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Ableton - sound quality DAW Software
Old 21st August 2018
  #271
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stinkyfingers's Avatar
 

a null to -300 dBFS instead of -inf says they are doing something different.
Old 21st August 2018
  #272
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stinkyfingers View Post
a null to -300 dBFS instead of -inf says they are doing something different.
Summed files within Ableton against summed in Reaper and Studio One go down to exactly -300 dBFs in MAnalyzer. Low enough to show how precisely audio engines do their jobs today.
Old 21st August 2018
  #273
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lestermagneto's Avatar
I believe ableton had 64bit summing a long time before Logic etc...
Old 22nd August 2018
  #274
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lllubi
Low enough to show how precisely audio engines do their jobs today.

It's like choosing a bank based on which rounding scheme they use when the interest on your million dollars comes out with an extra .5 of a penny!

It also points out how unlikely it is that anyone can hear this difference blindfolded much less hear it as a "characteristic" that lets them identify the DAW 'by sound'. Your DAW is "harsh" because you DAW "only" nulls to -300? This form of identification is exactly what the difference-hearers claim to experience and yet none has ever 'stepped up' to demonstrate their abilities.

The following was posted some time back by Lynn Fuston. It bears repeating here in order to shed some light on the audibility of small differences vs the sensitivity of a null test. And how much smaller some small differences are than other small differences!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynn Fuston
I knew that getting the difference signals to cancel, using the "invert and compare" method, might be difficult since all the platforms were so different. Surprisingly, on many platforms, this was not an issue at all.

I knew that the numerical difference signal would increase if there were differences in the mixes, but I didn't realize how great the change would be if only one small aspect of the mix changed. ...If however, you leave all the levels exactly the same and change just one panpot from >100 to >99, a very small change indeed and one that would doubtless be imperceptible to even most engineers, the difference signal jumps up by over 70 dB!! Wow.... Whether or not someone could pick two mixes apart that have one track panned >100 or >99 remains to be seen. Someone else can do that test. I just found it fascinating.
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Old 22nd August 2018
  #275
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichardNolan View Post
I also see that the complications start occuring when it comes to deciding between not necessarily the sound but the way the systems are used.
So what you are saying is that if you use a DAW differently you will get a different sound? Thank you Private Obvious, you have earned a field promotion to the rank of Captain.

I thought you wanted to use your tests to prove the DAWs themselves sounded different? It's very simple, in order to do that, you would need to stop using the DAWs "differently". You have to use them exactly the same and then, if there is still something left over, then and only then can you say the DAW 'did it' all by itself.

Quote:
... on the way someone uses a DAW.
Which someone? You? Surely you must understand that nobody except for you cares about the "way" You use a DAW. Or do you actually believe that every human being everywhere will "use" DAW X in the exact same way? The same way as you?

Every person is different and has their own unique personal interaction with the software tools. That is why these threads are littered with contradictory adjectives of people describing their various placebos.

Every difference-hearer hears a different difference than the other difference-hearers hear.
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Old 22nd August 2018
  #276
Lives for gear
This whole thread is just a list of excuses..."boohoo my music sucks because Ableton doesn't sound warm enough"

Sorry, no. Your music sounds bad because you suck, put your time into practice and get better. If the sound quality of the DAW itself is any factor on how good your music sounds, you must have epic god level skills in every other area of mixing and production.

It's possible to make good music in Ableton, Logic, Pro Tools, Studio One, Reaper, Cubase, Garage Band, Ardour, Bitwig, ect... On PC, Mac or Linux. The only difference is the skill level of the operator.

If Ableton had been the standard in studios for 30 years, this thread would be about sound quality in Pro Tools being inferior.
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Old 23rd August 2018
  #277
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
Dude......
You are actually not making music, you are proposing sharing exactly identical 'null' tests using the same free plug-ins everyone can access.
It's NOT testing by working on your music and seeing how it turns out. It's making a couple of files everyone else involved can exactly replicate, then attempting to null them in multiple daws.
hence wasting time (IMO).
YOU suggested it, not me. Now you are claiming I read your proposal wrong.

