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Is there a sound difference in various DAW's ? Virtual Instrument Plugins
Old 9th September 2008
  #31
ROFLMAO

Yes you're being aggressive and not just a little ignorant right now. I don't know where to begin with your post to point out how little you clearly know about the subject, but great google skills there man, only took you a day and a half.

Your ad-hominem attack neatly sidestepped the rebuttals own technical points while focusing only on irrelevant technical banalities of naming convention! Well done pet you get semantics 101. Maybe one day when you've actually learnt a little bit about code, compilers, machine and OS architecture and yes DAWS and a lot about interacting with other human beings and can demonstrate any of that come back to me and we can have a civilized chat.

Meanwhile, the answer to the OP remains, No there is no difference in sound between the DAWS just difference in sound between the plugins/EQ's.
Old 9th September 2008
  #32
Gear Addict
 

You may think I'm nuts....and it could be just me..but...I swear Logic is a tad bit warmer sounding than others (non PTLE) like Cubase and Bias Deck.
Old 9th September 2008
  #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abery Clark View Post
You may think I'm nuts....and it could be just me..but...I swear Logic is a tad bit warmer sounding than others (non PTLE) like Cubase and Bias Deck.
Sorry. What you hear is no longer a valid criterion for evaluating DAWs. I can't believe you have the courage to make such an obviously flawed claim that can be so easily disproved by the scientists on this list.
Old 9th September 2008
  #34
Gear Maniac
 

About a month ago I moved from Logic 5.5 to Sonar 7 and I noticed a significant increase in audio quality.

But we are talking programs about 6 years apart in terms of release date
Old 9th September 2008
  #35
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarsBot View Post
Sorry. What you hear is no longer a valid criterion for evaluating DAWs. I can't believe you have the courage to make such an obviously flawed claim that can be so easily disproved by the scientists on this list.
Once I read someone exclaiming how he had compared PT and Nuendo and thought Nuendo sounded lots better. During the course of several followup posts, it turned out that he had done a project in PT the year before in a different studio with a different band using different converters. Then a year later, he works on another project on Nuendo and thinks it sounds better.

When I hear people saying "A is better than B," I'm always reminded of that story.

It's hard enough, from a human standpoint much less an aural standpoint, to compare two things that are sitting next to each other and get meaningful results.

That's one of the reasons I'm still skeptical. The obvious questions, that some newcomers overlook, are:

Did you use the same converters?

Did you use the same clock?

Did you use the same sampling frequency?

Did you use the same control room?

Did you use the same monitors/power amps?

Did you use the same program material?

Did you compare them on the same day?

(The human element, including health and disposition, all come into play. No way around that.)
Old 9th September 2008
  #36
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Chevron's Avatar
 

Lynn you are an inspiration to us all. Thanks for putting all this in perspective
Old 9th September 2008
  #37
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allencollins's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynn Fuston View Post
Once I read someone exclaiming how he had compared PT and Nuendo and thought Nuendo sounded lots better. During the course of several followup posts, it turned out that he had done a project in PT the year before in a different studio with a different band using different converters. Then a year later, he works on another project on Nuendo and thinks it sounds better.

When I hear people saying "A is better than B," I'm always reminded of that story.

It's hard enough, from a human standpoint much less an aural standpoint, to compare two things that are sitting next to each other and get meaningful results.

That's one of the reasons I'm still skeptical. The obvious questions, that some newcomers overlook, are:

Did you use the same converters?

Did you use the same clock?

Did you use the same sampling frequency?

Did you use the same control room?

Did you use the same monitors/power amps?

Did you use the same program material?

Did you compare them on the same day?

(The human element, including health and disposition, all come into play. No way around that.)


import a 24+ track project into mutliple DAW's, Mixdown in REALTIME not BOUNCE
but playback the 24tracks in REALTIME to a 2 track system of some sort with all the daws. Seriously just do it
Old 10th September 2008
  #38
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peeder's Avatar
 

If someone provides me with a test suite and the ability to run the tests on various DAWs to see if there is a difference I will attempt to reproduce their results.

