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Different DAW's different sound?
Old 17th May 2006
  #1
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gsilbers's Avatar
 

Different DAW's different sound?

i ve read in many mags about bands and engineers saying that ProTools software sounds better than Logic or viceversa or Digital Performer than Cubase or Live etc.

they should all sound the same if they all have the same audio interface, no? i mean a software is just playing an audiofile (44.100 16bit) so it shouldnt matter no?

of course ProTools HD will sound beter than an mbox but if u have Logic Running on PT HD and then play the same audiofile on ProTools with the same HD it should sound the same. right/?
Old 17th May 2006
  #2
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Dont know about should but it doesnt.

And further still a mix played back through the mix bus of PT HD will sound different than through Protools Le.

All DAWs sound different.

Some say its not enough to worry about but, i think it is.
Old 17th May 2006
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pingu

And further still a mix played back through the mix bus of PT HD will sound different than through Protools Le.

A.
well thats what i was going for. if you u run the mix through LE it will go out through the digi001, 002 mbox and that WILL sound different than going through PT TDM that has to go through better D/A (HD, MIx etc.)

but thats comparing converters/hardware still and not the software itself.

maybe taking pro tools out of the equation will make it eaisier to discus.
Old 17th May 2006
  #4
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well there are many reasons why it does sound different, but I havent read anywhere that Pro Tools sounds better than anything.. quite the opposite.

In stuff I've read Nuendo and Samplitude are often referred to as the "best sounding". Its all subjective though.. depends what converters you use, what speakers you have etc etc.

But well... stuff gets done all the time on all the different systems, so dont worry about it. All studios sound different, all instruments sound different, everyone plays different, everyone hears different. Diffference is a good thing.

Vive la difference!.. as the french might say... if they cared.
Old 17th May 2006
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsilbers
well thats what i was going for. if you u run the mix through LE it will go out through the digi001, 002 mbox and that WILL sound different than going through PT TDM that has to go through better D/A (HD, MIx etc.)

but thats comparing converters/hardware still and not the software itself.

maybe taking pro tools out of the equation will make it eaisier to discus.


Im not talking about the converters at all.

The mix buss itself.

PT hd summing will sound different than PT le summing.
Old 17th May 2006
  #6
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i dont care much about the difference in sound but the engineers and musicians saying
how much a difference there is. of course the sponsorship for that product might have something to do w it.

about the mix bus in pro tools le and tdm .. hmmmm interesting. how can u tell if both requier different hardware that might change the outcome.?


just wanna have some facts straight.
Old 18th May 2006
  #7
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HD and LE operate a little differently. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong about any of the following statements. Especially where I say (I think).

HD is 48-bit fixed internal and LE is 32-bit float. Nuendo is also 32-bit float, as I think all native daws except for the new Sonar are. HD ( I think) applies some kind of dithering scheme on it's main busses while LE does not. HD's insert busses are 24-bits (I think) while LE operates 32-bit float throughout. This being the actual bus not "inside the plug" but the buss before and after a slot.

I'm sure HD and LE's internal plugin architechture(s) (inside the actual plugin) aren't the same word length. Well, not sure but "I think".

Regardless, inputting the exact same audio track into 48-bit fixed HD and a 32-bit float LE cannot (after twisting an identical knob in an identical way) produce mathematically identical results. They still MAY be close enough to audibly null though, leaving remnants so far down you'd never hear it on an null test. Note I said "may" because you'd have to actually do it to see. As far as sounding "better or worse", that's subjective I suppose.

Differences (if any) in the sound of summing can be realistically evaluated since LE allows digital output. You could exit HD and LE digitally and use the same DA converter set to see if there is an audible difference in summing. You'd have to use an LE system that accepts external clocking to clock each daw to the same master clock to eliminate that variable.

I think any difference you might hear loading the same session into both HD and LE (assuming the I/O and clocking were identical) would _partly_ be due to the differences in the internal math. What percentage? I don't know.

It would be interesting to see if a "faders and pans only" PT mix summed in LE and HD would cancel each other out.

Lawrence
Old 18th May 2006
  #8
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Don S's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawrence
HD and LE operate a little differently. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong about any of the following statements. Especially where I say (I think).

HD is 48-bit fixed internal and LE is 32-bit float. Nuendo is also 32-bit float, as I think all native daws except for the new Sonar are. HD ( I think) applies some kind of dithering scheme on it's main busses while LE does not. HD's insert busses are 24-bits (I think) while LE operates 32-bit float throughout. This being the actual bus not "inside the plug" but the buss before and after a slot.

I'm sure HD and LE's internal plugin architechture(s) (inside the actual plugin) aren't the same word length. Well, not sure but "I think".

Regardless, inputting the exact same audio track into 48-bit fixed HD and a 32-bit float LE cannot (after twisting an identical knob in an identical way) produce mathematically identical results. They still MAY be close enough to audibly null though, leaving remnants so far down you'd never hear it on an null test. Note I said "may" because you'd have to actually do it to see. As far as sounding "better or worse", that's subjective I suppose.

Differences (if any) in the sound of summing can be realistically evaluated since LE allows digital output. You could exit HD and LE digitally and use the same DA converter set to see if there is an audible difference in summing. You'd have to use an LE system that accepts external clocking to clock each daw to the same master clock to eliminate that variable.

