MusicTech review: Live 6 lacks audio quality!!

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
dj superflat
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Post by dj superflat » Wed Oct 18, 2006 8:36 pm

technatural, i've got experience with protools, logic, all sorts of outboard analog gear, etc. i don't hear the difference you're hearing (obviously a neve console to a studer sounds different from recording in the box, but this is about whether the different daws sound different playing the same material).

sorry, but i never trust anyone's claim that they just "hear" a difference regardless of what tests show. the placebo effect is way strong, people have good reason to hope more expensive gear for which they've paid sounds better than the cheap, etc. so absent some sort of technical reason to think that bits and bites sound different in live than other programs, i'm not buying it.

that said, with enough people thinking that's the case, it's worth investigating. hence this discussion (which ultimately became one about warp modes).

headquest
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Post by headquest » Wed Oct 18, 2006 9:50 pm

dj superflat wrote: the placebo effect is way strong ... .
Well, Computer Music Magazine in their review (Issue 106) have come out with the same stuff:
Computer Music magazine review, issue 106 wrote:...Then there is the quality of the mixing. It's a subjective issue, and while some users claim that Live doesn't handle audio summing as well as other sequencers do, various unofficial tests have shown that non-warped audio is treated identically in all DAWs, as you'd expect. What's certainly true (to our ears at least) is that Live can have a distinctive sound, and this might well be a result of its warping. Unfortunately, any signal that is timestretched is always going to sound slightly different to one that isn't.
The first thing to point out about the CM review is that it is distinctly similar to the MTM one in both the structure (order or stuff covered) and content... suggesting that just possibly it is either the work of the same freelance journalist, or that the CM writer refered to the MTM review when writing their own.

Beyond that I would suggest that either :

1) The audio mix quality of Live is genuinely substandard compared to that of other sequencers/hosts, as assessed by independant reviewers ... or :

2) The *placebo effect* you mention is really working against Ableton here. :(

Either way, this is rather bad news. I guess that the silver lining is that following these reviews Ableton will be doing their utmost to ensure that the audio quality in future builds of Live is up there with the very best (if indeed there is any difference between hosts).

For my part, I have been debating updateing my Live 5 to Live 6 and am now having serious doubts... nobody wants to use a sequencer that has substandard audio quality... and unless I have really misunderstood, the overall tone of this thread has been to suggest that none of Live's warp modes are basically useable in a studio DAW context. :( :(
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Tarekith
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Post by Tarekith » Wed Oct 18, 2006 10:19 pm

* Bangs head on wall repeatedly *

headquest
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Post by headquest » Wed Oct 18, 2006 10:34 pm

Tarekith wrote:* Bangs head on wall repeatedly *
I know you have said that without using Warp modes, the audio quality is comparable to that of Cubase... but have you not said that using warp modes the audio quality is substandard??? Perhaps I misunderstood you...?

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peeddrroo
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Post by peeddrroo » Wed Oct 18, 2006 10:39 pm

headquest wrote:For my part, I have been debating updateing my Live 5 to Live 6 and am now having serious doubts... nobody wants to use a sequencer that has substandard audio quality... and unless I have really misunderstood, the overall tone of this thread has been to suggest that none of Live's warp modes are basically useable in a studio DAW context. :( :(
well, first of all, if you already use Live5, upgrading to Live6 won't make the sound quality worse.

i think the problem is not substandard audio quality, but substandard users.
don't take it personal, i really mean it, and that could include myself, though i'm happy with the sound i get from live. which is the most important matter to me.

headquest
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Post by headquest » Wed Oct 18, 2006 10:42 pm

peeddrroo wrote:
headquest wrote:For my part, I have been debating updateing my Live 5 to Live 6 and am now having serious doubts... nobody wants to use a sequencer that has substandard audio quality... and unless I have really misunderstood, the overall tone of this thread has been to suggest that none of Live's warp modes are basically useable in a studio DAW context. :( :(
well, first of all, if you already use Live5, upgrading to Live6 won't make the sound quality worse.

i think the problem is not substandard audio quality, but substandard users.
don't take it personal, i really mean it, and that could include myself, though i'm happy with the sound i get from live. which is the most important matter to me.
Well I too have always been happy with the sound quality I personally get from Live. But it seems that two seperate magazines now call into question the integrity of Ableton's sound quality, plus of course Tarekith's tests on the warp modes, which suggest they are no good (although perhaps I misunderstood them...).