Pan Laws, dithering algorithms, user interface settings (e.g. when the UI displays "70% left" etc.), float-fixed conversions, SRCs, etc. are all opportunities for differences that are either inaudible in practice or things that can be compensated for.

UA has a new video up of a guy claiming that Cubase's mix bus has a smoother top end than Pro Tools. I'm surprised they didn't edit that out for his own good. But if he is right, it should be easily amenable to testing.
Old 10th September 2008
  #39
Gear Head
 

When I was relatively new to digital recording I thought there may have been a slight difference I was hearing between various audio software recorders.

I tested DP against Protools and Ableton Live on the same machine using the same preamps, mics, soundcard etc. etc. and subjectively thought that DP sounded a little <ahem> warmer, mebbe...louder and "fuller" on the mixdown.

I have since concluded that this was simply not true and was entirely subjective. More importantly, I also decided that this hoary old chestnut is just not worth giving any more thought to.

There are FAR more important factors to consider in the process of recording great sounding music like writing fantastic songs, performing them with every ounce of heart and soul you (or your artists) posess, and capturing that moment to the best of your ability with whatever standard of gear you own.

Nobody in the real world gives a flying f**k about which DAW sounds "better".

To use another (imperfect) analogy: if you were to order a steak in a good restaurant, what would concern you most - the quality and provenance of the beef, how skilfully it was prepared, seasoned and cooked by the chef? Or whether the skillet he used was made by LeCruset or Aga?
Old 10th September 2008
  #40
Quote:
Originally Posted by allencollins View Post
import a 24+ track project into mutliple DAW's, Mixdown in REALTIME not BOUNCE
but playback the 24tracks in REALTIME to a 2 track system of some sort with all the daws. Seriously just do it
Quote:
Originally Posted by peeder View Post
If someone provides me with a test suite and the ability to run the tests on various DAWs to see if there is a difference I will attempt to reproduce their results.

"Seriously just do it?"

Seriously? Just did it. Four years ago. Want to read the test methodology? It's here:

The Rules for Testing - 3dB

(I don't think you'll read it, because I posted links to discussion about that project before in this thread. Your responses clearly indicate you have not read it. But if you do, you'll see that what you're proposing has already been done. Instead of suggesting someone reproduce a test that has already been done, why don't you look at the conclusions?)

If you don't like the results that we found four years ago, please conduct your own test. I'll be interested to see if your results confirm ours.

To be honest, there were only 22 tracks (11 stereo pairs), and the method of compiling them down to stereo was not specified.

Realtime, not bounce? Your reasoning? Now we've moved past the summing myth and we're onto the bounce myth? I addressed that one as well, but that was more like 6 years ago.

I've spent a lot of time and energy trying to figure out what is doing what. And trying to find out why things sound different. And IF they really sound different or if we're fooling ourselves. (It happens far more than any of us would care to admit.)

What exactly is it you're trying to prove?
Old 10th September 2008
  #41
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laser's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynn Fuston View Post
Throw plugins into the mix and all bets are off.
.....or fader movement, or panning, or bussing, or everything else that has do with a mix other than summing 11 stereo channels.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynn Fuston View Post
Let me be very specific though. I'm not saying all DAWs sound alike. All my testing proved was that summing ONLY, when done correctly, is the same on all the DAWs (that weren't broken) tested.
This is the crux of the issue. Why is it that people get into intense arguments over this issue when, at the end of the day, this is all we can prove?

I think Lynn's test clearly shows that, when summing 11 stereo channels, with no fader movement, no panning, no plug-ins, there is no difference in the results.

What I don't understand is:
a) Why some have a problem with that?
b) Why some can assert with total conviction that there is no difference in the sound of DAWs based on the above test?

Right now, it's the best research done on this subject and it shows us very little.

Laser
Old 10th September 2008
  #42
Quote:
Originally Posted by laser View Post
I think Lynn's test clearly shows that, when summing 11 stereo channels, with no fader movement, no panning, no plug-ins, there is no difference in the results.

