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RTAS vs Audiosuite Spatial Processor Plugins
Old 27th August 2007
  #1
Gear Head
 

RTAS vs Audiosuite

This could have gone in the music computer section I guess...but it's a mastering issue too. I am asking in regards to my using Pro Tools, but I guess this applies to many audio programs.

Basically, using a plugin as a RTAS insert and processing the same media with the same plugin as in Audiosuite mode do not produce the same results. The processing always sounds better with the plugin as a RTAS insert.

I have asked the manufacturer about this and they wouldn't admit it. I think this issue is common knowledge, at least among Pro Tools users since we limited to bouncing things in real time more often.

Can someone elaborate as to why this discrepancy exists and what might be done to make an Audiosuite processed file sound more like it has been bounced through a RTAS plugin inserted on the track? What creates this problem? Obviously the computer is making the calculations much more quickly [with Audiosuite], but is it cutting corners that it doesn't cut when bouncing in real time [RTAS].

If it matters, the specific issue I am dealing with now has to do with the WAVES C1 compressor/gate. When I process files in Audiosuite mode I sometimes get little faint scratchy artifacts in the quiet parts between words [this is straight voiceover material]

Thanks. Sorry if this has been discussed before, the search engine didn't bring anything up.

Danny
Old 27th August 2007
  #2
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MattGray's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Are you using Pro Tools HD or Pro Tools LE? There is some slight differences with running RTAS inserts in HD compared to LE. But if you are running LE then both Audiosuite & RTAS should be running at 32bit floating point for the calculations.

Not to doubt that you are hearing a difference between the 2 formats, but have you tried doing a 'Null' test on both sets of processed files? Audiosuite your voice over with the C1, save the settings as a preset & copy them to the RTAS insert, then BTD the same voice over selection. Create a new session & drag the 2 files into the session on separate tracks, zoom into sample level & line the start points up so that they're in perfect sync visually. Now invert the phase on one of the tracks to check for 100% cancellation (silence) when you play them back together. If there's any differences you will hear them clearly.

If there are differences, I would look into it further, try some other plugins besides WAVES with the same test, to see if it's a bug with C1 or whether it's an Audiosuite issue.

Let us know what you find.

Matt
Old 27th August 2007
  #3
Gear Head
 

Using PT LE. I think I've heard others mention this discrepancy as well. But I never knew why it existed and what could be done. I'll do a null test later today.

Thanks.

Danny
Old 27th August 2007
  #4
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Jerry Tubb's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by dannymeltzer View Post
Using PT LE.
You might mention which versions of PT, Waves C1, and OS.

JT
Old 27th August 2007
  #5
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FossilTooth's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dannymeltzer View Post

Basically, using a plugin as a RTAS insert and processing the same media with the same plugin as in Audiosuite mode do not produce the same results. The processing always sounds better with the plugin as a RTAS insert.
Without ever scientifically testing it, I've always found this to be true.

If I'm running out of power, I always print processing to another track through a bus and then nudge.

I suppose there's a chance that this discrepancy is specific to certain plugins, rather than to the audiosuite process itself, so I'm not sure if it would show up in a single null test or not.
Old 27th August 2007
  #6
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Tubb View Post
You might mention which versions of PT, Waves C1, and OS.

JT
PT LE 7.3.1

Macbook with OS 10.4.9.

Waves C1 [most current LE version for use on Intel Macs]
Old 27th August 2007
  #7
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lobsterinn's Avatar
I have had the same experience for as long as I have used PTLE(~8 years). I have yet to find a plug in that sounds as good when run using audiosuite as opposed to bouncing.

I can't say I have bothered with a scientific test either- but just try to audiosuite something with a lot of high frequency information and tell me it doesn't sound hazier.

I am curious if this is related to the same problem that makes bouncing mixes to disk sound crappy in PT.
Old 27th August 2007
  #8
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s.d.finley's Avatar
Take the "dither" selection OFF in the AS menu in yer preferences....

