Translation Reference Prints: Are you still doing this?

When I finish a mix, I usually burn a copy of it to listen to in my car or truck to see how well it translates. Rewritable CD’s became unreliable for playing on players (they seemed to only want to work in the computers), so now, I was wasting an 800mb disk, for a 95 - 110mb file, in a permanent print.

So, I thought I’d just start copying them to flash drives and listen to them that way. I purchased a new receiver with all of new whiz bang tech for my truck, but at the cost of my 6 CD changer. :astonished: Before, at the touch of a button I could switch between CDs quickly. But now I’ve got this menu that I have to scroll through to switch between USB pot(s) and the one CD player left in the receiver. This is a real pain. HOW ARE YOU GUYS REFERENCING YOUR PRINTS? Are you even bothering anymore to do test prints?

I copy to the smart phone, then play back on earbuds, headphones and then plug it in to the car stereo. No discs harmed in the process. Though I will burn a disc of the last 10-15 i have worked on after a while.

Aloha guys just to chime in,

I too would use CD’s to check my work but those days are gone.

I am kinda embarrassed to say that after getting my Genelecs
several years ago, I hardly ever reference on other systems any more.

When I first got them of course I would take a copy of the audio file
onto my laptop (or use a portable CD player) and plug it into any system I could find.

Home stereo, car stereo, cheap boombox etc.
I would even go to places like Radio Shack and tell them that I was interested in buying
a new stereo system; just to hear my work thru several different speaker boxes.
(I would always ‘plug in’ because I never have really trusted bluetooth audio for this process)

But after about a year I realized that the work translated so well, I had very little need to
go other places to check mixes etc.

On occasion I too will use a smart phone to see what stuff sounds like in ear buds
but that too is becoming less and less of an issue.

However the real test for me is the client(s) and I rarely get them coming back
for re-mixes after hearing stuff on their own systems.

I do keep an old Mac G4 laptop and a bunch of blanks around
just in case a CD or DVD is needed.

Good Luck!


Car stereo is still essential for me at a certain point. Got a special relationship to the plastic cover panels in my car and know pretty well how much they I can make them shake (they always do…) before the bass is too heavy in the mix :laughing: Also good to know how much of the music is left @ 150 km/h on the highway. Details get lost with all the side noise but the core information can be valued pretty good this way. Though it’s ridiculous…

Got myself a USB radio last year to avoid burning one way CD-Rs (CD-RWs didn’t work) that become obsolete after a single listen. Lost in folders too…

I should add, most composers I know listen to little else but their own material, especially in the car. We’re a vain bunch I think! :laughing:

In that case the whole ‘reference’ thing loses a lot of value I think, the idea is you listen to a sound system of which you know what very good sounding material sounds like. If you keep comparing your productions to your own stuff you’ll never improve.