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Studio one sounds thin
Old 26th November 2014
  #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonnBoy View Post
but I believe there are subtle differences. Not all DAWS were written and coded the exact same way, and therefore can have different characteristics.
Such as? DAWs just add up numbers synchronized to a clock and don't manipulate the frequency balance in any way. There is not more than one way to perform mathematical addition. 2 + 2 always equals 4 point 0. I'm curious to what the subtle differences and characteristics are that cause certain DAWs to make 2 + 2 equal 4 point WarmerMidRange. Also why do the subtle differences and characteristics not show up in a null test?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonnBoy View Post
It's subtle, and admittedly negligible to whether a program can produce quality audio, but my point was mainly to address the fact that it's not S1 making things sound thin, it's a solid audio engine.
What's in the engine? What goes on there? Cite sources. Here's one from one of the most popular DAW devs to get you started:

Audio Myths & DAW Wars
"If you hear some difference between DAW software, then it's coming from a setting, effect or option somewhere (numbered and discussed below) not from some inherent quality of the 'audio engine' (this term, by the way, has no meaning in the real world)."

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonnBoy View Post
Your prototypical GS cynicism is much appreciated though, I mean what would this forum be without you guys?
How was that cynicism? I don't think you are selfish. I think you know next to nothing about DSP and called you out on your false information. You speak entirely in vague terms about what you think exists and don't substantiate any of it.
Old 26th November 2014
  #32
Quote:
Originally Posted by JonnBoy View Post
I used to think the idea of different audio engines sounding different from DAW to DAW was bull, but I believe there are subtle differences. Not all DAWS were written and coded the exact same way, and therefore can have different characteristics. It's subtle, and admittedly negligible to whether a program can produce quality audio, but my point was mainly to address the fact that it's not S1 making things sound thin, it's a solid audio engine. Your prototypical GS cynicism is much appreciated though, I mean what would this forum be without you guys?
There's 2 ways to add signals in digital audio world. The right way and every other way. It's a mathematical formula; if your DAW isn't doing it right it's broken. If it IS doing it right, then it'll sound the same as every other DAW that's also doing it right.

Plugins aren't part of the "sound" of anything; you choose whether you use them or not, and many people rely mostly on 3rd party manufacturers.
Old 26th November 2014
  #33
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Have you guys actually tried null tests though?

Not to add fuel to the fire here, but the issue is that different DAWs actually don't null. They will null down 80-100 dB yes, but if you take what's left after a null test and boost it back up there are bits and pieces of the actual music left over in the quantization noise.

Clearly if (2+2)-(2+2)=0 then the result would ACTUALLY be 0 and instead the measured results we get in the real world are .000026. IMO this a very poor analogy in the first place as differential equations is far more complex than basic arithmetic and there are variables here that have no guarantee that they are being handled the same way between programs. I vaguely remember actually reading an article with the devs of S1 where they proudly stated that it has it's own sound...OTOH it has been well documented that LPX for instance has some pretty serious aliasing brought on by automation. Something like that is certainly audible.

I'm certainly not saying I conclusively know anything here...at the end of the day I believe even slightly different GUI's can affect/influence us, especially if it has a spectral analyzer. It all adds up in use and if the results between two daws are consistently different with the same operator then the proverbial shoe does/can fit.

Curiously I did a little stint with S1 about 2 years ago and for me it was fine until I tried to push things up to pop loudness/brightness levels, at which point I used the exact word "thin" to describe the results. OP should definitely be bouncing out wavs with no SRC though to at least compare apples to apples.
Old 26th November 2014
  #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanC View Post
Have you guys actually tried null tests though?

Not to add fuel to the fire here, but the issue is that different DAWs actually don't null. They will null down 80-100 dB yes, but if you take what's left after a null test and boost it back up there are bits and pieces of the actual music left over in the quantization noise.
Not true. Ableton Live nulls to Reaper. I've run the test myself (WAV 192k 32-bit float) with zero activity on Voxengo SPAN which goes down to -180 dB. Not sure where you're getting 80-100 dB figure from. Different pan laws? Clipping? Dither enabled? Clip fades?
Old 26th November 2014
  #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anstahc View Post
Such as? DAWs just add up numbers synchronized to a clock and don't manipulate the frequency balance in any way. There is not more than one way to perform mathematical addition. 2 + 2 always equals 4 point 0. I'm curious to what the subtle differences and characteristics are that cause certain DAWs to make 2 + 2 equal 4 point WarmerMidRange. Also why do the subtle differences and characteristics not show up in a null test?



