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Is Protools the best sounding DAW?
Old 18th May 2018
  #721
Tui
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There really should be a sticky that explains bit depths, sample rates, phase cancellation tests and a few other fundamentals.
Old 19th May 2018
  #722
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomVY View Post
Errors raise the noise floor
Quote your source, please.
Old 19th May 2018
  #723
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stinkyfingers's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TomVY View Post
Is there a plugin that can measure db precisely enough to make sure that all the level changes are the same?
check this one out...this example is showing the difference between Purest Gain (Left) and Reaper's track fader (Right)...(both set to "-6")

it's only "accurate" up to 15 decimal places, but i thought it would be funny to show a lot more...
Attached Thumbnails
Is Protools the best sounding DAW?-pkmtr.png  

Last edited by stinkyfingers; 19th May 2018 at 11:44 AM..
Old 19th May 2018
  #724
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Hayat View Post
Quote your source, please.

does he mean quantization distortion?

see Shannon perhaps
Old 19th May 2018
  #725
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattiasnyc View Post
There were 171 posts after your last post, months ago. Did you read even one of them?

I didn't know that trolls quack. Apparently they do.
Sorry, been seriously ill so, no, i havent read many replies... there seems to be a few good ones though. Trolls quacking... O/T
Old 19th May 2018
  #726
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kennomac View Post
Sorry, been seriously ill so, no, i havent read many replies... there seems to be a few good ones though. Trolls quacking... O/T
Hope all's well and you're fully recovered.
Old 19th May 2018
  #727
Gear Head
 

Sticky fingers, that -5.999... for Purest gain set to -6 is just because unless you type the number into the plug in (which I haven't) found a way to do (only in Logic for 32 au) it''s not exactly -6db. But it still sounds better even though it's not possible to be as precise as Reaper. And I don't know much about how cpu architecture works but I realise they calculate at 80 bit. That doesn't mean the summing is 80 bit.
Old 19th May 2018
  #728
Gear Head
 

I thought that when coding a daw you specify float to set a 32 bit variable, double float for 64 and long double for 80 bit? So depending on which is used the cpu calculates at that resolution?
Old 21st May 2018
  #729
Airwindows
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomVY View Post
32 bit has more error, since the noise floor is a lot higher, and when mixing quiet sounds with loud ones in floating point, because of the way floating point scales you get a lot more errors. Purest gain noise shapes 80 bit calculation to 64 or 32 bit. That gives it a sound. I'll make some comparison files soon to prove this. I better hope I'm not wrong I though I suppose. But I'm pretty confident I'm right and you're all wrong.
I'm pretty confident you can't hear it either

Because I did NOT make PurestGain so that people could hear a big change from using ONE instance of it. It's just a way to do gain corrections where no matter how many instances of it you use, it'll still never add up to any problems with the sound.

I'm not going to argue with people who think that making gain changes and then truncating to 16 bit etc will still sound the same because 'dB': we disagree and won't ever agree, and that's fine.

I DO know how to make it so you hear the difference between digital files that are bit identical, though.

Play back the file once, normally. Then play it again, and WRECK the clock with jitter. Do enough of that and anybody will hear the difference

And yeah: float is 32, Mac CoreAudio uses Float32 which is their version of the same, double is 64, and if you do long double that's 80 (in some CPU architectures, more) and will have to be reduced to 64 bit to work with any known DAW. Anything that runs AUs is always 32 float. VSTs can be 32 float or 64 float, and Reaper at least offers that as an option: if you're coding VSTs you have to provide a dedicated copy of your code running in a routine called DoubleReplacing (I suppose you could use the 'adding' form of the routine) that reads and writes doubles instead of floats: the regular float version won't work with doubles automatically.

In my opinion the reason we go to this trouble is not that any one operation will RUIN YOUR SOUND FOREVAR, it's that audio processing uses SO many of these calculations, and when you don't care about resolution issues the sound quickly ends up being thin, crunchy and nasty. Since I hate that, I avoid it through resolution management (which you can't hear a single operation of, at least not at 32 bit float resolution).
Old 21st May 2018
  #730
Tui
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This discussion/argument has little to do with facts but everything with psychology. EVERYBODY knows that more is better - right? A billion bucks is better than a million, having 4 wives is better than 1 (well, I haven't tried that one ), and 64-bit is better than -32. It's only logical, isn't it.