What I don't understand is:
a) Why some have a problem with that?
b) Why some can assert with total conviction that there is no difference in the sound of DAWs based on the above test?

Right now, it's the best research done on this subject and it shows us very little.
As soon as someone figures out a way to compare two things with a near-infinite number of variables, then we'll be well on our way to a way to devising a test.

One thing I discovered in my testing is that a single variation, such as a value difference of .1 dB on one fader OR a value difference of 1 click on a pan setting (100< vs. 99<) OR moving ONE file of the 22 by ONE SAMPLE can cause an enormous change between two otherwise identical mixes.

Here's a quote from this thread dated March 2003.

So, what DID you learn? - 3dB

Quote:
So let's start a list of what we have discovered either before comparing these files or after listening to these files.

I'll start.

I knew that getting the difference signals to cancel, using the "invert and compare" method, might be difficult since all the platforms were so different. Surprisingly, on many platforms, this was not an issue at all.

I knew that the numerical difference signal would increase if there were differences in the mixes, but I didn't realize how great the change would be if only one small aspect of the mix changed. For instance, if you have two mixes that are absolutely identical, say the reference mix and the live mix, and you change the level on one fader by .1 db, the difference signal jumps from -infinity to -60 dBFS. That's a jump of over 84 dB!!

If however, you leave all the levels exactly the same and change just one panpot from >100 to >99, a very small change indeed and one that would doubtless be imperceptible to even most engineers, the difference signal jumps up by over 70 dB!! Wow.

But, if you have two identical mixes and you nudge just one track be an increment as small as one sample (1/48,000ths of a second), the difference signal jumps up by 80 dB!! I didn't know that.

So changing even one sample, or one level or one pan, will result in difference signals that are way above the 24-bit level and even are audible within a 16-bit mix window. Whether or not someone could pick two mixes apart that have one track panned >100 or >99 remains to be seen. Someone else can do that test. I just found it fascinating.

Here's a thread (from May 2004) that you may also find interesting.

How about a real-world DAW comparison? - 3dB
Old 10th September 2008
  #43
Hopefully it's clear that I'm not making this stuff up or trying to defend my position based on "I think so" or "I think I heard...." or "I know how computers work."

A group of over a dozen testers spent hours making these mix files and hundreds of people have listened to and commented on them. And it started for one reason. A lot of people were saying that the summing buses in different DAWs were different and each software version produced different results.

Until we finished the DAWSUM test, no one could definitively say "These platforms (A, B, C, D, E, F, etc.) presented with the same program material at identical levels are capable of producing numerically identical results."

Now we can.

Do they sound the same? You decide.
Old 10th September 2008
  #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynn Fuston View Post
This entire post I've quoted here is hogwash. Pure unadulterated hogwash.

Read this entire post again and believe the opposite is true of everything it says.


What a great quote! Welcome to gearslutz Lynn, and thanks for the amazing patience in taking the time to explain what by this point should be self-evident and further, to explain it to people who may have their minds made up no matter what.

As my dear old pappy used to say, "Don't confuse me with facts! My mind is made up already!"

Hope you don't mind if your quote becomes my new signature. I really cannot resist!

Oh, and no offense to you, Allen. Where would gs be without you? anyone who is bold enough to state intense hatred for an iconic guitar as beloved as the telecaster and not give a damn about the reaction receives my rather twisted admiration!

keep on crankin' good buddy!
Old 10th September 2008
  #45
Quote:
Originally Posted by ripper View Post
As my dear old paapy used to say, "Don't confuse me with facts! My mind is made up already!"
That's my ex.

"I know what I know. Don't try to confuse me with facts."
Old 10th September 2008
  #46
Gear Maniac
 
Nash_Dred's Avatar
 

Talking

The answer is no and yes.

I agree that identical audio files with no sample rate conversion or dither applied will remain identical when exported from different DAWs.

