All this about sound quality

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
dbfs
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Re: All this about sound quality

Post by dbfs » Tue Jan 10, 2012 5:03 am

Anyway, seriously guys... I got a taped episode of Gold Rush that I need to watch. I love that show! It's a bunch of guys that have absolutely no experience in mining gold. People have laughed at them and called them noobs and said they wouldn't last. But ya know what? They are finding gold! Because they didn't listen to people that said they couldn't do it and couldn't think outside the box (pun intended). I love every minute of a good underdog story!

Goodnight :|

newboss
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Re: All this about sound quality

Post by newboss » Tue Jan 10, 2012 5:04 am

a great thing about 2011... even the last surriving neanderthals are ableton live users now.. all hail electronic music production

dbfs
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Re: All this about sound quality

Post by dbfs » Tue Jan 10, 2012 5:11 am

masterblasterofdisaster wrote:
dbfs wrote:
masterblasterofdisaster wrote:"I believe there are differences and I am pretty adamant about it."

When you're taking a break on the ad hominem attacks, you should think about how to make your case and let us know!

I'll listen, even if the others think you come off as a bit of a twat.
Nice! A new player in the game! God, I cant resist it!

Doesn't someone have to actually make a claim of something in order to put an ad hominem attack on them? And the irony with your posts, is that the whole thread is basically an ad hominem against me. :lol:

You aren't really interested either - You're just another one of those "You prove it first" guys... Isn't it past your bedtime?

Next :arrow:
Dude.

If you're making a claim, the onus is on you to provide evidence. If not, nobody fucking cares.
Listen, you need to read the thread, champ. You're not grasping the simple concept that, I'm not the one claiming "its all math" and its "all the same". I claim there are unknown forces at work and at this time i am unable to determine what those forces are. If you cant prove why I'm hearing what I'm hearing, then you also can't prove that everything we've know about audio up until now is entirely accurate.

I'll leave you with a Buddha quote that particularly like.

“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”

Tarekith
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Re: All this about sound quality

Post by Tarekith » Tue Jan 10, 2012 5:22 am

"Listen, you need to read the thread, champ. You're not grasping the simple concept that, I'm not the one claiming "its all math" and its "all the same". I claim there are unknown forces at work and at this time i am unable to determine what those forces are. If you cant prove why I'm hearing what I'm hearing, then you also can't prove that everything we've know about audio up until now is entirely accurate."

You see, I can totally agree with that, I don't doubt it at all. The problem I have is that anytime someone makes that claim and people say "prove it", they can't. And I'm not saying you have to quantify the unknown or the indescribeable, but give us two examples of the exact same work done in different apps that exhibits this sound quality difference so we can hear it too.

This is the point where I disgree with people.

Because everytime I've set up identical projects among different DAWs myself to get to the bottom of this (and I've made the project files available here many times for anyone else to comfirm or see for themselves), there's no audible difference. Everytime someone thinks they have an example of some audible difference, we work through the steps they took, and it ends up that SOMETHING ultimately isn't identical between the projects.

Damn, guess I just defended myself and fell into the lame trap huh?
Last edited by Tarekith on Tue Jan 10, 2012 5:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
Tarekith
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pencilrocket
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Re: All this about sound quality

Post by pencilrocket » Tue Jan 10, 2012 5:22 am

newboss wrote: And i know that not so long ago even applying the crossfader to single live tracks degenerated their audio quality already..that got fixed long ago without showing up in the change log, but that proves that many things can go wrong in abletons complex audio engine and that they are a bit shy about improvements in that direction. Probably they have claimed perfection way to early and therefor cant advertise improvements or bug fixes in that area anymore.

Question is ..what is the actual state of L8´s audio engine .

And..much more difficult to find out.. will things that go wrong on one hardware config will go wrong on another too.

With L8 we have seen times where one week one part of the users had the crashes on beta xy.1 while the next week they got stable operation while another part of the users got the crashes with beta xy.2.