If bit resolution couldn't be condensed to a simple number but was more difficult to describe, nobody in the industry and no bedroom artist would ever think or talk about it. Now, it is just so easy to advertise your gear as implementing 80-bit processing, so naturally, it is the best of the best. It has to be, since more is better.

When you think about it, once you've moved past 24-bit, resolution could only ever become an issue if you make some insane production decisions, like mixing your entire album at -120 dB. Maybe - maybe! - then the quietest passages would suffer from noise caused by rounding errors.

On the other hand and again for psychological reasons, hardly anybody talks about audible, nasty digital artefacts we are forced to listen to every day, such as pre- and post-ringing of digital filters. Very few gear manufacturers are honest enough to even address this issue.

Digital technology is not all perfect, yet bizarrely, discussions focus on aspects that are of no concern whatsoever.
Old 21st May 2018
  #731
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its been a very long minute since I've posted on this thread...recently updated to pro tools hdx.

All i have to say is is this:

When I import different ref mixes into pro tools vs S1 vs logic even using the same convertors, the ref mixes (which are identical) sound different to me.

When I pull up the same patch on a VI it sounds slightly different to me depending on the daw.

There is a noticeable difference between pro tools tdm and hdx.

I cant say one daw is better than another but I do react differently and make different production and mix choices depending on which daw I am in. I've tried to listen to the null police and experiment mixing and creating in other daws...it just doesnt work for me.

For mixing I prefer pro tools...for sequencing and production I prefer S1 and the translation between the 2 generally works for me.

This is how i choose to roll and it works for me...

ej

Old 21st May 2018
  #732
Airwindows
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tui View Post
This discussion/argument has little to do with facts but everything with psychology. EVERYBODY knows that more is better - right? A billion bucks is better than a million, having 4 wives is better than 1 (well, I haven't tried that one ), and 64-bit is better than -32. It's only logical, isn't it.

If bit resolution couldn't be condensed to a simple number but was more difficult to describe, nobody in the industry and no bedroom artist would ever think or talk about it. Now, it is just so easy to advertise your gear as implementing 80-bit processing, so naturally, it is the best of the best. It has to be, since more is better.

When you think about it, once you've moved past 24-bit, resolution could only ever become an issue if you make some insane production decisions, like mixing your entire album at -120 dB. Maybe - maybe! - then the quietest passages would suffer from noise caused by rounding errors.

On the other hand and again for psychological reasons, hardly anybody talks about audible, nasty digital artefacts we are forced to listen to every day, such as pre- and post-ringing of digital filters. Very few gear manufacturers are honest enough to even address this issue.

Digital technology is not all perfect, yet bizarrely, discussions focus on aspects that are of no concern whatsoever.
Well, I'm completely in agreement on pre-and-post-ringing of digital filters. Everything I do has no pre-ringing for that very reason. We're on the same page there, and you're absolutely right to raise the issue.

That said, you can't simply assert it's all psychology and dismiss things out of hand, and you're being a bit naive about digital math.

Once you've moved beyond 24-bit and your processing is being done in floating point (as with CoreAudio, 32-bit VST, any number of existing DAWs), the impression you're getting is 'since the resolution contains numbers down to arbitrarily small db, between 0.00000000596 and 340282346638528859811704183484516925440, there can never be a problem'.

Instead, if you're doing math with floats (and to a somewhat lesser extent, with doubles!) this happens: for every single math operation you do, you generate an expanded value that is then truncated to whatever the mantissa is for your exponent, at that range. (this is why I like to calculate small fp numbers only in the context of other comparably small fp numbers, where possible).

That means your floats are really undithered 24 bit samples, just scaled up and down as needed, and it means every math operation you do adds another layer of truncation to 24 bit, which is cumulative. (double is better, but it's not 'add another 32 bits' better, because the exponent also gets larger)

And when the DAW buss is 32 bit float, that means you're constantly going back to undithered 24 bit over and over, for certain sample values that are close to clipping the buss. (technically, slightly better, but not by all that much). That's only -144.49 dB s/n for every single calculation on a sample that's near clipping, and there can be thousands of said calculations, all of which are being done undithered if your variables are floats.