So how do they differ? The real difference comes when you combine or "mix" two or more audio signals, adjust levels or pan, and sum the audio down somehow (either stereo, multi-channel, or even mono). I know a lot of this has been posted already, and I thank those of you who responded with educated answers, but I wanted to lay it all out in one concise, simple explanation. Here's the scoop:

There are several reasons why different DAWs sound different, but the biggest one is probably the digital mechanics of the mix engine. Despite appearances, faders and pan knobs can have different effects from system to system, even when using identical positions. Some DAWs even allow you to adjust internal pan lawor fader gain. Another aspect of the digital mixer is internal bit depth, and although I believe this issue gets more fuss than it deserves, it is nonetheless a viable factor. There are a number of ways different DAWs manage internal headroom, with calculation types including (but far from limited to) 16- and 24-bit "fixed-point" math, to the more advanced 32- and 48-bit "floating-point" operations. The newest release of Sonar even claims to use "64-bit End to End" processing (thankfully, I'm a Mac owner, and have not had the means, time, or interest to check this out for myself).

There's a simple method for testing this: Import or record a few audio files in your favorite DAW. Adjust levels and pan, but do not do any editing or use any plug-ins. Write down all fader and pan positions (most DAWs will give you a number) and bounce with no dither or sample rate conversion. Now open up another DAW, import the raw audio files, and set the digital mixer to the exact settings used before. Bounce the mix (remember not to use any dither or sample rate conversion). Now open a new session in either DAW and import both bounces. Position the two files so that they are perfectly in sync, and flip the phase on either. If there is truly no difference between the mechanics of each DAW then the two audio files should cancel out, leaving silence.

Probably the biggest factor, especially when we're talking about audible difference, is dither. Without going into a very long and boring explanation, I'll suffice to say that dither is the process used to overcome the main shortcoming of digital audio system: the inability to accurately reproduce extremely low level signal changes. Dither introduces a small amount of noise to "smooth out" these rough low-level signal changes and reduce distortion. There are a virtually unlimited number of methods for doing this, and most DAWs use a proprietary algorithm. If you're really interested in learning about dither, join the Audio Engineering Society, or at least read some of their technical documents (I'd suggest putting on a pot of coffee first).

Alright, alright; enough with the technical jargon! The real question is "can you hear the difference?" and the answer is usually no. Most people are not going to be able to tell a real difference between DAWs, especially in a blind test. Moreover, the list of things that will give you a good end result starts with talent, instruments, and a good recording environment. The exact precision of your recording equipment or software is pretty far down on the list if you ask me. Remember that Sgt. Pepper was recorded on a four-track.

With that being said, I'll leave you with this:

When I first began to really branch out into software I was working as manager of the local "big-box" music store. I was a long-time Pro Tools user, but I was hearing a lot about another program called Logic. After obtaining a copy, I became fond of the program and began recommending it to customers who were becoming frustrated with some of the limitations of its Digidesign cousin. After a few months I started getting questions about the "sound of Logic". Customers were commenting that they noticed their mixes sounding "warmer" or having a "more defined low end" in Logic than in Pro Tools. I would assure them that there was no mathematical reasoning to account for such a difference. Secretly I was agreeing.
Old 10th September 2008
  #47
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mdoelger's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushmasterM4 View Post
Thanks to those who replied. And to those few who slammed me for not researching. I did research and thats why I asked. Some say yes, some say no. I wanted to know anyone knew of a professional test done. Thanks again
Cool, let's start a new thread about which DAW sounds best. And let's have a discussion about it every other week.

Only then will we find the truth!
Old 10th September 2008
  #48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nati_Dred View Post
There's a simple method for testing this: Import or record a few audio files in your favorite DAW. Adjust levels and pan, but do not do any editing or use any plug-ins. Write down all fader and pan positions (most DAWs will give you a number) and bounce with no dither or sample rate conversion. Now open up another DAW, import the raw audio files, and set the digital mixer to the exact settings used before. Bounce the mix (remember not to use any dither or sample rate conversion). Now open a new session in either DAW and import both bounces. Position the two files so that they are perfectly in sync, and flip the phase on either. If there is truly no difference between the mechanics of each DAW then the two audio files should cancel out, leaving silence.
Seems really simple. But what happens if the actual value of the fader is different than what you see? It says 6 but the actual value on one DAW is 6.02 dB.

