The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Ableton - sound quality DAW Software
Old 13th May 2018
  #121
Gear Maniac
 
locojohn's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by EMMST View Post
Perhaps, but it also had a higher noise floor...
Not when you use Fast Tracker!
1
Share
Old 14th May 2018
  #122
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by login View Post
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.
Actually what he's talking about is confirmation bias. People looking for biases to confirm their beliefs.

I.E. If a person believes their DAW sounds better they will search for information that confirms their bias, and/or side with people's opinions who confirm their beliefs; oftentimes regardless of being presented with research that opposes it. It also explains political polarization, but let's not get into that here!!!

The McGurk Effect video can't be ignored either as it shows that vision can hack the brain into hearing something that isn't even there, and with little effort... It's a great visual example of bias... And of course a great visual example of where psychoacoustics and psychology overlap.

Just saying there's a lot of factors involved, psychological perception being equally important. It's also the factor that best explains why people insist they hear something even if research or data clearly show the opposite...
Old 14th May 2018
  #123
Lives for gear
 
robert82's Avatar
"If it sounds good it is good" - Duke Ellington

"If (DAW of choice) sounds better it is better" - Gearslutz
1
Share
Old 14th May 2018
  #124
Gear Maniac
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.
This reaches back to early versions of Live where the sound engine did produce artifacts like aliasing. And most likley mixes where the user didn't enable oversampling, and/or save oversampling/high quality as the default presets. I see tons of projects where users don't have oversampling/high quality enabled...

So part of it is a bias that formed in the early days when Live's quality wasn't the best... Anything people toss around in the last 5 years is simply people refusing to accept that sound quality issues in Live are a thing of the past...
And a lot of user error as someone else pointed out... People not turning oversampling on...

Again, check out the comparisons here:
SRC Comparisons

You can actually see the impact of leaving high quality off in one of the sweep tests...

You can also see that in 9.1 Ableton improved the sound engine significantly.
It now has cleaner SRC than Pro Tools, Cubase, DP, Studio One, FL, Reason, Sequoia, Sadie...
(Logic is really close, just a slightly higher noise floor indicated by the slight blue hue. (No idea if this is daw based, hardware based, etc...)

But Live's SRC tests from 9.1 and beyond sit on par with RX's highest quality SRCs which shows up as one the cleanest...
The fact is if you use Live properly it sounds really good.

And FTR I'm not a Live fanboy... I use logic equally, and have for about as long as I've used Live... And believe me, I have my own gripes with Live... There are just some things it should have as part of its feature set by now and it's kind fo a CPU hog... But sound quality is one thing I don't take issue with...
2
Share
Old 14th May 2018
  #125
Gear Guru
 
UnderTow's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by zedsdeadbaby View Post
This reaches back to early versions of Live where the sound engine did produce artifacts like aliasing. And most likley mixes where the user didn't enable oversampling, and/or save oversampling/high quality as the default presets. I see tons of projects where users don't have oversampling/high quality enabled...

So part of it is a bias that formed in the early days when Live's quality wasn't the best... Anything people toss around in the last 5 years is simply people refusing to accept that sound quality issues in Live are a thing of the past...
And a lot of user error as someone else pointed out... People not turning oversampling on...

Again, check out the comparisons here:
SRC Comparisons

You can actually see the impact of leaving high quality off in one of the sweep tests...

You can also see that in 9.1 Ableton improved the sound engine significantly.
It now has cleaner SRC than Pro Tools, Cubase, DP, Studio One, FL, Reason, Sequoia, Sadie...
(Logic is really close, just a slightly higher noise floor indicated by the slight blue hue. (No idea if this is daw based, hardware based, etc...)

But Live's SRC tests from 9.1 and beyond sit on par with RX's highest quality SRCs which shows up as one the cleanest...
The fact is if you use Live properly it sounds really good.

And FTR I'm not a Live fanboy... I use logic equally, and have for about as long as I've used Live... And believe me, I have my own gripes with Live... There are just some things it should have as part of its feature set by now and it's kind fo a CPU hog... But sound quality is one thing I don't take issue with...
Interesting you bring this up. As far as I am aware the realtime SRC Live uses for oversampling is not the same as the import/export SRC. (Which is what you see on the Infinitewave site). This latter SRC is using the SoX library which is indeed impeccable but the realtime SRC uses straight linear interpolation and is not good at all.

