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Ableton - sound quality DAW Software
Old 9th May 2018
  #91
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimmyLoops View Post
* One thing is for sure. All my soft synths sound WAY better in logic.
what? diva or kontakt or fm8 etc pr whatever sound different in ableton then logic?
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Old 9th May 2018
  #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lestermagneto View Post
what? diva or kontakt or fm8 etc pr whatever sound different in ableton then logic?
I don't have Ableton, but I am not surprise, all my Kontakt classical instruments sound better in Reaper than in Logic. And when I add plugins, it's easy to get a warm sound in Reaper
Old 9th May 2018
  #93
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderTow View Post
Well that depends. You can have an individual track in a session that peaks at +2 dB FS as long as you then pull the master fader back down so that it doesn't clip the ouptut. So within the floating point environment of the DAW, you can go over without clipping. As soon as you go to an actual output (or use one of the rare plugins that clips at 0 dB FS or render a file in 24 or 16 bits) then yes, you will hear clipping.

I'm not sure of the details within Live but most DAWs allow to use 32 or 64 bit float render files. So you could render or export something in float format that goes over 0 dB FS and still be fine as long as at some point you bring the level back down before the signal reaches your converters because all converters will clip at 0 dB FS.

These days the above applies to pretty much every DAW as they pretty much all use floating point maths that can go over 0 dB FS internally. In the past DAWs like Pro Tools TDM would also clip internally at 0 dB FS because it used fixed point math internally.

In every day use, if one sticks to proper gain staging and always keeps the signals below 0 dB FS, you don't even have to think about any of these details as you won't be clipping any way.

Alistair
Thanks again.

I exported a WAV of audio over 0 dBFS from the Master and the "non-clipped" info is there (gotta lower the Clip Gain to see). Ableton Live doesn't clip at the Master or in a exported 32-bit file.
Old 9th May 2018
  #94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimmyLoops View Post
There are MANY people that would argue there's little to no difference. They might even try to show some supporting evidence. I am NOT one of those people.

I'm well past a decade of producing with Ableton, and almost as long with Logic. Started with hacked AL6, then purchased AL 7. Began tinkering with logic 1-2 years later.

Hands down, the sound quality is much cleaner and better overall in logic. However, there's enough 3rd party audio dsp plugins out there to make up for the muddy summing bus and so-so sound quality of Ableton. As much as I dislike the sloppy audio engine of ableton, I've gota admit, the workflow makes up for it.
It's all in how you use it. I've made some great sounding productions with Ableton, but on average, those instances required alot more effort.
Many of the mixdowns would be terrible without the help of WAVES and Sonnox Oxford plugins. the ONLY thing I use in Ableton (and it's pretty damn good in my opinion) is the Reverb. Love it. Haven't found anything like it.

The curse for me is that I work SO much faster in Ableton, and because of that I have composed and finished more projects in Ableton. The other curse is that when I finish the production, I think to myself, this could probably sound even better in Logic, lol.

Ableton allows me to sound design and warp / chop / sample like tony stark would play with a hologram in Iron Man; totally fluid, effortless at times, and so many possibilities. So I naturally tend to prefer ableton when I'm putting together a tune that requires alot of extensive editing and "crafting;" using more samples, sound shaping / sound designing, less melody and more about groove and progression, (house / techno ) etc. - When I want the focus to be more on melody, or perhaps when it requires less automation and less audio editing, and more just straight forward composition, performance, midi recording, I go with Logic. There's exceptions, but thats sort of how I'd break it down.

Logic has a much different work flow, so much that it's hard to go back and forth without slowing down and putzing trying to recall the shortcuts, and routines.
* One thing is for sure. All my soft synths sound WAY better in logic.
Ableton and Logic might output an identical sample and the end result may be identical, (test others have done), but there's big difference once you start layering the vsts together, adding compression, dynamics, etc. If you know the basics, Logic always ends up sounding better in my experience.

I've recently switched my main production focus to RetroWave/SynthWave/Outrun, whatever you'd like to call it. For this I'd prefer to have prestine clarity, clean mixes, highest quality sound. I'm going logic all the way. ableton will be there for pre-production tasks, jamming out, etc. Midi editor is still better in ableton, but I can do fine with logic.

to "Sum" it all up (pun intended), I find that working in ableton feels like I'm confined to a 2 car garage, where as when I'm working in logic, its like being in an olympic stadium. lol. weird analogy, i know.

