DAW Tools

The Audio A/B Machine

The Audio A/B Machine turns your DAW into a high definition audio gear testing device. It allows the efficient creation of controlled, repeatable, multitrack audio comparisons between alternative designs of virtually every type of audio gear including: microphones, cables, preamps, interfaces, recorders, mixers, plug-ins, plug-in vs. hardware, speaker systems and acoustics. In addition, its two 32 track mixing and mastering signal paths allow you to critically listen to and visually study, side-by-side comparisons of multitrack mastered mixes that have competing plug-in configurations. The series of RTA tests for plug-ins can alert you to unintentional artifacts a plug-in may be adding to your mix. The audio gear tests can reveal problematic gear. The “TestTones” for the visual tests are artifact free down to -180 dB, 0 to 96 kHz. The sound sources for the audio tests include unprocessed recordings of virtually every type of popular musical instrument, numerous male and female vocalists, and four diverse musical genres. Please check the requirements page for details about carrying out the advanced comparisons.

The Audio A/B Machine – 3 DAW files, 1.5 gigabyte, PDF manual, 144 pages, 53 WAV sound clips, 13 embedded or linked videos, 680 megabytes: $39.95

These seven videos provide an overview of The Audio A/B Machine and demonstrations of its six test regions. Increase your knowledge of audio engineering creative control and save 20% on The Audio A/B Machine – watch any of the videos for the coupon code.

Mixing + Mastering™ TheABCD Multitracks

This course teaches the process of mixing and mastering simultaneously. This is a skill set that is benificial for engineers and producers to learn and develop. The “+” sign in the title is because all the plusses of learning this process outweigh the minuses. This course also covers the traditional two-step method of carrying out the two processes – which can be a cat and mouse game because sometimes your best mastering option is to re-record the bass track. Mixing + Mastering™ teaches the process I’ve used at my professional studio for over ten years. This course is based on three multitrack DAW files of live musicians recorded in a home studio. You’ll first learn about the general characteristics such tracks need to have in order to achieve a broadcast quality and acceptable loudness levels with minimal processing. Then you’ll study more advanced mixing and mastering techniques such as triggers and side-chain processing. You’ll be mixing and mastering three different styles of musical instrumentation which gives you a broader perspective, allowing you to become a more versatile mixing and mastering engineer. Also covered: mastering subjects that include the ISRC and DDP image files.

Mixing + Mastering™ The ABCD Multitracks3 DAW files, 1 gigabyte,  PDF manual, 149 pages, 110 WAV sound clips,  275 megabytes and 1.5 hours of linked videos, $39.95

The A/B CD DAW file

The A/B CD DAW file presents controlled, repeatable comparisons of all the components that comprise a recording’s complete signal path. How much of a difference is created when drums are recorded on analog tape versus digital? How different does an all tube (12AX7) multi-track recording sound from a discrete transistor multi-track recording of the exact same performances? Does an analog mixing board sound “warmer” or have more depth than a digital mixing board? The “Memory Locations” window in Pro Tools (“Markers” in Cubase) details the comparisons being listened to and allows versatile transport control. Includes 44.1 kHz interface versus 96 kHz interface comparisons.

The A/B CD DAW file 1 DAW file, 1.4 gigabyte, PDF manual, 79 pages, 48 WAV sound clips, 148 megabytes: $19.95

The Audio A/B Machine PLAYER “Old SM58 vs. New SM58” multitrack DAW file   The Audio A/B Machine allows the efficient engineering of controlled, repeatable comparisons of virtually any type of gear found in the signal path. With comparisons of external gear (such as mics and preamps), the files created with The Audio A/B Machine are loaded into its companion 96 kHz PLAYER, allowing for a critical listening using your DAW’s fidelity and transport control. This particular PLAYER DAW file allows you to critically listen to the differences in sound qualities created by a very old and used Shure SM58, versus the exact musical performances as captured by a new Shure SM58. The two mics were put through the complete test by capturing thirty-two tracks of musical instruments and vocals. Using The Audio A/B Machine, such a 64 track A/B comparison can be carried out in about 30 minutes, from start to finish (playback in the PLAYER). For the Old SM58 vs.New SM58 PLAYER DAW file, test tones were also captured by both mics and the results can be reviewed by inserting free RTA plug-ins on channels 67 and 68 of the PLAYER’s mixer (as detailed in the PLAYER’s manual).

Purchasers of The Audio A/B Machine please note: You can sell the WAV files of audio comparisons engineered with The Audio A/B Machine, but are not permitted to distribute its included PLAYER. A free, Audio A/B Machine PLAYER with manual are available to anyone who signs up for TheABCD.com email newsletter.

The Audio A/B Machine PLAYER “Old SM58 vs. New SM58” – 1 DAW file, 290 megabytes, PDF manual, 8 pages, 4 megabytes: $3.99

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