Best way to compare two plugin chains

Hi all, what is the best way to compare two plugin chains?

I was thinking that copying the track to a reference track and making the necessary plugin changes there would be the best bet since I can then level match and switch between the two seemlessly. But I can’t find a way to pass the reference track through my master section where I usually have a dither plugin and some other stuff. And I also use the master section to listen to the mid or side or mono of the track.

I also tried just copying the track, but then when switching between the two with the solo buttons there is some glitching in the audio so the switching is not as seemless.

Any better ways to do this or at least a way to get the reference tracks to pass through the master section?

Also, I think that maybe if you select to route a reference track through the master section playback processing that the mono, mid, side, etc. settings under the master section meter should effect the reference track.

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In your situation, where the master section is also in play, if you are using a montage, simply make a duplicate second montage:

new>audio montage>from current file>exact duplicate
(using the same audio file)

You can change the inspector chain and easily switch between the two to distill your preference.

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I’ll try this method… but…

It is sounding like maybe I just need to stop using the master section and just put all my effects in the clips and then add a plugin that can monitor mid, side, etc. there too. Guess I would have to not use any montage effects either since I think reference tracks bypass them as well.

Wavelab is sooooo close to replacing my AB plugins lol.

I really wish there was a way instead of just ABing settings in one plugin that you could AB an entire chain with different settings on multiple different plugins with just the press of a button. And while I’m at it a delta button to hear exactly what processing is happening would be great too ;-).

REAPER’s recent addition of a delta button for each plug-in insert is pretty nice I must say. Would be nice to see in WaveLab.

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This is somehow already possible, thanks to the new WaveLab 12 Nill track. Simply, you don’t use the Null track to hear silence, but to hear the global difference (all plugins) between process and un-processed.

Reference tracks are here for this, among other. You mentioned the dither plugin in the Master Section, but it could be at the end of the track plugin chain.

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That’s exactly what I was going to suggest.

Do the reference tracks go through the Montage Output plugins as well? That might simplify the process a little bit (only one copy of what the OP is using in the master section).

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Yes, I am thinking I am going to change how I work to accommodate this. It would still be nice to have an option to pass the reference track through the entire master section if one wants to though, as it has some other features (like monitoring just mid, side, etc.) that I find very useful (even for referencing).

Note that the reference tracks can go through the Playback section of the Master Section (the part that is not rendered).

I’ve just been trying this, but I think there may be issues with plugin delay that are effecting the results…

This is latency compensated, hence it should work (as far as your plugin report properly they latency).

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OK, I’ll do some more testing, thanks PG!