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Software and sound quality.
Old 28th January 2009
  #1
Gear Addict
 
jujufactory's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Software and sound quality.

I use a Lynx L22, Brent Averill 1073... etc. Quality equipment. I have the option of using either Cubase or Samplitude 15 to record voices and edit tracks. Recently somebody who uses pre Tools told me there are audio quality differences between software packages and you will not get the same audio quality out of Samplitude as you will get out of Cubase or Pro Tools even at the same bitrate and mhz level. He believes the software affects the sound quality as much as the pre-amp and the converter.

Question: Is it true one will get better sound by recording in Pro-Tools and Cubase than recording with Samplitude? What about other software such as Sonar, Reaper, and Auditions?

I have been using Samplitude but if what he says is true I may just switch to Cubase. Thank you for your opinions on this.
Old 28th January 2009
  #2
Gear Guru
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
That would mostly be just audio voodoo silliness. There can obviously be some subtle differences, but not much. Most of them will likely completely cancel on a null test.

But you have to differentiate the engine part of the DAW from any plugins that come from it. The engine (which handles storing data, retrieving it, pushing it through tracks, plugs, and busses and summing the results) should be pretty much the same in any competently designed DAW. There could be small differences due to different technologies (floating point vs. fixed point for instance.) But oveall the results should be for all intents and purposes eqivalent.

Though it's always possible that any particular product is not competently designed, most highly visible ones would probably likely be. It's possible Samplitude is one of those, I dunno.

The plugs that ship with any given product of course have a lot more latitude as to how they process the audio, whether they lean towards clean or character and so forth. So on that front there can be differences.

But unless your friend tried a null test to prove his claim, he was just making unsubstantiated claims that are probably not true. There's a lot of that in the audio world.
Old 28th January 2009
  #3
Moderator
 
psycho_monkey's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
million and one threads on this, and no conclusive proof. Null tests are your friend....and also tell the facts, unlike your other friend.
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #4
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Chaellus's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
No that is not true... there is no sound differnce between daws
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #5
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AlphaDingo's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
The null test just proves that what was in the DAW came out unchanged after rendering, correct?
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #6
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2 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
In this case you are taking a piece of content, running it through one of the DAWs (without any change in format), pull it into another and put it on one track wiht the original on another track and null test them. If they null out, then the other DAW created the same results as the first.

Or you could spit them out of both DAWs and use some outboard program to null test them. But, either way, you are comparing the results of one DAW to the results of another.

Without any plugs or anything, you are just testing the DAW engine. Plugs are a completely different thing.
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #7
Deleted 99dc753
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Roddey ➑️
In this case you are taking a piece of content, running it through one of the DAWs (without any change in format), pull it into another and put it on one track wiht the original on another track and null test them. If they null out, then the other DAW created the same results as the first.

Or you could spit them out of both DAWs and use some outboard program to null test them. But, either way, you are comparing the results of one DAW to the results of another.

Without any plugs or anything, you are just testing the DAW engine. Plugs are a completely different thing.
You also can do it with plugs if you have the same plugs and exactly the same settings in both daws and yes I have seen such a test too and it nulls out....mixing in the daw is for me that I have to create my sound vision with plugs and outboard if it there...the does not colors the sound.... how could this bee?
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #8
Gear Guru
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
You have to be a little careful with plugs. If they have any time based aspect to them, they can create very different results sometimes. They may not be doing anything differently, it's just that the time based effect may just not be aligned in both cases. Of if they implement any sort of feedback system or randomness, those might create different results.

I don't disagree with you in general, I'm just saying it wouldn't be shocking if plugins sometimes cause differences, but the mixing engine should definitely not.

You also have to be careful of pan laws. Some DAWs implement a set of pan laws and you can choose which one you want. Others may just have a fixed one. If you use different pan laws you can get different results, because it'll affect the balance between the center and left/right panned stuff.

That's not a difference in the mix engines, just a kind of flexibiltiy that DAWs offer so that they can emulate the pan laws implemented in various hardware consoles that people might be used to.
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #9
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
ALl the voodoo null tests only prove that DAWs will null, but it also needs to be considered how the EQ stages are built.

