A few years ago, the original Magic A/B blew away customers. This is because it made the important process of A/B-ing a mix a lot easier. Now SampleMagic has rewritten the application from the ground up, and what was already an excellent plug-in has gotten significantly better – the Magic AB Version 2.
The Magic AB Version 2 is easy to install. After buying the plugin, users are given a serial number in their account, which can be entered along with their email address to authorize the plugin.
It has support for VST, AU, and AAX on the Mac and VST and AAX on Windows, even though there’s no RTAS support because the new version is a completely independent plug-in, rather than a straight-up upgrade. You can still download the older plugin for projects that require the RTAS plugin.
The manual lists officially supported DAWs, which is comprised of the following:
- Pro Tools
- Studio One
- Fruity Loops
A unique concept
The new app is very simple in concept: Insert the plugin into the master bus chain and load a song file into one of the nine reference track slots. As your DAW plays your chosen mix, with the press of a button you can switch between listening to it and a reference song.
Magic AB Version 2 makes the process easier thanks to a new engine and lots of new features, as well as more supported file types. Another new feature is the ability to drag and drop reference songs to load them into the plug-in.
But the biggest addition are two new play modes that simplify the process and make it more precise: Latch and Sync. Latch links Magic AB’s transport to your DAW’s transport, while Sync mode is designed for comparing mixes with an earlier version of the same mix.
Leveling the field
Other areas that have seen significant improvement is the meter on the right. It still has meters for A and B buttons to switch between them, and volume sliders for equalizing the levels of A and B. Over the A and B buttons are the Stereo and Mono buttons. And what’s more, you now have a way to check mono compatibility if your audio interface or monitor controller doesn’t offer such a feature.
Another addition to the meter section is the adjustable Peak Fall time. What it does is that it adjusts how long the peak indicators on the main meters stay on a peak before falling off.
Riding the wave
The largest window in the Magic A/B v2 GUI is the Waveform display, which shows you the waveform of the active reference track. It shows two displays: the main Waveform Display above the Waveform Overview.
The Waveform Overview lets you zoom in and out on the active reference song. You can show the entire track or only a small section, and its viewing features are greatly improved upon from the original.
The Mini AB feature has been vastly redesigned to a smaller control window instead of the main GUI. It provides more functionality in the four Cue Point buttons and the Mono/Stereo toggle button. Additionally, the reference tracks can now be deactivated when you’re not using them at a given time if you need to save RAM.
The improved Preset feature lets you save a playlist as presets to be recalled at any time to use as reference tracks.