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Ableton - sound quality DAW Software
Old 31st October 2018
  #541
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderTow View Post
In all modern DAWs, the processing bit depth of plugins is independent of the DAW settings. The plugin developers determine at which bit depth the calculations within the plugins are performed. So even here, there are no differences between DAWs. (I'm excluding TDM here as it uses a different architecture than other DAWs including newer versions of PT).
See, we're not in disagreement here at all. It's just that things have been different in the past - usually because one or the other thing was broken in one or the other DAW (for instance, Logics bouncing was pretty bad until they added offline bouncing, so all null tests failed).
Then, I don't remember which one it was, but in one DAW there was some dithering going on that couldn't be switched off. Again, for obvious reasons, bounces failed in null tests.
Etc. - and while I would love to believe that these days such things should always work "as expected", you really never know.
The last null tests between DAWs I did myself (and that's quite a while ago already, too) however showed that there's pretty much no more issues regarding plain summing (and possibly plugin processing, too), so whenever there's something smelling fishy these days, it's likely something is broken or that there's a hidden setting/feature within the DAW in question (such as whatever automatic stretching in Live or so), which usually can be turned off.
Old 1st November 2018
  #542
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sascha Franck View Post

I think that once "raw" summing (as used in most proper null test, read: All faders set to unity gain, panned center, no FX, no dithering, no nothing) is passed and we start doing "things", there's potential for DAWs to sound different. And no, not "typically" different, such as in "PT sounds warmer than Cubase", just different. And mostly just by numbers.
If you can stand the pain, you can go search through the myriads of threads here on the mythology of DAW's "different sound". Somewhere in there among the the thousands of posts, you will find posts from dedicated experimenters who not only did the very basic all 'faders at 0' null tests, but nulled the DAWs with moved faders, with inserted 3rd-Party plugs, even. Some of these experiments went very deep and still got nulls.
Quote:
panned center
If the DAWs can match Pan Laws, fine. If you can't match them, the center is where they will differ the most.

Quote:
Yet, what I'm saying is that there's room for errors (not showing as obvious bugs), so different DAWs might in fact sound different when performing the same job. Not in plain summing scenarions, though -
What other "job" does a DAW perform? It sums. Not EQ or compression, those jobs are performed by plug ins. Besides, people have nulled two DAWs using the same plugin.

You can edit with a DAW, but that doesn't change the sound. You can record with a DAW, but people have tested this - DAWs don't make 'mistakes' or even 'different choices' when they are fed a specific stream of data from a converter. They all do what they are told. If they did not, they would suck.

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these days are over.
the first DAW summing test that I saw that got full nulls was in 2003. So I am not sure just when "those days" were, if they ever were.

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And also, most likely those errors can only be detected with tools, not with human ears.
This is certainly true, there is a long way between finding cases where the files are not bit-identical and proving that you can hear that.

In all the years that these threads have been running - decades now - not one person who claimed to be able to 'tell' the DAW, has ever actually demonstrated his ability to the community.
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Old 1st November 2018
  #543
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
the first DAW summing test that I saw that got full nulls was in 2003. So I am not sure just when "those days" were, if they ever were.
Young yedi you are.
Well, nah, all kidding aside, I think the first summing test I was reading about was even earlier, and Logic was one of the candidates - and it actually *did* behave strange in some aspects. Not only wasn't it able to do an offline bounce, it also needed some audio hardware to be activated for its bouncing (even if the signals themselves weren't running through that very hardware during the bouncing process, the bounces turned out to be identical regardless of the audio device used). All that resulted in the first bars not being bounced properly, which was a reason why people always started their mixdowns a few bars before there was some actual audio content, etc. The resulting files didn't null against some Cubase bounces, either (did the comparison between the two myself).

But then, as said, these days are over.