And yes, I am not 'every pro'. What I actually said was I know many, many professionals. I work with many professionals week in, week out. I don't know any that do what you are proposing. there may be some on the planet...who knows.
What professionals DO do is make music. If they are demoing something new, they MAKE MUSIC with it. If it doesn't sound right or they don't like the workflow, they move on and find something else.
Dude, Can you not keep 2 scopes of the same subject in your head at once? You said "tests" and meant DAW comparisons. I said "tests" before you and while I suggested a DAW comparison test for those that are interested, this does not limit the meaning of "tests" to just that. It just doesn't!
What I reacted to when you, as someone running out of arguments, hint that anyone doing ANY KIND of testing is not a Pro user. You didn't mean just DAW comparisons, you meant ALL TESTS! No?

If you do claim no-one "Pro" ever do tests within music, then your are blind or dishonest. Sometimes you have to make a test, because you can't hear everything and you need an answer now and frankly we can't afford to call your ass, or something as old, and we don't need to because we test things which makes Gurus like you unnecessary. We use technology to our advantage and ignore people that believe they will rule forever in the studios. We don't need you and we don't care about those that need you.

I've used null tests (within one DAW silly) to make sure what I think I do is what I do. Testing guides me and does not waste my time. Testing is everywhere these days and if you don't see that then that's your problem as you don't understand what's happening in the world. There are multiple revolutions out there and they will roll right over you as you seem ignorant by choice.

I suggested test set ups for comparing DAWs yes, because this question keeps popping up year after year and new people need to learn how to make their own experiences and understand how audio works. You don't get to decide how and why that happens, nor do you get to decide who's a pro or not. Sorry. Yes, your opinions are as welcome as anyone else's with a clue. It's not that. It's that you can't your head around people learn differently and people these days come with other experiences than yourself and many of those may be based in test first thinking, because, as I said, it's everywhere in many professions also music. You don't get that, likely as you're coming from somewhere else and I get that.

I don't care who you know. This is an international forum, OK? You don't have a clue about the whole world. I don't either, but I don't pretend I do, like you do. There are studios everywhere and scenes you don't understand. Also people that don't care about you or your ideas about these things, work in these and they make things the way they choose.

Personally, I did a little summing test earlier in the week with Live and Reaper —*I was curious which you probably despise —* and as the stems didn't null at all I was guided by these tests to what is different in Reaper so I could learn this. If I'd listened to old farts like you this would not have happened, so shove your advice.

Then I mixed down a song I worked on earlier in the winter and went to a studio jam and composed a new song, well three new songs and started recording. According to you I couldn't do all that because I test, but you see you are so wrong it's not even funny.

If you're not interested in testing anything, that's fine. Get on with your work. If you want to suggest testing is a waste of time, that's fine too. You can post anything you like, but for the rest of your "Pro-paganda", as far as I'm concerned just shove it. Because I rule in my studio and you will never get into it (Seriously you wouldn't want to as it's big all right, but not big enough for your ego. Man, I'd love to see the size of your studio. Three blocks is it? Impressive.)
Old 23rd August 2018
  #278
My studio is very small btw.
No I NEVER said pros don’t test or demo gear.
I said they do it by working on music, not performing null tests.
Simple as that. Sorry you got all bent out of shape. It was just my opinion you are wasting your time.
People are allowed to post opinions, right?
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Old 23rd August 2018
  #279
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UnderTow's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
No I NEVER said pros don’t test or demo gear.
I said they do it by working on music, not performing null tests.
For the record, I'm a pro and sometimes perform null tests. Not often as I have neither the time nor the interest but occasionally something needs to be verified. Null tests are good for that. I know other pros that do the same.

