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DAW mix engines and plugin formats.
Old 18th January 2013
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🎧 10 years
DAW mix engines and plugin formats.

OH NO! not another thread about.. well wait..

I know different daw/audio/summing engines has been discussed a million times before. So bring the popcorns and get ready for your facepalms!
Well my intensions are not to say any daw sounds better than the other. But I'm more interested in what are making these changes I hear? What am I doing wrong in these tests?

First of all.. I've always believed that every daw sounds the same. I learned Cubase in school when I was starting recording, but then later bought Pro Tools 8 with a Digi002r and I now have version 10 with Apogee Rosetta 800. Back then I had some friends saying Cubase sounded much better. I just couldn't believe it! Did some tests, checked pan laws and other things, I only used Waves channel but only as a volume fader and some minimal eq so I could keep the faders in the daw at zero.. I used 14 stereo tracks and 6 mono tracks.. the cubase mix nulled with the Pro Tools mix. So end of story.. well..

Then I started reading on forums like Gearslutz.. Some people actually said that Logic sounded fuller/duller/more compressed/better bottom end or whatever bs. I didn't really believe it. But decided to do a similar test as before. Checked pan law, unchecked normalise and dither in Logic. Faders at zero no bussing just straight to the master bus. Once again.. they nulled.. well at least I thought. Did some more a/b listening, well at first I thought they sounded exactly the same, but then somehow I actually started to think that the Logic mix sounded slightly better, it had something in the lower area that the Pro Tools mix lacked. As I said I thought they nulled, but they didn't, if I increased the volume way up I could hear something in the lower area. But at normal volume I could barely hear it. So I didn't care and my workflow is sooo much faster with Pro Tools than with Logic, and I believed that I must have done something wrong in the test.

Later on.. people were praising Reaper.. So I decided to do a new test with Pro Tools, Reaper, Logic, Cubase and Studio One with Satson(default setting) and NobleQ(presets were saved and then imported) plugins and still faders at zero straight to the master bus.
Pro Tools nulled with Cubase, almost with Logic, didn't null at all with Reaper and Studio one. But reaper have so many options I'm sure I did something wrong but the pan law was set to -3 as all the other daws. You can't really change the pan law in Studio One but I think it's -3. I did print different versions in Studio One though, they have process precision 32 and 64 and an option for 24 bit and 32 floating point, but they all nulled with different combinations well they should.

Due to my failing test to prove to myself that every daw sounds the same I still believe well that every daw sounds the same.. or do I?

But one thing I should add.. In reaper when flipping the Vst to AU plugins, (same plugins same settings!) They didn't null! Once again I got that low end thing going on.

Sorry for the bad english btw.
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