The above used to be the case at least and turning on oversampling in Live was a sure way to degrade the signal. The sneaky thing about it is that you can't hear this if you do a straight upsampling and downsampling without any processing because all the samples added for oversampling simply get removed during downsampling and you are back at where you started but once you process stuff in oversampling mode, these erroneous extra samples become irremediably part of the signal.

This might have changed in recent years but I doubt it. The high quality setting in SoX's SRC uses linear phase anti-alising filters and would introduce quite a bit of latency in a realtime scenario. (It is also quite heavy computationally).

I've always advised people to turn off oversampling in Live but if anyone is aware of any changes in the realtime SRC algorithms in Live please correct me! I wouldn't want to be spreading misinformation.

Alistair
2
Share
Old 14th May 2018
  #126
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimmyLoops View Post
muddy summing bus
i realised your opinion didnt matter here
4
Share
Old 14th May 2018
  #127
Gear Maniac
 
man in the house's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jsblack View Post
I'm not making fun of that guy's statements..
well, i am
Old 14th May 2018
  #128
Gear Maniac
 
man in the house's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by parricide View Post
digital audio has a noise floor??? Where is it coming from?
from ableton hq, berlin, dummy!!!
1
Share
Old 14th May 2018
  #129
Gear Maniac
 
man in the house's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderTow View Post
I've always advised people to turn off oversampling in Live but if anyone is aware of any changes in the realtime SRC algorithms in Live please correct me! I wouldn't want to be spreading misinformation.

Alistair
Are you talking about the oversampling option that eg. EQ8 has?
Old 14th May 2018
  #130
Gear Guru
 
UnderTow's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by man in the house View Post
Are you talking about the oversampling option that eg. EQ8 has?
I believe EQ8 is Andy Cytomic's code so that should be good.

Alistair
Old 14th May 2018
  #131
Gear Maniac
 

Ok cool, so there is some conclusive coding evidence that the pure summing of a DAW must be the same in most cases (unless such as Harrisons DAW it add something).

Perhaps it is the way it deals with plugins I don't know.

However I would not say I thing Abletons engine is inferior in some way. Others might not like it - but to me it sounds fine. I think it's just interesting to be aware of it, all you do is adapt anyway.
Old 14th May 2018
  #132
Gear Maniac
 
man in the house's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderTow View Post
I believe EQ8 is Andy Cytomic's code so that should be good.

Alistair
Naaaa, that's not Andy...that is pure Ableton.

Edit: I really shouldn't partake in this discussion anyway, a) it's IDIOTIC, b) if there were differences between DAW summing engines my amateur wooden ears wouldn't hear them in a million years. So, over and out.
Old 14th May 2018
  #133
Lives for gear
 
lestermagneto's Avatar
how much heavier in cpu load is eq8 w/oversampling on?
Old 14th May 2018
  #134
Gear Guru
 
UnderTow's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by man in the house View Post
Naaaa, that's not Andy...that is pure Ableton.
I just looked it up. Andy did the SVF filters in EQ8 but not the rest.

Alistair
Old 14th May 2018
  #135
Here for the gear
 

my only wonder is why its always ableton people say has a bad sound. never heard any one start an argument on how ableton sounds so great. lol. people even use rare daws like renoise, tracktion, ardour but never heard a complaint about their sound anywhere on the Internet at all. whenever am with fellow producers and the topic is sound quality its always "ableton just doesn't sound good" and these are people who know ableton more than i do and have tweaked all its settings to the maximum. i have also heard people say ableton sounds too narrow and not wide and that it must be something to do with its stereo blah blah blah. then i saw this thread where people said ableton's mixes sound quieter compared to those rendered from other daws and other threads all pointing to one thing, ableton's sound quality. its always about ableton's sound quality all the time including this very thread as well. no other complaint ableton. just sound quality. and sound quality is really REALLY a big deal to audio producers. you could have any other problem but not one to do with sound quality. sound is what we do anyways, right?
Old 14th May 2018
  #136
Lives for gear
 
lestermagneto's Avatar
Pretty much due to it's ubiquity.... (probably one of the largest installed user base right?), and the fact that it has a kinda dual use or it's genesis was more in a different culture then traditional daws meant for midi and audio recording etc... and so the people we tend to see using it are generally not the type most gs'ers are too fond of.... combination of things. And it didn't have midi til v5 (right?) etc... so wasn't really seen as a "daw", but as a tool you could use in different scenarios...


