Ableton vs Logic engine

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
mikb
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Re: Ableton vs Logic engine

Post by mikb » Mon Sep 16, 2013 10:05 pm

djadonis206 wrote:I'm currently working on two separate but equal projects in both Live and Logic using only native plug-ins and Logic is louder and clearer.

I think all this has to do with the native plug-ins. For example Logic's Retro synth compared Live's Analog synth.
So you'd agree with the previous collective conclusion (albeit expressed in different ways) that when people say that they like "the sound" of dawX better than dawY they are actually talking about other aspects of the different abilities affecting sound beside the "audio engine"?

If you do, you're in good company, because I think everyone is agreeing on that point and much of everything else. It's only the subject of the debate itself that seem to be a point of disagreement.
Basic gear info: Macbook Pro with macOS 10.12, Ableton Live Suite version 9 (64bit) with Ozone, Push and APC20 as controllers.

mikb
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Re: Ableton vs Logic engine

Post by mikb » Mon Sep 16, 2013 10:23 pm

To the naysayers that vehemently claim or cowardly imply that the term "Audio engine" can only mean "audio track playback" here's a quote from an interview with Clint Sand (my bold):
The final thing that really turned me to Ableton Live is the stability of the audio engine. The fact that you can drag and drop effects into a song while it's playing, and even reorder them with no audio dropouts is insane. It's brilliant.
--Clint Sand, Ableton Archives

Anyone that truly belive Clint is only referring to "audio track playback" should think again. Yes, you might need to click on the link and read the context to gather that.

There are many of us who think that in Live audio is audio no matter what track it comes from. Even if you disagree with that notion you should accept that other people have a different take on this.
Basic gear info: Macbook Pro with macOS 10.12, Ableton Live Suite version 9 (64bit) with Ozone, Push and APC20 as controllers.

trevox
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Re: Ableton vs Logic engine

Post by trevox » Mon Sep 16, 2013 11:45 pm

mikb wrote:
trevox wrote:I'm sorry to say, but you are primarily responsible for turning it into that very debate. Not having a go at you - but the DAW vs DAW arguments have been thrashed to death.
That was a very pointless very late post saying nothing about the debate ensued nor adding anything useful to it. You're having a very cowardful go at me and I don't care. That was really the best you could do?

I have not made the claims you imply here that I've made. If you don't get that by now there's nothing to do. Just walk away.

Congratulations, trevox. You hit the low point so far. I'm sure though you can go even lower if you want. And still I don't care.
I have been busy and have not been to the forum in a while. You responded to a post I sent that said I did not want to get involved in a pointless debate about the original topic and you replied that debating the merits of "good sound" was not pointless. I wanted to correct you as I have a keen interest in "good sound" and then added the reasons why I called debating the original topic a pointless debate - several pages of quoting, misquoting, misunderstanding etc etc in this thread during which you were the main protagonist. Granted there were some good posts interspersed, though these were nothing to do with the original topic.

Anyway, when I said I was not having a go, I meant it - I really couldn't care less. I think you will find that only you have insulted me here, but I will refrain from reacting - a non "cowardful"(??) act.

Forge.
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Re: Ableton vs Logic engine

Post by Forge. » Tue Sep 17, 2013 12:41 am

Tarekith wrote:For years I was the guy arguing that (everything being equal) all DAWs sounded the same, or the differences were beyond the range of our playback equipment and hearing. Every test I've run or tried has shown the same thing, people can't accurately hear the differences.

Then I became a full-time mastering engineer and spent a LOT of time talking to other musicians about how things SOUND. And I realized that everyone hears things differently, none of us hears things exactly the same way. Over and over I've been amazed at how different people focus on different areas of music, in how they approach conveying and describing it to others. In how they internalize and interpret what reaches their ears.

I've met people who could hear the tiniest changes to the most background parts in a song, but miss the fact that they had muted the vocal track in one section accidentally. Or people who swore two identical copies of the exact same song sounded completely different. Usually the differences are more subtle, but I've been surprised at what the human brain can honestly believe it is hearing.