Can same things apply to the audio problems some experience? I got a macbook pro now because abletons inhouse testing is almost exclusively done on pro books. So maybe i am on the sunny side of live now..

But..to know that i ve to repeat the tests i did a half year ago where live clearly lost again logic and where the external fx plug of ableton did dread full things with my nice jünger limiter.. turning it soundwise into a cheap ableton plug in... while in logic you clearly got why this machine was the official german broadcast limiter for the last decade..

Just.. i really fear the test.. would be depressive when the phenomenon is still there.. I actually wish that i can anounce that in my actual setup there is no audible difference between logic and live.. i really wish that. Just.. the audio troubke seemed also on my old setup seemed to come and go.. on some projects not a single second wher i questioned the sound..on on others it became quite obvious.. never really got close what has caused it..maybe having files with different samplerates in one project? but that shouldt cause SR to be on on files that have the correct samplerate or effect the functionality of the external fx plug.. but..who knows,,with L8 every weard thing is possible. The latest beta with the new report routine shows that ableton themself dont see L8 as finished yet and that we are still in the beta state with L8.

Shall i do the test with L8.27 or the latest beta with report routine enabled?
Yes I think Live's audio engine is something different from the others. One of the obvious diffrence is the CPU usage comparing to the other DAWs. I still don't have any clear technological mechanism how Live uses higher CPU and begin to pop sooner than the others.
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newboss
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Re: All this about sound quality

Post by newboss » Tue Jan 10, 2012 5:29 am

pencilrocket wrote: Yes I think Live's audio engine is something different from the others. One of the obvious diffrence is the CPU usage comparing to the other DAWs. I still don't have any clear technological reason why Live uses higher CPU and begin to pop sooner than the others.
sure its different..it has elastic audio and is not locked to a fixed samplerate.. you can mix files with different samplerates and bit depth in one project without spending on thought on conversions.. can change the tempo at any time start loops in time over an running arrangement..record all your moves aso.. that probably comes with some costs.. And on the other hand the older daws had much more time to optimize their code and have probably more experienced daw coders.
Its not like that the the othet daw manufactors dont had problems in the past..
cubase was a mess in the late 90´s and logic was a mess in the early 2000´s.. and live was a mess in 2010... in a few years from now they maybe are also slimmer on the cpu usage...

masterblasterofdisaster
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Re: All this about sound quality

Post by masterblasterofdisaster » Tue Jan 10, 2012 5:40 am

dbfs wrote: Listen, you need to read the thread, champ. You're not grasping the simple concept that, I'm not the one claiming "its all math" and its "all the same".
I never said or suggested you believe as much.

You appear to be far more slippery than that - perhaps you're one of those people that is drawn to the ineffable and would hate to be pinned down by empirical evidence, as it would simply ruin the sense of wonder and mystery that colors your day to day experience.

Thanks for the quote - I've read it many times before.

dbfs
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Re: All this about sound quality

Post by dbfs » Tue Jan 10, 2012 5:41 am

Tarekith wrote:"Listen, you need to read the thread, champ. You're not grasping the simple concept that, I'm not the one claiming "its all math" and its "all the same". I claim there are unknown forces at work and at this time i am unable to determine what those forces are. If you cant prove why I'm hearing what I'm hearing, then you also can't prove that everything we've know about audio up until now is entirely accurate."

You see, I can totally agree with that, I don't doubt it at all. The problem I have is that anytime someone makes that claim and people say "prove it", they can't. And I'm not saying you have to quantify the unknown or the indescribeable, but give us two examples of the exact same work done in different apps that exhibits this sound quality difference so we can hear it too.

This is the point where I disgree with people.

Because everytime I've set up identical projects among different DAWs myself to get to the bottom of this (and I've made the project files available here many times for anyone else to comfirm or see for themselves), there's no audible difference. Everytime someone thinks they have an example of some audible difference, we work through the steps they took, and it ends up that SOMETHING ultimately isn't identical between the projects.