And if one DAW's pan pot is using a 2.5 dB pan law and another using 3 dB? (This is not conjecture, it's fact.)

If you look at my post above about how extremely small changes in settings can results in huge differences in output, then you'll start getting an idea of how impossible doing this test would actually be.

BTW, if you're interested in a technical discussion of summing math, you might want to check out this thread:

Summing Math - 3dB
Old 10th September 2008
  #49
Gear Guru
 
Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynn Fuston View Post
Once I read someone exclaiming how he had compared PT and Nuendo and thought Nuendo sounded lots better. During the course of several followup posts, it turned out that he had done a project in PT the year before in a different studio with a different band using different converters. Then a year later, he works on another project on Nuendo and thinks it sounds better.

When I hear people saying "A is better than B," I'm always reminded of that story.

It's hard enough, from a human standpoint much less an aural standpoint, to compare two things that are sitting next to each other and get meaningful results.

That's one of the reasons I'm still skeptical. The obvious questions, that some newcomers overlook, are:

Did you use the same converters?

Did you use the same clock?

Did you use the same sampling frequency?

Did you use the same control room?

Did you use the same monitors/power amps?

Did you use the same program material?

Did you compare them on the same day?

(The human element, including health and disposition, all come into play. No way around that.)
I want to believe that they're all the same until you start fecking with the sounds, yet it does puzzle me that once Elliot Scheiner was saying exactly what you mention about Nuendo sounding noticeably better than PT. Now, this was with everything on your list the same and the ears of a guy who's made some great sounding records........find it a little confusing why he would state this so resolutely. Certainly no newb with confusion problems he's unaware of himself........

I'd still like to believe they're all the same though, and even if they're not it is arguably anal as if you can't get a good sound using any DAW out there these days it seems to me it most definitely is not the DAW's fault.....
Old 10th September 2008
  #50
Gear Maniac
 
Ladia - Audeum's Avatar
 

Post DAW Difference

Hi Guys !

I used to wonder about that myself until I tested it.
I'm using the same hardware configuration to run Cubase 4, AA 3.0, Nuendo and wave Lab with plenty of out board gear. I often track in any of these programs and transfer the files back and forth. If they are recorded with the same interface (SSL Mixpander) same, preamps, same set of converters and so on. It sounds the same.

For instance I track a vocal in in Nuendo, export it and insert in any of the above listed programs play it back save it export it and so on.. comparing the result file will sound the same if I drop it back in Nuendo and compare it to the original file side by side.

If you look at it this way, the analog signal is being converted to digital data and therefore it becomes just a binary code that is being captured by the DAW, if you use the same set of converters it will always sound the same as long as there is no corruption or digital sound processing alteration and capturing quality is kept the same.

Does that help ?
Old 10th September 2008
  #51
Gear Maniac
 
Ladia - Audeum's Avatar
 

Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karloff70 View Post
... once Elliot Scheiner was saying exactly what you mention about Nuendo sounding noticeably better than PT.
I believe that the answer is : with Pro Tools you have to use their proprietary hardware which often has lower quality preamps and convertors than whatever Elliot Scheiner used for his Nuendo setup.

That's why companies like Black Lion Audio trying to make up for the difference...
Old 10th September 2008
  #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ladia - Audeum View Post
I believe that the answer is : with Pro Tools you have to use their proprietary hardware which often has lower quality preamps and convertors than whatever Elliot Scheiner used for his Nuendo setup.

That's why companies like Black Lion Audio trying to make up for the difference...
In the interview I read he specifically says he compared the same files up the same desk in the same room a/b out of digidesign HD192 interfaces=nothing different at all except the software. How exactly do preamps come into this??
Old 10th September 2008
  #53
Gear Maniac
 
58lespaul's Avatar
 

"What I don't understand is:

a) Why some have a problem with that?"

Because Pro Tools is the industry standard damn it!!!

...