Now, I'm not so sure all DAWs sound the same to people.

Personally, I think everyone uses a lot of other external sensory inputs when determining how things sound. Maybe one DAW is slightly brighter in it's color palette, and for some reason that triggers something where that person hears things as slightly brighter. I don't know, I have no idea how it works or what is happening. But I do think that for whatever reason, people can legitimately hear differences where others can not.

The question of are those differences really there in the first place is the thorny bit though, and for that I still turn to the cold hard science of digital audio. Maybe one day we'll have a better way of describing and measuring sound.

Ultimately though, it's a dumb fucking thing to argue about no matter what. If you can't make a great professional sounding track in ANY modern DAW, it's not the tool's fault.
^ Thanks Tarekith, this post is exactly why it's not a bad thing for this discussion to be bumped every now and then.

I don't see it as old hat at all, and I think this issue is a big one in audio and probably worth doing a PhD on.

I was having this conversation with someone just the other day who was telling me "the audio engine in pro tools sounds better" and it was an interesting discussion because I think the guy knows his stuff, but I really disagreed with that assertion.

I was saying I would probably describe myself as an "audiophile sceptic" - meaning I am highly sceptical about a lot of these kind of claims in audio because I think there are massive amounts of placebo involved, and I also think the term "audio engine" is a misnomer.

But "placebo" is maybe also a misnomer, as it's more about how the brain actually deals with this stuff, and "placebo" gives the impression that you might be imagining it, but as you point out Tarekith there is definitely somehting valid going on and people definitely notice *something*. The really interesting question is what that something mostly is.

But it's not a simple answer, it's an accumulation of a whole bunch of somethings. But ultimately it's down to the decisions made by the person using it, so in this sense I consider "audio engine" maybe in the sense that different people feel more comfortable driving different cars and an experienced formula 1 driver might hate driving a truck and end up burning out the motor while a 17 year old kid who just got his license might wrap a formula 1 car around a tree because they both drive differently.

People will just prefer the way one DAW works over another and thus get a better sound out of it.

But what made me feel like arguing with this guy is he used the words "the audio engine in PT sounds better". I think he was probably actually saying more or less the same thing as me, but the choice of words implied something different. Partly because I'm very inexperienced with pro-tools so to me it takes longer to get a good sound, so judged purely on that I should say pro-tools sounds worse. But I wouldn't say it was because of the "audio engine", just because I don't know where everything is and am not as quick with it.

fishmonkey
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Re: Ableton vs Logic engine

Post by fishmonkey » Tue Sep 17, 2013 1:26 am

mikb wrote:To the naysayers that vehemently claim or cowardly imply that the term "Audio engine" can only mean "audio track playback" here's a quote from an interview with Clint Sand (my bold):
i think you are misunderstanding what he is talking about. he is commenting specifically on the non-linear nature of the Live audio playback engine.

eyeknow
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Re: Ableton vs Logic engine

Post by eyeknow » Tue Sep 17, 2013 4:29 am

I love the potato.

mikb
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Re: Ableton vs Logic engine

Post by mikb » Tue Sep 17, 2013 9:09 am

trevox wrote:I think you will find that only you have insulted me here, but I will refrain from reacting - a non "cowardful"(??) act.
I don't see how I have insulted you as I have only stated what I find to be true about what you wrote about my posts, as that was unqualified and non-argumentative within the subject.

Otherwise I respect your opinion on the pointlessness of debating DAW "Audio Engines" even though I disagree on your view on the merits of such a discussion.

I find that you are being sincere and open now and that's certainly non cowardly (which is the correct term).
Basic gear info: Macbook Pro with macOS 10.12, Ableton Live Suite version 9 (64bit) with Ozone, Push and APC20 as controllers.

mikb
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Re: Ableton vs Logic engine

Post by mikb » Tue Sep 17, 2013 9:33 am

fishmonkey wrote:
mikb wrote:To the naysayers that vehemently claim or cowardly imply that the term "Audio engine" can only mean "audio track playback" here's a quote from an interview with Clint Sand (my bold):
i think you are misunderstanding what he is talking about. he is commenting specifically on the non-linear nature of the Live audio playback engine.
OK, but that's not the point I think. The point is that Clint and many others do not limit "Audio Engine" in software to refer only to audio file type of tracks. It's totally irrelevant if the sound from a track going to the master bus have been recorded or if it's created in real time. What can be called an "audio engine" is still involved at some point of the chain.

