Quantcast
Sound quality of iTunes sucks compared to DAW - Gearspace.com
The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
Sound quality of iTunes sucks compared to DAW
Old 1 week ago
  #1
Lives for gear
 
Piedpiper's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Sound quality of iTunes sucks compared to DAW

I've been mastering a very challenging massive 4 disc 80 song retrospective of mostly rock and getting confused by the difference in sound quality between listening in the ProTools session and how it sounds in iTunes, which is a bit muffled in comparison. I haven't done a project as demanding as this in many respects and the client and I have been running around in circles. If I get it to sound the way I want in the DAW, the highs particularly will sound slightly muffled in iTunes. I have no processing on in iTunes and import settings are set for WAV. I'm assuming to get it to sound good in iTunes by accentuating the highs a bit more than sounds optimal to me in the DAW. I understand that this may be part of getting it to translate well in general but the extent that it's showing up on this project is throwing me. My conversion and monitoring are excellent and used for both DAW and iTunes. Thoughts? Thanks for your attention.

Last edited by Piedpiper; 1 week ago at 04:15 PM..
Old 1 week ago
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Simon Morrison's Avatar
 
Verified Member
🎧 10 years
When printing your master(s) are you converting the sample rate or bit rate?

Have you tried a different WAV player? i.e. QuickTime Player
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #3
Lives for gear
 
Piedpiper's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Morrison ➑️
When printing your master(s) are you converting the sample rate or bit rate?

Have you tried a different WAV player? i.e. QuickTime Player
The original tracks are 16/44.1 mostly from the original CDs with some bonus tracks of mixed provenance, though almost all are still Redbook standard rez, so I didn't bother converting them to higher resolution to work on them. I began the project with the expectation that I would not be getting too assertive but that proved to be very wrong for most of the tracks. Still, they do sound good in the DAW and sound different in iTunes. I could be exaggerating the difference, but to me it is a problem.

Haven't tried other players. iTunes is handy for compiling playlists and is obviously what a lot of destination listeners will be using.
Old 1 week ago
  #4
Lives for gear
 
Simon Morrison's Avatar
 
Verified Member
🎧 10 years
When you playback the printed master(s) in Pro Tools are there any audible differences?
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #5
Gear Head
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Piedpiper ➑️
The original tracks are 16/44.1 mostly from the original CDs with some bonus tracks of mixed provenance, though almost all are still Redbook standard rez, so I didn't bother converting them to higher resolution to work on them. I began the project with the expectation that I would not be getting too assertive but that proved to be very wrong for most of the tracks. Still, they do sound good in the DAW and sound different in iTunes. I could be exaggerating the difference, but to me it is a problem.

Haven't tried other players. iTunes is handy for compiling playlists and is obviously what a lot of destination listeners will be using.
Is Sound Check turned on in the iTunes (now Music app) preferences?
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #6
Lives for gear
 
Piedpiper's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by matthewbarnhart ➑️
Is Sound Check turned on in the iTunes (now Music app) preferences?
sound enhancer and sound check not engaged.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #7
Lives for gear
 
Piedpiper's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Morrison ➑️
When you playback the printed master(s) in Pro Tools are there any audible differences?
Just checked and no difference.

Just listening again between PT and iTunes and it's still seems to be a discernible difference, though I think I was getting a bit myopic and exaggerating it. What I don't want, of course, is for the masterings to sound too sharp on a good system in order to be clear enough on a bad one, though I know hitting that balance point is the game. I think I've just been getting beat up by the project and the client being both extremely picky, loosing perspective and getting a bit aggressive about it at times.

Anyone else notice this about iTunes though or do I need to take a vacation?
Old 1 week ago
  #8
Lives for gear
 
Simon Morrison's Avatar
 
Verified Member
🎧 10 years
With iTunes configured for lossless import (16-44.1 WAV), and Sound Enhancer / Sound Check disabled, there should be no change in audio quality.

Check the iTunes audio out configuration, including volume settings for both the app and selected output device. Also check the System Sound settings and Audio MIDI Setup settings for volume, sample rate and bit depth. Small changes in the gain structure can affect both perceived loudness and frequency balance.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Piedpiper's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Morrison ➑️
With iTunes configured for lossless import (16-44.1 WAV), and Sound Enhancer / Sound Check disabled, there should be no change in audio quality.

Check the iTunes audio out configuration, including volume settings for both the app and selected output device. Also check the System Sound settings and Audio MIDI Setup settings for volume, sample rate and bit depth. Small changes in the gain structure can affect both perceived loudness and frequency balance.
Understood, and thanks for confirming what I had assumed, though everything seems to be in order and I'm still hearing a small but seemingly noticeable degradation. hmmm...

EDIT: Do you know that for a fact or are you assuming that is true?

Last edited by Piedpiper; 1 week ago at 03:38 PM..
Old 1 week ago
  #10
Lives for gear
 
thermos's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
I always thought iTunes sounded weird, of course with everything disabled. I just use QuickTime instead, seems to sound fine.
Old 13 hours ago
  #11
Gear Guru
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Would the eq functionality help? Seems you could set to what you should be hearing?
Old 13 hours ago
  #12
Lives for gear
 
Trakworx's Avatar
 
Verified Member
3 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
What OS are you using? I remember noticing that playback from iTunes, Snapper and the Finder sounded clearer after I upgraded to High Sierra (10.13.6) several years ago. I assumed they improved the audio driver.
Old 11 hours ago | Show parent
  #13
Lives for gear
 
Piedpiper's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ardis ➑️
Would the eq functionality help? Seems you could set to what you should be hearing?
Interesting thought, though I hate to bandaid a wound that shouldn't have been inflicted.
Old 10 hours ago | Show parent
  #14
Lives for gear
 
Piedpiper's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trakworx ➑️
What OS are you using? I remember noticing that playback from iTunes, Snapper and the Finder sounded clearer after I upgraded to High Sierra (10.13.6) several years ago. I assumed they improved the audio driver.
My 2011 27" iMac died recently and I have a 2013 replacement on permanent loan. I was on High Sierra for years and now am on Mojave since Catalina and later do not support my Black Lion Audio modded Digi 002R drivers. Gonna be behind the eight ball before too long. The BLA sounds fantastic and has the functionality I need. Will cost thousands to replace it so holding out for now.
Old 10 hours ago
  #15
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
If it helps to have general input, no difference at all between iTunes (now "Music" as I'm on Catalina, but same when it was iTunes) and DAW here.
πŸ“ Reply

Similar Threads

Thread / Thread Starter Replies / Views Last Post
replies: 295 views: 77245
Avatar for anguswoodhead
anguswoodhead 26th March 2013
replies: 2856 views: 228187
Avatar for Pip
Pip 19th April 2021
replies: 1296 views: 188849
Avatar for heraldo_jones
heraldo_jones 1st February 2016
replies: 93 views: 11683
Avatar for cramseur
cramseur 6th December 2017
Topic:
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearspace Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…

Forum Jump
Forum Jump