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Question about rendering and DA conversion.
Old 17th September 2017
  #1
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Question about rendering and DA conversion.

This is a very amateur question so it possibly does not belong in this sub.

When I render a song to a wav, say in reaper, am I using the DA conversion quality of my interface? Or is DA just responsible for playback?

If it is not the DA conversion, what determines rendering quality?
Old 17th September 2017
  #2
Quote:
Originally Posted by thevisi0nary View Post
This is a very amateur question so it possibly does not belong in this sub.

When I render a song to a wav, say in reaper, am I using the DA conversion quality of my interface? Or is DA just responsible for playback?

If it is not the DA conversion, what determines rendering quality?
No you are not. Digital to Analog conversion only happens when you go to analog, if you have a hardware mixbus or speakers
Old 18th September 2017
  #3
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thevisi0nary's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MatsNo View Post
No you are not. Digital to Analog conversion only happens when you go to analog, if you have a hardware mixbus or speakers
Got it, thank you. So what is it exactly that determines rendering quality? The daw itself? Does your computer have anything to do with it?
Old 18th September 2017
  #4
Registered User
Rendering can be done in various ways - and in the early days of Protools, for example, they stuffed this up and people went mad for exernal summing because Protools got it so wrong.

Think about it this way ... when you are mixing, everything is running in real time at your clock speed. What you hear coming through your speakers has passed through your D/A obviously - but the digital waveform that represents your final mix is what you want to capture when rendering.

If your rendering code does it in real time, there is no reason why the rendered wavefile should not be exactly the same as what you heard while mixing.

But most DAWs don't render in realtime - who has the time for that? So the processing is done as fast as possible. In theory - that should be fine. As long as all the mathematical calculations are done correctly, it should not matter how fast they are done. In theory.

In practice - digital code developers take all sorts of shortcuts and make all sorts of assumptions - and with a highly complex sysem of software written by multiple developers, held together by sticky tape and prayer - what is the chance that some things won't be done exactly the same? Some plugins will have different qulaity modes for rendering vs playback.

If your DAW has options for real time rendering or fast rendering, you could always render a file both ways and then do a null test to see if they are exactly the same.
Old 18th September 2017
  #5
"Rendering" or printing a final mix should either be done in real time or offline then checked in realtime. Offline rendering for anything final is a false economy.
Old 18th September 2017
  #6
The DAC is the "Windshield" of the DAW, if the DAW was a Car.

If you can see the road better, your eyes won't be stressed.
Old 18th September 2017
  #7
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
"Rendering" or printing a final mix should either be done in real time or offline then checked in realtime. Offline rendering for anything final is a false economy.
I don't agree. Ideally we check everything before it gets delivered, but in the real world that may not happen.
Old 18th September 2017
  #8
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thevisi0nary View Post
Got it, thank you. So what is it exactly that determines rendering quality? The daw itself? Does your computer have anything to do with it?
The first thing to do is to read the manual. It should tell you if the DAW does anything differently during realtime versus offline (faster-than-realtime) renders. If it says it's the same, or if it says nothing, then you could as someone pointed out do one realtime render and one offline, line them up next to each other in a new project, invert the phase on one, and see if you see/hear anything. If not, then there's no difference.

If there is a difference it could hypothetically be automation running at different "accuracy" (for lack of better terminology) or something else.

The quality of the render should really not be different from what you hear when you play back in real time. If anything it should be better, but I would argue preferably exactly the same.

Either way I wouldn't worry about it.
Old 18th September 2017
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattiasnyc View Post
I don't agree. Ideally we check everything before it gets delivered, but in the real world that may not happen.
If you're printing a 3hr directors commentary, I can understand why you might send to client with the proviso "check through yourself, or pay me per hour to do so for you".

If it's a 3min pop song - no excuse for sending it right first time really (though I'm sure we've all done it).
Old 18th September 2017
  #10
Gear Guru
 

Sure, I agree.
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