All this about sound quality

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

Post by newboss » Tue Jan 10, 2012 6:45 am

Tarekith wrote: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.

thats all plug in sound sources?

in any case the theorie is that all 32 bit float daws sum and sound the same.. when the outcome is not bit identical either the test is flawed or the all daw´s sound the same myth is busted.. in the moment they dont sound the same we either have them all doing errors.. than its a matter of taste maybe.. Or one daw is doing it right and the other has errors..in which case the one with errors would be not as good as the other..

In the times i experienced or suffered from the phenomenon it was easy to decide that live was worse because the contender had more detail and sounded more like the original sound that still was running.. so the more natural and open sounding daw was clearly the better sounding for me..

but.. only one track that runs samplerate converted already can cause such fx and is in the mix with clean tracks almost impossible to spot really..

And again.. interface communications could be an issue.. I ve an rme fireface..and in a distant past there was issues with rme and ableton on a mac.. the sound of live was different on os x than on os 9..significantly different..
But back than all german companys had problems with the os x..
But.. has happened before..might have happened again..especially in times where the codebase of live is so shaky as we had it with L8. And Rme had problems with theire mac drivers too during the last year...
AND a userbase that wipes any critic from the table and declares anybody experiance problems a newb or retard.
I say that this dont helps to find problems when people get scared of being mobbed when mentioning them.
Last edited by newboss on Tue Jan 10, 2012 6:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

pencilrocket
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Re: All this about sound quality

Post by pencilrocket » Tue Jan 10, 2012 6:46 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?
As I said in other thread, it's not surprising to see those kind of reaction here who say "I hear sound different", "I believe my ear over the science". They Ableton have been sold their product to the noob people who are willing to obtain low spec products (except Mac Pro, this is genuine workstation) and low performance OS rather than higher end machine and higher performance OS because of the 'I feel one sound better' or 'I believe my feeling over science' things. The company hyped products and people have been buying it and they believe "hey I'm one of cool peeps cuz I got Ableton", "Live is cool program because they say it is used by ****(your favorite artist)", "Live is the best software because they say it's the best". This is very standard practice for business to sell products or service to noobs, stupid people, uncultured people. That's the business. You may know the market for Lemons. I know you have seen these type of people here, usualy they are called macfag (as for apple fanboy) who believe Apple and other macfags' hype as truth. It's quite natural process for this community, and we don't have to supress those because it's useless for them. We can hardly educate those people. They don't care at all how the truth is. They do care how they feel. This is most important thing for them. The one thing being different from the the market for Lemons is that the fanboys are happy with their heyped products until they die (or realize while growing up). I don't think it's bad thing as long as they don't try to involve other people in their religion.
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dbfs
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Re: All this about sound quality

Post by dbfs » Tue Jan 10, 2012 6:48 am

This is about as extremely complex as it gets. Because if I can't do anything to prove it, and you can't do anything to prove it. Now where are we? We're at a point where there is obviously something that we are overlooking and not taking into account.

We have guys that hear it.
We have guys that don't.
We have guys that think logic is cleaner then live.
We have people that think Studio One blows them all away in sound.

And to be honest, I know exactly wtf they are talking about. This program is doing something right, that is very pleasing to my ears. Even at large track counts. It's really been a blessing to finally have a program that isn't fuckin with my audio in a displeasing way that I have no control over. My mixes have never been punchier, and it ain't because I haven't been trying all these years and i don't know how to achieve "the boom." I know precisely what I'm doing and how to get there.

Live lacks the "big picture" clarity. Does that mean you cant mix a professional sounding album on it? What does that even mean? Honestly, its been about the song forever, not the audio quality. But what i can tell you, is that Live may color the sound in a not so pleasing way that might be otherwise pleasing in another program for reasons unknown.

Tarekith
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Re: All this about sound quality

Post by Tarekith » Tue Jan 10, 2012 6:55 am

dbfs wrote:This is about as extremely complex as it gets. Because if I can't do anything to prove it, and you can't do anything to prove it.
But you haven't even TRIED to prove it, where as I have. It's not complex at all, because you have not even tried to come up with with a situation which demonstrates your point of view.

And for what it's worth, I was on the beta team for Studio One, and version 2. And while I really like the direction that app is taking, when I do comparisons, I still don't hear it being at it's core better sounding than any other DAW. Some really nice workflow improvements, and much better audio editing than Live, but inherently better sound quality? Sorry.

