Ableton output is low compared to other DAW's

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
Pyro Z
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Re: Ableton output is low compared to other DAW's

Post by Pyro Z » Wed May 05, 2010 6:16 am

Set Live's audio engine to use 32-bit mode in the Record Warp Launch tab in Preferences. Man does this make a difference. Anyone who deserves to be a producer will hear it, even after it's mixed down to 16-bit.

They really do mean it when they say you can record without compression this way.
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Contra
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Re: Ableton output is low compared to other DAW's

Post by Contra » Wed May 05, 2010 10:14 am

thx pyro!!! ima try that out today. i hope its as simple as that.

thx again

theophilus
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Re: Ableton output is low compared to other DAW's

Post by theophilus » Wed May 05, 2010 12:31 pm

might be even simpler... a lot of daws put 0db on the meter where it clips... ableton starts showing red when you get to -6db. So just from there, your file, if you're not going into the red, will be 6 db lower (real clipping doesn't start in live until you get to about +6 on the meter). Current 'best practices' says to mix to -6 or even -12db, and make up the gain in the mastering, which is where this comes from. I haven't used PT or logic so I can't say for sure, but just because live is going into the red doesn't necessarily mean it's actually clipping...

The Carpet Cleaner
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Re: Ableton output is low compared to other DAW's

Post by The Carpet Cleaner » Wed May 05, 2010 1:44 pm

Pyro Z wrote:Set Live's audio engine to use 32-bit mode in the Record Warp Launch tab in Preferences. Man does this make a difference. Anyone who deserves to be a producer will hear it, even after it's mixed down to 16-bit.

They really do mean it when they say you can record without compression this way.
Does it have anything to do with Midi ?
And also, I thought there was no advantages to record in 32bit compared to 24bit mode

The Carpet Cleaner
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Re: Ableton output is low compared to other DAW's

Post by The Carpet Cleaner » Wed May 05, 2010 1:44 pm

theophilus wrote:might be even simpler... a lot of daws put 0db on the meter where it clips... ableton starts showing red when you get to -6db. So just from there, your file, if you're not going into the red, will be 6 db lower (real clipping doesn't start in live until you get to about +6 on the meter). Current 'best practices' says to mix to -6 or even -12db, and make up the gain in the mastering, which is where this comes from. I haven't used PT or logic so I can't say for sure, but just because live is going into the red doesn't necessarily mean it's actually clipping...
where is it in the Live's manual ?

mdk
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Re: Ableton output is low compared to other DAW's

Post by mdk » Wed May 05, 2010 1:58 pm

Pyro Z wrote:Set Live's audio engine to use 32-bit mode in the Record Warp Launch tab in Preferences. Man does this make a difference. Anyone who deserves to be a producer will hear it, even after it's mixed down to 16-bit.

They really do mean it when they say you can record without compression this way.
:D

thats pretty funny.
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Contra
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Re: Ableton output is low compared to other DAW's

Post by Contra » Wed May 05, 2010 2:00 pm

theophilus wrote:might be even simpler... a lot of daws put 0db on the meter where it clips... ableton starts showing red when you get to -6db. So just from there, your file, if you're not going into the red, will be 6 db lower (real clipping doesn't start in live until you get to about +6 on the meter). Current 'best practices' says to mix to -6 or even -12db, and make up the gain in the mastering, which is where this comes from. I haven't used PT or logic so I can't say for sure, but just because live is going into the red doesn't necessarily mean it's actually clipping...

i actually spoke to a mastering engineer yesterday told me the same thing, output the mix at -6db and then gain boost happens in mastering. ooooooh i knew i shoulda paid attention in sound engineering school instead of smokin ganj in the parking lot with teachers. smh. POW!!!! thx yall. this is why i love ableton, this community is tight knit and a bunch of smart asses like me! Big Ups !!!

mdk
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Re: Ableton output is low compared to other DAW's

Post by mdk » Wed May 05, 2010 2:06 pm

anyway, the difference isnt that one is louder than the other. you cant compare 2 different tracks and say that its the software making one louder than the other, after all, lemons taste different to oranges.

