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Ableton - sound quality DAW Software
Old 22nd May 2018
  #151
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EMMST View Post
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.

Sometimes some people slap one plugin and it can sound bad as well!
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Old 22nd May 2018
  #152
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichardNolan View Post
Sometimes some people slap one plugin and it can sound bad as well!
Indeed
Old 22nd May 2018
  #153
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man in the house's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by parricide View Post
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
lol, i thought the tone of my post made it obvious i was joking
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Old 22nd May 2018
  #154
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichardNolan View Post
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.
The problem with this is that it's not a question of whether 32 bit float can handle clipping, it's if you're clipping into a plugin, how does that plugin handle gain staging...

Modeled plugins like UAD, Slate, Acustica, etc are generally calibrated for 0VU which is, (generally), -18 dBFS... So if you have anything modeled to 0VU on your mixbus and you're hitting it with a signal that's clipping by 4dB (0 dBFS) you're exceeding that plugins intended sweet spot by 22 dB.

But the big thing to consider is how this all adds up over a mix... If you're running channels hot and clipping multiple plugins on multiple channels you're probably introducing additional aliasing into your mix... If you're talking about just turning up the last plugin so the outputs in the red then I just don't see the point...

Gain Staging UAD plugins
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Old 23rd May 2018
  #155
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by zedsdeadbaby View Post
The problem with this is that it's not a question of whether 32 bit float can handle clipping, it's if you're clipping into a plugin, how does that plugin handle gain staging...

Modeled plugins like UAD, Slate, Acustica, etc are generally calibrated for 0VU which is, (generally), -18 dBFS... So if you have anything modeled to 0VU on your mixbus and you're hitting it with a signal that's clipping by 4dB (0 dBFS) you're exceeding that plugins intended sweet spot by 22 dB.

But the big thing to consider is how this all adds up over a mix... If you're running channels hot and clipping multiple plugins on multiple channels you're probably introducing additional aliasing into your mix... If you're talking about just turning up the last plugin so the outputs in the red then I just don't see the point...

Gain Staging UAD plugins
Yes you are completely correct. I guess I stopped caring after a while once I began to use everything on hearing alone, if I look through my mixes over the last few years I would probably see myself hitting plugins with the right gain, just because it sounds good. I also find myself mixing more into things to get the sound I need out of them. Good advice to newcomers to stay out the red but also good for them to learn how hitting a plug-in correctly creates the right tone.

This also helps with the the stereo bus compression a lot of engineers use, mixing into a compressor on the master bus and learning to get this right really helps to maintain a solid sound without destroying it.

However - this can be an issue with any DAW and is nothing new or specific to Live - and to be honest is something that an experienced engineer mixing into analog kit would be more than used to doing as the hardware really shines when pushed correctly.
Old 24th May 2018
  #156
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EMMST View Post
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.
it can also sound good. it doesnt matter how many plugins you use, the plugins do not know what plugins were used before them in the chain.
what sounds bad is bad use of plugins, not how many you used.
Old 24th May 2018
  #157
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by parricide View Post
it can also sound good. it doesnt matter how many plugins you use, the plugins do not know what plugins were used before them in the chain.
what sounds bad is bad use of plugins, not how many you used.
Sure, but most of the time, when someone puts more than a handful of plugs into a chain (unless they are going for a special effect) it sounds like rubbish, purely due to the fact that someone who thinks the sampled kickdrum track needs 3 equalizers, 4 compressors and two saturators, typically isn't very experienced with mixing; mixing compulsively as opposed to deliberately.

Sure, there are lots of instances where a lot of plugins in a chain will sound good; with inexperienced mixers, not so much.
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Old 24th May 2018
  #158
Quote:
Originally Posted by parricide View Post
it can also sound good. it doesnt matter how many plugins you use, the plugins do not know what plugins were used before them in the chain.
Personally I try and go for the right sound in the first place.
When recording acoustic instruments you often need corrective measures like compression and EQ, but with samples and soft synths I don't understand the need for multiple instances of eq (for example). Just get the sound right in the first place, then mould it to taste more lightly.
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Old 24th May 2018
  #159
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
Personally I try and go for the right sound in the first place.
When recording acoustic instruments you often need corrective measures like compression and EQ, but with samples and soft synths I don't understand the need for multiple instances of eq (for example). Just get the sound right in the first place, then mould it to taste more lightly.