Anyway, that's it for me, time for bed, I have a busy tomorrow faking my mastering engineer business and working on getting my post count to 20,000.
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nathannn
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Re: All this about sound quality

Post by nathannn » Tue Jan 10, 2012 6:57 am

once again to be fair to people saying that live sounds worse and do not want scientific test this is what you will need to do to test live.

1. a mixer
2. two identical sound cards
3. two separate computers one running live the other computer running another daw .


in live you will need to make sure warping is off and set default sample conversion to high quality in live.set bit depth to 32 bits in both daws.
record at the highest possible sample rate your sound card/both daws will allow.

run the sound to be recorded to the mixer, the audio from the mixer to both sound cards, record.

do not use any built in effects in either daw, only 3rd party plug ins so all settings in both daws will be is identical as possible.
try to stay away from using rtas plug ins.

try to record around 20 tracks since the argument seems to be that live's quality worsens with track count

also add soft synths or vsti instruments to the track (this also needs to be done to rule out a problem with audio coming from inside the box and any issues live may have handling vsti's) and apply the same above rule.

bounce the audio without dithering.

this really is the only solution to come up with two unbiased pieces of audio to compare.
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newboss
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Re: All this about sound quality

Post by newboss » Tue Jan 10, 2012 7:14 am

dbfs wrote: Live lacks the "big picture" clarity. Does that mean you cant mix a professional sounding album on it? What does that even mean? Honestly, its been about the song forever, not the audio quality. But what i can tell you, is that Live may color the sound in a not so pleasing way that might be otherwise pleasing in another program for reasons unknown.
Yep..clarity is an issue.
i never had a problem when exclusively working with live, you work with the sound than and make it work.. but as soon i imported finsihed recordings of past sessions..hour long runoffs with analog synths, you need the warping engaged..the tempo resolution is way to rough with just 2 digits. dont want an oberheim 4 voice to sound like an ableton plug. and the ableton sound is there also when no warping is active.. at least when i monitor the file with apples quicktime player its nice.. and as soon its played from within live it has lost some sparkel..

Actually also a conceptional flaw that the accessible tempo resolution is so much rougher than the internal one.. that invites for trouble somehow.

One also can become allergic about the special ableton sound.. 10 years ago i liked it, was rougher but somehow more special back than..but by now it gets in my way when i have it all the time.. sometimes neutral is a nicer startpoint.
Like having had the same curry way to often you get allergic about it.. Its really a bit like mixing with a behringer desk.. when a coloration dont sounds posh and expensive it gets on your nerves after a while.

For example i had big fun with an old digital desk. a yamaha dmc 1000..sounded digital as manga porn.. ivory pixels..nice..

doing the same track just in live is ... uhhhhh.. just flat sounding.. no chance without the aid of many plugs.

So why is the ableton mixbus not sounding as nice as such an old digital console? However.. the Dmc 1000 was developed for classical music production.. they tried to make it nice and the filters are great.. i would love eq plugs that just do the old yamaha filters...

newboss
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Re: All this about sound quality

Post by newboss » Tue Jan 10, 2012 7:16 am

nathannn wrote: bounce the audio without dithering.

.

not valid because interfacing with the computer os and audio interface drivers could be part of the phenomenon..

actually you should record the outcome with a third daw with the possible best converters.

or a proper master recorder/dat

monolake
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Re: All this about sound quality

Post by monolake » Tue Jan 10, 2012 7:26 am

how comes that newboss and dbfs are fitting so perfectly well together in their ongoing mission against
Live? and how comes that they both make similar grammar and spelling mistskes? i am not saying that they are both 3phase, i am just saying that it is getting harder and harder to proof that they are not....
Last edited by monolake on Tue Jan 10, 2012 7:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

nathannn
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Re: All this about sound quality

Post by nathannn » Tue Jan 10, 2012 7:27 am

@ newboss then how would you get the audio out of the third daw? you are going to have to export at some time.

ahh i just seen the record into dat part.

that's a huge problem because a lot of people (myself included) have never touched dat nor have access to dat anymore.
i dont see why you couldn't record the output into something else like a handheld field recorder. after the audio has been mixed and recorded to both daws would it really matter what final mixes are recorded to?
even if a field recorder was to add artifacts, the tracks from each daw would be affected the same.
Last edited by nathannn on Tue Jan 10, 2012 7:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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nathannn
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Re: All this about sound quality