Really? Then it is weird that 90% of all VST devs make their marketing and promotion videos with Ableton Live's "worse", "muddy" audio.

Also weird that they don't warn PAYING customers that their plugins will sound worse in some DAWs.

How about you give a list of those plugins you know sound better in Logic. Maybe I own a couple.
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Old 10th May 2018
  #95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lestermagneto View Post
what? diva or kontakt or fm8 etc pr whatever sound different in ableton then logic?
Any of those. It doesn't matter. I just find that that any sift st then plug-in will sound better in logic. That's not to say they sound BAD in Ableton. The real difference is where they sit in a mix, and of course thats more of a difference in the way the summing busses operate.
The ones I'm using at the moment are dune, Korg m1 legacy, diva, and zebra 2.
Old 10th May 2018
  #96
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pottering View Post
Really? Then it is weird that 90% of all VST devs make their marketing and promotion videos with Ableton Live's "worse", "muddy" audio.

Also weird that they don't warn PAYING customers that their plugins will sound worse in some DAWs.

How about you give a list of those plugins you know sound better in Logic. Maybe I own a couple.
That's going a bit far I'd say. I'm only sharing my biased opinion formed over the last 8 or so years.

Ableton is a perfectly good DAW to demo any soft synth in. I'm not saying it's bad.
I realize my opinion could be seen as biased to the point where I don't use Ableton and preffer logic. That's not the case.
Here's a link to the last 2 videos I made on YouTube. -didnt use logic. Lol. (Then again I was on pc when I made those, but I'd have used Ableton even if I was on the Mac). It was after blade runner 2049 had been released.
Making Mesa:
YouTube
Re-creation attempt at intro:
YouTube

I preffer Ableton. That much is for sure.
But I'll always insist I hear a difference when in in logic. Only way I'd describe it would be "fuller, cleaner, smoother. Sometimes noticable, but most of the time honestly I don't pay attention to it since I can work faster in Ableton, which means the track/song/production comes to life faster, and more in line with the original intended idea.
Old 10th May 2018
  #97
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lestermagneto's Avatar


surely this is trolling right?
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Old 10th May 2018
  #98
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robert82's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by JimmyLoops View Post

Making Mesa:
YouTube
Re-creation attempt at intro:
YouTube

I preffer Ableton. That much is for sure.
But I'll always insist I hear a difference when in in logic. Only way I'd describe it would be "fuller, cleaner, smoother.
Wow. If you can hear a difference amongst all that sawtooth, you are indeed way ahead of the rest of us.
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Old 10th May 2018
  #99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robert82 View Post
Wow. If you can hear a difference amongst all that sawtooth, you are indeed way ahead of the rest of us.
nice one.
Old 10th May 2018
  #100
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ok, to bring up again in this thread, ableton had 64 bit summing a decade before logic and PT. this is fantasy.

literally this afternoon a friend sent me a midi file of something he was doing in the latest version of logic. and a corresponding wav of it.

i instantiated it on the same damn preset in ableton. i recorded it.

since this seems to be a subject of debate, i decided wtf, and flipped the phase. i don't remember all i did, just wanted to take a quick look since it had been awhile....

silence.

good enough for me.

(hell, you would think midi jitter, or on different things round robining or osc drift or "analog" noise thrown in etc... would cause an issue, which we aren't talking about here...)

diva, kontakt etc. do NOT sound different in ableton vs logic etc. unless the user is operating it wrong or unless there is something at a thermo atomic level I am not hearing it, or I am damn deaf.

nothing to see here.
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Old 10th May 2018
  #101
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lestermagneto,
I'm not gona argue with science or doubt your level of knowledge. I'm not here to argue or try and prove anything. I'm certainly not trying to get any of you upset.

I just think its interesting, and also, some of the replies crack me up, for real, genuinely funny.

Here's what's most interesting to me; the Psychology behind it.

Preference alters perception (speaking generally here), like for someone to think the DAW they're most familiar with sounds better -from a psychological standpoint, that would be an easy explanation; due to a biased mindset, etc.

It would also make sense that someone who's most comfortable in one DAW over another could produce a higher quality final mix in their preferred DAW. Right?

