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Ableton - sound quality DAW Software
Old 5th September 2018
  #421
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikael B View Post
Your recent post. I embrace not accepting Live as it appears, but I expect statements illustrating a purported problem to be coherent. Your statements are incoherent.

Specifically that Live rounds fader values to 0.1 increments have nothing to do with metering rounding to 0.01 increments. The meters show the actual level in dBFS with two decimals. In other words the meters aren't lying.

That you can't add for example 1.56dB or 3.78dB**., negative or positive, to the fader is a separate issue. This is an acceptable resolution I think even though I'd prefer meters and faders to have the same resolution.

If I'm missing something here I apologize and expect you to tell what you meant.

** You can use Utility for such two decimals level changes.
You can dial in 3 decimals with Push.
Old 5th September 2018
  #422
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An unusually high CPU usage would occur if a Live Set made use of several plug-ins whose parameters were configured in Live.

Mentioned as bugfix in 10.0.3 which has been released yesterday. No information on why this plugin didn´t cause issues in Live 9. As far as I understand the wording the same plugins wouldn´t have caused issues only when configured with a mouse and not with Push or other controllers. Interesting.
Old 5th September 2018
  #423
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lllubi View Post
You can dial in 3 decimals with Push.

True!
What follows is irrelevant as I've updated my data.
If Live quantizes the actual value entered, say 2.358 into 2.4 and displays it as that and all meters say the peak level has increased with 2.4dB how is this any different when it comes to the accuracy of the Live meters?

What worth has an observation if it makes no difference to what is claimed? i e discrepancy between actual values (the effect) and the displayed.

Or are we investigating this together now? Can you verify that the Push 2 will display for example the value 2.358 if this is entered? Will the actual measured effect be 2.358dB or 2.4dB in this case? Will it stick until next session? Will it disappear if you touch the fader in Live? That would be smashing to know.

Of course! I can do this test myself. So I'll do it with the original Push and Live 10.0.3. You can repeat this with Push 2 if you have that.

Updated
I suggest FreeG as the meter as it's free and has two decimals, Though it only goes to two decimals. Anyone know about a free dB meter with three decimals?

Last edited by Mikael B; 5th September 2018 at 04:39 PM..
Old 5th September 2018
  #424
For a long time people have claimed fader moves in DAWs are bad for the sound.
In Ableton you can leave your faders at unity and use a utility plug-in on every channel to adjust levels.
I don't worry myself about the fader values while I'm writing and recording a track.
On mix down I place all my Live faders at unity and put Console 1 on every track.
Console 1 has both input gain and output gain, so I use that to balance my mix.
Old 5th September 2018
  #425
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I repeated my test as described earlier and this time I entered -0.668dB at the Pink Noise track fader using the Push. The track shows a peak value of -12.0dBFS as does the track receiving the output which has its fader at 0dB, as well as the master track.

EDIT
Sonalksis FreeG says the noise before the fader peaks at -11.29dBFS and the receiving track shows -11.95dBFS. As the difference is 0.66dB it would seem Live rounds displayed values but in reality applies the decimals! In other words Push possibly is telling the truth (the -0.668dB position sticks) though I only have two decimals in FreeG, not three. At any rate FreeG disagrees with Live, which is opposite to what I erroneously assumed with MLoudnessAnalyzer.

I updated the test project with FreeG, made in Live 10.0.3, at Splice. If you want to share back edits, ask me to add you as collaborator.

Last edited by Mikael B; 5th September 2018 at 08:57 PM.. Reason: corrected value
Old 5th September 2018
  #426
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikael B View Post
I repeated my test as described earlier and this time I entered -0.668dB at the Pink Noise track fader using the Push. The track shows a peak value of -12.0dBFS as does the track receiving the output which has its fader at 0dB, as well as the master track.