What's in the engine? What goes on there? Cite sources. Here's one from one of the most popular DAW devs to get you started:

Audio Myths & DAW Wars
"If you hear some difference between DAW software, then it's coming from a setting, effect or option somewhere (numbered and discussed below) not from some inherent quality of the 'audio engine' (this term, by the way, has no meaning in the real world)."



How was that cynicism? I don't think you are selfish. I think you know next to nothing about DSP and called you out on your false information. You speak entirely in vague terms about what you think exists and don't substantiate any of it.
I don't deem to know much about DSP, and the reality is that a lot of it can be confirmation bias and the subtle differences in user interface, and settings that effect how things sound from mix to mix, DAW to DAW, user to user. I didn't pretend to know more than I know, but I apologize if it came off that way, I read the OP and responded to him saying he thinks it sounds thin. Maybe the misuse of the phrase "audio engine" incited some kind of feigned technical knowledge, but I do seem to notice differences with my ears, and it could very well be factors outside of digital signal processing like UI and settings. So thank you for calling that to my attention, I should have simply referred to how I think the DAW sounds to my ears rather than its 'audio engine'. This forum is where a lot of us guys learn little things like this. But a sarcastic "tell me more about this loch ness sound engine" offers nothing to me or the OP and is just kind of rude tbh. Be constructive, this isn't a who can be the most right or sarcastic contest. This is a supposed to be a forum about audio and learning more about it. Correct me, and politely educate me if I'm wrong, and don't "call me out." I'm not sensitive, but it just begins to annoy me as a GS user on all of these threads where someone responds in such an unconstructive manner and you end up having to sift through pages of useless word volleying to find any useful information, and it always starts with some cheeky comment taken the wrong way. Take a cue from psycho monkey and the guy below him, they simply offered real advice, and I learned something, and they didn't need to "call anyone out" first to get right to it either. I still think that S1 sounds awesome though which was my only real point
Old 26th November 2014
  #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonnBoy View Post
But a sarcastic "tell me more about this loch ness sound engine" offers nothing to me or the OP and is just kind of rude tbh. Be constructive, this isn't a who can be the most right or sarcastic contest. This is a supposed to be a forum about audio and learning more about it. Correct me, and politely educate me if I'm wrong, and don't "call me out." I'm not sensitive, but it just begins to annoy me as a GS user on all of these threads where someone responds in such an unconstructive manner and you end up having to sift through pages of useless word volleying to find any useful information, and it always starts with some cheeky comment taken the wrong way. Take a cue from psycho monkey and the guy below him, they simply offered real advice, and I learned something, and they didn't need to "call anyone out" first to get right to it either. I still think that S1 sounds awesome though which was my only real point
So much irony. It's pretty clear who is the bigger hindrance to learning in this thread. You making post after post of misinformation stated as fact and throwing out insults like "prototypical GS cynic" is far less constructive and useful than a quick joke I made after I had already made 4 posts of real information free of any sarcasm. The DAW issue was already clarified by myself and probably 5 other members well before psycho monkey and well before your initial post. It was only after you ignored all that and re-opened the pointless conversation for a second time that I made a quick joke. Lighten up.
Old 26th November 2014
  #37
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I like the way S1 sounds whatever it's doing as a program sounds good. My opinion is that it sounds great in fact. I doubt it's S1 itself making anything sound thin. Its most likely something else causing it to seem thin. It is my opinion that S1 sounds as good as any other DAW. My OPINION.
Old 26th November 2014
  #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anstahc View Post
Not true. Ableton Live nulls to Reaper. I've run the test myself (WAV 192k 32-bit float) with zero activity on Voxengo SPAN which goes down to -180 dB. Not sure where you're getting 80-100 dB figure from. Different pan laws? Clipping? Dither enabled? Clip fades?
Most of test I have done here involve various versions of PT...which allows for opening the exact same sessions automation and all.

But that makes a good point of what exactly we are testing. If you include automation and match the precise TC and db points you will start to see less nulling between daws, even though arguably the same math should apply.

Take for example this thread-

why does automation in Logic cause distortions

Clearly demonstrates measurable nonlinear behavior of DAWs WRT automation. It's very difficult to match automation at a sample level so it makes it hard to test, but if you compare the amount of spectral junk from one daw to another here they are not all exactly the same. Even true between PT native and TDM.

