Anyone know of a good mix reference tool?

Does anyone know of a good Linux native mix reference tool, such as ?

:flushed: People pay for that? That’s just an A/B switch. You don’t need a plugin for that. That’s got to be the most basic thing to do with a DAW.

Use the PFL button.

Yes, yes I know it’s pretty basic, but these tools can be pretty handy actually. The ability to swiftly check against several reference tracks, match the loudness of the reference track to the loudness the mix, instant meter displays of reference tracks (e.g. peak and LUFS). It can all be done manually, I know, but the whole point of the tool is to simplify and consolidate the process into fewer steps. Anyway, I found the SampleMagic plugin to be pretty useful when I was still working in Windows.

All those meter types (and more) are built into Ardour. Set your reference mixes in tracks that aren’t feeding into the main out, and toggle any of their PFL/AFL buttons to do A/B comparison between your mix that reference track.


This isn’t really exactly what you’re looking for but I like using Audacity to A/B between different draft mixes when I’m choosing what my “final” pre-mastered version of a mix is. While this used to be equally cumbersome in Audacity as Ardour, in some fairly recent release the Audacity devs changed the default soloing behavior so one track solos at a time which makes it just a bit more convenient to use for this purpose.

Cool, I’ll check that out.

Hi, is this of any help for you?


Ardour, since version 3.0, already includes RMS and k-meters, and also features a meter-bridge window that can show all tracks comprehesively.

see also

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Just because it isn’t clear from your post, you are aware you can set the soloing behavior of Ardour to act like this as well correct?


So, I am trying to figure out how to do this (solo reference tracks)… Is there a way that the solo (or AFL/PFL) is an exclusive solo, but the solo buttons of the the other tracks are not? (It is not a big deal, but otherwise one always has solo and “unsolo” when comparing.) How do people set this up?

There’s several approaches to it.

Solo Group:
Create a new group, set it so that the only thing ganged together is the solo function. Assign the tracks you want to use in comparison to the group. Then make sure the only track connected to your monitor bus is the reference track. Now during playback you are by default listening to reference and you can toggle the tracks you want to compare all at once by toggling the solo of one of the tracks. Change which tracks / buses you want to include by adding and removing from group. This is ideal for when you need to frequently change what tracks / buses you want to compare to the reference.

Solo Reference:
This is the inverse of the previous. Send all tacks you want to compare to the reference to the monitor bus. Make sure the reference track(s) are not connected to monitor bus. By default you are listening to the new mix, and you can solo the reference track when you want to compare. This is ideal for when you have several different reference tracks you want to compare.

There’s all kinds of ways to approach this depending on needs. You can create sub-mix busses and solo those instead of the component tracks for instance.

It would be nice if ardour allowed ganging the group attributes independently (being able to assign tracks / busses to mute groups independent of solo groups for instance) but that is not currently how it’s structured.