So, '32 bit' (if it was linear) would be 192.66 dB and 'stuff around -192dB' is utterly, totally impossible to hear, granted. But you're not really using 32 bits when you're using a float, and cumulative error piles up even from such a low level, and then you're also not starting from such a low level, you're starting from quantization to the mantissa, which is only small when your audio is near-silent.

Pre and post ringing is very important too however, you're not correct that resolution issues in digital math are insignificant. They're kind of insignificant if you carefully avoid doing any calculations, but this is 2018. We do lots of calculations now, and there are whole platforms where you constantly return to 23 bit mantissas for every little plugin (remember, there's a sign bit!)

And of course the summing mixer guys get to skip all this and simultaneously hide it under true analog noise
Old 22nd May 2018
  #733
Tui
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Post audio examples of resolution being an issue in 2018, meaning 24-bit and up, or I call BS (and no, I'm not "naive". This reminds me of other developers who have been disrespectful and lost me for a customer).

A dynamic range of "only -144.49 dB" is still beyond the very best analogue equipment we could use for listening to music, let alone the limited range of typical consumer gear.

With this post,

64 bit "sound" better then 32 bit?

I linked to audio clips I made using Logic's internal 32- versus 64-bit processing. As can be readily observed, the two files are identical with respect to size. They also cancel each other out.

As I said earlier, unless one makes insane production decisions and mixes radically outside the intended operating range of one's DAW, there are no audible differences.
Old 22nd May 2018
  #734
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tui View Post
Post audio examples of resolution being an issue in 2018, meaning 24-bit and up, or I call BS (and no, I'm not "naive". This reminds me of other developers who have been disrespectful and lost me for a customer).

A dynamic range of "only -144.49 dB" is still beyond the very best analogue equipment we could use for listening to music, let alone the limited range of typical consumer gear.

With this post,

64 bit "sound" better then 32 bit?

I linked to audio clips I made using Logic's internal 32- versus 64-bit processing. As can be readily observed, the two files are identical with respect to size. They also cancel each other out.

As I said earlier, unless one makes insane production decisions and mixes radically outside the intended operating range of one's DAW, there are no audible differences.
just curious...when you listen to the same mixed and mastered song in various daws (with the same convertors) do they sound the same to you?

it's an interesting scenario as we know in the beginning that it is the same exact identical file yet to me it can sound different whether listening in pro tools, logic, s1, quick time and itunes...why do you think?

ej
Old 22nd May 2018
  #735
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tui View Post

A dynamic range of "only -144.49 dB" is still beyond the very best analogue equipment we could use for listening to music
but most (quality) analog gear will distort nicely if clipped. Digital needs that 144 db to ensure a clean result throughout the process
Old 22nd May 2018
  #736
Tui
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Tui's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ejsongs View Post
just curious...when you listen to the same mixed and mastered song in various daws (with the same convertors) do they sound the same to you?
They must sound the same, just like two different versions of the number 7 are still a number 7. The placebo effect might mislead us into believing there's a difference, but knowing about this effect should prevent us from dwelling on it.
Old 22nd May 2018
  #737
Tui
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The dynamic range of commercially released music is really quite narrow, around 50dB or so.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4753356/

"The findings indicate that the dynamic range of music is generally smaller than the dynamic range of speech in quiet."

With a 24-bit system, this means in practice there's another 90dB or so of unused headroom.

Let me post this chart again. Take a look at what a dynamic range of 140dB entails:

Old 22nd May 2018
  #738
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So far, I have read every correctly administered blind test x2 results zero correlation with those who claim they can hear a DAW difference.

I must emphasize "correctly adiminstered" because most tests I read about in forums, when you start asking the test questions, flush out a lot of discrepencies.

More important if you want to believe differences exist, by all means believe that. At the end of the day will it have changed how you composed, produced, engineered, and sent to mastering your song?
Old 22nd May 2018
  #739
Tui
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Obviously, people are free to believe in whatever they want, including the big spaghetti monster in the sky (hey, I believe in that one. ).