I'm just jesting, I've got nothing constructive to add to this conversation
Old 10th September 2008
  #54
Gear Maniac
 
Nash_Dred's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynn Fuston View Post
Seems really simple. But what happens if the actual value of the fader is different than what you see? It says 6 but the actual value on one DAW is 6.02 dB.

And if one DAW's pan pot is using a 2.5 dB pan law and another using 3 dB? (This is not conjecture, it's fact.)

If you look at my post above about how extremely small changes in settings can results in huge differences in output, then you'll start getting an idea of how impossible doing this test would actually be.

BTW, if you're interested in a technical discussion of summing math, you might want to check out this thread:

Summing Math - 3dB
You should read my post again. You're essentially agreeing with me.
And by the way, the test is not impossible. It has been done time and time again.
Old 10th September 2008
  #55
Gear Maniac
 
BushmasterM4's Avatar
 

Thanks for all the replies. And to Lynn for the link to the test they did awhile back. Maybe the new partical excellerator at CERN will help in our endevor to settle this debate. Or maybe a black hole will appear from it and suck us all up. Thanks again and I have come to the conclusion that, givin equal settings in the DAW's there is no audible difference to humans. Maybe dogs, though
Old 10th September 2008
  #56
One issue in these discussions is what 'the DAW' is. 'The DAW' is really just the summing engine. It has nothing to do with plugins, which are completely separate things. If you limit yourself to just the DAW and its summing engine, then the differences are going to be very small.

There will be small differences between a floating point and fixed point summing engine of course, but they won't be very large. They have different round off issues. Different floating point engines will be basically the same for the most part, despite claims above. All the machines any of us are going to use will have floating point processing that complies with the IEEE floating point specification, though there can be slightly differences in terms of the options used by compiler generated floating point code. But I'd imagine that there's lots of hand tuned assembler in the core parts of the DAW as well.

Testing of the DAW itself and it ssumming engine is very definitely legitimately done by way of the null test by running any audio track through two of them.

As mentioned, something like pan laws (which are always part of the DAW proper) and dither algorithms when you mix down (sometimes part of the DAW, sometimes done by plugs) can create subtle differences. So you should use equiv pan laws and third party SRC/dither if you are really testing the DAW itself and not their implementations of those algorithms.

As soon as you bring plugs into the mix, unless they are the same plugs on each DAW, then you will obviously start getting differences just as you would if you replaced one hardware EQ or Comp with another.

If you use any sort of time based effects, thos can cause lots of problems with null tests because the cycle of the time based effect may start at a different point in the cycle. So you need to be careful when you do comparative mixes even if you use the same effect plugin, and be sure to do the mix down in such a way that the plugin always starts with the effect at the same point, i.e. do the mix all the way from the start to end, or always from exactly the same point. Otherwise the sweep of a chorus or flanger or modulator can cause seeming differences where there really isn't one.
Old 10th September 2008
  #57
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Nati Dred:

There is no such things as mechanics in digital audio.

Sorry, I´m just teasing but I though the quote was funny like theres an old grandpa's whatch inside there somewhere,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nati_Dred View Post
There are several reasons why different DAWs sound different, but the biggest one is probably the digital mechanics of the mix engine.
Old 11th September 2008
  #58
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Timur Born's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Roddey View Post
One issue in these discussions is what 'the DAW' is. 'The DAW' is really just the summing engine. It has nothing to do with plugins, which are completely separate things. If you limit yourself to just the DAW and its summing engine, then the differences are going to be very small.
I'd like to ignore the summing engine (except for one question later in my post) discussion and concentrate on the playback and plugin part of DAWs.

I am very confident that the quality of the playback and plugin-engine can make a very audible difference when comparing DAWs. And I do not mean different plugins/effects which are bundled with different DAWs, but using the same external plugins with different DAWs.

My main DAW is Ableton Live at the moment and I know quite alot about its many quirks. One of the most problematic issues that I am trying to have reproduced and acknowledged by Ableton for more than 8 months is about timing/latency-shift problems on both VST + AU and both PC and Mac. Depending on various factors such as song-tempo, looping-methods, number of times and method of starting song-parts and size of Plugin-Buffers (not Audio-Buffers) Ableton Live can shift the delay/latency of both audio-clips and external plugins' audio-return (or maybe their midi-input, the result is the same). I can make that audible both with and without using cancellation tests!