Post by nathannn » Tue Jan 10, 2012 7:30 am

monolake wrote:how comes that newboss and dbfs are fitting so perfectly well together in their ongoing mission against
Live? and how comes that they both make simmilar grammar and spelling mistskes? i am not saying that they are both 3phase, i am just saying that it is getting harder and harder to proof that they are not....
fine..
the only way to prove that they are not 3phase is
1. get two computers.
2. run the input of their message from both computers through a mixer.
3. im rambling.
4. i give up.
The Push / Novation Launch Pad / Novation Launch Pad Pro / Novation Launch Key
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dbfs
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Re: All this about sound quality

Post by dbfs » Tue Jan 10, 2012 7:38 am

monolake wrote:how comes that newboss and dbfs are fitting so perfectly well together in their ongoing mission against
Live? and how comes that they both make simmilar grammar and spelling mistskes? i am not saying that they are both 3phase, i am just saying that it is getting harder and harder to proof that they are not....
Are you serious dude? Shouldn't you be on a conspiracy forum somewhere?

You didn't just question my grammar with that atrocious attempt of a post, did you? :roll: I'm going to make believe I didn't see that post and let you off the hook. Consider it a friendly gesture.

newboss has been giving me shit this whole thread about my attitude. And now he's me? Or I'm him? Or wait, I'm 3phase... or were both 3phase?!?! I'm fuckin confused who I am now. Thanks. :roll:

dbfs
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Re: All this about sound quality

Post by dbfs » Tue Jan 10, 2012 7:52 am

Tarekith wrote:
dbfs wrote:This is about as extremely complex as it gets. Because if I can't do anything to prove it, and you can't do anything to prove it.
But you haven't even TRIED to prove it, where as I have. It's not complex at all, because you have not even tried to come up with with a situation which demonstrates your point of view.

And for what it's worth, I was on the beta team for Studio One, and version 2. And while I really like the direction that app is taking, when I do comparisons, I still don't hear it being at it's core better sounding than any other DAW. Some really nice workflow improvements, and much better audio editing than Live, but inherently better sound quality? Sorry.

Anyway, that's it for me, time for bed, I have a busy tomorrow faking my mastering engineer business and working on getting my post count to 20,000.
Ah, the good 'ol "I've got real work to do" post. Yeah, those always make you look more important then you really are. An easy getaway from a thread you know you have no business being in. I call bullshit on the real work. The only work you're doing, is working on stroking your third person ego some more. And it didn't take you long for you to shift gears, did it? Once again, were back to me proving something. Again.... I knew it wouldn't last long.

Good for you on being a BETA tester, as well! Thats quite an achievement! So, can I thank you for some of the bugs that still exist in Studio One? :lol:

nathannn
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Re: All this about sound quality

Post by nathannn » Tue Jan 10, 2012 8:03 am

nathannn wrote:once again to be fair to people saying that live sounds worse and do not want scientific test this is what you will need to do to test live.

1. a mixer
2. two identical sound cards
3. two separate computers one running live the other computer running another daw .


in live you will need to make sure warping is off and set default sample conversion to high quality in live.set bit depth to 32 bits in both daws.
record at the highest possible sample rate your sound card/both daws will allow.

run the sound to be recorded to the mixer, the audio from the mixer to both sound cards, record.

do not use any built in effects in either daw, only 3rd party plug ins so all settings in both daws will be is identical as possible.
try to stay away from using rtas plug ins.

try to record around 20 tracks since the argument seems to be that live's quality worsens with track count

also add soft synths or vsti instruments to the track (this also needs to be done to rule out a problem with audio coming from inside the box and any issues live may have handling vsti's) and apply the same above rule.

bounce the audio without dithering. (or as new boss has suggested record the out put of both daws into dat / and as i re-suggested record into anything that has decent quality since both tracks from both daws will be affected the same)

this really is the only solution to come up with two unbiased pieces of audio to compare.
yeah im quoting myself...
to my knowledge, no test like this has ever been done and been available to general public. we have null test upon null test but this really is the most simple of all test and should be done before seeing if two tracks will null.
so until some one accurately documents and shares this simple audio test all bitching at each other should really cease.
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.

dbfs
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Re: All this about sound quality

Post by dbfs » Tue Jan 10, 2012 8:06 am

nathannn wrote:
nathannn wrote:once again to be fair to people saying that live sounds worse and do not want scientific test this is what you will need to do to test live.