Going for the right sound is always ideal. It really depends why you are putting 3 EQs on a kick drum - maybe it works? I know what is being said though, if you are fighting frequencies due to lack of experience then yes you might find yourself going down the wrong pathway.

For example typically I might use an EQ, a compressor, maybe more EQ, Waves Rbass to marry the low end to the bass also with Rbass on it, some saturation etc. That's a typical chain that has worked well for me, and is my start point.

However this thread has gone of topic - interesting as it is to share what I do.

If the issue of DAW quality is a concern then yes perhaps it is a mix issue. If it's just a curiosity I see no harm in understanding what might be the cause, even if it's just psychological.
Old 24th May 2018
  #160
Gear Head
 

Do not study physics and math in school and your life wil be full of miracles and unbelievable innovations ..

A perfect phrase for this and similar threads ...
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Old 26th May 2018
  #161
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by EMMST View Post
Sure, but most of the time, when someone puts more than a handful of plugs into a chain (unless they are going for a special effect) it sounds like rubbish, purely due to the fact that someone who thinks the sampled kickdrum track needs 3 equalizers, 4 compressors and two saturators, typically isn't very experienced with mixing; mixing compulsively as opposed to deliberately.

Sure, there are lots of instances where a lot of plugins in a chain will sound good; with inexperienced mixers, not so much.
yea i can agree with that. all too often people use tools that they do not understand, just because they think they are supposed to or someone told them it was a good thing to do.
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Old 26th May 2018
  #162
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
Personally I try and go for the right sound in the first place.
When recording acoustic instruments you often need corrective measures like compression and EQ, but with samples and soft synths I don't understand the need for multiple instances of eq (for example). Just get the sound right in the first place, then mould it to taste more lightly.
personally i still find myself needing at least one EQ on almost everything, same goes for things like compression. using compression as an example, its easy to mould the envelope using the typical ADSR controls etc, but once i run that through a chorus or flanger or whatever else i might use things start to get a little different.

that said, i still rarely use "mutiple" counts of these effects, sometimes, but rarely. only when it is necessary, not because bob at the record shop told me to.
Old 4th June 2018
  #163
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i used to think one DAW or the other was affecting my sound. now i feel pretty confident i can get the same stuff out of any of em and that it's just a matter of which workflow i prefer.
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Old 22nd June 2018
  #164
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by pass-out View Post
Just a warning to everybody in Ableton 10, couldn't check in 9; I had some sounds which were warped in BEATS and even with no tempo change or tune stuff it STILL did some alterations to the sound. Its just safer to not warp when not necessary....
I totally question your results. Every time I make a check with beats warp I get a 100% null.

Share sets?
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Old 23rd June 2018
  #165
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
Personally I try and go for the right sound in the first place.
When recording acoustic instruments you often need corrective measures like compression and EQ, but with samples and soft synths I don't understand the need for multiple instances of eq (for example). Just get the sound right in the first place, then mould it to taste more lightly.
A sound can be right in vacuum but in the context of a mix.
Old 24th June 2018
  #166
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alex921's Avatar
 

While these videos about debunking this whole DAW myth are great, you can't deny the fact Ableton is written in Python. I can only compare this to sonar X3, which I know is coded C++. The latter language is a whole lot faster doing runtime checks, and callback statements. I don't have any scientific proof that this is main reason why Ableton sounds inferior to my ears.

Ableton is my main DAW as wel. It's workflow is unparalleled to other DAWs I've tried. I tend to agree though with one posters findings that is harder to get a decent mix going in Ableton. I do struggle with volume levels and a overall right balance in the mix. I don't know in what language Logic is coded, but my findings are its a whole lot easier to get a decent mix going in Logic. Perhaps the devs excelled with this, and follow a other algorithm then Ableton.

No way I'm using Logic though for producing, its workflow is slow as hell. How to Make Ableton Live Sound Better - Samples From Mars This comes from a proper sound engineer btw. Thought i just throw it in this thread to make you lot go wild.
Old 24th June 2018
  #167
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alex921 View Post
While these videos about debunking this whole DAW myth are great, you can't deny the fact Ableton is written in Python.
Ableton is written in C++.

Ableton Live - Wikipedia
In what language/framework is Ableton Live developed? - Quora
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Old 24th June 2018
  #168
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Quote:
Originally Posted by explorer View Post
Really, I thought it was written in Python. So ignore my above post then.

But it still strikes me when that every sound engineer I've seen on youtube or met in real life, does not use Ableton. There must be a reason for that.
Old 24th June 2018
  #169
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alex921 View Post
This sums Ableton all together basically YouTube
Youtube links are not considered proof of concept around here unless you made the video yourself and provide us with the main arguments right in the post and share the project to the world.