How much this is audible I have no proof for (aliasing is obviously audible), but if for example one DAW has worse performance WRT aliasing from automation than it does logically hold up that it would sound subjectively "thinner" than one that applies more internal smoothing, assuming automation is being used.
Old 26th November 2014
  #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanC View Post
Most of test I have done here involve various versions of PT...which allows for opening the exact same sessions automation and all.

But that makes a good point of what exactly we are testing. If you include automation and match the precise TC and db points you will start to see less nulling between daws, even though arguably the same math should apply.

Take for example this thread-

why does automation in Logic cause distortions

Clearly demonstrates measurable nonlinear behavior of DAWs WRT automation. It's very difficult to match automation at a sample level so it makes it hard to test, but if you compare the amount of spectral junk from one daw to another here they are not all exactly the same. Even true between PT native and TDM.

How much this is audible I have no proof for (aliasing is obviously audible), but if for example one DAW has worse performance WRT aliasing from automation than it does logically hold up that it would sound subjectively "thinner" than one that applies more internal smoothing, assuming automation is being used.
Why is automation part of the test? That's like adding plugins. You are modifying the audio prior to summing. Ableton Live you can't even snap automation points to the timeline or enter dB values. Just because the automation point says -3.0 dB does not mean it's not actually -3.04 dB. Impossible to test. Automation timing being delayed by even 1 sample @ 44100 samples per second will throw the whole test. Says nothing about DAWs summing audio. I don't see how automation timing discrepancies would at all contribute to frequency balance or audio sounding thinner anyway.

Edit: I missed the end. Point taken on aliasing, although I still say that's like adding stock plugins. Working @ 192k, that's not going to cause any changes that the human ear can pick up, IMO.
Old 26th November 2014
  #40
Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanC View Post
Most of test I have done here involve various versions of PT...which allows for opening the exact same sessions automation and all.

But that makes a good point of what exactly we are testing. If you include automation and match the precise TC and db points you will start to see less nulling between daws, even though arguably the same math should apply.

Take for example this thread-

why does automation in Logic cause distortions

Clearly demonstrates measurable nonlinear behavior of DAWs WRT automation. It's very difficult to match automation at a sample level so it makes it hard to test, but if you compare the amount of spectral junk from one daw to another here they are not all exactly the same. Even true between PT native and TDM.

How much this is audible I have no proof for (aliasing is obviously audible), but if for example one DAW has worse performance WRT aliasing from automation than it does logically hold up that it would sound subjectively "thinner" than one that applies more internal smoothing, assuming automation is being used.
The people who say a DAW sounds "thin" don't ever make any reference to automation; it's just inherent playing back a stereo file apparently.

Automation differences (I agree; hard to match) won't change the eq of a mix though will it? And if there's an audible difference between .1 of a dB of gain here or there is really debatable!
Old 27th November 2014
  #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
The people who say a DAW sounds "thin" don't ever make any reference to automation; it's just inherent playing back a stereo file apparently.
Right. I've never seen the post "This DAW sounds thin, but only after I start adding automation."

Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
Automation differences (I agree; hard to match) won't change the eq of a mix though will it? And if there's an audible difference between .1 of a dB of gain here or there is really debatable!
I think he's saying aliasing caused by automation could theoretically build up and create a thinner sound. Aliasing from automating plugin parameters does not put the DAW at fault, so I'm assuming we're strictly talking automating the fader/panner only. I have no knowledge of that creating aliasing problems so I can't speak on it. But let's say it does...unless you have a 400-track mix with all 400 faders being automated at all times, I don't see how it could possibly effect the mix to a degree that the human ear can detect.
Old 27th November 2014
  #42
Quote:
Originally Posted by anstahc View Post
Right. I've never seen the post "This DAW sounds thin, but only after I start adding automation."



I think he's saying aliasing caused by automation could theoretically build up and create a thinner sound. Aliasing from automating plugin parameters does not put the DAW at fault, so I'm assuming we're strictly talking automating the fader/panner only. I have no knowledge of that creating aliasing problems so I can't speak on it. But let's say it does...unless you have a 400-track mix with all 400 faders being automated at all times, I don't see how it could possibly effect the mix to a degree that the human ear can detect.
That's about the size of it.
Old 27th November 2014
  #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
The people who say a DAW sounds "thin" don't ever make any reference to automation; it's just inherent playing back a stereo file apparently.