Alistair
Old 23rd August 2018
  #280
I did say it wasn't going to be everyone, but it's definitely not standard procedure.
People test and demo all the time, but mostly in my experience people want to test in real world scenarios - like making a track.
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Old 23rd August 2018
  #281
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Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
I did say it wasn't going to be everyone, but it's definitely not standard procedure.
People test and demo all the time, but mostly in my experience people want to test in real world scenarios - like making a track.
Yup. And all the real life people who's opinions I value agree the different DAWs come out a little different in sound in the end. Why, no one cares. They just perceive it and act accordingly to get the results they need. End of. And no, no one is interested in the least to 'prove' their findings to some randoms on the internet.
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Old 23rd August 2018
  #282
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UnderTow's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
I did say it wasn't going to be everyone, but it's definitely not standard procedure.
People test and demo all the time, but mostly in my experience people want to test in real world scenarios - like making a track.
It all depends what one is testing for. Technical aspects should be tested on a technical level. Creative aspects on a creative level. There is no dichotomy here.

Alistair
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Old 23rd August 2018
  #283
But at the end of the day, musicians (being impatient) are mostly interested in getting musical results and judging ergonomics and workflow.
It's just a (perhaps) sad reality. People test things by using them in a real world ways, not lab conditions.

In addition, many tools you think would be technically inferior, turn out to be exactly what you want. That's why so much technically inferior gear is highly prized, whereas contemporary, clinically perfect gear is less admired. You can't learn that from stats, only by using things in real world situations.
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Old 23rd August 2018
  #284
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UnderTow's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
But at the end of the day, musicians (being impatient) are mostly interested in getting musical results and judging ergonomics and workflow.
It's just a (perhaps) sad reality. People test things by using them in a real world ways, not lab conditions.

In addition, many tools you think would be technically inferior, turn out to be exactly what you want. That's why so much technically inferior gear is highly prized, whereas contemporary, clinically perfect gear is less admired. You can't learn that from stats, only by using things in real world situations.
You are overgeneralising. I'm going to repeat a line from Mikael B's post:

"There are studios everywhere and scenes you don't understand."

That comment is absolutely 100% spot on IMO.

Alistair
Old 23rd August 2018
  #285
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
My studio is very small btw.
No I NEVER said pros don’t test or demo gear.
I said they do it by working on music, not performing null tests.
Simple as that. Sorry you got all bent out of shape. It was just my opinion you are wasting your time.
People are allowed to post opinions, right?
As I said, yes! I understand if you didn't read all of that.
Old 23rd August 2018
  #286
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
But at the end of the day, musicians (being impatient) are mostly interested in getting musical results and judging ergonomics and workflow.
It's just a (perhaps) sad reality. People test things by using them in a real world ways, not lab conditions.

In addition, many tools you think would be technically inferior, turn out to be exactly what you want. That's why so much technically inferior gear is highly prized, whereas contemporary, clinically perfect gear is less admired. You can't learn that from stats, only by using things in real world situations.
All true, but still some people, including "Pros", will choose to do stuff like what's going on in Lets do it: The Ultimate Plugin Analysis Thread.
Old 23rd August 2018
  #287
Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderTow View Post
You are overgeneralising.
Not in my experience.
I NEVER said my comments applied to everyone in the music business. Because you test with nulls doesn't make it a widespread practice.
Old 23rd August 2018
  #288
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikael B View Post
All true, but still some people, including "Pros", will choose to do stuff like ....
Sure, I never said my comments applied to everyone, or even every pro. I just said it was less common.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
Hardly any pros 'test' gear in the manner being suggested. Most pros just use any new gear, or gear they have on demo.
And my comments referred to the method being suggested - to take the exact same project files and multiple people null test them through outputs, the busses etc, etc....
And this in the face of the fact we KNOW, hugely successful and great sounding music has been made using all the DAWs in question.
It's like reinventing the wheel.
(Just my opinion)
Old 23rd August 2018
  #289
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by stinkyfingers View Post
a null to -300 dBFS instead of -inf says they are doing something different.
-300 dB is probably the limitation of the analyzer. (Spectrum lets you see down to -380 FYI...)

Also -300 dB is inaudible to humans. (I'm sure someone will find a way to argue about it though...) 140 dB SPL and beyond and you looking at longterm hearing damage.

