Is it possible that daws like logic or protools dither their output to 24 bit while others just drive the DA with 32 bit float data?
I am not sure about this, but since the noise floor of the best DA converters and the rest connected to the output of the converter is certainly higher than -144dB the dithering would not make any difference since it must be in that order if it is done right.
-144 sounds way to low to be relevant.. but why do some daw manufacturers pay for appogees uv22 algo? just for rendering cd masters? or is there some use for it in the internal daw mechanics?
i experiance the sound of logic and cubase as finer and more detailed on the very low levels.. quite like a properly dithred 16 bit file versus a truncated one.. therefor i got the idea that dithering might be an issue..
The test i ve done to confirm that finer sound to myself was a 12 track realtime recording that was simultaniously recorded in live and cubase and played back again on unity level..there cubase sounded finer.. live a bit rougher and less open in the ambience.. not ugly.. had its charme aswell but it wanst indentical.. when such recordings would null the sound differene only can be explained by what happens between daw and converter..and than dithering is maybe a factor..
But i havent checked wether the daw outputs would null.. Its a waste of time to investigate in that without propper mesuring tools and methods. Sofar i just trust my ears.. However.. havent bought cubase because of that.
We had problems with this in early versions, but since no manufacture wants the reputation of having bad sound quality, we took great care that the SR / timestrech is off when not needed. This has been tested by numerous users and it works.
Sorry but theory and praxis..L8 had many problems.. and some SR shit was part of them.
There was at least 2 SR related bugs metioned in the changelogs of L8..
Thanks to the improoved samplerate conversion not allways so easy to get when it kicked in.
Some called the appearance of the unwanted samplerate conversion brown henke dither.. showing up like a ghost and disappearing again..
would be actually great when there would be a indicator or recalable info box that shows whether samplerate is converted or locked on a running clip
Well, this is where I believe the problems start: of course, you can transpose things, you can have warp markers without noticing, you can render in 48k whilst the files are 44.1k, there are a lot of ways to fuck things up.. This is in my opinion the only real sound quality problem.
maybe you have noted that with L8 the ableton sound quality discussion has popped up again.. or at least has been heavier discussed again.. after a relative silence in the L6/L7 times..
I think that this was mainly caused by SR related bugs. There was versions of L8 where it was enough to import some longer external recorded files and change the master tempo around .. than SR was on and only went off when you typed in the song tempo into each clip individually again.. or reloaded the project.. A situation that especially showed up when people transfered external projects into live, and than a unwanted SR can really fuck up the idea about lives transparent sound quality because people knew what the files were supposed to sound in a mix already.