Katy Perry Mixer - "Ableton sounded terrible" (SoundonSound)

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
Post Reply
nathannn
Posts: 3310
Joined: Thu Dec 07, 2006 2:38 am
Location: U.S.

Re: Katy Perry Mixer - "Ableton sounded terrible" (SoundonSound)

Post by nathannn » Sun Jan 08, 2012 3:06 am

why do you guys keep on bringing this up on the ableton forums? its like you guys are purposely trying to confuse the shit out of people. you say you hear something that most of us dont hear and then get pissy because we dont hear it. i have said this before, no one can tell you that you are not hearing something (maybe ableton does sound like shit to you) then stop using it or come up with a real example of it sounding like shit and then report it in the bugs section.
i just want to make music and not get side tracked on what daw sounds better because for me ableton live sounds better because i know it the best.

here is the only type of test i would want to see that would make me thinl OK maybe ableton does make some things sound like shit:
1. record all live instruments into two different computers/daws at the same time using the same audio card on both systems (this can be synth or classical instruments voice ect.)
2. record your self using a midi controller split that into two daws using the exact same vstis.
3.all settings on everything in the recording must be the same in each daw
4. make at least 20 tracks (we are talking about a real song here not recording white noise)
5. bounce it all down using the same settings in each daw and then we can finally hear if there is a real difference!

my bets are that most people will not hear anything different.
The Push / Novation Launch Pad / Novation Launch Pad Pro / Novation Launch Key
/ Launch Control XL / Machine MkII / Machine Studio / BeatStep / Livid OhmRGB / Livid Code V2 / Apc 40 MKII

no computers or synths

20 Copies of Ableton Live Lite.

lapieuvre
Posts: 711
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2007 9:29 pm

Re: Katy Perry Mixer - "Ableton sounded terrible" (SoundonSound)

Post by lapieuvre » Sun Jan 08, 2012 3:18 am

nathannn wrote: 5. bounce it all down using the same settings in each daw and then we can finally hear if there is a real difference!

Is it possible that Live loses quality in the bounce process?
Mac OSX 10.13.6
Live 9.7.6 Suite
Live 10.1.2 Suite
Soundcards : FF800, Apollo Twin duo

newboss
Posts: 82
Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2011 5:07 pm

Re: Katy Perry Mixer - "Ableton sounded terrible" (SoundonSound)

Post by newboss » Sun Jan 08, 2012 4:11 am

levimoniz wrote:In my experience there does seem to be a bit of a difference between Ableton Live and some other daws in terms of sound, with Live sounding "worse" (for lack of a better term). How or why this seems to be the case isn't something I can really explain or show proof of, but I have noticed it.

But I still use Live as my main daw of choice. It's not that I don't care about how my music sounds, it's just that Live's sound never outright struck me as being so inferior that I had to do something about it. Granted, my projects don't have hundreds of tracks, and I don't do a lot of processing, but really it just seemed obvious to me that different daws would sound different and I never felt "wrong" for using Live despite what my ears have told me.

I think everyone should ask themselves if they'd be questioning Live's sound if someone on the internet didn't have disparaging things to say about it; ie, is Live's sound a problem in your experience?
In general the live sound is not so bad that one cant work with it.. just sounds a little tired and 2 dimensional in comparison to other daw´s the sounds get more glued together..reverb tails dont separate so well..in general its sounding less natural and airy than other daw´s. But thats just a little thing and can be overcome with arteficial reverbs and a little boosting of high frequencies.. so no big problem for electronic music as long you like the typical ableton sound.

It becomes a bigger problem when you want to do multitrack edits of ready mixed projects where stereo stems contain finalized room info and you dont want to add additional reverbs.. there the edit in live looses quite a lot in comparison to more transparent working daw´s. Its not really the lossless editing digital audio has promised.

And i run into big problems with the ableton sound when i want to use analog and digital outboard gear within live with the aid of the external fx plug-.. with that the ableton sound shows up badly and really ruins what the external processors can do. Its so bad that there are no benefits anymore in using external processing and i guess the external fx plug in live is not used by many because it just dont gives beneficial results.

Doing the same thing in logic with the same settings gives a real wow! fx and qualifies as a very valuable feature. Even cheapest processors like an spx 90 give excellent results while using them inserted in ableton live just sounds tired and muffled.. Seems to have samplerate conversion activated in the process.. but why that?
Maybe its intentional to achieve the special ableton sound?
But its not nice sounding.

I really would prefer a transparent audio quality or when its coloured a colour that is rather beneficial and fresher .. not foggy like in a 70´s soft porn movie.