Fun facts about sound

"195dB Human eardrums rupture"
"202dB Death from sound wave (shock) alone." .....
"248dB Atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, August 6th & 9th, 1945. Total disintegration of 16 square miles, wind was around 300 miles per hour, destroyed 28” thick concrete walls at 1 mile distance. Leaving a crater 633 feet wide and 80 feet deep".
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Old 23rd August 2018
  #290
Gear Maniac
 

These posts seem to bee headed towards a slightly angry stance.

I wish I had called the post something else as it has suggested my views were on quality what I meant really was differences. I for one will point out that I can make a great track in Ableton or Logic. Both can sound great. Same with most of the others for that matter.

I would never blame any recording medium for a fault with producing music. Those contraindications don't come into engineering as such (ok really crappy gear might not help). If someone tells me to use what they have I do my best and my creativity is the only limitation.

And if I use 10 SM58s to make a recording compaired to 10 Neumann's there will be a difference - but quality will not be necessarily in the sound, more in the song and performance.

So yes please don't take this down a road where we question the null tests in the way it has gone, this needs to be fair and realistic I totally get that.

However at the end of the day the real test would probably be psycological. And if that is the case thatwould be even more interesting, and possibly useful to those who want to put themselves in a creative working environment.
Old 23rd August 2018
  #291
Gear Maniac
My post was definitely not intended to be nasty but as pointing to a source of information... No ill will intended. (If the remark about people finding a way to argue is bothersome I'm totally cool with removing it...)

And agree, the psychology of what we hear is completely fascinating. If you think about it sound is just waves rattling our eardrums, nothing more. How we hear it happens in the brain. Although sound is physical, our perception of it is subjective.
Old 23rd August 2018
  #292
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UnderTow's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichardNolan View Post
However at the end of the day the real test would probably be psycological. And if that is the case thatwould be even more interesting, and possibly useful to those who want to put themselves in a creative working environment.
This is were I agree with Chrisso: Don't bother testing this except for workflow, general appeal and personal compatibility. See how a DAW feels and if it feels right, enjoy it, be creative, make music! (Unless you are a beginner in which case the same thing applies but it helps if you also have a few more experienced friends using the same DAW to ask questions ).

There is of course nothing wrong with testing this more comprehensively but user interface design is a science in itself and takes years of study to fully understand. Any tests someone without experience on the subject will do is unlikely to be very useful except on a personal level. IMHO of course.

Alistair
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Old 23rd August 2018
  #293
Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderTow View Post
See how a DAW feels and if it feels right, enjoy it, be creative, make music!
Old 23rd August 2018
  #294
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login's Avatar
The overall problem with this discussion as well as with DAC and "analog vs digital" is that in the end, people start it because they are sure they can "hear" a difference and that difference some way makes a significant difference in the final product.

Most of the time the initial difference statement is not proved with hard evidence, it is overblown ignoring more important factors are the human hearing limits and sensibility as well as psychoacoustics, so people start the argument from a total false supposition.

The result of this whole way of thinking (DAW's sound different, I can't sound pro because I don't have high-end DAC, I must buy an analog synth) is that the whole audio industry is full of snake oil, it is just a more expanded version of audiophile stupidity which ends in buying 1000% overpriced cables and mods.

Why does this happen? Many artists are not scientifically inclined and can't understand how maths and physics work, they are trapped in a world of subjectivity.
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Old 23rd August 2018
  #295
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
I did say it wasn't going to be everyone, but it's definitely not standard procedure.
People test and demo all the time, but mostly in my experience people want to test in real world scenarios - like making a track.
I agree, but the Thread is about someone making a definitive statement as to the cause of the result he experienced "in the real world". He got a bad sound in Ableton (put the name of any DAW in here!) This somehow incredibly led him to the conclusion that the only way this could happen was if "something" in Ableton caused that sound... independent of Operator Input!

Every single person who uses Ableton (and again, insert any DAW in here as the "villain"...) has a legitimate concern in finding out if this is true or not. Null testing and blindfold A/B/X provide simple and elegant ways of removing the Operator from the equation and eliminating placebo 100%.

As I am sure you will agree, this cannot be done by simply real-world "making a track" as so many people seem to think. There's nothing wrong with using your DAW in the real world and enjoying or not enjoying the results. There is however, something very wrong in somebody applying their casual everyday, non-blinded, non matched, anecdotal usage of the DAW to make broad sweeping statements about its "sound engine".