No-one, including the OP, have successfully limited the subject of this thread to be about using a DAW as a tape recorder. Which is not a typical way to use a DAW these days.

The funny and quite odd thing is that some responders in this group prefer to be condescending instead of realizing that most people so far have agreed on most points of what is true about comparing the sound coming out of our DAWs. Then why devalue the position you're siding with by being condescending? All that proves is that you're without arguments.

Only those who have put forward real arguments — whether we agree with them or not is beside the point — are actually taking part in the discussion. 

Still some producers will feel they truly experience they get better results in one DAW. There are probably actual reasons for that — several examples of such reasons have been raised by people in this very thread. It's better for the community to identify those reasons if possible. If for nothing else to be able to say, when this will come back (and it will) that, "Yes, it sounds different, which you perceive as better, and that's because......".

Vitriol is slung here — I'd say by people without any arguments — just because I and some others want to widen the subject to what's it's really about. It's not limited to audio tracks, period.
Last edited by mikb on Sun Jan 15, 2017 1:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Basic gear info: Macbook Pro with macOS 10.12, Ableton Live Suite version 9 (64bit) with Ozone, Push and APC20 as controllers.

mikb
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Re: Ableton vs Logic engine

Post by mikb » Tue Sep 17, 2013 9:55 am

I suggest this thought experiment for discussion:

64 tracks with recorded material
Older but excellent hardware with max ram and SSD
2 different DAWs of the latest main releases: DAW XX and DAW YY

Tracks are prepared to the the exact same db in both DAWs
Nothing else is added or distorted
Masters are prepared and found (with some adjustments) to be bit by bit the same by nullifying (or being as close as possible)

Only now, with an even playing field. playback is commenced.

Outcomes:

• DAW XX plays back the song sounding just as both masters produced
• DAW YY plays back the song and crackles heavily in several places, thusly not sounding as the master

Why would the "audio engine" of DAW YY to be regarded as being "just as good sounding" as the "audio engine" of DAW XX within the confinement of these outcomes?
Last edited by mikb on Tue Sep 17, 2013 10:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
Basic gear info: Macbook Pro with macOS 10.12, Ableton Live Suite version 9 (64bit) with Ozone, Push and APC20 as controllers.

trevox
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Re: Ableton vs Logic engine

Post by trevox » Tue Sep 17, 2013 10:16 am

@mikb - what people are trying to say here is that debate has happened on the differences in "audio summing" in different DAWS. This absolutely equates to what you call "audio track playback". So while on one had no-one would disagree that if you take a single track that it would sound identical in two DAWS, audio engines can sum tracks in different ways - just like mixing desks have their own unique sound. So when mixing several tracks, some feel the resulting audio sounds different as some DAWS add some colour by summing in a non-linear fashion. This debate never includes the addition of DAW specific plugins, production techniques etc.

This is the debate I was referring to that rages and never reaches any real conclusion - just a mish mash of peoples subjective opinions. The only conclusion to take is to experiment with different DAW's and use the one you feel is of most value to you. Or use a combination of DAWS for different purposes like Live for arranging and Logic for mixing etc. I am not saying any method is correct - I (and many others) choose what we feel gives us the best results and that is all that matters at the end of the day. Everything else is subjective. I (and many others) have given my opinion on at least one of the other threads that covers this topic. And I consider my opinion to be as subjective as anyone elses.

For me, the plugins/workflow/capabilities available in one DAW vs another DAW is a totally different debate. Maybe start a topic on that as it will be clearer to those debating what we are actually talking about. This is not a condescending post - I am just trying to clarify what a few people have been trying to say.