I had it around day 1, and kinda used it for some things, but it wasn't until like v7 or v8 where I started using it more as an "instrument" for writing over my other ones like Logic, PT, DP, .... I liked that I could do some things on it like I used to in Opcodes Studiovision etc... and found I was faster on it and everything to me seemed more fungible.....and once midi was implemented and blah blah, I really found the plug in automation and whatnot to seem (at least to me) more "playable" then I had previously found in Logic etc...
1
Share
Old 14th May 2018
  #137
Lives for gear
 
3rdpath's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dianoia records View Post
my only wonder is why its always ableton people say has a bad sound. never heard any one start an argument on how ableton sounds so great.

Ableton sounds great!

I have changed your life forever.
3
Share
Old 14th May 2018
  #138
Gear Maniac
 
man in the house's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderTow View Post
I just looked it up. Andy did the SVF filters in EQ8 but not the rest.

Alistair
ah ok, sorry, i stand corrected - so oversampling it is for eq8
Old 15th May 2018
  #139
Gear Head
 
alex921's Avatar
 

This sums Ableton all together basically https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MxHRVSE3stU
Old 15th May 2018
  #140
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dianoia records View Post
my only wonder is why its always ableton people say has a bad sound. never heard any one start an argument on how ableton sounds so great. lol. people even use rare daws like renoise, tracktion, ardour but never heard a complaint about their sound anywhere on the Internet at all. whenever am with fellow producers and the topic is sound quality its always "ableton just doesn't sound good" and these are people who know ableton more than i do and have tweaked all its settings to the maximum. i have also heard people say ableton sounds too narrow and not wide and that it must be something to do with its stereo blah blah blah. then i saw this thread where people said ableton's mixes sound quieter compared to those rendered from other daws and other threads all pointing to one thing, ableton's sound quality. its always about ableton's sound quality all the time including this very thread as well. no other complaint ableton. just sound quality. and sound quality is really REALLY a big deal to audio producers. you could have any other problem but not one to do with sound quality. sound is what we do anyways, right?
I have worked with hundreds of Ableton users on a professional level, never heard a single complaint regarding sound quality, especially since version 9.

The reason you don't hear any complaints about stuff like Ardour is because hardly anyone uses it and of the tiny percentage of people who do, a tiny percentage of them are expericed enough to know what to listen for, and a tiny percentage of those people post on forums...


This thread is so silly. Your clients and/or listener base will not give any f***s about the teeny tiny supposed difference in sound quality that you can't even prove exists. Focus on building your skills, really, nobody will give a crap about micro sound quality differences if you don't make good music to begin with. I work with Live as well as Pro-tools, Cubase, Logic and Studio One. The DAW I get the least revision requests with is Ableton, purely for the fact that I can get a song to exactly where I want it much faster with it than any traditional DAW, nobody has ever complained about Ableton not sounding good.
2
Share
Old 16th May 2018
  #141
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by EMMST View Post
I have worked with hundreds of Ableton users on a professional level, never heard a single complaint regarding sound quality, especially since version 9.

The reason you don't hear any complaints about stuff like Ardour is because hardly anyone uses it and of the tiny percentage of people who do, a tiny percentage of them are expericed enough to know what to listen for, and a tiny percentage of those people post on forums...


This thread is so silly. Your clients and/or listener base will not give any f***s about the teeny tiny supposed difference in sound quality that you can't even prove exists. Focus on building your skills, really, nobody will give a crap about micro sound quality differences if you don't make good music to begin with. I work with Live as well as Pro-tools, Cubase, Logic and Studio One. The DAW I get the least revision requests with is Ableton, purely for the fact that I can get a song to exactly where I want it much faster with it than any traditional DAW, nobody has ever complained about Ableton not sounding good.
I completely agree with everything you have said. However I guess that because there is a feeling of difference within the DAWs it makes us the users sometimes curious as to what that is - if anything at all. Yes of course I get on with making music - I'm typing this up at the expence of my day job (IT Engineer). when I get 5 minutes.