MLoudnessAnalyzer says the noise before the fader peaks at -11.3dBFS and the receiving track agrees with Live's meters and shows -12.0dBFS. As the difference is 0.7dB it would seem Live in reality rounds any values to what is shown in Live. In other words Push is lying (and the -0.668dB position sticks) or these fine level differences need better more exact meters. At any rate MLoudnessAnalyzer agrees with Live.
If Ableton rounds internally on purpose it would explain why certain fader positions null to infinity internally.
Old 5th September 2018
  #427
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikael B View Post
Of course! I can do this test myself. So I'll do it with the original Push and Live 10.0.3. You can repeat this with Push 2 if you have that.
Didn´t like the pads on Push 2 that´s why I did send it back. Thanks for your findings on Ableton´s roundings.
Old 5th September 2018
  #428
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikael B View Post
So you think disabling multi-core is something without other side-effects, do you?
I expect to see a more stable system with a next gen Intel 8 core CPU without hyperthreading versus an i7 with six cores and hyperthreading at lowest latencies in Windows 10.
Old 5th September 2018
  #429
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lllubi View Post
I expect to see a more stable system with a next gen Intel 8 core CPU without hyperthreading versus an i7 with six cores and hyperthreading at lowest latencies in Windows 10.
Specifically because?
Old 5th September 2018
  #430
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lllubi View Post
Didn´t like the pads on Push 2 that´s why I did send it back. Thanks for your findings on Ableton´s roundings.
Did you try the original?
Old 5th September 2018
  #431
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lllubi View Post
If Ableton rounds internally on purpose it would explain why certain fader positions null to infinity internally.
It would seem it only rounds the displayed values, not the applied changes so your previous notions were correct. Though this doesn't really change much vs summing, nor does it mean much in practice as almost no-one can hear 0.1dB level differences, but it does mean the GUI is inexact and can't be fully trusted. There are also some corner situations on the master buss where this could come into play and cause issues, like when driving hard during mastering. It should affect mixing very little as the Live bus is 32bit floating point. Some tend to drive things hard on the master, but this is why you need tools that can show you True Peak values and so on.
Old 5th September 2018
  #432
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stinkyfingers's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikael B View Post
It would seem it only rounds the displayed values, not the applied changes so your previous notions were correct.
i posted this earlier, maybe you didn't see it...
the top is the figure i got when entering the value "-3" via text.
the bottom figure is what i got when i click/dragged the fader to "-3".


those are the actual values of the applied gain change of "-3"...(+/- 10^-15)
Old 5th September 2018
  #433
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikael B View Post
Did you try the original?
Not yet. Wanted to play more realistic guitar chords with the Push 2 and found software alternatives in Instachord and lately with Scaler 1.5. Went for a Roland SPD-SX instead of finger drumming.
Old 5th September 2018
  #434
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikael B View Post
Specifically because?
Because of a better performance with VI at 32 samples buffers in the past.
Old 5th September 2018
  #435
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stinkyfingers View Post
i posted this earlier, maybe you didn't see it...
the top is the figure i got when entering the value "-3" via text.
the bottom figure is what i got when i click/dragged the fader to "-3".


those are the actual values of the applied gain change of "-3"...(+/- 10^-15)
I missed that, yes. What tool did you use for such a detailed read?

I'm inclined to believe anything beyond three decimals, or even one, is not very useful in music production, unless there is some context where a specific exact level must be met. That could be important when making audio math tests or scientific work, but hardly for mixing music. Which is not to say such differences are uninteresting from a theoretical standpoint. There are also those corner cases where it's important to get quite near a level, but not above it.
Old 5th September 2018
  #436
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lllubi View Post
Because of a better performance with VI at 32 samples buffers in the past.
Vienna Instruments? I'd assume though that it's the specific CPU and its performance with specific instruments that's interesting to learn about and to handle. I think it unlikely that this reality would be hard bound to hyper-threading. I don't think DAWs are directly involved in how the CPU does its work, but I'm certainly not an expert on threading in real time music applications. Obviously the CPU is the main resource in use, but it's the OS that talks to it.
I've noted that for RME it's the same latency for 64 samples as for 32. If that is the case why would I use 32?
Old 5th September 2018
  #437
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
.
Other people get bogged down by testing and finding fault in their music tools.
from what I have seen, the ones who do the most fault-finding do the fewest tests. When I asked someone about how he went about double-blinding his listening, there were crickets. It was clear, he was listening with his eyes open! That is the opposite of "using your ears"!


The difference-hearers are generally not the 'ones doing tests'. They are 'using' a DAW, and casting about for something to blame other than themselves for how the mixes come out. When they do perform tests, they tend to be riddled with avoidable errors, and some of them are absolutely clueless.

From what I have been reading - and I have been reading these threads for almost 2 decades - the people who actually do serious testing strike me as simply people who have a "scientific curiosity" about the topic. I know for a fact that some are very serious accomplished engineers. I have never gotten the feeling they are doing the tests in order to determine the "best" DAW before they start making music. Usually they just want to see how deep they can go and still get a null. Some have gotten very deep indeed.

