Sample Magic AB – Such a simple yet brilliant plugin idea.
Sometimes you just don’t know what you need until it’s right there in front of you…
So it was with this great little plugin available samplemagic.com, the SampleMagic AB plugin..
The extremely specific purpose of this plugin is to offer you the ability to compare the output of your stereo bus or master output to a piece of reference audio or a commercial reference track at the push of a button… Sounds like not much right?
Well, if you’ve ever been in that position of trying to finish a mix and looking for a certain soundscape, your ears are a bit tired, been listening and messing with our mix so long you’ve lost track (#excusethepun) of how it’s really sounding, you want to listen to the mix of another track that is similar but have to open the file on a new track, external media player, iTunes or whatever… Flicking between tracks, stopping one, starting the other..level balancing.. Hassle!
No longer, this great plugin sits silently on your master outputs and you load your reference track into it from anywhere on your computer, you can even load multiple references if you like…
You decide which of your loaded reference pieces of audio will be ‘B’ and activate it very simply, then whilst playing your song or arrangement in your DAW you just hit the ‘B’ button and instead of your track you hear the reference song you selected.. Then to switch back to your song and tweak your tracks, EQ, compression, limiter or whatever you just hit the ‘A’ button..
To go further, should you wish to get deeper, you can set your reference tracks to certain start points and create loops to concentrate on the sound of certain sections of the reference audio, also another major coup is that if you have any processing going on on your master bus you don’t have to turn it on and off to do the A B comparison because this plugin is doing that for you automatically… Cool!
Sounds so simple?, it is as simple as that.. But what this does for workflow in actual use is stunning, it makes a fiddly stupid task elegant and easy, it is such a valuable thing to have and I totally applaud Sample Magic for making this thing a reality…
I love a good idea and this is a classic example of a simple yet damn good idea.. It’s nothing super technical, nothing that’ll claim to give you vintage tone or analogue flavour… It won’t help you win the loudness war… But it will help you make a good mix decision a little easier when you need the guidance of a reference track without all the hassle…
Really good innovation, these guys saw a little hole in the DAW experience and they ‘plugged’ it!
Lastly, the price is really, really reasonable.
I highly recommend it!