The resulting effects are varrying from having whole audio-clips shifted by a set amount of latency or having only the Attack phase affected while Hold, Decay and Sustain are not. Even worse depending on the size of the Plugin-Buffers external plugins will suffer from varrying timing offsets instead of fixed ones. As you can imagine this all leads to audible sound-modulation, in some cases grossly audible modulation (like quick succession of 1/16 notes sounding as if some "swing" beat has been applied to them). On top of that this does not only affect online-playback but also offline-rendering to disc.

These are weaknesses of the Ableton Live engine I know about, but I can well imagine that other DAWs have other similiar weaknesses within their engine that affects their sounds when compared to the competition. And yes, in principle these weaknesses and differences should not exist at all and must be considered "broken" parts. The difficult part is to identify those mostly very subtle flaws and afterwards getting the manufacturer to understand the issue and fix the engine.

Quote:
Different floating point engines will be basically the same for the most part, despite claims above.
When thinking about floating-point engines I wonder about one thing: What are they internally calibrated to and does it make a difference? I know that with Ableton Live 0 dB is internally represented by 1.0! So any track's gain/volume going higher than 0 dB is represented by floating-point numbers above 1.0 and anything below 0 dB is represented by floating-point numbers of 0.xyz quality.

As far as I know only a limited number of integer values can be represented exactly by floating-point. So does it matter what 0 dB is calibrated to when talking about rounding-errors and exact representation? I don't know, but I wonder wether this makes any difference?
Old 11th September 2008
  #59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timur View Post
My main DAW is Ableton Live at the moment and I know quite alot about its many quirks. One of the most problematic issues that I am trying to have reproduced and acknowledged by Ableton for more than 8 months is about timing/latency-shift problems on both VST + AU and both PC and Mac. Depending on various factors such as song-tempo, looping-methods, number of times and method of starting song-parts and size of Plugin-Buffers (not Audio-Buffers) Ableton Live can shift the delay/latency of both audio-clips and external plugins' audio-return (or maybe their midi-input, the result is the same). I can make that audible both with and without using cancellation tests!

The resulting effects are varrying from having whole audio-clips shifted by a set amount of latency or having only the Attack phase affected while Hold, Decay and Sustain are not. Even worse depending on the size of the Plugin-Buffers external plugins will suffer from varrying timing offsets instead of fixed ones. As you can imagine this all leads to audible sound-modulation, in some cases grossly audible modulation (like quick succession of 1/16 notes sounding as if some "swing" beat has been applied to them). On top of that this does not only affect online-playback but also offline-rendering to disc.
And you're still working with it why?

It sounds like you're playing Russian Roulette with your audio.

How can you get any meaningful work done when it's a crap shoot every time you hit PLAY?
Old 11th September 2008
  #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynn Fuston View Post
And you're still working with it why?
1. There is no competition on the market when it comes to Live's "Session View" and its non-linear approach.

2. The one-man-band which I joined uses it for years for both recording and live performances.

3. I'm already in the market for another DAW to complement Ableton Live, any suggestions are very welcome:

Complementing Live 7: Logic 8 or Cubase 4.1?

Quote:
It sounds like you're playing Russian Roulette with your audio.

How can you get any meaningful work done when it's a crap shoot every time you hit PLAY?
1. I know about its problems and how to workaround them to get as consistent results as possible.

2. The audible results of the problems are mostly subtle when standing by themself and as long as you don't have a reference/comparison with another DAW it sounds as it sounds. In practice there is no right or wrong sound, there is just sound and means to control it (or lack thereof).

But since we are talking about the "differences of DAW engines" here, put them to reference with each other and discuss how digital sums are calculated you could say that Live's engine does it "wrong" compared to how it should work in a perfect world.

3. I'm discussing my ass off with (against) Ableton to have these things acknowledged and corrected!
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