Sonarworks in Education / Garth Futcher AKA Futch
One of the most difficult challenges our students face is creating a "flat" listening environment, for their laptops and home studios, on a budget. Our speakers and headphones are slightly lying to us at all times and then our room lies to us again if we are using speakers. Reference allows us to flatten the EQ curve of what we are listening to so we can make informed decisions regarding balance and EQ. A flat monitoring environment lets us instinctively balance the instruments in our mix and yield far more accurate results effortlessly. Fine-tuning that balance by utilizing the Mono button on Reference while monitoring at around 80-85dB (for a decent equal-loudness curve) gives us the best chances of our mixes translating well outside of our personal listening environment. This set-up solves a lot of technical issues and frees our mind to focus more on creative work.