes may not always be the answer.
More videos from Dan here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQnz5mUTDkGwKvIQ9uyqiXw/join
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