Automation differences (I agree; hard to match) won't change the eq of a mix though will it? And if there's an audible difference between .1 of a dB of gain here or there is really debatable!
I don't know what other people say, but I think most are just acquiring an impression of their overall results from practical, day to day use. Which at least for me certainly does involve automation so to analyze the 'sound' of DAWs without comparing potential differences of the nonlinear effect of automation would be to leave variables out that are not left out in the real world.

The faster levels are changed in a daw the more aliasing is created. Aliasing creates non harmonic tones that were not in the original sound and are indeed audible. As a general rule aliasing due to automation or compressors that have a lot of it tends to create a lot of "junk" in the top octaves and absolutely can lend towards an mp3-ish quality. Subjectively I think the word "thin" would apply to that as well if not better to something specifically related to the transfer function.

If one daw smooths the automation more than another, or handles it differently in such a way that less/more aliasing is created then in a real world scenario it's plausible that it results in a different sound.

When people do null tests for DAWs, they drag files into the daw, leave everything at unity and show that the bounces null. All that PROVES is that it nulls with that small set of variables. Without a test that shows real world circumstances like automation and parallel processing, complex routing and all that put together, we haven't actually proved anything WRT real world use. Aliasing is one example, another is delay compensation engines....it only takes a handful of samples of something being off in order introduce comb filtering in the top octaves when parallel processing is used. Comb filtering also generally falling into the "thin" category.

But I'm not just personally hung up on *that*. If the only difference in something is completely psychosomatic, but yet I do consistently get different results on my end, then what does that mean? If the placebo effect works consistently than it seems foolish to ignore it. That all said I don't think the OP is even comparing apples to apples here...
Old 27th November 2014
  #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anstahc View Post
I think he's saying aliasing caused by automation could theoretically build up and create a thinner sound. Aliasing from automating plugin parameters does not put the DAW at fault, so I'm assuming we're strictly talking automating the fader/panner only. I have no knowledge of that creating aliasing problems so I can't speak on it. But let's say it does...unless you have a 400-track mix with all 400 faders being automated at all times, I don't see how it could possibly effect the mix to a degree that the human ear can detect.
Take ONE track with a sine wav, automate volume quickly and the aliasing is most certainly audible from that SINGLE track. There is no reason to assume that different automation smoothing algorithms cannot produce variability in results from plugins as well as volume automation (this would have to be tested). The reason we have oversampling in limiters and compressors is there expressly to reduce aliasing during fast changes of amplitude.

More to the point the jist of this debate resides around the idea that there is rigorous studied scientific data to support the idea that all daws sound the same. Rigorous science means that there was what's called a "fair test" which means that no potential variables have been left out of the test. I have yet to see any testing that demonstrates that it has accounted for all possible variables here. That doesn't disprove the hypothesis, but it absolutely demonstrates that this hypothesis is not scientific fact.

I'm not trying to be condescending or insulting here, but your (untested) assumption that it would require 400 tracks to be audible is textbook dodgy science. When you make a hypothesis, the onus is on you to prove it. If you ignore all that and extrapolate a simple test with limited variables and apply the results of that test to a complex scenario with variables that are unaccounted for and then make assumptions about how much it is audible, this is not science at all.
Old 27th November 2014
  #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanC View Post
I'm not trying to be condescending or insulting here,
No need for that. It's a civilized discussion. My ego and feelings take no part in this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanC View Post
but your (untested) assumption that it would require 400 tracks to be audible is textbook dodgy science. When you make a hypothesis, the onus is on you to prove it.
See attachment. That is not audible. I had already run that test before I made the 400 track claim. I don't doubt that certain DAWs may have automation issues, and I acknowledged your point in a previous post. But my test shows no difference. I don't know if I met all of the conditions to try and break the DAW to cause this problem, but in a real world scenario I don't jerk around the fader rapidly. 2 beats @ 120 bpm will do. Making that a necessary requirement to make your point is dodgy science as well.
Attached Thumbnails
Studio one sounds thin-sine_automation.jpg  
Old 27th November 2014
  #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anstahc View Post
No need for that. It's a civilized discussion. My ego and feelings take no part in this.