Quote:
In all the years that these threads have been running - decades now - not one person who claimed to be able to 'tell' the DAW, has ever actually demonstrated his ability to the community.
Yeah, it's strange. It really hasn't happened even once. And yet the myths about some DAWs sounding "more transparent" or whatever on their own continue.
Always reminded me of James Randi (brilliant guy) who offered Monster Cabled a million dollars (!) if they were able to prove the quality of some of their cables in a double blind-test under highly scientific conditions. Needless to say that nobody ever showed up to claim those bucks...
James Randi’s Swift - September 28, 2007
Old 2nd November 2018
  #544
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while printed tracks do sound absolutely normal in Ableton and they null just fine, I am staunch believer in Abletons inferior sound quality when actually using the program, ie mixing. It's something in the code, but requires such a deep level of understanding signal processing that it no amateur can pinpoint it. Simple nulling tests with printed tracks do not address the issue of different modes of audio engine behaviour.

Anyway, there is a way to hear the difference and fix the issue: get Reaper, rearoute each Ableton track into Reaper and voila: sound quality issues instantly gone and Ableton actually sounds amazing. Is it the pan laws, "forgotten warp modes" (LOL!), psychology or self delusion, I don't care but the problem is gone for good.
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Old 2nd November 2018
  #545
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DingoReinhardt View Post
while printed tracks do sound absolutely normal in Ableton and they null just fine, I am staunch believer in Abletons inferior sound quality when actually using the program, ie mixing. It's something in the code, but requires such a deep level of understanding signal processing that it no amateur can pinpoint it.
but you can?

Quote:
Simple nulling tests with printed tracks do not address the issue of different modes of audio engine behaviour.
even complex nulling tests fail to find this difference
where is it hiding?

Perhaps you could use your superior knowledge and deeper understanding of how the code for these programs is written to explain to us how they can sound different when they don't.

Or perhaps you would like to be the first person on Earth to demonstrate the ability to hear which of two blinded files that null is the "one from Ableton"?


Quote:
Anyway, there is a way to hear the difference and fix the issue: get Reaper, rearoute each Ableton track into Reaper and voila: sound quality issues instantly gone and Ableton actually sounds amazing.

it's magic
that's how computers work, they work by magic

Quote:
Is it the pan laws, "forgotten warp modes" (LOL!), psychology or self delusion, I don't care but the problem is gone for good.
gee, I wonder which one of those things would make two files that null sound "different"?

Last edited by joeq; 2nd November 2018 at 10:16 PM..
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Old 3rd November 2018
  #546
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
but you can?


even complex nulling tests fail to find this difference
where is it hiding?

Perhaps you could use your superior knowledge and deeper understanding of how the code for these programs is written to explain to us how they can sound different when they don't.

Or perhaps you would like to be the first person on Earth to demonstrate the ability to hear which of two blinded files that null is the "one from Ableton"?




it's magic
that's how computers work, they work by magic



gee, I wonder which one of those things would make two files that null sound "different"?
Your persistancy in negating what a ****** ton of people hear with ableton is getting both laughable and irritating... 22k+ posts? why don't you spend more time using your ears instead of policing these threads? who named you this know-it-all guardian of self-indulged common sense? You do not know anything about the people posting their concerns in these threads, so If you don't like what you read then back off, no one asks you to intervein.

Last edited by Lourson; 3rd November 2018 at 08:10 AM..
Old 3rd November 2018
  #547
People ‘hearing’ something and being unable to explain it is why. Who made those people the experts.
Many thousands of great records are made using Ableton Live every year, and you wouldn’t now be able to post an example of a dance hit made in Ableton, or a dance track made in Logic, just by listening to them. You’d have to be told which daw the artist used.
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Old 3rd November 2018
  #548
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lourson View Post
You do not know anything about the people posting their concerns in these threads, so If you don't like what you read then back off, no one asks you to intervein.
Oh, so now you need to know people before correcting things that can only be considered myths? That's an interesting concept, really...
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Old 3rd November 2018
  #549
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lourson View Post
Your persistancy in negating what a ****** ton of people hear with ableton is getting both laughable and irritating...
There are people on these forums who have tested and nulled these DAWs. When you are ready, I am sure one of them would be willing to give you a stack of blind files, that null, and you can end the argument by picking out the Ableton mix - every time.