But I for one do not care to enough of a degree to get too emotional over it all, just curious - like asking questions such as can we live on Mars (probably a far more interesting topic to be honest). My interest is pure curiosity and to this date I have not felt that Ableton let's meet down in any way - I use it for projects where I can work faster and be creative.

Your point about Ardour is correct as well, far more Ableton users. Pro Tools has a constant battle with its lifespan so that tends to make me use it just because I learnt it whilst working in a studio. Logic is just plain brilliant in so many ways but only on Mac and lacks the creative aspects of Ableton. To me Logic and Ableton are the 2 kings of DAWs at the moment. Reaper is also exceptionally good value for money. The others though I feel are edging closer. It's a very changing DAW market with companies like Gibson ditching Sonar.

It's a funny market as usually there is just one or 2 kings in software, like Adobe for the visual world. But for us audio types there is really so many options that have strong user bases.

Thank God I am not an FL studio fanboy though. Some amazing stuff to come out of it though even heard into he charts, but I feel Ableton is balancing a bridge of creativity and production very carefully and thus gives you the best of everything.

Right 5 minutes over back to work :-)
Old 16th May 2018
  #142
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichardNolan View Post
I completely agree with everything you have said. However I guess that because there is a feeling of difference within the DAWs it makes us the users sometimes curious as to what that is - if anything at all. Yes of course I get on with making music - I'm typing this up at the expence of my day job (IT Engineer). when I get 5 minutes.

But I for one do not care to enough of a degree to get too emotional over it all, just curious - like asking questions such as can we live on Mars (probably a far more interesting topic to be honest). My interest is pure curiosity and to this date I have not felt that Ableton let's meet down in any way - I use it for projects where I can work faster and be creative.

Your point about Ardour is correct as well, far more Ableton users. Pro Tools has a constant battle with its lifespan so that tends to make me use it just because I learnt it whilst working in a studio. Logic is just plain brilliant in so many ways but only on Mac and lacks the creative aspects of Ableton. To me Logic and Ableton are the 2 kings of DAWs at the moment. Reaper is also exceptionally good value for money. The others though I feel are edging closer. It's a very changing DAW market with companies like Gibson ditching Sonar.

It's a funny market as usually there is just one or 2 kings in software, like Adobe for the visual world. But for us audio types there is really so many options that have strong user bases.

Thank God I am not an FL studio fanboy though. Some amazing stuff to come out of it though even heard into he charts, but I feel Ableton is balancing a bridge of creativity and production very carefully and thus gives you the best of everything.

Right 5 minutes over back to work :-)
Agreed! Every DAW feels different and it seems normal for users to want to find an explanation of the difference. I agree that Logic has some nice features (and some annoying ones) but the Mac only aspect is quite a turn off. PT is great for outboard based setups. I think people look at Ableton questioningly because it looks and acts so much differently than any other DAW (except bitwig)
Old 17th May 2018
  #143
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by EMMST View Post
Agreed! Every DAW feels different and it seems normal for users to want to find an explanation of the difference. I agree that Logic has some nice features (and some annoying ones) but the Mac only aspect is quite a turn off. PT is great for outboard based setups. I think people look at Ableton questioningly because it looks and acts so much differently than any other DAW (except bitwig)
Yes Bitwig one of those odd ones as from what I gather (not sure heard it elsewhere) it's made by ex Ableton developers? Anyway both are great but I do prefer Ableton.

To be honest I've been able to get similar results in all DAWs once you spend time with it, which does just suggest the differences are small enough if at all there not to matter.


So what's they thing everyone says here? Oh yea ... Just go make music lol!!!!!!
Old 17th May 2018
  #144
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichardNolan View Post
Yes Bitwig one of those odd ones as from what I gather (not sure heard it elsewhere) it's made by ex Ableton developers? Anyway both are great but I do prefer Ableton.

To be honest I've been able to get similar results in all DAWs once you spend time with it, which does just suggest the differences are small enough if at all there not to matter.


So what's they thing everyone says here? Oh yea ... Just go make music lol!!!!!!
Yup!!