Well, I use ableton the most, and favor it overall, for everything related to music creation and composition.
So why did/do I notice a difference? Why did Logic sound better to me?
Wouldn't my experience with Ableton sugest that I'd be more likely to think it sounds better? - If indeed there's no measurable difference? It'd make sense.

Yet for me, clear as day, I remember hearing better quality from Logic.
- I heard the Zero's and 1's in Logic are smoother...
Old 10th May 2018
  #102
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimmyLoops View Post
lestermagneto,
I'm not gona argue with science or doubt your level of knowledge. I'm not here to argue or try and prove anything. I'm certainly not trying to get any of you upset.

I just think its interesting, and also, some of the replies crack me up, for real, genuinely funny.

Here's what's most interesting to me; the Psychology behind it.

Preference alters perception (speaking generally here), like for someone to think the DAW they're most familiar with sounds better -from a psychological standpoint, that would be an easy explanation; due to a biased mindset, etc.

It would also make sense that someone who's most comfortable in one DAW over another could produce a higher quality final mix in their preferred DAW. Right?

Well, I use ableton the most, and favor it overall, for everything related to music creation and composition.
So why did/do I notice a difference? Why did Logic sound better to me?
Wouldn't my experience with Ableton sugest that I'd be more likely to think it sounds better? - If indeed there's no measurable difference? It'd make sense.

Yet for me, clear as day, I remember hearing better quality from Logic.
- I heard the Zero's and 1's in Logic are smoother...
dude, you've been here like a week. you are not upsetting me, and I use many daws and am no ableton fanboi as stated multiple times.

you are just dragging out a trope that is untrue, and it's tired.

sure, someone is gonna make something sound better on a tool they are more familiar with. no one is arguing that. the question/debate posited was whether ableton sounded better/worse then another daw.

it doesn't.

if you hear better 0's and 1's from logic, awesome. i have no problem with logic and think it's a fantastic tool and even better value.

but your either changing the topic/discussion or trolling, as it's just fact it don't sound different mate.
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Old 10th May 2018
  #103
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimmyLoops View Post
So why did/do I notice a difference? Why did Logic sound better to me?
Wouldn't my experience with Ableton sugest that I'd be more likely to think it sounds better? - If indeed there's no measurable difference? It'd make sense.
Logic is tailored for Apple´s Magic mouse and trackpad. Whenever you control a plugin it will react smoother to your moves than in Ableton. You will hardly get different results once you type in your parameters.
Old 10th May 2018
  #104
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login's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by JimmyLoops View Post
lestermagneto,
I'm not gona argue with science or doubt your level of knowledge. I'm not here to argue or try and prove anything. I'm certainly not trying to get any of you upset.

I just think its interesting, and also, some of the replies crack me up, for real, genuinely funny.

Here's what's most interesting to me; the Psychology behind it.

Preference alters perception (speaking generally here), like for someone to think the DAW they're most familiar with sounds better -from a psychological standpoint, that would be an easy explanation; due to a biased mindset, etc.

It would also make sense that someone who's most comfortable in one DAW over another could produce a higher quality final mix in their preferred DAW. Right?

Well, I use ableton the most, and favor it overall, for everything related to music creation and composition.
So why did/do I notice a difference? Why did Logic sound better to me?
Wouldn't my experience with Ableton sugest that I'd be more likely to think it sounds better? - If indeed there's no measurable difference? It'd make sense.

Yet for me, clear as day, I remember hearing better quality from Logic.
- I heard the Zero's and 1's in Logic are smoother...
That's called "psychoacoustics" and in fact it accounts for most differences people "hear".

So in that sense, you are right. But it is a completely different issue to the objective reality: DAW's sound the same.
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Old 10th May 2018
  #105
Gear Maniac
 

I find it frustrating that a number of comments are made literally insulting others for having a belief that something sounds different.

Some YouTube videos are ok but it won't quash the argument, the only thing that will is the DAW coders who can confirm there is nothing in summing that can change the sound.

I am on the fence with this. However I need more than a few of you suggesting 1+1=2. Its not that simple something is making engineers hear something. Could be fantasy, but I too often find good, seasoned engineers who can hear a difference which confirms my own ears.

Maybe we are all wrong in that - or perhaps not. To those of you who are frustrated with the arguement - it's not going away until I think a real substantial pile of evidence can make it go away. What that is currently I don't know, I've suggested a few things though.
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Old 10th May 2018
  #106
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichardNolan View Post
I find it frustrating that a number of comments are made literally insulting others for having a belief that something sounds different.