Damn, guess I just defended myself and fell into the lame trap huh?
No, your not lame for actually stopping and questioning this phenomenon too. This is a good discussion when you aren't blowing off the possibility that something is different. And with that uncertainty right there, i think it pretty much shows that we don't know everything about audio that we thought we did. Because if we did, these types of phenomenons would be explainable and understandable. But no one understand it. And theres about as many cases of people hearing a difference as there are UFO sitings. Its interesting shit and there is a certain percentage of unknown at play that people want to ignore to make their point. Its very convenient for them, when they have no other argument.

pencilrocket
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Re: All this about sound quality

Post by pencilrocket » Tue Jan 10, 2012 5:53 am

newboss wrote:
pencilrocket wrote: Yes I think Live's audio engine is something different from the others. One of the obvious diffrence is the CPU usage comparing to the other DAWs. I still don't have any clear technological reason why Live uses higher CPU and begin to pop sooner than the others.
sure its different..it has elastic audio and is not locked to a fixed samplerate.. you can mix files with different samplerates and bit depth in one project without spending on thought on conversions.. can change the tempo at any time start loops in time over an running arrangement..record all your moves aso.. that probably comes with some costs.. And on the other hand the older daws had much more time to optimize their code and have probably more experienced daw coders.
Its not like that the the othet daw manufactors dont had problems in the past..
cubase was a mess in the late 90´s and logic was a mess in the early 2000´s.. and live was a mess in 2010... in a few years from now they maybe are also slimmer on the cpu usage...
I see, the elastique factor might be affecting it. Also, there may be other factors in its situation with them complexed. For example, multi core processing.
Multicore support needs a big overhaul
http://forum.ableton.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=172654
Ableton Live 8 Running horribly slow on Mac Pro 8 Core
http://forum.ableton.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=111878

Well, we hope Ableton have got good programmer...
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Tarekith
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Re: All this about sound quality

Post by Tarekith » Tue Jan 10, 2012 6:01 am

Well, that's the thing, people often skim what I write and assume I'm saying "This is right, nothing else". That's not it at all, I'm usually presenting what I know I can reproducibly share with others so we can get to the bottom of this kind of stuff, because it fascinates me too. There's no doubt that people hear things differently, and that sometimes our ears play tricks on us. In lieu of that, the best we can do is narrow down the circumstances of those kind of situations to rule out as many variables as possible.

So people ask me to prove my point, and I do my best to do so by providing audio examples that show WHY I don't buy into the argument that all things being equal Live is inherently inferior sounding to other DAWs. The problem, is that no one can provide concrete examples to prove their counter-point, it just ends up with them saying "well I know what I hear, and Live always sounds worse."

Fair enough but if it's that obvious to someone, then it shouldn't be that hard to demonstrate that, and yet no one has. I'm not doubting what people think they hear, I just want to hear it for myself if it's such a common thing. And so far to date, no one has stepped up and found a reliable way to show that. So it doesn't prove that they're wrong, but it's not swaying me to their way of thinking either.

If this is such an obvious issue with Live, why can't we come up with a way to show it?
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dbfs
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Re: All this about sound quality

Post by dbfs » Tue Jan 10, 2012 6:10 am

Maybe we've been going about this debate all wrong. Tests? Those aren't working for reason we can't explain. I've done 'em, you've done 'em - We've all done 'em. Fair enough. We need to change our strategy , obviously.