Geek Model
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Re: Ableton vs Logic engine

Post by Geek Model » Tue Sep 17, 2013 10:21 am

1) put drumloop into Logic Pro X.. listening
2) put same drumloop into Ableton Live 9.. listening
3) switch from Ableton to Logic and back..

Result: same sound.

Used: Macbook Pro (md101), Focusrite Saffire Pro 14, Genelec 8030

It comes to "Logic sound different then Live" when you start to use DAW plugins. Just this, nothing more. My opinion.

trevox
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Re: Ableton vs Logic engine

Post by trevox » Tue Sep 17, 2013 10:24 am

mikb wrote:Tracks are prepared to the the exact same db in both DAWs
Nothing else is added or distorted
Masters are prepared and found (with some adjustments) to be bit by bit the same by nullifying (or being as close as possible)
This is the crux of the argument. If you have the same audio tracks in two different DAW's at the same level etc in both DAW's, they should nullify when inverted if they sum audio in the same way. No adjustments should be made and there is no such thing as "as close as possible". If they do not nullify - no matter how small the difference - the audio is summed differently which affects how it sounds. This may be extremely subtle, but it's a difference all the same. How this affects the listener is the subjective part - i.e. which one sounds better.

mikb
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Re: Ableton vs Logic engine

Post by mikb » Tue Sep 17, 2013 10:29 am

trevox wrote:@mikb - what people are trying to say here is that debate has happened on the differences in "audio summing" in different DAWS. This absolutely equates to what you call "audio track playback".
.
Yes, some have attempted to limit the discussion to this but the debate as it started way back wasn't and isn't limited to audio summing nor does audio summing equate with audio playback, no matter what you say. There have been focused audio summing debates and this is not one of them. even if that is a natural part of it. Everyone is agreeing on the audio summing detail these days, I believe.

My recent example illustrates when "playback" affects sound unrelated to just audio summing.
trevox wrote: This is not a condescending post - I am just trying to clarify what a few people have been trying to say.
No, it's very to the point and you do have real arguments, even though I may disagree. There's no need to label it. Your sincereness works on its own.
Last edited by mikb on Tue Sep 17, 2013 10:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
Basic gear info: Macbook Pro with macOS 10.12, Ableton Live Suite version 9 (64bit) with Ozone, Push and APC20 as controllers.

trevox
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Re: Ableton vs Logic engine

Post by trevox » Tue Sep 17, 2013 10:31 am

Geek Model wrote:1) put drumloop into Logic Pro X.. listening
2) put same drumloop into Ableton Live 9.. listening
3) switch from Ableton to Logic and back..

Result: same sound.

Used: Macbook Pro (md101), Focusrite Saffire Pro 14, Genelec 8030

It comes to "Logic sound different then Live" when you start to use DAW plugins. Just this, nothing more. My opinion.
Try mixing the same 32 tracks of audio in both DAW's. I don't think listening to a single track is going to tell you that much - it's all about how you perceive the summed audio of several tracks. I sincerely hope you come to the same conclusion!

mikb
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Re: Ableton vs Logic engine

Post by mikb » Tue Sep 17, 2013 10:34 am

trevox wrote:
mikb wrote:Tracks are prepared to the the exact same db in both DAWs
Nothing else is added or distorted
Masters are prepared and found (with some adjustments) to be bit by bit the same by nullifying (or being as close as possible)
This is the crux of the argument. If you have the same audio tracks in two different DAW's at the same level etc in both DAW's, they should nullify when inverted if they sum audio in the same way.
That is side-stepping the point and you're not answering the main question.

I only added the qualifier, for the realistic situation that getting the exact same nullifying master, could be difficult for some reason. You are still free to choose that the 2 masters produced do nullify, as that is still an option. No matter what you choose to be likely here, it still brings us to the main issue in this example.
The question is whether introduced crackles in one DAW playing back audio is to be seen to not be a failure of the "audio engine"?
Basic gear info: Macbook Pro with macOS 10.12, Ableton Live Suite version 9 (64bit) with Ozone, Push and APC20 as controllers.

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