to me it sounds like you need to practice mixing techniques e.g eq & compression, even just editing your samples and programming your synths can make a big difference to how much you can push a mix. you could just have one part thats causing a spike into the red but everything else is running really quiet.

you might have some really low frequencies on one part that are taking up all your headroom. might even be a hi-hat part thats sampled off a record with some low frequency rumble. stick on a high pass filter to just get the bits you want.

could be a really sharp snare or clap thats got a real click at the start, look at smoothing it out with a compressor or a transient modifier.

what can help is to render out the track, listen to it either in live or soundforge or something where you can see the waveform as it plays. look for where the big peaks are and see whats happening at those points, then try working on those parts. it might be just a narrow frequency band in one drum hit that you can eq out... etc..

there really is no magic 'DAW X is louder than DAW Y'.
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Contra
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Re: Ableton output is low compared to other DAW's

Post by Contra » Wed May 05, 2010 2:13 pm

thanks MDK, i appreciate that advice. will definitely look into this also

Radio Arcade
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Re: Ableton output is low compared to other DAW's

Post by Radio Arcade » Wed May 05, 2010 2:21 pm

utility > master track

just crank it up until its loud enough for you????
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Contra
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Re: Ableton output is low compared to other DAW's

Post by Contra » Wed May 05, 2010 3:52 pm

nah after readin all the posts and tarekith's guide ill save that for mastering or my broke ppl mastering of the final stereo bounce. then dither baby!!! LOLOL

UKRuss
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Re: Ableton output is low compared to other DAW's

Post by UKRuss » Thu May 06, 2010 8:31 am

If you really can't afford external mastering and are forced to do it yourself, focus on the mix so that you retain around -3db to -6db headroom, render as a 24bit stereo file.

Import the stereo file into a new live set and use Lives native plugs to 'master' it yourself. Live now has a multiband compressor and EQ8 is pretty transparent anc can work well as a mastering EQ for this type of job. Then bang the limiter on the end of your chain set the ceiling to just under 0db, say -0.1dbfs or -0.2 dbfs and crank the input to get your loudness.

Import one of your favourite pro track into another track in the same set and bypass the mastering chain of FX, set the master meter to read RMS rather than Peak and get a feel for where this typeof track sets on average meter readings. Re-engage your mastering chain and your own track and adjust the limiter to match the RMS area you identified for your genre.

If you can splash out some cash, try a different limiter such as Voxengo's Elephant or T-Racks singles.

There is a deal on at the moment for the shell, metering and classic EQ on T-Racks. The metering is worth the price alone as it has everything you need in one window.

With a tad of practice you can get pretty close to your fav tracks loudness just using the RMS comparison and adecent limiter. If you need to tweak EQs to match you pro track EQ8 will do the trick and for any compression needs on the stereo file, Lives multiband compressor will see you right.

once you're happy, render while dithering to 16bit.

d-track
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Re: Ableton output is low compared to other DAW's

Post by d-track » Thu May 06, 2010 8:49 am

i recommend reaper. its only 60usd and you get an unlimited band (!) compressor and also better eq-s than live has and a more friendly enviorinment for mixing + dither options. maybe even better than logic.
you can also demo it and although its not free but you can use it after you run out of demo period.
*-*

chrk
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Re: Ableton output is low compared to other DAW's

Post by chrk » Thu May 06, 2010 9:04 am

d-track wrote:you get an unlimited band (!) compressor and also better eq-s than live has and a more friendly enviorinment for mixing + dither options.
Wouldn' know about the latter, but ReaComp, ReaXcomp and ReaEQ come with the free ReaPlugs-pack. I've never run into any issues using them in Live.

Contra
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Re: Ableton output is low compared to other DAW's

Post by Contra » Thu May 06, 2010 10:51 am

yooooo if i didnt read Tarekith's mastering/mixing guide id be scarred. but yea that's the plan the mixes sound fresher now, that i mixed to -6db, bounce to stereo then "master" thx again family.

and this thread resurfaced, i see "we bringin sexy back, YEA!" lolol 8)

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