Some YouTube videos are ok but it won't quash the argument, the only thing that will is the DAW coders who can confirm there is nothing in summing that can change the sound.

I am on the fence with this. However I need more than a few of you suggesting 1+1=2. Its not that simple something is making engineers hear something. Could be fantasy, but I too often find good, seasoned engineers who can hear a difference which confirms my own ears.

Maybe we are all wrong in that - or perhaps not. To those of you who are frustrated with the arguement - it's not going away until I think a real substantial pile of evidence can make it go away. What that is currently I don't know, I've suggested a few things though.
Why we make fun of others:

DAW sound the same side of the argument: provides evidence.
DAW sound different side of the argument: no evidence provided so far, keep insisting that they "hear".

But still, the burden of proof keeps falling on the "DAWs sound the same", seems a very unbiased perspective on this whole issue.

If a youtube video making all the process in real time and proving that stuff nulls between DAWs isn't enough evidence I don't what is going to change your mind anyway.

As for 1+1=2, yes it is that simple: audio in the digital domain is just numbers: 101010101010101010101, so unless you intentionally add or subtract something it is going to be the same.

Last edited by login; 10th May 2018 at 05:13 PM..
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Old 10th May 2018
  #107
Gear Addict
One day, a friend of mine told me to have a look to Reaper. I did it because it's free, and load my CFX Garritan in a track.
First I didn't understand why the sound was different. deeper basses and warmer sound. Then I load Kontakt and load orchestral Tool Strings, and here again, the sound was a little bit warmer. I insert the Solid EQ to add some high and the sound was clear without been harsh.
The day after I took hours to make a small mix and I was surprise to get the warm sound I was looking for without effort.

Despite the fact that I was working with Logic Pro since 20 years, despite the difficulties to learn a new DAW, I decided to leave Logic Pro for Reaper.

It's not a psychological feeling that change my mind, but a real différence of sound.
I really go fast now to get my mix very closed to the reference.

I did the test to compare the sound of an audio file bounce with Logic and with Reaper. In this case, there is no difference. BUT , when you insert plugins, VST, VSTI, there is a real difference.
Old 10th May 2018
  #108
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UnderTow's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichardNolan View Post
Some YouTube videos are ok but it won't quash the argument, the only thing that will is the DAW coders who can confirm there is nothing in summing that can change the sound.

I am on the fence with this. However I need more than a few of you suggesting 1+1=2. Its not that simple something is making engineers hear something.
I've posted the exact summing source of a DAW. It is literally just one line of code in which the output of the various channels are added up. 1+1=2. That's all.

I'm heading out to a party but I'll dig up the code tomorrow and post it.

Quote:
Maybe we are all wrong in that - or perhaps not. To those of you who are frustrated with the arguement - it's not going away until I think a real substantial pile of evidence can make it go away.
It has been done numerous times (including posting of the exact summing code) but people are usually rather reluctant to admit that it really is just expectation/confirmation bias so the discussion rages on...

Alistair
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Old 11th May 2018
  #109
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Originally Posted by alex921 View Post
Ableton actually does sound inferior to other DAWs. Live was made for DJs and is the standard within live sets/ or by DJs. The automatic stretching ableton provides justifies this: throw a bunch of pre made loops within a range of 120-125 bpm, and off you go. No skill involved what so ever and suitable for those individuals who are lacking skills, or just need a quick fix in their live set/DJ mix. The fact that Ableton still incorporates automatic warping is beyond me when i record my drum machine at 120 BPM. With this snobbish warping technique, my whole recording gets destroyed.
This is absolutely wrong.

The "standard for DJs" is Pioneer CDJ/DJM flagships.

Automatic warping is an option within Ableton that is easily turned off in the preferences.

As for no skill required, that's like saying you don't need any skill to fly an airplane because it has an auto pilot function. Heck, apparently it takes skill to understand how to use the preferences...
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Old 11th May 2018
  #110
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderTow View Post
I'm heading out to a party but I'll dig up the code tomorrow and post it.
Here, as promised, the summing code for a DAW:

Code:
mix_buffers_no_gain (ARDOUR::Sample *dst, ARDOUR::Sample *src, nframes_t nframes)
{
	for (nframes_t i=0; i < nframes; i++) {
		dst[i] += src[i];
	}
}
The actual bit that sums is one line. "dst[i] += src[i];" It is a simple addition. Nothing more.

