When you are tweaking the synths, EQ or compressor, in music making quite important thing is A/B testing.
A/B test is the working method which is always going while comparing between the current status and before status.
There is a Kick drum here. You use EQ then put compressor. And you could make a super cool heavy Kick. Then you would be happy about it then.
However, as your work progress, you start to feel dissatisfaction about your Kick. Then you make the sound of Kick again, and you notice that the elementary sound of Kick is much more cooler than your tweaked.
This ever happen to you?
This is because you didn’t A/B test while you operate the plugins.
When you really concentrate your work, you would be into the changing sounds too much. Then you spoil the good element which the recorded sound, sample or synth plugins had.
If it’s before bouncing, you only need to turn off the plugins. But if it’s over, you even would not notice the matter. And the work will progress while leaving this fact.
And even if you notice that, you would mentally painful because of the time you spend for that and your losing confidence about it.
Mental stability is important, and the time is more.
Then A/B test.
Firstly, most general way is bypass of plugins.
In the below image, this is a Compressor of LogicPro9. Now the plugin is bypassed. You have to turn on and off repeatedly, then you have to recognize whether your doing thing is making sense or not, while you tweaking.
And next to the bypass button, there is a compare button.
This is for comparing the current status and the status when plugin opened.
(To be honest, I don’t rarely use this compare button, since sometimes works strange. And sorry Japanese Logic version)
When we watch the tutorial video on YouTube, we can see some famous engineer repeat on and off here even like persistently.
And one more important thing here.
When A/B testing, you have to adjust the GAIN (for example, in this plugin) to hear the same loudness (it means your subjective loudness) between on and off.
Human hearing sense has tendency that feels the better the louder.
Then sometimes, you thought the sound became better after you put compressor, but in fact it was nothing but getting louder.
For instance, most of WAVES plugins have A/B button.You can change the 2 status by pushing the “Setup A” button.
Firstly, it boot on the A status, then you tweak and adjust. And you can copy the current status to the B by pushing “A→B” button.
So, after tweaking A again, you can compare A and B.
And please don’t forget to adjust the Gain to make the same loudness.
This method reduces much of the unnecessary work loop. Therefore the speed and quality also rise up.
In the world, most of the plugins have A/B button. It means how important this method is for music creation.
Important things again
You have to set the reference point to compare.
You should set the way to compare by just push the button.
You should compare them on the same loudness.