I made the mistake of actually buying the CD of the exports from one of these tests. I wasted more than a few incredibly boring hours listening closely for "differences" before null-testing and realizing most of what I had been so laboriously listening to were identical. Even those that did not perfectly null, the differences were not worth spit.
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Old 5th September 2018
  #438
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikael B View Post
I've noted that for RME it's the same latency for 64 samples as for 32. If that is the case why would I use 32?
Guess on USB. On TB RME could match their PCI-e performances in the future.
Old 5th September 2018
  #439
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lllubi View Post
Guess on USB. On TB RME could match their PCI-e performances in the future.
Correct, OK, so I've possibly hit on the "USB 2 latency wall" so to speak.
Old 7th September 2018
  #440
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HTTPS://www.soundonsound.com/forum/view topic.php?for=16&the=46206

This makes for an interesting read. It touches on how pan law could be something to blame. prey if it doesn't link for some reason this site won't let me share the URL. It's a Sound on Sound forum discussion on Pan law.

Now these little things might be simple, but when you judge a DAW out the box, and something like this that is not considered to be.

I guess it must be equivalent to different tyres on a car. The car performs the same, in terms of engine etc, but handles differently. Both cars might be same but different tyres feel different.

Therefore the correct term might be both DAWs do sound different, but their audio engine does not.
Old 7th September 2018
  #441
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichardNolan View Post
It's a Sound on Sound forum discussion on Pan law.
<snip>
Therefore the correct term might be both DAWs do sound different, but their audio engine does not.
This doesn't make much sense as Pan law isn't written in stone. Even in Live 9 pan law limitations were easily circumvented with free tools.

I think you wanted to post the link to different DAWs sound different? really?, right? Clearly your link have been exposed to auto-completion.

I'm quoting from that discussion:
Old 7th September 2018
  #442
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As have been suggested many, many times (for decades) it's mostly the producer/mixer that is behind the different sound. The construction of the GUI — or other feedback characteristics — may influence decisions in a certain direction, availability of important tools or lack thereof will affect decision making, lack of proper knowledge how to do common mixing tasks with a specific DAW will certainly affect the outcome and lack of mixing abilities and mixing experience even more.

The usability of DAW native tools also play a role as all tools used affect the outcome. The better you know your tools the better results you will get. This goes for DAW and plug-ins alike.

I've met and known some really talented people. They can make any equipment sing. They would just smile if someone told them about this discussion here and would not get engaged in it.

Last edited by Mikael B; 7th September 2018 at 08:15 PM..
Old 7th September 2018
  #443
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichardNolan View Post
Both cars might be same but different tyres feel different.
there are few things about a car that are more "optional" than the tires. No one is forcing me to use the tires the dealer put on.
Quote:
Therefore the correct term might be both DAWs do sound different, but their audio engine does not.
After the GUI, menus and workflow, the "audio engine" is pretty much the only aspect of the DAW that you cannot change or get away from. The difference-hearers will swear on a bible that they are immune to any effect of the GUI and menus and workflow and that the "audio engine" is the thing that is making their music come out "bad".

We all know what the claim of "sounds different" means. We all know what "imposes a character on the sound" means. If it can be said to be real and not a placebo or a personal reaction, then it must be happening at the audio level. It must affect everybody who uses the DAW - no getting around it.

Since it obviously does not affect everybody; since there are plenty of people who somehow manage to make "good sounding" recordings in whatever software, then the "different sound" influence obviously is not real.

A DAW is a tool. You could have two knives with identical blades. One has a wooden handle with a certain shape and another has an ivory handle of different shape. That will change people's perception of the tool. It certainly can affect the results. But when the difference-hearers say: "the sound engine is inferior" they are in essence claiming one knife is sharper than the other. This can be proven false - the blades are identical - yet they cannot stop claiming that. I don't know why their egos are so wrapped up in the idea that they are immune to the influence of a different 'handle', but it does seem to be an ego thing.
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Old 8th September 2018
  #444
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
After the GUI, menus and workflow
As this "workflow" has been mentioned before I must say that I think it's the wrong word as most DAWs support many workflows. In these workflows I'd rather say that different DAWs are nudging users in a certain direction or that they are more readably allowing for some decisions —maybe even certain outcomes — compared to others. As making decisions is at the core of mixing these will certainly affect the sound.