Last edited by EMMST; 22nd May 2018 at 05:26 AM.. Reason: random question mark lol
Old 21st May 2018
  #145
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by man in the house View Post
from ableton hq, berlin, dummy!!!
threads like this open my eyes to the idiotic stubbornness of people. but if you think ableton live is adding to the noise floor of signals passing through it then you go ahead and believe that... but its wrong
Old 21st May 2018
  #146
I've had Ableton 9 for several years and recently upgraded to 10. There's absolutely no degradation of sound quality that I'm able to notice. That it sounds "thin" just doesn't make sense to me. With the right amount of mixing and mastering tools, Ableton Live 10 sounds sounds terrific.

Additionally, Ableton Live 10 is a professional grade product that in the right hands can sound amazing.
1
Share
Old 21st May 2018
  #147
Lives for gear
 
lestermagneto's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Synth Guru View Post
I've had Ableton 9 for several years and recently upgraded to 10. There's absolutely no degradation of sound quality that I'm able to notice. That it sounds "thin" just doesn't make sense to me. With the right amount of mixing and mastering tools, Ableton Live 10 sounds sounds terrific.

Additionally, Ableton Live 10 is a professional grade product that in the right hands can sound amazing.
I must have missed something, were there claims that v10 sounded "worse" then v9?
Old 21st May 2018
  #148
Gear Addict
 
Lackatee's Avatar
If you're getting a thin sound out of Live, then you're not doing it right. Probably using too many plugs just too use them, not gain staging properly, using ****ty sounds to begin with. Thats really all it boils down too... I see sooooo many youtube videos where peoples meters in Live are going into the red on both the tracks and the master. Guys that should know better. ...And they're sitting there trying to teach people stuff about audio... So, I think a lot of it is user error in gain staging and that will most certainly give you a ****ty sound. Guaranteed!
3
Share
Old 22nd May 2018
  #149
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lackatee View Post
If you're getting a thin sound out of Live, then you're not doing it right. Probably using too many plugs just too use them, not gain staging properly, using ****ty sounds to begin with. Thats really all it boils down too... I see sooooo many youtube videos where peoples meters in Live are going into the red on both the tracks and the master. Guys that should know better. ...And they're sitting there trying to teach people stuff about audio... So, I think a lot of it is user error in gain staging and that will most certainly give you a ****ty sound. Guaranteed!
Even then, Ableton can handle pretty bad gain structure and still sound pretty dang good. I agree though, that a lot of people compulsively slap 15 plugins onto a track and that can sound pretty dang bad.
Old 22nd May 2018
  #150
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lackatee View Post
If you're getting a thin sound out of Live, then you're not doing it right. Probably using too many plugs just too use them, not gain staging properly, using ****ty sounds to begin with. Thats really all it boils down too... I see sooooo many youtube videos where peoples meters in Live are going into the red on both the tracks and the master. Guys that should know better. ...And they're sitting there trying to teach people stuff about audio... So, I think a lot of it is user error in gain staging and that will most certainly give you a ****ty sound. Guaranteed!
Well a few things. I certainly avoid the red.

But to just ask you to hold back a second. I don't think Lives engine sounds bad. I was more thinking it sounded different, however that appears to be a wrong assumption (based on others assumptions anyway but I'm happy to let it go as it's such a minute difference).

Secondly going into the red is not always bad. An internal summing engine that's 24bits and higher would never really be affected by that, only the master bus output would be or some plugins if they were being hit too hard, but most plugins operate at higher bit rates these days.

Also, I do plan to do tutorial videos one day. I have quite a bit of experience with audio ( 20 years, working alongside some pretty big producers and engineers) . It is good to be sure about audio engineer quality so that I never come out with false information.

Just to point out that there are some pretty big engineers and producers out there that believe there is a difference in the engines. These guys are very good at what they do but come from working in much different environments into the digital era.

I think it's important though to stay focused on the point of where this post was going which is not that Live sounds rubbish, the case became more about there being differences in the DAWs sound. I think all DAWs today sound fantastic and can be worked to all make solid productions. If someone told me Ableton sounded thin I would laugh, as I can make big sounding mixes with it.

And some very odd comments creeping in about differences in sound between 9 and 10. No DAW creator in their right mind would do that with recall being a huge benefit in digital. It sounds like a few are just chiming in with random impulsive statements.

Just to set the record straight, I think all DAWs sound fine today. I wouldn't ditch Live for sure.


Now go...... make music :-). hehe!!!!
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump