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Old 25th October 2019
Lives for gear
SmoothTone's Avatar

Verified Member
I collected a bunch of tracks that kinda helped me define the margins of 'good sound' in my room. By that I mean things that push towards or even slightly beyond the boundaries. I sometimes pull these out for sanity checks and to recalibrate my ears if I lose focus.

Some examples include:

Jessie J - Price Tag: super bright but still manages to sound 'warm.'

Madonna - Ray of Light (album): quite dark but you don't really notice it.

Brothers Osbourne - Shoot Me Straight: density and compression. I use this as an example of when 'overprocessing' can actually serve the impact of the song.

The Paper Kites - On the Train Ride Home (album): muddy, resonant low-mids.

Bonnie Raitt - Dig In Deep: high-mids.

I also have Billie Jean and John Mayer's Belief for similar reasons to those above. I use Third Eye Blind - Semi-Charmed Life as a good rock ref.

And sometimes I like to pull out George Benson - This Masquerade as a reminder of how things can sound when EVERYTHING comes together: great arrangement played by great musicians in a great room captured and mixed by great engineers. This also helps me remember how good my system can sound.