Also this phenomenon is not limited to Ableton, no matter what you say. Every difference-hearer hears a different placebo. Some say Pro Tools is harsh and others say no, Pro Tools is the "mellow" one. There are "different sound" threads for every program made. There are contradictory adjectives for every DAW. Everybody has their own individual placebo.

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a ****** ton of people hear
You will have to do better. A ****** ton of people claim they saw Bigfoot in their backyard. I don't need to prove they did not see Bigfoot! They need to drag a live or dead Bigfoot down to the TV station.

Quote:
blah blah blah so If you don't like what you read then back off
no

when I disagree with what someone posts, I will state my disagreement.

Kind of like how you did just now with my post. You did not like what you read in my post. Yet you did not "back off", did you? I am not telling you to back off, but I am going to debate you if I think you are wrong.

Quote:
no one asks you
actually the OP asked all of us. To the best of my knowledge, the person who starts a thread on Gearslutz does not get to limit the replies to people who agree with a certain position. Certainly, I am unaware that anyone gave you that authority.

I have every bit as much of a right to call BS, as the parade of difference hearers have to present that BS in the first place. They endlessly hammer their unsupported placebo-based claims. No tests, no blindfolds, no proof. When they stop, I will stop.
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Old 3rd November 2018
  #550
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Originally Posted by joeq View Post
They endlessly hammer their unsupported placebo-based claims. No tests, no blindfolds, no proof. When they stop, I will stop.
But, but, but... Harrison Mixbus sounds so much better!
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Old 3rd November 2018
  #551
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sascha Franck View Post
Oh, so now you need to know people before correcting things that can only be considered myths? That's an interesting concept, really...
The conversation tone used by the "demystifier" is very foxnews reminiscent, insulting and condescending at best, implying that the people who clearly hear something wrong with ableton's engine at "some point" of production after spending thousands of hours with it, are amateurish naive idiots, when maaayyybe they're not?
Old 3rd November 2018
  #552
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lourson View Post
The conversation tone used by the "demystifier" is very foxnews reminiscent, insulting and condescending at best, implying that the people who clearly hear something wrong with ableton's engine at "some point" of production after spending thousands of hours with it, are amateurish naive idiots, when maaayyybe they're not?
I would completely disagree, I found the replies rather amusing. But then, I'm not a native english speaker, so maybe that's it.
Old 3rd November 2018
  #553
The tone was definitely blunt. But then again, is it enough to say you hear something, but can’t prove it in any way shape or form?
I think that’s the point that gets repeated over and over without any comprehensive reply. No one has ever demonstrated an ACTUAL sound difference between daws. Not even a rival company proving their daw sounds the best.
In the mean time people keep claiming one daw is clearly inferior, and expect to be believed.
Old 3rd November 2018
  #554
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
In the mean time people keep claiming one daw is clearly inferior, and expect to be believed.
and not only that, but the DAW that is claimed to be 'inferior' varies. Every DAW ever made has some difference-hearers who say it sounds "the best". Every DAW ever made has some difference-hearers who say it sounds "the worst". For every placebo-minded individual who swears DAW A sounds "muddy" another says no, DAW B it the "muddy one" and DAW A is "crisp".

there is a rather startling lack of consensus
Old 3rd November 2018
  #555
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lourson View Post
Your persistancy in negating what a ****** ton of people hear with ableton is getting both laughable and irritating... 22k+ posts? why don't you spend more time using your ears instead of policing these threads? who named you this know-it-all guardian of self-indulged common sense? You do not know anything about the people posting their concerns in these threads, so If you don't like what you read then back off, no one asks you to intervein.
The funny part is you are the ones negating facts, reality and mathematical theorems with your anecdotes and opinions.

