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Ableton & Logic sound (yes I know...)

Posted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 1:07 pm
by perehj
Hello,

Not meaning to start a debate or DAW war, just wanting some straight answers because I'm experiencing a difference in sound by a fair margin.
I've gotten used to Ableton, it's workflow, quick messing with audio, great sampler etc, but I'm consistently thinking it's not worth me carrying on and I may aswell switch to the 'industry standard' before I can't be bothered anymore.

Just now as an example I took a 909 kickdrum from a Goldbaby tape 909 sample pack. I went into Logic, dropped in a 4x4 pattern in an audio channel and turned it down to -6db with no processing of any kind; then I proceeded to do exactly the same in an audio channel in Ableton with exactly the same sample. Master was left untouched in both.

At first there didn't seem like there was any difference when listening inside the DAW, however I then exported. The top end and clarity of the Logic export was clear in comparison to the slightly muddied kick from the Ableton export, where the top end was barely audible.
What's the explanation for this?
I exported on 48000 24 bit and wav in ableton and 320 MP3 in Logic, is this the only reason? Wouldn't a WAV sound better?

I just figure there must be a reason as to why I rarely hear about Ableton being used in proper studios, despite the fact that some of my favourite producers like Objekt and Marcel Dettman use Ableton (Objekt also said however that he has to layer all of his drums and process them heavily before they hit hard enough and that the Ableton FX are 'thin' in the wrong hands), I still can't have confidence in it.

Thanks for any answers in advance.

Re: Ableton & Logic sound (yes I know...)

Posted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 1:14 pm
by Szuumm
perehj wrote:I exported on 48000 24 bit and wav in ableton and 320 MP3 in Logic
If you don't bother to do an a/b test properly, is there really any point creating a new thread to discuss?

Re: Ableton & Logic sound (yes I know...)

Posted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 1:31 pm
by HorusProject
Szuumm wrote:
perehj wrote:I exported on 48000 24 bit and wav in ableton and 320 MP3 in Logic
If you don't bother to do an a/b test properly, is there really any point creating a new thread to discuss?
+1

I have heard over and over that, "Logic sounds better!". To be honest i don't have Logic and I am happy with how Ableton Live "sounds".

How many times does this subject come up and without emperical evidence. I was watching Jay Tripwire on Pyramind the other day and he says he tried Ableton Live but Logic sounds better. Wheres the evidence? Surely its all Jedi mind tricks? Has anyone watched this?

Re: Ableton & Logic sound (yes I know...)

Posted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 2:17 pm
by d.reamonn
perehj wrote:Hello,

Not meaning to start a debate or DAW war, just wanting some straight answers because I'm experiencing a difference in sound by a fair margin.
I've gotten used to Ableton, it's workflow, quick messing with audio, great sampler etc, but I'm consistently thinking it's not worth me carrying on and I may aswell switch to the 'industry standard' before I can't be bothered anymore.

Just now as an example I took a 909 kickdrum from a Goldbaby tape 909 sample pack. I went into Logic, dropped in a 4x4 pattern in an audio channel and turned it down to -6db with no processing of any kind; then I proceeded to do exactly the same in an audio channel in Ableton with exactly the same sample. Master was left untouched in both.

At first there didn't seem like there was any difference when listening inside the DAW, however I then exported. The top end and clarity of the Logic export was clear in comparison to the slightly muddied kick from the Ableton export, where the top end was barely audible.
What's the explanation for this?
I exported on 48000 24 bit and wav in ableton and 320 MP3 in Logic, is this the only reason? Wouldn't a WAV sound better?

I just figure there must be a reason as to why I rarely hear about Ableton being used in proper studios, despite the fact that some of my favourite producers like Objekt and Marcel Dettman use Ableton (Objekt also said however that he has to layer all of his drums and process them heavily before they hit hard enough and that the Ableton FX are 'thin' in the wrong hands), I still can't have confidence in it.

Thanks for any answers in advance.
I moved to Ableton from Logic. I prefer Ableton's sound. It's more like dubstep, which is what I do, because its style is what is closest to my own style, and as they say be yourself.

Re: Ableton & Logic sound (yes I know...)

Posted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 2:35 pm
by timday
Bounce a mono track out of each at the same volume and quality, reimport to either, and phase invert one of the tracks. If it nulls then there is no difference between the two.

AFAIK Ableton's "audio engine" issues are almost entirely down to PDC issues and nothing to do with how it treats the actual audio itself, although a null test might say different I suppose. There's a thread somewhere where somebody did null tests against Logic and Pro Tools to check if there was any difference in summing and I don't think there was.