What's so hard about it? Lose a few hundred grand by skipping a gig and do the work. How hard can it be? Let it be a learning experience. Either for us the misguided lot believing that most DAWs sum the same also with the same plug-ins used, or for yourself (when we redo your test).
Old 24th June 2018
  #170
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikael B View Post
Youtube links are not considered proof of concept around here unless you made the video yourself and provide us with the main arguments right in the post and share the project to the world.

What's so hard about it? Lose a few hundred grand by skipping a gig and do the work. How hard can it be? Let it be a learning experience. Either for us the misguided lot believing that most DAWs sum the same also with the same plug-ins used, or for yourself (when we redo your test).
Why are sound engineers on youtube with thousand of followers not part of this discussion? It intrigues me that every single one of them I follow, don't use Ableton for his/her final mix.

By simply saying "All DAWs are equal, because and the end of the day they are just one and zeroes" is just a foolish statement, you have very good developers and there are brilliant developers (Ableton has the latter).
Like, I still get the job done, I do my production and mixing inside Ableton. Don't get me wrong it's very do able to do mixing within Ableton, but I just noticed it's easier and faster to get a balanced mix in Logic. Believe what you want to believe I am not trying to convince anyone by saying it's easier to get a well balanced mix WITH PLUGINS IN Logic or it's ''summing engine''. Am I a f** wizard when saying Logic is coded differently then Ableton?
Old 24th June 2018
  #171
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alex921 View Post
Why are sound engineers on youtube with thousand of followers not part of this discussion? It intrigues me that every single one of them I follow, don't use Ableton for his/her final mix.

By simply saying "All DAWs are equal, because and the end of the day they are just one and zeroes" is just a foolish statement, you have very good developers and there are brilliant developers (Ableton has the latter).
Like, I still get the job done, I do my production and mixing inside Ableton. Don't get me wrong it's very do able to do mixing within Ableton, but I just noticed it's easier and faster to get a balanced mix in Logic. Believe what you want to believe I am not trying to convince anyone by saying it's easier to get a well balanced mix WITH PLUGINS IN Logic or it's ''summing engine''. Am I a f** wizard when saying Logic is coded differently then Ableton?
Yeah, cause maths can't explain the world and because is not because of math that digital media works.
Old 24th June 2018
  #172
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UnderTow's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by alex921 View Post
While these videos about debunking this whole DAW myth are great, you can't deny the fact Ableton is written in Python.
Sure can.

Quote:
I can only compare this to sonar X3, which I know is coded C++. The latter language is a whole lot faster doing runtime checks, and callback statements. I don't have any scientific proof that this is main reason why Ableton sounds inferior to my ears.
Even had Ableton Live been coded in Python, that has absolutely no bearing on how the DAW sounds. This line of thinking just shows a complete lack of understanding of the subject.

Quote:
Ableton is my main DAW as wel. It's workflow is unparalleled to other DAWs I've tried. I tend to agree though with one posters findings that is harder to get a decent mix going in Ableton. I do struggle with volume levels and a overall right balance in the mix. I don't know in what language Logic is coded, but my findings are its a whole lot easier to get a decent mix going in Logic. Perhaps the devs excelled with this, and follow a other algorithm then Ableton.
No.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alex921 View Post
But it still strikes me when that every sound engineer I've seen on youtube or met in real life, does not use Ableton. There must be a reason for that.
Sure there is: Sound engineers tend to focus on mixing so they choose a DAW that is specialised in that. Ableton Live isn't ideal for mixing. Not because of how it sounds but because of the UI and workflow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alex921 View Post
Why are sound engineers on youtube with thousand of followers not part of this discussion? It intrigues me that every single one of them I follow, don't use Ableton for his/her final mix.
Because they are mix engineers. Not producers. And why would we need anyone from YouTube anyway? There are plenty of professional sound engineers here (yours truly included).

Quote:
Am I a f** wizard when saying Logic is coded differently then Ableton?
Quite the opposite.

Alistair
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Old 24th June 2018
  #173
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alex921's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderTow;
Sure can.
Sure you can, that is after @explorer told you 5 hours ago.


Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderTow;
Even had Ableton Live been coded in Python, that has absolutely no bearing on how the DAW sounds. This line of thinking just shows a complete lack of understanding of the subject.
Please enlighten me with my complete lack of understanding. I gave Sonar X3 as example, which is coded in C++. C++ interacts better with the Kernel, thus hypothetically speaking a decrease in audio latency and increase in mixing experience.


Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderTow;
No.
No? as in no all DAWs are equal and they all follow the same algorithm? You gotta be kidding me. This line of thinking just shows a complete lack of understanding of the subject.

Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderTow;
Sure there is: Sound engineers tend to focus on mixing so they choose a DAW that is specialised in that. Ableton Live isn't ideal for mixing. Not because of how it sounds but because of the UI and workflow.
Because of the UI and workflow? Ableton isn't ideal for mixing? I hope you do realise you are contradicting yourself right now and agreeing with me that mixing isn't ideally done Ableton? Either you did not read my posts or you're half-baked.

Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderTow;
Because they are mix engineers. Not producers. And why would we need anyone from YouTube anyway? There are plenty of professional sound engineers here (yours truly included).
Of course, I learned from the best of them far away in youtube land.

Which year do you live in 1980's? In case you do mixing nowadays, since right about the 20th century, it's done by the producer himself. If you're good and feel the need to release something, which occasionally happens to some of us, a logical next step would be to send your track to a sound engineer to have it mastered. Most of my tracks are released on Soundcloud or whatever platform and are mastered by my self.

Quote:
Originally Posted by UnderTow;
Quite the opposite.

Alistair
You can call me The Swiss Army Knife.
Old 24th June 2018
  #174
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Whoever thinks that audio engines sound different is a bit silly.
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Old 25th June 2018
  #175
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alex921 View Post
No way I'm using Logic though for producing, its workflow is slow as hell. How to Make Ableton Live Sound Better - Samples From Mars This comes from a proper sound engineer btw. Thought i just throw it in this thread to make you lot go wild.
Advice from 2014.

Besides the comment on the sound engine, it is common production advice which is not specific to Ableton. The summing engine is as good as it gets today.
Old 25th June 2018
  #176
I am a professional and I mix & master in ableton live all the time - if you are getting a bad sound all that proves is your own ignorance of how to properly process your tracks....
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Old 25th June 2018
  #177
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Like I said I have no problems mixing my tracks in Ableton, and to my ear they all sound great. My general observation is that in Logic its easier and faster to get a balanced mix with plugins especially, I never mentioned sound quality or a so called difference in "summing engines". You can call me incompetent or whatever, but I really don't care. It's just plain ignorance if you think all DAWs behave the same way. I'm perfectly fine with Ableton, this will be my last post, what a waste of time.
Old 25th June 2018
  #178
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alex921 View Post
Like I said I have no problems mixing my tracks in Ableton, and to my ear they all sound great. My general observation is that in Logic its easier and faster to get a balanced mix with plugins especially, I never mentioned sound quality or a so called difference in "summing engines". You can call me incompetent or whatever, but I really don't care. It's just plain ignorance if you think all DAWs behave the same way. I'm perfectly fine with Ableton, this will be my last post, what a waste of time.
I am not saying it was but when you think about it, it does make sense:

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Old 25th June 2018
  #179
Gear Maniac
 

I think it's possible to come to some conclusions from this post.

Firstly majority feel the summing engines are the same - obviously some still don't do a feeling that something is different is happening.

Secondly only null tests have been done which could vary once faders are adjusted, panning is changed and how the effects interact with the software.

If indeed it is the case that all modern summing engines are equal - which is sounding most likely then something else is up. Either incompetency (doubtful as I have heard professionals question this as well and they are seasoned pros). I would therefore suggest that it is either out of scope for testing OR the workflow is significantly affecting the results.

I would say that I think workflow must be the answer. I have noticed more of a struggle in mixing in Ableton. Whether it's the design of the faders, the panning or something I couldn't be certain. I know I can get good results from Ableton however. I also know though that my mixes did sound different in Logic and again different in Pro Tools. Yes the tools are different but I have noticed there are similarities in mixes I do in each DAW.

What I don't feel is fair is to clearly say that others are wrong to think this. Music production is an art and if subconsciously the workflow affects the results then that in itself is very interesting and would make for an interesting study in iteself.
Old 30th June 2018
  #180
Here for the gear
 

Changing the color scheme in Ableton will change how you hear if you're in a suggestible mood or if you're suggestible by nature. Human senses get easily scrambled if you're paying the right kind of attention.

That's why the skill of mindfully stepping back and a healthy dose of skepticism are so useful to have for audio work and mixing.
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