To us you are just like flat earthers and you react as if you were providing any significant objective evidence.
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Old 3rd November 2018
  #556
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lourson View Post
The conversation tone used by the "demystifier" is very foxnews reminiscent, insulting and condescending at best, implying that the people who clearly hear something wrong with ableton's engine at "some point" of production after spending thousands of hours with it, are amateurish naive idiots, when maaayyybe they're not?
What is more like Fox News: opinions or facts?

Do you know what is actual proof? evidence, tests, data.

Do you know what isn't proof? arguments appealing to authority.

but I doubt you guys can recognize logical fallacies anyway, if you could this argument wouldn't even exist.
Old 3rd November 2018
  #557
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lourson View Post
The conversation tone used by the "demystifier" is very foxnews reminiscent, insulting and condescending at best.
No amount of 'condescending tone' on my part will ever make the myths true. You may not like my tone, I may be able to soften my tone, but what you feel as "unfairness" is actually the crushing weight of your inability to refute the literal decades of careful testing and the utter lack of success in blind tests on the part of those claiming to hear a difference. My "tone" is not stopping you from making a test that proves otherwise. Reality may be stopping you, however.

People here are citing the results of tests where the "human factor" has been totally removed. Leaving ONLY the DAW's so-called "sound engine". Where the personality of the Operator is not influencing the mix - at all. When such tests are performed carefully, when everything is matched, the DAWs behave without the characteristics you and your friends claim to hear!

If you would like your position to be taken seriously, you will need to provide a test that others can replicate showing a significant residue when two DAWs perform the exact same task. As it stands today, the difference-hearer position can currently be summed up as: "me and my friends saw Bigfoot in my back yard". I, for one, would certainly be open to checking out a demonstration of new clear evidence of this phenomenon, but your say-so is not "evidence". There are thousands of Ableton users who have no such complaints. Who use it every day and get great results. Are you calling them "idiots"?

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...foxnews...
actually Fox News is the epitome of the embracing of myth over science, emotionalism over rationality, playing the victim card, and of course, 'alternative facts'.

Quote:
Implying that the people who clearly hear something wrong with ableton's engine at "some point" of production after spending thousands of hours with it, are amateurish naive idiots, when maaayyybe they're not?
This is a common reaction to the possibility of placebo. But in fact, there is nothing insulting about suggesting placebo, because every human being experiences it. I experience it, which is why I blind-test things a lot. Those of us who have tried real blind testing on a regular basis understand the difference between hearing something when you are looking at the screen, and hearing something when you don't know which one is which.

When Placebo is suggested, people take phony umbrage and say stuff like "I am not crazy" - the idea being that placebo = hearing things and hearing things = hallucinations and hallucinations = schizophrenia. But actually, there is no insanity implied - placebos are part of everyday life.

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Old 7th November 2018
  #558
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
When Placebo is suggested, people take phony umbrage and say stuff like "I am not crazy" - the idea being that placebo = hearing things and hearing things = hallucinations and hallucinations = schizophrenia. But actually, there is no insanity implied - placebos are part of everyday life.

The McGurk effect also illustrates that a big percentage of someone's perception of sound is hardwired by human evolution. So, due to this inconvenient thing we typically refer to as survival, what you see has the potential to bias what you think you hear...
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Old 10th November 2018
  #559
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Originally Posted by Lourson View Post
I think that there's a huge misconception about what the sound of a DAW means to most people.

When RENDERING a mix from the same set of tracks with the same plugin/gain structure etc etc, the result is identical from one daw to the next, hence the pletora of successfull null tests.

However! The REAL difference from one daw to another one is the realtime sound engine, the realtime math, the realtime number crunching & audio coming out of the speakers while working/mixing especially when the sessions are getting heavy in processes. Protools is the most accurate period. Live... is not very accurate. And I work with both, profuselly.