See attachment. That is not audible. I had already run that test before I made the 400 track claim. I don't just say things. I don't doubt that certain DAWs may have automation issues, and I acknowledged your point in a previous post. But my test shows no difference. I don't know if I met all of the conditions to try and break the DAW to cause this problem, but in a real world scenario I don't jerk around the fader rapidly, so a fade out and back in over the course of 4 beats @ 120 bpm is a realistic scenario IMO.
That's at 192? Try 44.1. Also while it may be the case that *you* don't have fades faster than XYZ, it would then be a hypothesis that "all daws sound the same provided you have no automation faster than XYZ". I regularly use automation that is much quicker than that.
Old 27th November 2014
  #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanC View Post
That's at 192? Try 44.1. Also while it may be the case that *you* don't have fades faster than XYZ, it would then be a hypothesis that "all daws sound the same provided you have no automation faster than XYZ". I regularly use automation that is much quicker than that.
That's alright, I'm stopping here man. You keep adding really specific anomalies to state this case, and even if they are reproduced, it still does not conclude that an overall mix will sound thinner than in another DAW. Let's say Ableton Live does have a terrible automation aliasing problem...unless the DAW it's being compared to does not also have the same problem, it's a pointless exercise. And like psycho suggested earlier, people are only making claims that a DAW sounds thinner/warmer than another. They are not making claims that it sounded fine until they started mixing and automating it and only then did it sound thin.
Old 27th November 2014
  #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anstahc View Post
That's alright, I'm stopping here man. You keep adding really specific anomalies to state this case, and even if they are reproduced, it still does not conclude that an overall mix will sound thinner than in another DAW. Let's say Ableton Live does have a terrible automation aliasing problem...unless the DAW it's being compared to does not also have the same problem, it's a pointless exercise. And like psycho suggested earlier, people are only making claims that a DAW sounds thinner/warmer than another. They are not making claims that it sounded fine until they started mixing and automating it and only then did it sound thin.
The jist of aliasing vs amplitude modulation boils down to the faster the modulation the more the aliasing, the higher the sample rate (with same modulation speed) the less the aliasing. This is why plugins have oversampling modes. So testing this at 192 with a slow fade is the exact circumstances that will produce a result that supports your hypothesis.

I can't speak for anyone else, but personally I notice a difference in DAWs when I see projects through to the last step, when squeezing the last dB's of loudness out of them, when there are a lot of tracks and a lot of automation etc. AFAIC this is where the rubber meets the road.

Don't get me wrong, there is no doubt that some people are strictly getting 'different' results due to GUI, workflow, all the psychosomatic things like even how much they spent on it when the differences *aren't* actually there. But that doesn't equate to proof that there aren't measurable differences that come up.
Old 27th November 2014
  #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanC View Post
The jist of aliasing vs amplitude modulation boils down to the faster the modulation the more the aliasing, the higher the sample rate (when the other two stay the same) the less the aliasing. This is why plugins have oversampling modes. So testing this at 192 with a slow fade is the exact circumstances that will produce a result that supports your hypothesis.

I can't speak for anyone else, but personally I notice a difference in DAWs when I see projects through to the last step, when squeezing the last dB's of loudness out of them, when there are a lot of tracks and a lot of automation etc. AFAIC this is where the rubber meets the road.

Don't get me wrong, there is no doubt that some people are strictly getting 'different' results due to GUI, workflow, all the psychosomatic things like even how much they spent on it when the differences *aren't* actually there. But the expectation bias there doesn't prove that there aren't any actual measurable differences either.
Blaming this on 192k vs 44.1k just proves my point that it's not the DAW's fault, it's the sample rate. 192k is less of a problem than 44.1k in Ableton as it is in any other DAW, so that's a moot point. Anyway, testing with a slow fade (hardly call 2 beats "slow", but..) supports the hypothesis just as a rapid change supports yours. If you are talking about quick fade-ins, that aliasing will only happen during the fade in. You are saying its split second fast, so the "aliasing thin sound" should also be split second fast. People claim that the DAW always sounds thin, not in brief spurts and only on certain tracks. Not to mention that because the audio itself will be less than its unity gain during the fades, the aliasing will also be much attenuated. Some more dodgy science for you, but 99% of tracks do not have the fader oscillating back and forth rapidly continuously throughout the song. So this is hardly a factor.

I understand all your arguments. But once the user's decision-making is introduced in the process, I look at it as all bets are off. Say one mixer is using 44.1k in Logic, and another 192k in Ableton. The first guy gets the aliasing on a certain track. If he's a good mixer he will hear a harsher high end and shelf the top end on his EQ another dB or so. The second guy does not get the aliasing. He leaves his EQ as is. Assuming they are good mixers with good ears, the end result is the same. Your aliasing argument is only valid assuming the sound goes AS IS to the master bus and never goes through any other plugin that affects its high end. Otherwise it comes down to the skill of the mixer and the tweaks he makes to plugins that control the fate of the high end. You see my point? When you start throwing in all these other variables that are completely entangled in the user's decision-making, you can't possibly do a controlled experiment and make any objective conclusions. The only objective one you can make is how do these DAWs compare before the user starts messing with it, changing settings, adding plugins, adding automation, etc.
Old 27th November 2014
  #50
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Here's fast anyway.

