Live Audio Quality

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
MrTom
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Live Audio Quality

Post by MrTom » Mon Mar 06, 2006 4:51 pm

I recently purchased a nice set of monitors (Adam S3A) and I am not quite sure, but I here a big difference between Live and Sonar when it comes to mix down more than a few tracks..

I saw, that there was some discussion on this topic before, but I am very curious on what Ableton thinks about it. Will that be improved ?

And what exactly is the difference ?

To me, a mix in Ableton sounds somehow sqeezed, while Sonar leaves much more space. It does not sound bad, but different.

chrispnyc
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Post by chrispnyc » Mon Mar 06, 2006 5:05 pm

I can definitely hear a difference between Live and Digital Performer. I generally compose in Live and mix in DP. The mix bus in DP seems to have a higher internal bit rate (32). The difference between Live and Pro Tools 48bit floating is huge in my opinion.

I recommend bouncing your individual tracks into a more mix-based high-end app like PT, Logic or DP...unless you are on stage, at which point it doesnt' really matter.
http://www.myspace.com/chrisprang
Ableton Live 5.0.3
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ct43
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Post by ct43 » Mon Mar 06, 2006 5:10 pm

one thing Ive found is that if I record at moderate levels + keep the faders lower I seem to get a better sound. It seems that Live overloads internally quite easily, If I put a plugin on the master bus sometimes I can see that the levels going into the plugin are overloading (even though none of the channels are clipping / or master fader), but if I can keep the levels down, it doesnt run the red into the plugin and I think it sounds better / less compressed.

chrispnyc
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Post by chrispnyc » Mon Mar 06, 2006 5:15 pm

I've experienced the same thing. Its to be expected though - a main mix bus in a DAW is a very hard thing to engineer correctly. since Ableton has done such a great job with audio manipulation, I think we can let it slide!

As a general rule, however, with all DAW's, it really helps to not push the individual track gain to unity...
http://www.myspace.com/chrisprang
Ableton Live 5.0.3
Digital Performer 4.6.1
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Soundcraft Spirit Studio LC 24
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various outboard pres, comps and eqs.

marky
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Post by marky » Mon Mar 06, 2006 6:15 pm

chrispnyc wrote:I can definitely hear a difference between Live and Digital Performer. I generally compose in Live and mix in DP. The mix bus in DP seems to have a higher internal bit rate (32).
.
What do you mean bit rate? The bit rates used depends on the file type? Or are you getting confused with bit-depth.. which is 32-bit float for both DP and Live.
chrispnyc wrote: The difference between Live and Pro Tools 48bit floating is huge in my opinion.
I recommend bouncing your individual tracks into a more mix-based high-end app like PT, Logic or DP...unless you are on stage, at which point it doesnt' really matter.
You're getting things mixed up again... Pro Tools doesn't use 48-bit float - in fact there is no standard 48-bit float. Pro Tools is 48-bit fixed-point, which comes with it's own problems.

chrispnyc
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Post by chrispnyc » Mon Mar 06, 2006 6:22 pm

I stand corrected - I was typing quickly and gettign distracted (stupid office job!).

Thanks for setting the record straight.

Either way you look at it, I've found that my depth of field improved by vast amounts when I started mixing 'out of the box.'
http://www.myspace.com/chrisprang
Ableton Live 5.0.3
Digital Performer 4.6.1
G4 1.3Ghz 1.25mb ram
Soundcraft Spirit Studio LC 24
Akai S6000, Virus C
various outboard pres, comps and eqs.

LiveXXX
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Post by LiveXXX » Mon Mar 06, 2006 8:13 pm

I think Cubase SX 3.0 sounds better but there are tons of things you can do in Ableton that are lame in Cubase.

Be sure to turn ON 32bit recording.
- Oliver Chesler

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huffcw
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Post by huffcw » Mon Mar 06, 2006 8:36 pm

maybe Live 6 will improve things in this area - that would be a worthwhile thing for Ableton to be working on for the new version - so hopefully they are.

sonsofthehounds
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Post by sonsofthehounds » Mon Mar 06, 2006 8:58 pm

mix low in digital systems...there are not designed to be mixed near the clipping point...you get better clarity and sound qualty mixing low...

I am def no expert but on revision of a long topic on the sos forums most of the vets on there swear on keeping things at least -12db....Everything sounds so much better.
macbook 2.16 ghz, live 6...studio with gear now gathering dust.

axissport
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Post by axissport » Sat Mar 11, 2006 11:53 am

Sonar default pan law makes it sound wider than Live.At the default 0db setting sounds pan hard left or right are 3db hotter than Live.If you set it Sonar to -3db the difference between the 2 are smaller.
I do think Sonar's mixer has more headroom than Live's.I can easily overload Live mixer and get audible distortion, in Sonar I rarely get audible ditortion from mixer.
Macbook Pro 1.83 ghz, presonus firebox

Hervé
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Post by Hervé » Sat Mar 11, 2006 12:19 pm

Live sound wonderfull on turbosounds system :wink:

MrYellow
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Post by MrYellow » Sun Mar 12, 2006 7:08 am

*yawn*

-Ben

chrispnyc
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Post by chrispnyc » Sun Mar 12, 2006 7:43 pm

MrYellow - why 'yawn?' This is a pretty important topic if you ask me.

Did I miss something?
http://www.myspace.com/chrisprang
Ableton Live 5.0.3
Digital Performer 4.6.1
G4 1.3Ghz 1.25mb ram
Soundcraft Spirit Studio LC 24
Akai S6000, Virus C
various outboard pres, comps and eqs.

siddhu
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Post by siddhu » Sun Mar 12, 2006 9:31 pm

chrispnyc wrote:MrYellow - why 'yawn?' This is a pretty important topic if you ask me.

Did I miss something?
This topic comes up every month!

:wink:

njh
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Post by njh » Mon Mar 13, 2006 2:01 am

siddhu wrote:
chrispnyc wrote:MrYellow - why 'yawn?' This is a pretty important topic if you ask me.

Did I miss something?
This topic comes up every month!

:wink:
then its obviously a HUGE problem. live are still calling there sequencer "the complete music solution for mac and pc" if the sound quality is messed up then it isnt complete is it? again there is a HUGE problem with lives audio i will not buy live 6 unless it gets fixed. live is great to make music in i love everything about it except the audio quality but, as live sits right now it is nothing more than a toy.

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