I'm brainstorming, standby :idea:

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Re: All this about sound quality

Post by Tarekith » Tue Jan 10, 2012 6:17 am

I'm not even saying it has to be a test, I'm saying show me an example. Show me something that at least comes somewhat close to making Live the culprit for some kind of quality loss, and not some other factor. I'm not saying you or anyone else is wrong, but there has to be something other than just hearsay or conjecture that helps to express that point of view.
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newboss
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Re: All this about sound quality

Post by newboss » Tue Jan 10, 2012 6:18 am

Tarekith wrote:Well, that's the thing, people often skim what I write and assume I'm saying "This is right, nothing else". That's not it at all, I'm usually presenting what I know I can reproducibly share with others so we can get to the bottom of this kind of stuff, because it fascinates me too. There's no doubt that people hear things differently, and that sometimes our ears play tricks on us. In lieu of that, the best we can do is narrow down the circumstances of those kind of situations to rule out as many variables as possible.

So people ask me to prove my point, and I do my best to do so by providing audio examples that show WHY I don't buy into the argument that all things being equal Live is inherently inferior sounding to other DAWs. The problem, is that no one can provide concrete examples to prove their counter-point, it just ends up with them saying "well I know what I hear, and Live always sounds worse."

Fair enough but if it's that obvious to someone, then it shouldn't be that hard to demonstrate that, and yet no one has. I'm not doubting what people think they hear, I just want to hear it for myself if it's such a common thing. And so far to date, no one has stepped up and found a reliable way to show that. So it doesn't prove that they're wrong, but it's not swaying me to their way of thinking either.

If this is such an obvious issue with Live, why can't we come up with a way to show it?

maybe because nobody has worked out a valid test method yet?

i would say.. multiple tracks are needed,, best stereo tracks with complex signals... the signals should be from complex sound sources.. so recordings of analog synths or acoustical instruments.. plug in sound sources are usually to rough and generated within the test objekt.. its likely that a daw can mix signals better it has generated itself..

than the question of levels.. the faders shouldnt be in the unity gain position..and we would need to compensate for different pan laws..

problem.. we cant expect the daws to have the same level scaling resolution.. so an external metering would be good.. for people using rme interfaces the digicheck tool might provide there..

and than that all repeated on differnt setups and audio interface drivers..

we cant exclude the possebilty that the phenomen is just a interface comunication phenomen so we hear degenrations in the monitor but the digital source data is the same.. That would explain why cancelation tests allways work out in favor of live..

one could say now that this wouldnt be so bad than because the rendered result is the same.. but what is with people that want to use theire ssl/amek/neve/studer or whatever desks in mixdown?

i want a what you hear is what you get daw... and sofar i know that is what ableton intends to provide aswell.


3rd party plugs should be used so the test daws just use the same plugs..

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Re: All this about sound quality

Post by Tarekith » Tue Jan 10, 2012 6:25 am

Well, you can start here maybe:

http://forum.ableton.com/viewtopic.php? ... ic+vs+live

In the end not bit for bit identical, but is there an audio difference? Is there some way to modify this that proves Live is worse? I don't agree that cancellation tests favor Live, at best they show nothing but a difference that's theoretically beyond human hearing. Doesn't mean one is better than the other though.
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newboss
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Re: All this about sound quality

Post by newboss » Tue Jan 10, 2012 6:33 am

and last but not least.. how does live react on imported tracks.. one of the latest audio engine bugs only appeard on imported files..

i once had the brown henke dither on imported files even when setting them all single on the project speed.. i needed to switch warping on and of again for ech single track to get the SR off..

warping should be on.. but the files should have matching tempos set with the project tempo..

actually i think that in this department is the main part of the problem..

Its actually really a problem that live dont gives any feedback on the SR status of a track or clip...

Also.. when you interface is on an external wordclock.. is it possible that live can get irritated by that? ok..thats the job of the interface driver to take care of that..

its a complex thing. But thinking that all over its actually a bit ignorant to wipe the issues from the table. There is a reason that lives sound is so often in question.. and maybe different reasons work together here.

Thats a genertal problem with sound questions..when evrything works good we dont care.. take it as normal.. but whensomething goes wrong we realize and start questioning thing.. so one day with bad behaviour has a much higher impact on our judgement than weeks without any flaw..

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