Definitely can't hear that little section from 30k-50k.
Attached Thumbnails
Studio one sounds thin-sine_automation_fast.jpg  
Old 28th November 2014
  #51
Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanC View Post
I don't know what other people say, but I think most are just acquiring an impression of their overall results from practical, day to day use. Which at least for me certainly does involve automation so to analyze the 'sound' of DAWs without comparing potential differences of the nonlinear effect of automation would be to leave variables out that are not left out in the real world.

The faster levels are changed in a daw the more aliasing is created. Aliasing creates non harmonic tones that were not in the original sound and are indeed audible. As a general rule aliasing due to automation or compressors that have a lot of it tends to create a lot of "junk" in the top octaves and absolutely can lend towards an mp3-ish quality. Subjectively I think the word "thin" would apply to that as well if not better to something specifically related to the transfer function.

If one daw smooths the automation more than another, or handles it differently in such a way that less/more aliasing is created then in a real world scenario it's plausible that it results in a different sound.

When people do null tests for DAWs, they drag files into the daw, leave everything at unity and show that the bounces null. All that PROVES is that it nulls with that small set of variables. Without a test that shows real world circumstances like automation and parallel processing, complex routing and all that put together, we haven't actually proved anything WRT real world use. Aliasing is one example, another is delay compensation engines....it only takes a handful of samples of something being off in order introduce comb filtering in the top octaves when parallel processing is used. Comb filtering also generally falling into the "thin" category.

But I'm not just personally hung up on *that*. If the only difference in something is completely psychosomatic, but yet I do consistently get different results on my end, then what does that mean? If the placebo effect works consistently than it seems foolish to ignore it. That all said I don't think the OP is even comparing apples to apples here...
I think you're putting cart before horse here.

There are people that swear blind that simply playing back a stereo file in different DAWs sounds "different".

There are others who are convinced that the included plugins should somehow be included in the "sound" of a DAW.

And yet no-one agrees on what is the "fat" sounding DAW, which is brittle, which is muddy, etc. And few actually do any sort of testing - "I just hear it man!"

I don't doubt there may be some truth in what you say, but it's vastly advanced of the basic points some can't get past.

I also struggle to believe that ANY sort of aliasing or distortion will consistently make something sound "thin". Why not muddy sometimes? Surely it depends on the content of the source?

Equally - if a null test is simplicity, yours is overkill compared to an Actusl mix. Even heavily automated mixes aren't that busy with automation in general - any audible effects will be many magnitudes smaller. IMO.
Old 28th November 2014
  #52
Gear Addict
One thing I notice is that most developers will tell you there's no difference, and audio engineers will be the ones arguing the points against the guys who coded the software.
I have seen such arguments between users, and developers on KVR, and yes the developers always win these arguments.
Old 28th November 2014
  #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattmaN View Post
One thing I notice is that most developers will tell you there's no difference, and audio engineers will be the ones arguing the points against the guys who coded the software.
I have seen such arguments between users, and developers on KVR, and yes the developers always win these arguments.
The only thing that's been offered so far is aliasing from automation done at a certain sample rate in a certain fashion and assuming the mixer does nothing else to evaluate and influence the high end. Weak argument at best. (Good) DAWs null.
Old 29th November 2014
  #54
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Will The Weirdo's Avatar
Studio One is a fantastic tool that I've gotten world class results from. Spend the time and learn your tool, or just return to the tool you used before...... but never blame a good tool for your shortcomings. In the end, it is all about our manipulation and understanding of our tools.
Old 2nd December 2014
  #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anstahc View Post
Why is automation part of the test? That's like adding plugins. You are modifying the audio prior to summing. Ableton Live you can't even snap automation points to the timeline or enter dB values. Just because the automation point says -3.0 dB does not mean it's not actually -3.04 dB. Impossible to test. Automation timing being delayed by even 1 sample @ 44100 samples per second will throw the whole test. Says nothing about DAWs summing audio. I don't see how automation timing discrepancies would at all contribute to frequency balance or audio sounding thinner anyway.