So there can be some tendencies that might be more typical for one DAW even if these are commonly counterbalanced by the producer's own preferences and visions of the music. So probably a weak tendency, if any.
Old 8th September 2018
  #445
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikael B View Post
As this "workflow" has been mentioned before I must say that I think it's the wrong word as most DAWs support many workflows.
Some of the most popular DAWs have very different workflows and tool sets.
having used all three in recent times, Logic is very different to Live is very different to Pro Tools.
I guess to a certain extent you can fiddle with the templates and 'untitled' starting points so some of the differences are negated, but really.....Live mostly revolves around clips. Logic is more linear than Live and is great with midi and soft synths. Pro Tools is less good with midi and soft synths and is focussed on a tape machine type of audio capture.

If you have spent years working in Live, it is a pita moving to Pro Tools, and that likely clouds your view of PT. having spent years working in Logic, it took me months of hard work to get my head around Ableton Live.
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Old 8th September 2018
  #446
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
Some of the most popular DAWs have very different workflows and tool sets.
having used all three in recent times, Logic is very different to Live is very different to Pro Tools.
I guess to a certain extent you can fiddle with the templates and 'untitled' starting points so some of the differences are negated, but really.....Live mostly revolves around clips. Logic is more linear than Live and is great with midi and soft synths. Pro Tools is less good with midi and soft synths and is focussed on a tape machine type of audio capture.

If you have spent years working in Live, it is a pita moving to Pro Tools, and that likely clouds your view of PT. having spent years working in Logic, it took me months of hard work to get my head around Ableton Live.
I don't know what you mean by "workflow", but I mean how I actually work with music and get things done. While the lack of a session view or the presence of it is a clear nudge it has very little, or everything, to do with the work flow, depending on your choice. I create in very similar ways in different DAWs, except for this aspect. I mix very similarly in all of them. The mixers themselves do affect certain things, but not my vision for the track.

I find your notion of "clips" somewhat superficial. All DAWs have something similar, a piece of audio or MIDI with a start and an end and not that seldom with a loop function. Almost all DAWs support tape machine style of working. The differences are in the small things, smaller than workflows.

I do agree moving between DAWs means somewhat hard adjustments.
Old 8th September 2018
  #447
Really?
I find your post incredible.
So this is why users who have always worked in Logic or Pro Tools find it so difficult to transfer to Ableton Live.
Is there anything in Logic that is similar to Live Clips?
Automatically warped, synced to your tempo?
Of course you can record 1 bar of midi or audio and call it 'a clip', but it works very differently in the Logic vs Live workflow.
Live DEFINITELY pushes you into a specific way of working. Cycling short loops.
Whereas Logic and Pro Tools foster more phrase com position, four to eight bars.
As I say, having actually made music in all three, I find the way of making that music is far from similar.
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Old 8th September 2018
  #448
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
Really?
I find your post incredible.
So this is why users who have always worked in Logic or Pro Tools find it so difficult to transfer to Ableton Live.
Is there anything in Logic that is similar to Live Clips?
Automatically warped, synced to your tempo?
Of course you can record 1 bar of midi or audio and call it 'a clip', but it works very differently in the Logic vs Live workflow.
Live DEFINITELY pushes you into a specific way of working. Cycling short loops.
Whereas Logic and Pro Tools foster more phrase com position, four to eight bars.
As I say, having actually made music in all three, I find the way of making that music is far from similar.
I've used Logic, Cubase, Reason and Live (also many others). I don't "cycle short loops" much but it is not uncommon to work "loop based" - meaning repeating the same piece of music, MIDI or audio —in many other DAWs. It's the most common way of working with certain styles of music since decades. Audio loops adapting to the tempo is not unique. Implementing this at the core as in Live is also not that unique these days. I used to do such things in Logic, with that Time thing or with plug-ins. Fruity Loops and so on…

What's so different about a 1 bar or 8 bar MIDI clip in Logic vs Live? Nothing. It's a piece of data representing a musical idea. That you have different possibilities, more easily available in one, is a nudge, not a workflow aspect.

That said, of course embracing the DAW and its uniqueness is very rewarding. But my vision is my vision and will remain intact in the larger perspective no matter what tools I use.

It would be interesting to know how you mean these different DAWs in your experience affect the large aspects of your workflow.

Last edited by Mikael B; 8th September 2018 at 11:21 AM..
Old 8th September 2018
  #449
Yes, yes, yes. My original post said you could more or less make any DAW act like another (which is what you are describing above).
But the common workflows in all three DAWs is very different.
Honestly, if you think working in Pro Tools and working in Ableton Live is anything remotely similar, I think you are weird and this debate as any kind of realistic discussion is basically over.
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Old 8th September 2018
  #450
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UnderTow's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
Really?
I find your post incredible.
I have to agree.

Mikael B, what kind of music do you work on? That might explain the differing views.

Alistair
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