Some of you may remember the video reviews I posted roughly a year ago of Sonarworks Reference 3 room and headphone calibration plug-ins. A year has passed since those reviews so in this article I am going to share my experiences one year on of using Reference 3 in my mixing workflow.
Do You Still Use Sonarworks Reference 3?
I get asked this a lot. Yes I use the room calibration software on every music mix. Every two or three months I will remeasure my room with the Sonarworks microphone as my studio monitors have a tendency to move slightly.
Do You Use Reference 3 Differently Compared To One Year Ago?
Yes I have developed my Reference 3 workflow slightly. Last year when I started using Reference 3 I believed it was important to have the room calibration working at the beginning of my mix process as I felt there was a need to have it working as quickly as possible. However, over the last year I have been steadily introducing the room calibration process later in my mix workflow. These days I find Reference 3 to be really useful when I feel that I am getting close to finishing a mix. When I get close to finishing a mix I start to make important technical mix choices such overall low end energy, final vocal level and effect volumes - these are the areas that I find Reference 3 room calibration to be most helpful.
What Have You Come To Like Most About Reference 3?
The mixing results I get. I truly believe I can make faster, more intuitive mix choices especially in the low end. My studio has a few acoustic problems in the low end that I am never going to be able to physically fix so I am really pleased that Reference 3 goes to great lengths in correcting those issues in my room.
What Have You Come To Dislike Most About Reference 3?
When I'm working on large Pro Tools Sessions I find that Reference 3 is usually the plug-in that pushes my CPU usage into the red. That said though, I am using a six year old Mac Pro 2 x 2.4 GHz Quad-Core running Pro Tools. I have yet to try Reference 3 on a more powerful machine in a different DAW.
I have owned the alternative room correction software by IK Multimedia and I didn't like the results - read the Reference 3 ARC 2 shootout article. I have also heard the results of a more expensive room correction systems and I didn't like the price - read the Reference 3 Trinnov shootout article. So I still firmly believe that Reference 3 is the best room correction software for me. It fixes what I need, it sounds great and is also amazing value for money.
Pro Tools Expert Community
- Do you use Sonarworks Reference 3?
- If so, share your experiences.