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Proper A/B Test Etiquette

As musicians, engineers, and producers, we’re constantly comparing things with our ears – two overdrive pedals, two takes of a vocal, the sound quality of two compressors, the difference between an in-the-box mix versus a summing box mix…the list goes on and on and on and on. For a valid comparison, it is essential to provide as even and fair of a playing field as possible, minimizing the effects of variables outside of whatever you are comparing.

Though there are many things to be aware of when comparing, the number one thing is to make absolutely sure that the volume levels between the items that are being compared are as matched as possible. If the volume levels are not matched, our ears will generally prefer the louder of the examples, which will skew the results of the comparison.

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