Let’s face it, when it comes to a new piece of gear or plugin we’re often enamored because it’s brand new, or because of the name on it, or what we’ve read about it. How often do we do real blind testing? The answer is probably “Not much” since blind testing is pretty hard to do. Until now, that is, since the Hofa 4U+ BlindTest plugin has made blind testing a piece of cake.
To use it is pretty simple – insert 4U+ BlindTest as last plugin on every track you’d like to compare. At that point, only the tracks that are soloed play and all the other tracks are muted.
The real key is the Shuffle function though, since that will put the tracks in random order without names. You can then switch between the different signals to judge them objectively, then assign a ranking and add your comments. You can later uncover the track names.
It’s pretty easy to shuffle and evaluate several times so you can get average ratings. The Hofa 4U+ BlindTest will allow comments to be summarized so that you can check if your aural impression was always the same. If there’s a track that you’ve eliminated from the competition, just drag it to the “Inactive” section to eliminate from the next round of listening.
The Hofa 4U+ also has a couple of other very important features. There’s a peak display and a gain control per track so you can avoid influences caused by loudness differences, because as we all know, louder = better. The user interface is also scalable so that you can use it to hide anything on your screen that may influence your decisions, like your DAW’s mixer panel.
Like all Hofa plugins, 4U+ BlindTest works with VST, AU, AAX and RTAS formats. Best of all, the Hofa 4U+ BlindTest plugin is free if you can live with just 3 comparison choices. Want unlimited choices? Then just upgrade at any time to the paid version, which is about $45US.
Hofa makes some great other plugins as well that are definitely worth checking out.