Old 28th August 2007
  #9
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lobsterinn's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by s.d.finley View Post
Take the "dither" selection OFF in the AS menu in yer preferences....

That's weird. I'll check if it is on.

What would be the point of that? What would it be dithering? Shouldn't it stay at 24 bits anyway? Is PT set up to default with that option checked? Is that too many questions?
Old 28th August 2007
  #10
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by s.d.finley View Post
Take the "dither" selection OFF in the AS menu in yer preferences....

Hmm. I just tried that but it didn't seem to make a difference [for the problem I am having]. It's a voice track and when I audiosuite the Waves C1 onto it, I get little scratchy artifacts in the clear space btwn speech [where there is just room tone]. I am using the C1 to apply some downward expansion on the room tone, it sounds clean and clear in RTAS mode and I get the little scratchies in Audiosuite mode.

Danny
Old 28th August 2007
  #11
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Jerry Tubb's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by dannymeltzer View Post
It's a voice track and when I audiosuite the Waves C1 onto it, I get little scratchy artifacts in the clear space btwn speech [where there is just room tone].
You know... the Waves' C1 plug is a pretty ancient design, I think it came out in about '94.

You might want to try something a little more current and pristine sounding(?)

JT
Old 28th August 2007
  #12
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s.d.finley's Avatar
Hell, try the dynamics III!

sdf
Old 28th August 2007
  #13
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MattGray's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by dannymeltzer View Post
Hmm. I just tried that but it didn't seem to make a difference [for the problem I am having]. It's a voice track and when I audiosuite the Waves C1 onto it, I get little scratchy artifacts in the clear space btwn speech [where there is just room tone]. I am using the C1 to apply some downward expansion on the room tone, it sounds clean and clear in RTAS mode and I get the little scratchies in Audiosuite mode.

Danny
Why not just use the Digidesign Gate/Expander III instead? Seriously the C1 is very old now & I prefer the free Digidesign Gate/Expander III, it really does an excellent job at gating or downward expansion. See if you get the same scratchies with Audiosuite with this one.

Matt
Old 29th August 2007
  #14
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max cooper's Avatar
 

IME the same settings on most AS plugins yield different results as the same settings on RTAS.
Old 29th August 2007
  #15
Gear Head
 

Ok I'll try something else. I just wonder why this happens. Besides the ones suggested can you guys suggest some good compression/expansion plugins for voice tracks? Is the C4 any better?

I just am perplexed as to why this problem occurs. The track sounds great when bounced in real time. Maybe it's something specific to the C1.

Thanks for all your thoughts guys!

Danny
Old 29th August 2007
  #16
Gear Head
 

While we're discussing this...I'm sure this is old hat for people..but I didn't see anything in the archives...

In the PC world there are ways to mix out through many plugins and not be limited by Real Time bouncing. I am thinking of Vegas and SoundForge. Can't you export audio through whatever plugins you want in these programs and it all happens at the speed the computer can process and not in real time?

How can this be done on a Mac? I gather PT is limited in this regard. I'm sorry I have been a PT only guy for years now. Are there other programs that allow non-real time rendering? Peak Pro? I deal with LOOOONG programs [up to 30 hours] so sometimes it's hard to do real time stuff.

Danny
Old 29th August 2007
  #17
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loujudson's Avatar
Peak is way faster. I use it for long form file processing. You just have to find a setting that will work for the entire file, but it takes a tenth od the time or less. I often do two to three hour seminarmasters with Peak, and also process live sets before cutting up to songs...

Lou
Old 29th August 2007
  #18
Gear Head
 

Aha Peak eh? That'd be nice.

I hate the idea that if I am Audiosuiting a file I am getting a lesser result than a real time bounce. I mean, you'd never want to use it then.

For example, another issue is that I have right now is that I have 40 hours of MS recorded sound effects to decode into LR stereo. If I Audiosuite the tracks with the Waves S1 is it going to be significantly worse than rolling them out in real time through the S1?

I guess I'd better start doing these null tests.

Danny
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