When this is done, every user of the "accused" DAW is essentially working under a 'cloud' of doubt, and since every DAW has been 'accused' in one thread or another, countering this bulls#!t has a value to each user and to the community at large.

Now going on nearly two decades of these old wives tales kicking around, it should be sufficient to look at the hundreds of previous tests already done, and dismiss the "DAW X sounds bad" baloney. But the newbies apparently don't know about all those hundreds of previous tests. Many of them apparently don't even understand what a "test" is.

As to my personal real-world usage of serious tests, while most of the time, as you say, I just use my stuff, I have to agree with this statement by Mikael B:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikael B
I've used null tests (within one DAW silly) to make sure what I think I do is what I do
The human ear may or may not be the "most sensitive measuring device" ever, but even the most sensitive device needs to be calibrated. When I am mixing, I am often making 'moves' so small that I wonder if they even exist. Where is the solid ground to stand on when making your decisions? The test not only tells me something about the gear or software I am testing, it tells me something about what I really can (and can not!) hear. That has an educational value all its own independent of any gear.

When I am shopping, I am often spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars on software or hardware to make those tiny tiny moves on. I don't see anything 'silly' about going a bit beyond the seat-of-my-pants "real world" "everyday" usage for information on whether that purchase is truly worth my money. And it's not just shopping, its mixing and tracking decisions of every stripe.

I am sure you are not advocating against shooting out microphones, for example. That may be a much more casual test than a null test. But computer stuff is null-able and really, that's often the best way to 'get at it'.
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Old 25th August 2018
  #296
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Fanu's Avatar
Is this yet another of those "this and that sounds better" threads of 10 pages of text and no audio to prove it?
Sorry for not reading every post.
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Old 25th August 2018
  #297
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Originally Posted by Fanu View Post
Is this yet another of those "this and that sounds better" threads of 10 pages of text and no audio to prove it?
More or less. We've been discussing the value of even trying to test anything lately (As in not just comparing DAWs, but anything).

I'm not going to rehash the highlights as it's all there for you to read, but I think a quite small number of people understandably are willing to contribute to redeveloping proper testing methodology at this point, but there have been multiple useful suggestions made since April for anyone interested in this.

My simple suggestion is that if you can't make one single 24bit or 32bit audio recording in one track/stereo channel to null between two DAWs, or cannot explain why this is, then you probably have no business drawing any extensive conclusions on "summing".
Old 25th August 2018
  #298
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Fanu's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikael B View Post
More or less. We've been discussing the value of even trying to test anything lately (As in not just comparing DAWs, but anything).

I'm not going to rehash the highlights as it's all there for you to read, but I think a quite small number of people understandably are willing to contribute to redeveloping proper testing methodology at this point, but there have been multiple useful suggestions made since April for anyone interested in this.

My simple suggestion is that if you can't make one single 24bit or 32bit audio recording in one track/stereo channel to null between two DAWs, or cannot explain why this is, then you probably have no business drawing any extensive conclusions on "summing".
Right on yeah.
Me, I don't believe in DAWs having a vibe or color.
The last time I saw a similar thread on GS some time ago, it was 60+ pages with no audio proof from those who said they definitely sound different. Heh.
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Old 26th August 2018
  #299
Gear Maniac
 

this thread is still going???
have we all agreed that 1+1=2 in all DAWs yet?
Old 26th August 2018
  #300
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fanu View Post
Is this yet another of those "this and that sounds better" threads of 10 pages of text and no audio to prove it?
Sorry for not reading every post.
i was involved at the beginning but have missed a few pages, but yea it was one of those

i am one of the people who know it is bull****, but im not wasting my time proving it. i proved it once before on a facebook group with pictures and audio examples of every step just for one guy who discredited all the evidence based on the fact that he had a friend who was a mastering engineer who told him otherwise -_-

i did, however, learn that live automatically adds fades to prevent clicks, which i think can be turned off in the hidden options
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