Export not sounding the same as realtime listening?

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Mr D
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Export not sounding the same as realtime listening?

Post by Mr D » Fri Jun 07, 2019 5:34 pm

Hi folks,

I'm mixing a track and am coming up against an annoying issue:

When i listen to the song from the start, everything sounds ok.

But when i do an export, the first couple of seconds of the vocal (which is the first thing to sound in the song) is about 7dB too loud.

Then the volume drops over a couple of seconds to the correct level.

Anyone experience something similar before? I'm on brand spanking new 10.1 on the Peecee.
Last edited by Mr D on Fri Jun 07, 2019 8:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Shift Gorden
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Re: Export not sounding the same as realtime listening?

Post by Shift Gorden » Fri Jun 07, 2019 6:49 pm

Hmmm, could be that you have "normalize" selected on the export panel? You'll want to make sure that's not checked.

Mr D
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Re: Export not sounding the same as realtime listening?

Post by Mr D » Sat Jun 08, 2019 8:20 am

Normalization wouldn't do that, it just sets the loudest peak to 0dBFS and doesn't have any impact dynamically!

Shift Gorden
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Re: Export not sounding the same as realtime listening?

Post by Shift Gorden » Mon Jun 10, 2019 3:09 pm

Mr D wrote:
Sat Jun 08, 2019 8:20 am
Normalization wouldn't do that, it just sets the loudest peak to 0dBFS and doesn't have any impact dynamically!
Ah ha - you are totally right! I knew that...once.

It actually sounds like some sort of compression is happening on the master? Not sure why that would impact the export though?

analog_rome
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Re: Export not sounding the same as realtime listening?

Post by analog_rome » Mon Jun 10, 2019 3:56 pm

Try exporting at the same sample rate as your project (as set in preferences), but first freeze the problem tracks to see if they still sound the same realtime. That has helped me isolate this kind of problem in the past. Could be a plug-in that is giving you a render that sounds different than realtime.

yur2die4
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Re: Export not sounding the same as realtime listening?

Post by yur2die4 » Mon Jun 10, 2019 5:29 pm

What are you listening to the exported track on? What software and are you using different hardware for putting the audio through?

This is usually the issue. Using totally different software to listen or different hardware. The audio itself is usually mostly the same.

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Re: Export not sounding the same as realtime listening?

Post by [jur] » Mon Jun 10, 2019 6:48 pm

If you're on Windows, there's a system default audio setting that somewhat automatically "balance" (or "enhance" or whatever it is called) any audio played from the system's audio files player.
That's a common issue. Maybe some Win users could chime in here and be more precise about the actual name and location of this setting?
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Mr D
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Re: Export not sounding the same as realtime listening?

Post by Mr D » Mon Jun 10, 2019 7:16 pm

Thanks all.......... nope, that's not it, i'm playing the file back in a DAW (Samplitude) using proper ASIO drivers.

I guess it's a plugin at fault.

But i feel Ableton should also take part of the blame. I mean, it should be technically possible to ensure that real-time listen is identical to export.

In fact they could include an option in the export window to compare the export to real-time playback, and show a warning message when there's a difference.

For critical applications like exporting a final mix, i'd happily wait a bit longer to have the piece of mind that my export was 100% perfect.

Fanu
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Re: Export not sounding the same as realtime listening?

Post by Fanu » Mon Jun 10, 2019 8:59 pm

Mr D wrote:
Mon Jun 10, 2019 7:16 pm
But i feel Ableton should also take part of the blame. I mean, it should be technically possible to ensure that real-time listen is identical to export.
There is no difference.

Safe to say it doesn't happen normally – or I would've heard about it a long time ago…
I bounce out a few hundred songs out for clients every year – and sometimes the tracks of a mixed song with processing – and if that happened, I would've noticed it a long time ago.

Must be a plugin bug.
Or, are you sure you're not overriding some automation that might cause this…and then the automation gets bounced out like that?
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Mr D
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Re: Export not sounding the same as realtime listening?

Post by Mr D » Mon Jun 10, 2019 9:06 pm

Yes, but the fact that it doesn't happen when i listen normally, but DOES happen when i export, tells us there IS a difference.

Otherwise i wouldn't be on here complaining about it.

So like i said, i agree a plugin is probably at fault, but Ableton is also at fault, because it provides one audio experience with real-time, and a different one with export.

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Re: Export not sounding the same as realtime listening?

Post by yur2die4 » Tue Jun 11, 2019 5:05 am

To be honest, what you’re describing the problem to be doesn’t make any sense as a result. And I am not satisfied with your method of comparison.

A proper comparison would be if you exported it, not normalized. Then grabbed a second computer or a recorder of some kind and recorded it doing normal playback of your set, then opened Live with a blank set, no plugins on the Master, and dragged your rendered clip into Live and played that back within Live and recorded the output. Then compared the two.

I have no clue whether your ASIO driver settings are different in different software, or if you’re using different levels when listening in the other program, or also what kind of speaker/amplification setup you are using. The best way to tell is compare via consistency. There should be no difference between a completely rendered version playing in Live and the set playing in Live as long as all the levels stay consistent and there is no normalization.

Another test method would be to record Live’s output and open that recording in the other software and see if that has the same consequences.

Shift Gorden
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Re: Export not sounding the same as realtime listening?

Post by Shift Gorden » Thu Jun 13, 2019 12:21 am

Have you tried playing the file back in Ableton as opposed to Samplitude? That should sound identical (apart from volume possibly).

Mr D
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Re: Export not sounding the same as realtime listening?

Post by Mr D » Fri Jun 14, 2019 10:29 am

Guys, i've been a professional audio engineer for 20 years, I know what i'm doing! (although i only use Live occasionally, hence me less then complete knowledge of it)

Anyway, i guess it's a bug, carry on..............

yur2die4
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Re: Export not sounding the same as realtime listening?

Post by yur2die4 » Fri Jun 14, 2019 3:49 pm

If you’re that determined that there’s a difference, it might be worth investing the time into recording actual comparable evidence.

Then possibly it could be looked at and Live could be improved??

Mr D
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Re: Export not sounding the same as realtime listening?

Post by Mr D » Fri Jun 14, 2019 5:14 pm

I don't understand what you mean, i've already clearly stated the problem:

When i listen "live" it sounds ok.

Why i export, there's this weird volume boost in the beginning audio.

What more testing do i need to do? Something is not right with Live.

Or can you give me a scenario where Live is working as intended, and such a thing should occur?

If any Ableton folk are reading this, i'll be happy to send you the session to see for yourselves, although of course you'll need to have all the same plugs installed as me.

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