Tone Deft
Posts: 23565
Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2006 5:19 pm
Location: SF, CA

Re: Katy Perry Mixer - "Ableton sounded terrible" (SoundonSound)

Post by Tone Deft » Sun Jan 08, 2012 4:39 am

if the difference is so obvious, post it.

regarding Tarekith's experiment, people seem to take it to show how Live errs from perfection. no, it shows how Live is different from Logic. they're very very similar.
oddstep wrote:I agree with all of this. I'm just bored of writing "its music, just listen and trust your judgement"

muthafunka
Posts: 2233
Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2003 5:28 pm
Location: Tokyo
Contact:

Re: Katy Perry Mixer - "Ableton sounded terrible" (SoundonSound)

Post by muthafunka » Sun Jan 08, 2012 4:46 am

newboss wrote: Doing the same thing in logic with the same settings gives a real wow! fx and qualifies as a very valuable feature. Even cheapest processors like an spx 90 give excellent results while using them inserted in ableton live just sounds tired and muffled.. Seems to have samplerate conversion activated in the process.. but why that?
newboss, if you have time could you please do a bounce via external effects in Logic vs Live and give us a listen? Without examples it's like a bunch of blind people sitting in front of a painting trying to describe it to each other.

birdhouse19
Posts: 53
Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2009 3:52 am

Re: Katy Perry Mixer - "Ableton sounded terrible" (SoundonSound)

Post by birdhouse19 » Sun Jan 08, 2012 4:56 am

hmj wrote:Interesting to read a PROFESSIONAL completely bash Abletons sound quality. Mind you, this is not another guy on the forum, this is not a Ableton developer talking, this is a guy who actually makes hit records that millions of people consume...

"Everyone says that all DAWs sound the same, but that’s simply not true. I’ve done tests comparing the sound of the same session in different DAWs, and Ableton sounded terrible, Logic and Pro Tools were OK, and Nuendo sounded incredible. Editing in Nuendo is also really fast. Pro Tools is just a standard, it was the first to come onto the market and everybody uses it now, almost out of habit. People in the US don’t know about Nuendo, but I’m sure that if they did, many would switch.”

I could care less about Nuendo but I just wonder how much the all DAW's sound the same campaign is just companies trying to make up for their shortcomings. Marketing can be a very misleading art form, I hope Ableton partaking in it's ugly side.

So why not tell your friend David Guetta to stop using Ableton, since it won't produce any hit records...
Full article here - http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/apr11/a ... t-0411.htm
So why not tell your friend David Guetta to stop using Ableton, since it won't produce any hit records...

newboss
Posts: 82
Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2011 5:07 pm

Re: Katy Perry Mixer - "Ableton sounded terrible" (SoundonSound)

Post by newboss » Sun Jan 08, 2012 5:07 am

muthafunka wrote:
newboss wrote: Doing the same thing in logic with the same settings gives a real wow! fx and qualifies as a very valuable feature. Even cheapest processors like an spx 90 give excellent results while using them inserted in ableton live just sounds tired and muffled.. Seems to have samplerate conversion activated in the process.. but why that?
newboss, if you have time could you please do a bounce via external effects in Logic vs Live and give us a listen? Without examples it's like a bunch of blind people sitting in front of a painting trying to describe it to each other.
sorry.. no fun and time doing this kind of tests again.. its depressing. I just reflected my experience with live to give hints for what to listen or in which scenarios you get the differences. When you are curious try it out yourself thats much quicker performed than generating and posting audio files and this way you also cant question my test method.

Besides it appears to me that people that think that ableton live sounds the same as any other daw are in the minority position anyway..
I only interfeared with this thread because i made exactly the same experiance than the guy in the article.. and i dont work for steinberg.. but they seem to have the finest sound in the mix.. logic and protools are allwright and live does some things to the sound one could describe as terrible when you are not into electronic music.

Tone Deft
Posts: 23565
Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2006 5:19 pm
Location: SF, CA

Re: Katy Perry Mixer - "Ableton sounded terrible" (SoundonSound)

Post by Tone Deft » Sun Jan 08, 2012 5:11 am

levimoniz wrote:
Tone Deft wrote:if the difference is so obvious, post it.
If you're talking to me, I'm not going to do that simply because I'm not interested in convincing anyone. I may be totally wrong but I'm not afraid of being wrong. What I hear is what I hear.

Besides, the "message" of my post was really the last sentence; everything else is more or less introduction of context
nobody in-particular. FWIW I like your posts, very straightforward.

this isn't rocket science, we ALL have the tools to beat up on Live and we'd ALL benefit from showing Ableton how they can make a better product.
oddstep wrote:I agree with all of this. I'm just bored of writing "its music, just listen and trust your judgement"

jlgrimes
Posts: 1265
Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2007 1:55 am
Location: Atlanta, Ga

Re: Katy Perry Mixer - "Ableton sounded terrible" (SoundonSound)

Post by jlgrimes » Sun Jan 08, 2012 7:05 am

I think the main thing with Live is sometimes the warping sounds bad, but with the Complex algorithm, it usually sounds pretty good. And the Live instruments sometimes have their unique sound which might not work for all people.

Other than that, a DAW is a DAW (minus the individual features of different DAWs or the implementation of the features).

Live might not have the best plug-ins but when u use 3rd party, there shouldn't be much difference between DAWs other than pan laws.


To my ears Live sounds great.

hmj
Posts: 82
Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 10:00 pm

Re: Katy Perry Mixer - "Ableton sounded terrible" (SoundonSound)

Post by hmj » Sun Jan 08, 2012 9:35 am

This may come off strange but sound quality isn't the only thing that makes a DAW "sound good."