Some people here reckon it miught be worth turning off the auto warp and auto fade.

Re: Ableton & Logic sound (yes I know...)

Posted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 3:48 pm
by Rinsemeister
We're talking about transients here. (909 Kick)

Turn off fades.

The fade in Ableton is 4ms (AFAIK)

Big difference. Fade kills initial transient / click / whatever.......

Re: Ableton & Logic sound (yes I know...)

Posted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 4:12 pm
by SpeedKing
Rinsemeister wrote:We're talking about transients here. (909 Kick)

Turn off fades.

The fade in Ableton is 4ms (AFAIK)

Big difference. Fade kills initial transient / click / whatever.......
Interesting. I hope the OP chimes in after doing this. I'm curious as to if this made a discernible difference in his experiment.

Re: Ableton & Logic sound (yes I know...)

Posted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 4:48 pm
by reeloy
....yes, we all know...

....i use logic since 93....
and i use ableton since version 1.0....

....and well, they're both no industry standard, if there's such a thing apart from pro tools running with it's own dsp farms....

the golden rule is always the same.....use best of all worlds....

an audio engine that is capable to stretch and pitch in realtime can't be that clean as one that is just playing and recording audio.....

and when it comes to working with soft instruments, results are pretty much the SAME.....

they're both crap if it comes to summing......

live is more a music instrument......logic is more a studio.....

and hell yeah, that is NO test at all, what you did there.....

if you're a serious recording and perfoming artist you'll never work with ONE daw.....
you got a favourite tool depending on the step you're working on right now......

in most cases where producers love to work with the great possebilties of ableton, they end up finishing a track in logic, pro tools, studio one, cubase, nuendo or whatsoever....

if you're working with ableton only...avoid summing up on it's master bus.....
that's where most daws fuck it up....

harrisson mix bus is a good choice for that, if you don't have the money for summing with metric halo and those stuff...

Re: Ableton & Logic sound (yes I know...)

Posted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 5:14 pm
by perehj
Rinsemeister wrote:We're talking about transients here. (909 Kick)

Turn off fades.

The fade in Ableton is 4ms (AFAIK)

Big difference. Fade kills initial transient / click / whatever.......
Yeah this made a massive difference. Sounds indistinguishable from the Logic bounce now. Cheers!


Also - is 48k not the correct setting to export on? With other programs i never seem to have to customise.

Re: Ableton & Logic sound (yes I know...)

Posted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 5:35 pm
by mharris
reeloy wrote: if you're working with ableton only...avoid summing up on it's master bus.....
that's where most daws fuck it up....

harrisson mix bus is a good choice for that, if you don't have the money for summing with metric halo and those stuff...
Can you explain what it is that DAWs fuck up with summing?

Digital summing is actually a very simple process with no variation possible. It really is doing 1+1=2. Are you suggesting that different DAWS handle this step differently, or even that some of them get it wrong!?

Harrison mixbus may provide a nicer environment for mixing and some nice tools (better EQs, filters etc..), but I would seriously like to know how it handles summing if it is supposed to sound better.

Re: Ableton & Logic sound (yes I know...)

Posted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 6:10 pm
by Tarekith
perehj wrote:Also - is 48k not the correct setting to export on? With other programs i never seem to have to customise.
Generally it makes sense to render at the same sample rate as your project is set to, typically this would be 44.1.

Re: Ableton & Logic sound (yes I know...)

Posted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 9:14 pm
by kent_sandvik
reeloy nailed it. Logic is a studio environment, Live an instrument that tries to be a DAW.

Re: Ableton & Logic sound (yes I know...)

Posted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 9:23 pm
by Szuumm
I would say since the OP didn't do a remotely scientific test or even read the manual, his point(s) are moot...

Re: Ableton & Logic sound (yes I know...)

Posted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 12:17 am
by pencilrocket
Because of no PDC for Automation.

Re: Ableton & Logic sound (yes I know...)

Posted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 4:13 am
by nylarch
reeloy nailed it. Logic is a studio environment, Live an instrument that tries to be a DAW.
Live's default setup is optimized for live playing....for instance auto fades are enabled b/c if you drag audio clips into a live set you don't want clicks. However people make judgments about sound quality without doing some simple things that can optimize it for use as a more traditional DAW:
  • Disable auto warp
  • Disable auto fades
  • explore Hi-Q mode on effects
Also, a huge source of misconceptions is that the default simplers on drum racks have velocity set to 0, while an EXS24 for instance has some initial velocity defaulted. Bump up drum rack to ~60 velocity and all of a sudden it sounds identical A/B'ing with Logic.