However, please don't confuse your beliefs with demonstrable fact - unless you want to go full nihilist and suggest nothing can ever be knowable.

I wonder if photography forums are also haunted by this kind of silliness: "I'm certain I can tell the difference between two bit-identical TIFF images. This one over here looks so much brighter than the other one!"
Old 3rd June 2018
  #740
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pro tools 20
Old 4th June 2018
  #741
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Maybe by then they will fix the bugs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DenDen View Post
pro tools 20
Old 4th June 2018
  #742
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tui View Post
Obviously, people are free to believe in whatever they want, including the big spaghetti monster in the sky (hey, I believe in that one. ).
Dude. Really? It's a linguini monster. You must be blind.
Old 4th June 2018
  #743
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Jeff Hayat's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by onewire View Post
Dude. Really? It's a linguini monster. You must be blind.
Mmmm.... linguini with clam sauce.... I am hungry....
Old 17th March 2019
  #744
Here for the gear
Old thread but just go with whatever sounds better to you even if it’s all in your head.

Years ago, I started using Pro Tools after using Logic for years. I didn’t necessarily hate the workflow of PT but at that point I was used to using Logic. I could’ve sworn things sounded better in Pro Tools, mostly when it came to dynamics. Even when importing stems from Logic into Pro Tools things sounded much better and were more effortless to mix than inside of Logic.

After reading one of the million threads on this topic, I decided it was probably all in my head and went back to Logic. I opened up Pro Tools again years later and had the same experience of it sounding better by a mile. Haven’t looked back since. Maybe I’m crazy but hey, so is Rich Costey who has the same experience that we’ve all had.
Old 23rd March 2019
  #745
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Just seeing the OP’s original question it made me think. If a DAW changed any aspect of my audio without me manipulating it to do so, why would I want to use it? There is no holy grail DAW that will make your music sound better if your experience level with this type of thing is limited or non-existent. You got to learn the basics first and pretty much any DAW will reflect what you know. Features are what differentiates DAWs these days and Pro Tools tends to have the features that most people want.

Old 17th July 2019
  #746
mpr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danielsalvador View Post
I’ve used FL Studio, Reaper, and Pro Tools, but for some reason I felt that Pro Tools sounded how I was expecting sounds to sound.
Ive personally tested Reaper and Pro Tools with some other GSlutz.

The same 24 tracks summed internally on both DAWs produce mixes that null each other out to negative infinity = digital black = nada.

The only thing that doesn't null is our bias. Something about working on Pro Tools makes us think we are suddenly pros.

fwiw, after 20 years on Pro Tools I now use Reaper and love it.
Old 17th July 2019
  #747
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by danielsalvador View Post
I find the same thing.
actually you don't find the "same" thing. You find that Pro Tools sounds better. For every person who says PT sounds "best" I can find one who says Logic sounds best, or Samplitude, or Reaper.

Some of the folks you claim as "allies" say Pro Tools sounds worst.

Quote:
And it seems to make mixing different as well.
Workflow alone is sufficient to answer every question on how your mixes come out "different". Including why people don't agree on what these characteristics are. Prove the DAW consistently changes the sound without your input using objective testing, or admit you are just talking about your subjective impression.

You may think other people who also are incapable of proving it by test, and who also mistake their subjective impression for a fact, all "agree" with you. But they do not. Many of them think that Pro Tools is "The Harsh One"! That means they disagree with you even more than I do!

Quote:
I’ve used FL Studio, Reaper, and Pro Tools, but for some reason I felt that Pro Tools sounded how I was expecting sounds to sound.
there ought to be a rule that nobody can bump this thread without reading the entire thing. People should be forced to read every page, every post and only then, if they think they actually have something to ADD - should they bump.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zachlikestodrum
Maybe I’m crazy but hey, so is Rich Costey who has the same experience that we’ve all had.
Who is this "All?" Not me! And until you all agree on what these sonic 'characters' of the DAWs actually are, (which one is the "woody" sounding DAW?), unless you can play blindfold Name That DAW, the only experience we can say you ALL have in common is Placebo.
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