Edit: I missed the end. Point taken on aliasing, although I still say that's like adding stock plugins. Working @ 192k, that's not going to cause any changes that the human ear can pick up, IMO.

But isn't that the point? Someone says (insert DAW) sounds thin, better, whatever and 10 guys come out saying it's all 1's and 0's but then ignore that a DAW that you just use to put an audio file in to playback might as well be SoundForge or iTunes. That's not how people use DAWs. People do use the included plugins, they do use the automation portion of the DAW. That will affect the sound because included plugins, automation and panning laws play a big part on how a DAW sounds to someone who is using it. That's not even taking into account any VST processing bugs/features etc. that some DAWs introduce into the mix.

The audio summing is like maybe 2% of why people choose a DAW. I use 3 different DAWs at any given time(Logic, Live, Studio One) I can get similar results in all 3 but Logic's plugins sound better than Lives and Studio One's, imo. Studio One's plugin have a very precise clean sound to them which is perfect for more clinical work. Live is a little of both and sounds better because Ableton upgraded their plugins with version 9.

On that same note if I fire up Maschine in one DAW, it sounds pretty much the same in another.
Old 3rd December 2014
  #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apoclypse View Post
That's not how people use DAWs. People do use the included plugins, they do use the automation portion of the DAW. That will affect the sound because included plugins, automation and panning laws play a big part on how a DAW sounds to someone who is using it. That's not even taking into account any VST processing bugs/features etc. that some DAWs introduce into the mix.
Because when you add all that extra stuff, you are now inside the mixing process. You can no longer make any objective judgments about the DAW. Say you mix a track in Ableton and it's par for the course. Then the next day you mix a track in Studio One and it sounds thin to you compared to your Ableton work the previous day.

How do you know the thin sound comes from the DAW, and not because the source material for the S1 mix was recorded brighter than the Ableton mix?

How do you know the thin sound comes from the DAW, and not simply because you had to use more EQs on the S1 mix to account for the brighter material, thus introducing more artifacts and phase smearing?

How do you know the thin sound comes from the DAW, and not because you didn't do as good of a job EQing the harsh top end on the S1 mix as you did on the Ableton mix? People have off days.

How do you know the thin sound comes from the DAW, and not simply because of the arrangement (higher key, different instrumentation, sparse vs. dense layering, etc.)? A track with nothing but an 808 and high octave piano is not going to have a warm mid range no matter what you do. A track with tons of layers is going to crowd the lower mids and sound muddy.

What mixer who is faced with a harsh top end says to himself "well I had to shelf that down 6 dB but I usually shelf down much less in Ableton...must be S1's fault". Or "shelfing down 6 dB was the correct answer, but this still sounds thin so it's gotta be automation or something else the DAW is doing". You can't possibly make that determination because all source material is different. All songs are different. Once you throw in all these other factors it comes down to the mixer's ears and abilities. Things like automation aliasing aren't even footnotes compared to the million other things that rank higher when it comes to what is contributing to a mix sounding thin or not. It is nonsensical to point the finger in that direction when you have 50+ tracks of unique source material and probably 100+ instances of plugins all which have been manipulated according to the mixer's skill level. And like I said before, no one is claiming the mix sounded great in the DAW until they added automation, or until they added parallel processing. It's always an affirmative declaration of how the DAW always sounds at all times on all mixes.
Old 3rd December 2014
  #57
Quote:
Originally Posted by apoclypse View Post
But isn't that the point? Someone says (insert DAW) sounds thin, better, whatever and 10 guys come out saying it's all 1's and 0's but then ignore that a DAW that you just use to put an audio file in to playback might as well be SoundForge or iTunes. That's not how people use DAWs. People do use the included plugins, they do use the automation portion of the DAW. That will affect the sound because included plugins, automation and panning laws play a big part on how a DAW sounds to someone who is using it. That's not even taking into account any VST processing bugs/features etc. that some DAWs introduce into the mix.

The audio summing is like maybe 2% of why people choose a DAW. I use 3 different DAWs at any given time(Logic, Live, Studio One) I can get similar results in all 3 but Logic's plugins sound better than Lives and Studio One's, imo. Studio One's plugin have a very precise clean sound to them which is perfect for more clinical work. Live is a little of both and sounds better because Ableton upgraded their plugins with version 9.

On that same note if I fire up Maschine in one DAW, it sounds pretty much the same in another.
You don't HAVE to use the included plugins - I use very few of my DAW's built in plugins. plus you can use any given EQ to make a "thin" sound, or a "fat" sound and so on.