How well a program handles timing is a HUGE part of it too and in my experience Ableton crumbles to pieces in big sessions. Timing is all over the place - you've seen the thousands of threads complaining about crappy envelope response etc. How well it handles plugins is another big deal. Pro Tools has their own format (RTAS) to make sure they hold up a certain quality in relation to their DAW, kinda makes you wonder.

So yes, when it comes to 1's and 2's they all probably "sound" the same. But when it comes to how they handle audio and how they hold up in the battlefield Ableton doesn't do so well. That's going to make ALL the difference because you're going to hear your song differently, plugins will react differently and the outcome will for better or worse be quite different.

I love Ableton and have come to accept it's short comings and educate myself around them. Ableton IS NOT a professional mixing DAW, it's a production and performance program with incredible features you won't find anywhere else. The art of mixing however is nothing but an after thought to Ableton developers and it's why the people who actually make the biggest records, movies, tv shows don't use the program.

That my friends is what the pros are talking about. When they bash Live, they're bashing Abletons disrespectful neglect for serious mixing and timing issues.

Tone Deft
Posts: 23565
Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2006 5:19 pm
Location: SF, CA

Re: Katy Perry Mixer - "Ableton sounded terrible" (SoundonSound)

Post by Tone Deft » Sun Jan 08, 2012 9:46 am

can I get a 3phase amen??
oddstep wrote:I agree with all of this. I'm just bored of writing "its music, just listen and trust your judgement"

hmj
Posts: 82
Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 10:00 pm

Re: Katy Perry Mixer - "Ableton sounded terrible" (SoundonSound)

Post by hmj » Sun Jan 08, 2012 9:56 am

Tone Deft wrote:can I get a 3phase amen??
Ha, the uncomfortable truth, amen :wink:

just_in
Posts: 38
Joined: Thu Sep 09, 2010 3:55 pm

Re: Katy Perry Mixer - "Ableton sounded terrible" (SoundonSound)

Post by just_in » Sun Jan 08, 2012 10:25 am

Not to sound confrontational, but to people saying there is an audible difference: if you haven't actually performed a blind ABX test your opinion isn't worth much.
There are many people who swear their expensive hi-fi cables sound better/different, yet when they are challenged to spot the difference with a blind test, they can't. Placebo is a very real thing, guys. It can affect all of us.

You can't say it's hard to do the test either. There are several ways for ABX testing on your PC. My favorite is the ABX plugin for Foobar.

I did not perform such a test yet. So I will refrain from making any claims. There could very well be a difference and I'm willing to accept that. But until I see proper methods being used to determine said difference, I won't believe it.

mholloway
Posts: 1572
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2008 7:24 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon, USA
Contact:

Re: Katy Perry Mixer - "Ableton sounded terrible" (SoundonSound)

Post by mholloway » Sun Jan 08, 2012 10:44 am

just_in wrote:Not to sound confrontational, but to people saying there is an audible difference: if you haven't actually performed a blind ABX test your opinion isn't worth much.
There are many people who swear their expensive hi-fi cables sound better/different, yet when they are challenged to spot the difference with a blind test, they can't. Placebo is a very real thing, guys. It can affect all of us.

+1

everybody likes to think their own ears are the special pair unaffected by placebo...but of course placebo is a matter of the mind, not just the ears. but in these forums, mentioning the reality of Placebo is like pointing out Hipsters -- it only applies to other people, never to oneself.
my industrial music made with Ableton Live (as DEAD WHEN I FOUND HER): https://deadwhenifoundher.bandcamp.com/
my dark jazz / noir music made with Ableton Live: https://michaelarthurholloway.bandcamp. ... guilt-noir

simpli.cissimus
Posts: 518
Joined: Mon May 18, 2009 5:33 pm

Re: Katy Perry Mixer - "Ableton sounded terrible" (SoundonSound)

Post by simpli.cissimus » Sun Jan 08, 2012 11:33 am

icedsushi wrote:The people that complain about Live's sound quality almost never take a second to specify in their post that they've gone through any effort to make a sincere apples/apples comparison. Or are they referring to the effects & instruments provided in each DAW? It's almost always a general statement that it "sounds worse" with no specifics as to how they came to that conclusion.

Have they actually taken 30 mins & tried mixing the the exact same project (exact same VST's, exact same audio files) on another DAW, render that and A/B'ed them? Usually not, instead take the 30 mins to post online about some kind of a gut feel they have. It would be much more meaningful & informational to the forum to back up the comments with some kind of specifics as to how they arrived at their conclusion.

When I used to have Logic, I did a comparison mixing the same audio files stems dragged into both Live & Logic, all track faders set to 0db, everything panned to the center without effects. When played back at the exact same volume level, I could not tell the difference.
Add some third part VST's to it, not native ones.
Use distortion, chorus, reverb and compression along with EQ.
Keep the settings on a paper and do that in both DAW's.
Then test if it still sounds the same...by ear.
And also export both to do a phase cancellation test to proof if it's identical.
No! I'll never use the Push-App Live 9 !!!

Post Reply