If there is a gain change (meaning the fader is not set to unity) we get this:

Code:
mix_buffers_with_gain (ARDOUR::Sample *dst, ARDOUR::Sample *src, nframes_t nframes, float gain)
{
	for (nframes_t i = 0; i < nframes; i++) {
		dst[i] += src[i] * gain;
	}
}
The exact same thing but the sample value per channel gets multiplied by the value of the fader for that channel.

That's it! That is how DAWs work! No magic. No fairy dust. Simple additions and multiplications.

Alistair
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Old 11th May 2018
  #111
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderTow View Post
That's it! That is how DAWs work! No magic. No fairy dust. Simple additions and multiplications.

Alistair
Thanks, buzzkill. I hope you're happy now.

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Old 11th May 2018
  #112
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robert82 View Post
Thanks, buzzkill. I hope you're happy.




Alistair
Old 12th May 2018
  #113
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nenova View Post
Why is it always ableton people complain about when it comes to sound quality? why just ableton? should we say that its just a coincident that all producers around the globe have noticed poor sound with just one daw? why is it always ableton people say has a bad sound to it? why not logic or pro tools or cubase or any other daw? Ableton's default settings are of poor sound quality, even its plugin settings come with poor sound settings. its like they made certain everything sounded as crappy as possible to ease stress on the CPU which avoids audio drop outs for those who do live performances. This comes at the compromise of high audio quality. Most other daws like logic, cubase etc are by default optimized to give studio producers the highest quality possible. they do not focus on live performance so there isn't need to try compromising sound quality to accommodate live jammers. in the case for ableton, the user has to manually go through a long process tweaking ableton to come to a similar level in sound quality just like other daws. I personally remember having to read to long list on the Internet about what preferences, plugin settings, warp settings, etc to change in ableton so it can have great sound quality. I always wondered, If ableton really focused on quality why not just come properly optimized for that by default just like Logic or cubase or pro tools? why make a daw and default it with the most crappy, poor sound settings in the history of audio? Well, simple answer is because ableton is not really a ""DAW"". i know its a digital audio workstation but its not really a daw (if you know what i mean) its kind of like a Dj Loop sample app with a few basic arrangement features. its not a """daw"" I would recommend to a mixing or mastering engineer or audio producer but just like i said, its kind of like a loop sample app.
has this post been sent from 2010?
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Old 12th May 2018
  #114
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3rdpath's Avatar
I try to use as many DAWS per song as possible. Anyone who is only using one DAW per song is missing out.
Old 12th May 2018
  #115
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3rdpath View Post
I try to use as many DAWS per song as possible. Anyone who is only using one DAW per song is missing out.
So, like, record in Cubase, mix in Ableton, then render from ProTools? Yeah! That way you get the subtle mojo from each one. Oh, and master in Logic. Definitely better resolution and smoother midrange with Logic.
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Old 12th May 2018
  #116
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nenova View Post
Why is it always ableton people complain about when it comes to sound quality?
User error and or missing knowledge and skills. Ableton was the first DAW to behave like an instrument. If you never learned to tune your guitar you hardly will ever play a song twice at the same pitch.
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Old 12th May 2018
  #117
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robert82 View Post
So, like, record in Cubase, mix in Ableton, then render from ProTools? Yeah! That way you get the subtle mojo from each one. Oh, and master in Logic. Definitely better resolution and smoother midrange with Logic.
But I master to Adat because the tape is larger than a hard drive, therefore there's a wider sound spectrum. Most people don't know this.
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Old 13th May 2018
  #118
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Originally Posted by 3rdpath View Post
But I master to Adat because the tape is larger than a hard drive, therefore there's a wider sound spectrum. Most people don't know this.
Actually thinking of moving to a Pentium II system with 256Mb ram and a 3200 RPM HDD for that vintage sound
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Old 13th May 2018
  #119
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EMMST View Post
Actually thinking of moving to a Pentium II system with 256Mb ram and a 3200 RPM HDD for that vintage sound
Uh uh. The 486 had more mojo.
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Old 13th May 2018
  #120
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robert82 View Post
Uh uh. The 486 had more mojo.
Perhaps, but it also had a higher noise floor...
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