A little experiment for you guys to try : load a multitrack with a few plugs both in Protools and in Live, and then RECORD the playback of both DAWs into another computer/daw.using separate converters.

enlightening
why would DAWs use different maths for playback than rendering?
Old 10th November 2018
  #560
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
There are people on these forums who have tested and nulled these DAWs. When you are ready, I am sure one of them would be willing to give you a stack of blind files, that null, and you can end the argument by picking out the Ableton mix - every time.
this is usually where this debate gets stale.
people say it sounds different, we say it doesnt and we provide information and null tests until our ears bleed, they still dont want to know, so we ask them to point out their DAW in a blind test and then it all gets a bit argumentative.
Old 11th November 2018
  #561
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i'm just confused why we are still talking about this....
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Old 12th November 2018
  #562
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Originally Posted by lestermagneto View Post
i'm just confused why we are still talking about this....
I blame the sorry state of science and math education in our elementary, junior high, and high schools.

I think it is because there are always new people have just started recording in the last year or so. They have no idea how digital audio works, how files are summed, how computers function and most critically, no idea how to remove variables and human subjective contributions to make a fair test.
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Old 12th November 2018
  #563
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Im sure we can all agree that the best sounding DAW is no DAW at all. Straight to tape.

Although I do feel like my ableton renders sound better than realtime playback. But the sound from my outboard straight to speakers is the best. Go team science!
Old 12th November 2018
  #564
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ctothej123 View Post
Im sure we can all agree that the best sounding DAW is no DAW at all. Straight to tape.
No. Why would inferior medium be better? Thats like saying that "lets all agree that yellow canvas is best for painting"
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Old 12th November 2018
  #565
Quote:
Originally Posted by ctothej123 View Post
Im sure we can all agree that the best sounding DAW is no DAW at all. Straight to tape.
No.
People always confuse different with 'better'.
Old 16th November 2018
  #566
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ctothej123 View Post
Im sure we can all agree that the best sounding DAW is no DAW at all. Straight to tape.

Although I do feel like my ableton renders sound better than realtime playback. But the sound from my outboard straight to speakers is the best. Go team science!
i prefer digital audio personally, but thats a matter of taste. if it works for you then keep doing it.
Old 16th November 2018
  #567
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ctothej123 View Post
Im sure we can all agree that the best sounding DAW is no DAW at all. Straight to tape.
Quote:
Originally Posted by parricide View Post
i prefer digital audio personally...
I'm sure we can all agree that nobody should ever start out their post with the phrase: "I'm sure we can all agree ...."!
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Old 16th November 2018
  #568
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Originally Posted by joeq View Post
I'm sure we can all agree that nobody should ever start out their post with the phrase: "I'm sure we can all agree ...."!
Im sure we can all agree jokey intentions are best expressed in person. Or maybe this would of helped

or this one?

I have been probably been reading too much about how much better tape is/was.

Old 16th November 2018
  #569
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ctothej123 View Post
Im sure we can all agree jokey intentions are best expressed in person. Or maybe this would of helped

or this one?

definitely would have helped. Because, unfortunately, there are plenty of people here who would say something like that not joking. Plenty of posts where people in all seriousness express their preferences in such a way as to assume:
A. everybody likes the same things I like ... or
B. anybody who does not has something wrong with them

Quote:
I have been probably been reading too much about how much better tape is/was.
As have we all!

At this advanced point in the evolution of internet forums, some of the writers of those posts have never used "XXX", they are just repeating things they read about.
Old 18th November 2018
  #570
Huh?
Many thousand of Live users nevrr use the chorus, phaser and flamger.
Lots of plug-ins don’t sound as good as some others.
You can’t base your quality assesment of a daw based on a small section of fx hardly anyone uses.
I use Live, but I also use UAD fx and I have a lot of hardware fx including quality phasers.
I think we’re talking about what any basic DAW workflow delivers, not whether one or two of the included fx sound like.
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