So, unless your friend has some SCIENTIFIC reason why the two arguably most highly-marketed DAWs would sound better than Samplitude's audio engine, then it's a moot point .

You can always download demos of them all and try them.

Greg
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #10
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
so where can i get this protools demo from?
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #11
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
do other DAWs use pinging like Mellowmuse ATA for ADC?
if not should they still null?
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #12
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
I'm pretty sure the main differences between DAWs would become apparent with summing tests. I imagine they have different algorithms for handling summing, no? Has anyone tested this?
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #13
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_man361 ➑️
so where can i get this protools demo from?
heh- you'll need an inside track to the elite team heh

Greg
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #14
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
There is school boy theory and then there is actual real world experience.

Most people would say that 2 + 2 = 4 and therefore all DAWs sound the same, blah, blah, woof, woof. But DAWs are far more complicated (and bug ridden) than a single person can conceptualise. I'm fairly certain that there would not be a single person at Digidesign or Steinberg or Emagic who literally knows every line of code and how they interact with all OS versions and all hardware and drivers, etc, etc. It's gone way beyond that.

I recall being blown off my chair with the audible sound difference between Logic 5 and Cubase SX1. This was around the time that Emagic sold to Apple, and they pissed off their PC users. I v-e-r-y reluctantly bought the SX upgrade offer, and installed it on my PC. I had only just bought into Logic, having decided it was the more professional product, and I did not expect to like Cubase as much. I believed that 2 + 2 always = 4, and got a helluva shock to find that I much prefered the sound quality I experienced with Cubase SX. It made Logic sound tight and constricted.

The arguments raged for months over that issue - but I was pleased to hear that many golden eared professionals came to the exact same conclusion. It wasn't just me, or my wife who could hear the difference too. This is with exactly the same VST plugins and samples etc. Comparing Apples with Apples.

Generally, when people compare PC DAWs, often the consensus among those who own all products is that Cubase/Nuendo trumps Logic & Protools - but Samplitude & some other expensive DAW I forget sound the best.

I know for a fact that I have listened to samples playing back via Cubase, and they have had a gritty quality that annoyed me - and yet I could play back the exact same sample file in Audacity, and it sounded much better. Obviously, I had the same sample rate and no plugins, and flat gain settings - just comparing the audio playback quality.

I can't explain it. There are many different versions of wav file, for example. Maybe there was some bizarre issue with a certain wav format - maybe it was one of the 500 bazillion 'features' of Cubase that are yet to be fixed. Who knows.

Floating point maths - imo - isn't such a great idea (because who really wants a floating noise floor, even if it is supposedly so low you can't hear it. At that level, its competing with dither noise shaping, and nobody says that dither noise isn't important or affects sound quality ....

Despite the school boy maths - some people can hear differences between DAWS, at least some of the time. In most cases, it's probably swamped by the noisefloor of cheap monitors, noisy rooms and computer fans & drives, etc. But some of us have removed all that crap from the room, and listen very critically to stuff - at least give some thought to this before you dismiss the notion completely.
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #15
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
I can't explain the scientific reason for this but I hear differences too. Tryed them last year (protools,cubase, samplitude) and they sounded very different to me specially if you bounce a few tracks instead of 1, somehow makes it easyer to hear the difference, same happened when I tryed nebula preamp emulations and waves ssl bundle (place ssl channel on tracks and bypass eq+ comp: you realise you start to hear the ssl preamp).

Protools was glassy, cubase was neutral and samplitude had a nice sweetness to my ears. I got exited and went to a friend who uses ns10m's but we couldn't hear any difference on those monitors though its obvious on my adam p11a's.
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #16
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Aisle 6's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
I have not done the tests, but I would assume that one algorithm in one DAW audio engine being different to another algorithm in another DAW would be enough of a difference to effect the audio.

I realize that the above statement is over simplified, but it makes my point.
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #17
Lives for gear
 
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Lets not lose sight of whats really important. At the end of the day, there is an individual listening thru their delivery device of their choice, and you have no control over that end result. Might as well focus on other things, like emotional impact. This is still music, no?
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