I think any difference you might hear loading the same session into both HD and LE (assuming the I/O and clocking were identical) would _partly_ be due to the differences in the internal math. What percentage? I don't know.

It would be interesting to see if a "faders and pans only" PT mix summed in LE and HD would cancel each other out.

Lawrence
Hi Lawrence,

It seems that the higher bit rate DAWS would sound better, However, I've found that Pyramix at 32 floating sounds fantastic and dare I say "less digital" than others that have a higher bit rate.
Old 18th May 2006
  #9
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Many people say Nuendo sounds better than HD. Many disagree.

Let me add this...

I have mixed the same song in PTLE and Cubase SX and the mixes sounded different. More because of how I interact with the different interfaces than anything else I think. They have entirely different workflows. For whatever reason on one song the LE mix had more "punch" but the SX mix was much "warmer". In the end the SX mix sounded better to me.

I do feel SX sounds "better" than LE when evaluating summed raw tracks done in both. But it's all subjective.

Lawrence
Old 18th May 2006
  #10
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I was doing some really critical (SUPER SUPER CRITICAL) listening couple days ago. The SAME 96k/24bit audio file we recorded sounds totally different on different session files.

The session we were running probably had like 120 tracks, out of which only 60 were active... going from one session to another playing the SAME audio files, sounded totally different!

weird huh...tutt
Old 18th May 2006
  #11
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I really don´t give a ****, I mean, if I´m working with PT LE I´m "listening" to LE so I´m not worried about how it would sound in HD or Logic or whatever. When I work in Logic, I´m listening to Logic and I´m not worried about how it would sound in HD or LE.

I work a lot at home with LE and Logic. I do some programming in Logic and bring to PT and sounds different for whatever reason ( or I think it does !!) but I do some tweakinng and that´s it. Don´t know witch one sounds better but I like with what I end up when mixing in LE.

Maybe I´m to lazy but I don´t want this kind of things to slow my workflow more than they actually do, I just go ahead. It´s all about the music.

Old 18th May 2006
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawrence
Many people say Nuendo sounds better than HD. Many disagree.

Let me add this...

I have mixed the same song in PTLE and Cubase SX and the mixes sounded different. More because of how I interact with the different interfaces than anything else I think. They have entirely different workflows. For whatever reason on one song the LE mix had more "punch" but the SX mix was much "warmer". In the end the SX mix sounded better to me.

I do feel SX sounds "better" than LE when evaluating summed raw tracks done in both. But it's all subjective.

Lawrence
I hear a more than noticable difference between Nuendo and PTLE. Same here - I really liked the workflow in Nuendo. Maybe it just seemed easier to get the sound I wanted in Nuendo.
Old 18th May 2006
  #13
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mixerguy's Avatar
my gut says that PT, PT LE, Logic and DP all sound different..... internally.

my gut - that is.

Old 18th May 2006
  #14
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I agree that DAWS sound fractionally different , but i would not class that in the category of 'this sounds better than that' , no doubt there is different algorithms in various DAWS but most sound great these day's , i think worrying about workflow is more important than the 5/10% difference you might hear from DAW to DAW .

To make the point, i have heard great stuff from P.Tools TDM, Logic Pro and Nuendo , as i was listening i did not think 'wow program X sound horrible' ......
Old 18th May 2006
  #15
MDM
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Maybe some DAWs lend better for certain styles / schools of music :

eg Logic might be the most suited for dance / electronic production because of its environment situation

ProTools maybe more for the bands

Cubase maybe because you dont want a Mac but a PC and you grew up on it with the Atari and couldnt switch to Logic cuz you gut used to Cubase ...

Ableton Live for Remixing and DJ-types

etc

I am not saying it aint possible to do a great rock-production with Logic Pro or a great dub-remix on ProTools ... Just putting something on the table here.
Old 18th May 2006
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by espasonico
I really don´t give a ****, I mean, if I´m working with PT LE I´m "listening" to LE so I´m not worried about how it would sound in HD or Logic or whatever. When I work in Logic, I´m listening to Logic and I´m not worried about how it would sound in HD or LE.
Nor should you be, that would be silly. Work with the daw you have and make good music.

Lawrence
Old 28th May 2006
  #17
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Quote:
I have mixed the same song in PTLE and Cubase SX and the mixes sounded different. More because of how I interact with the different interfaces than anything else I think. They have entirely different workflows. For whatever reason on one song the LE mix had more "punch" but the SX mix was much "warmer". In the end the SX mix sounded better to me.
Exactly, the same results here with Nuendo. I just got 002 and am knocking myself out going back & forth A/Bing between Nuendo & 002/PTLE. Too many variables on my end to come close to any type of scientific results not the least of which is operator error but I'm determined to learn PT even if for now I think Nuendo does sound warmer. I mainly bought the 002 just to overdub with anyway.

I am however going to take a couple of files and sum here on 002 & on my friend's HD rig and compare. I did it with Nuendo & PTLE and the results were the same...dead on. They might sound different coming out of the two systems though but the math appears to have been the same.
Old 28th May 2006
  #18
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Quote:
applies some kind of dithering scheme on it's main busses while LE does not
Slapping an L2 set to 24bit on all busses and master fader in LE solves the issue. Once that has been done you will hear a difference.

Quote:
I think Nuendo does sound warmer
Try the L2 trick above and see if you still feel this way. Remember though make sure no noise shaping etc is selected and obviously no limiting.
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