1. a mixer
2. two identical sound cards
3. two separate computers one running live the other computer running another daw .


in live you will need to make sure warping is off and set default sample conversion to high quality in live.set bit depth to 32 bits in both daws.
record at the highest possible sample rate your sound card/both daws will allow.

run the sound to be recorded to the mixer, the audio from the mixer to both sound cards, record.

do not use any built in effects in either daw, only 3rd party plug ins so all settings in both daws will be is identical as possible.
try to stay away from using rtas plug ins.

try to record around 20 tracks since the argument seems to be that live's quality worsens with track count

also add soft synths or vsti instruments to the track (this also needs to be done to rule out a problem with audio coming from inside the box and any issues live may have handling vsti's) and apply the same above rule.

bounce the audio without dithering. (or as new boss has suggested record the out put of both daws into dat / and as i re-suggested record into anything that has decent quality since both tracks from both daws will be affected the same)

this really is the only solution to come up with two unbiased pieces of audio to compare.
yeah im quoting myself...
to my knowledge, no test like this has ever been done and been available to general public. we have null test upon null test but this really is the most simple of all test and should be done before seeing if two tracks will null.
so until some one accurately documents and shares this simple audio test all bitching at each other should really cease.
And even that test is flawed because pieces of gear are inherently "different" sounding. Even if they are the same piece of gear. So getting two identical sound cards could potentially screw up the test. Hell, two different computers could even be a problem.

newboss
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Re: All this about sound quality

Post by newboss » Tue Jan 10, 2012 8:09 am

monolake wrote:how comes that newboss and dbfs are fitting so perfectly well together in their ongoing mission against
Live? and how comes that they both make simmilar grammar and spelling mistskes? i am not saying that they are both 3phase, i am just saying that it is getting harder and harder to proof that they are not....
Are you getting paranoid now with the old age? And its not a mission against live its one for live. Its not only 3phase that thinks there are issues.. starts with the berlin hero villalobos..and ..and ..and ..and ..and..and ..and ..and..and...and i constantly check the status..peopel use live..but they dont produce their records with it. At least the majority of collegs i know doesnt do that.
Why that? you claimed the audio be as good as on any other daw already in 2004 when i recall it right.
Have there been quality improvements since that time? I really would like to get an answer on that one.. because officially there wasnt any.. And that dont matches my experience with the program.. and is not really creating trust for ableton statements.


The arrogance of ableton hasnt helped with the L8 crashbugs that was accepted way to late..
Ableton claimed them to be user bugs and wanted the users to proove the bugs to them with a standarized bug report routine that didnt allowed to report random crash bugs at all.

So the fight for live became a fight against ableton.. as contradictonary that sounds..

But with so many bad decissions?
Started with the midi implentation.. dont understand up to today why the midi clips got a total different convention and was so unworkable from the start that one wonderd whether the developers ever have worked with a midi sequencer before they have written an own one. But sticking to age old concepts and implemeting them badly instead just enabling the audo clips to do midi

Would have made it much easier to do the next evolutionary step and allow for real mutitrack clips..and thats actually where live has problems.. multitrack editing and production.. puzzeling with blocks is fine.. but dealing with multitrack content that is supposed to keep its timing relations?
you cant even lock anything along the timeline.
Grouptracks without own launch clips?
anyway.. design flaws are one thing.. nailing possible malfunctions is another.

And regarding the audio we must deal with malfunctions here. Because officially ableton claims transparent operation when warping is in neutral settings..
Or is that just the relative statement and the user just dont knows about the if´s and when´s ?

The ongoing audio issue is another thing in the same hide and seek department as the L8 crashbugs.
Look in your own changelogs.. not so long ago there was a samplerate conversion related bug fixed that of cause , like the crashbugs just appeared "under rare conditions.."

Can you explain me why this rare conditions always happened on my computer? at that time a 2,16 black mac book...
Thanks for the fix anyway..but was a hard bit of work to get some attention for the issue..

And the issue with audio degenerations when using the crossfader function around 2 years ago was sofar i know never reported fixed in a change log..but it got fixed.. by accident?
Has the external fx plug beeing fixed in the time inbetween without notice?

Its really a problem when one has constantly to check the program to see what offsets you need to apply to restore your original performance. One can say that midi is still not an exact science with live.

Will L9 have audio improvements? and if so..will they be advertised? or is it again to the user to question their sanity when its out?

So people wouldnt even able to praise a better audio quality even when its there without appearing stupid?

Anyway. i wont bother you much longer..getting tired of fighting against the ableton mills ..you know.. there are rumours in berlin that ableton has actually finaly found problems in their audio engine, and that the rewrite of L9 needed a rewrite that is performed right now.. Funny gossip for a daw that is supposed to dont have audio problems where just a handful of 3phases cant operate it correctly..

Seems that more people talk about the topic than you are aware of.

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