Automation - yes, if every time you turned automation on, the sound changed, one could argue that automation of a DAW has a "sound". But it doesn't. If under extreme circumstances, automation noise was audible - then that's something to bear in mind.

Pan law - I wish people understood this properly. Pan law is nothing but a tactile thing - it doesn't have a "sound". Imagine you have a 2 mixing desks, both with 1 to 10 on their faders. But the scales are different - to get the same level on desk one as desk two, you have to set the faders on desk 1 to "5", but the faders on desk two to "6".

That's how pan law works it's simply a different scale. It's a matter of physics that using 2 different pan laws, you can get the exact same result - your faders will just be in different positions.

In fact, it's the exact opposite of what you're suggesting - it doesn't give a DAW a "sound", but it might influence how the person using it mixes and the results they get.
Old 3rd December 2014
  #58
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47radAR's Avatar
 

Not saying that the OP or anyone else in this thread is guilty of this but, in my experience, this sort of observation (this DAW sounds different from that one) usually stems from the thought process of "It CAN'T be my fault…so it must be something else."
Old 3rd December 2014
  #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
You don't HAVE to use the included plugins - I use very few of my DAW's built in plugins. plus you can use any given EQ to make a "thin" sound, or a "fat" sound and so on.

Automation - yes, if every time you turned automation on, the sound changed, one could argue that automation of a DAW has a "sound". But it doesn't. If under extreme circumstances, automation noise was audible - then that's something to bear in mind.

Pan law - I wish people understood this properly. Pan law is nothing but a tactile thing - it doesn't have a "sound". Imagine you have a 2 mixing desks, both with 1 to 10 on their faders. But the scales are different - to get the same level on desk one as desk two, you have to set the faders on desk 1 to "5", but the faders on desk two to "6".

That's how pan law works it's simply a different scale. It's a matter of physics that using 2 different pan laws, you can get the exact same result - your faders will just be in different positions.

In fact, it's the exact opposite of what you're suggesting - it doesn't give a DAW a "sound", but it might influence how the person using it mixes and the results they get.
Yes but the fact that people don't understand how or what pan laws are will effect how they use them and how they compare them to other DAWs. Pan laws don't give yo a sound but the person using them does and not knowing how one DAW relates to another in this respect will give you different results. Which sure you can definitely blame the user for their ignorance, it still doesn't change the fact that people make that mistake all the time and the results they get will be dependent on their understanding.

The fact that one DAW differs to another in this respect is already a hurdle that most people won't actually get or bother to research in the first place, which will give them a different result each time they move to another platform if they try to match settings.
Old 3rd December 2014
  #60
Quote:
Originally Posted by apoclypse View Post
Yes but the fact that people don't understand how or what pan laws are will effect how they use them and how they compare them to other DAWs. Pan laws don't give yo a sound but the person using them does and not knowing how one DAW relates to another in this respect will give you different results. Which sure you can definitely blame the user for their ignorance, it still doesn't change the fact that people make that mistake all the time and the results they get will be dependent on their understanding.

The fact that one DAW differs to another in this respect is already a hurdle that most people won't actually get or bother to research in the first place, which will give them a different result each time they move to another platform if they try to match settings.
If you use your ears, it really isn't relevant.

Literally all a pan law does is change how the source's level is affected as it moves across the stereo field - in fact, there's no reason to have anything other than "flat" pan law when working digitally. The only reason we do is because analogue consoles had to have one of several compromise solutions in order to build a pan pot out of two potentiometers. It's just "legacy" really.

But if you pan something and it's a bit loud in a certain position, turn it down! If it's too quiet, turn it up! I couldn't actually tell you what pan law I use, because I don't think I've ever checked - if you're listening you should be compensating for any level changes.

I really don't think anyone who correctly understands a pan law could use it as a reason for why a DAW might sound "thin". It might be a reason why 2 static balances with identical fader levels don't null and sound a bit different, but some level adjustments would fix that.

If you move to a different platform and are matching settings....you should ge using your ears more. I really think it's a tenuous, unlikely explanation, and at any rate the DAW itself doesn't "sound different" - the user is just operating it differently, which self evidently prices the DAW doesn't have a "sound" because of this reason.

You've not mentioned my point re plugins, but I take it you see the logic there - they can't be part of the "sound" of something if you don't use it. I do completely see why you might pick a DAW because of the whole package.
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