Hence my concern. My ears say everything is okay. But the *experts* are suggesting otherwise... :?
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Tarekith
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Post by Tarekith » Wed Oct 18, 2006 10:59 pm

headquest wrote:I know you have said that without using Warp modes, the audio quality is comparable to that of Cubase... but have you not said that using warp modes the audio quality is substandard??? Perhaps I misunderstood you...?
Substandard, no. Does it affect the audio, yes. But I think it's a completely unfair comparison to make if you're using warping all the time. NO ONE has a warp engine that can retain full fidelity compared to non-stretch audio.

I'm not getting into this again though. I've shown the facts, and even made suggestions about how to minimize the effects of warping. People aren't reading these thread full though, just replying based on a few quick skims of posts. I don't have time to keep on repeating myself fro people who aren't going to be convinced anyway.

ashley_k
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Post by ashley_k » Wed Oct 18, 2006 11:22 pm

I’ve only had the chance to have a quick look at the Computer Music Magazine Live 6 review, but it seemed to be a more balanced and positive review than the MTM review.

Although they still have not bothered to do any comparative audio test to compare Live’s audio output against any other DAW and have sloppily put in hearsay with terms like “some users claim” and “It's a subjective issue” instead of any actual facts or test results.
headquest wrote:For my part, I have been debating updateing my Live 5 to Live 6 and am now having serious doubts... nobody wants to use a sequencer that has substandard audio quality... and unless I have really misunderstood, the overall tone of this thread has been to suggest that none of Live's warp modes are basically useable in a studio DAW context. :( :(
:roll: You are kidding right, if not have you thought about going for job as a reviewer at MTM.


I use Live and I claim that using Live makes you more attractive to the opposite sex.

headquest
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Post by headquest » Wed Oct 18, 2006 11:37 pm

ashley_k wrote:I’ve only had the chance to have a quick look at the Computer Music Magazine Live 6 review, but it seemed to be a more balanced and positive review than the MTM review.
Yes, it's more balanced, more informative, and just a better professional job. But it does again mention the audio *issue* ...
You are kidding right, if not have you thought about going for job as a reviewer at MTM.
Considering how much I have slagged them off here and elsewhere I doubt they'd have me :wink:
I use Live and I claim that using Live makes you more attractive to the opposite sex.
In that case you've persuaded me. Where can I buy it from... :lol:
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forge
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Post by forge » Wed Oct 18, 2006 11:49 pm

dj superflat wrote:technatural, i've got experience with protools, logic, all sorts of outboard analog gear, etc. i don't hear the difference you're hearing .
I wouldnt pay to much heed to that guy - he's the same one that sent me this PM when I criticised Apple once:
technatural wrote: "Why don't you shut up wanking about apple.
If you don't like it fuck off. I hope you crash in your probably amature mp3 dj set.
Windows is copying apple since the begin of time so you should be grateful.

Just don't buy a mac, you are not worth it"

FaX-01
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Post by FaX-01 » Wed Oct 18, 2006 11:58 pm

forge wrote:
dj superflat wrote:technatural, i've got experience with protools, logic, all sorts of outboard analog gear, etc. i don't hear the difference you're hearing .
I wouldnt pay to much heed to that guy - he's the same one that sent me this PM when I criticised Apple once:
technatural wrote: "Why don't you shut up wanking about apple.
If you don't like it fuck off. I hope you crash in your probably amature mp3 dj set.
Windows is copying apple since the begin of time so you should be grateful.

Just don't buy a mac, you are not worth it"

That is utterly tragic Forge :lol: .
Technatural is Techtastic indeed :? .
My aren't the wings of butterflies beautiful and do they not make wonderful perturbations.....

dj superflat
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Post by dj superflat » Thu Oct 19, 2006 12:13 am

just to chime in yet again, warped live sound should not be compared to unwarped sound from other daws. thems apples and oranges. and there are all sorts of workarounds to warp besides using beats and staying at same tempo (you can just keep retriggering scenes/clips and record into arrange, you can cut and paste, etc.). i think the real problem here is that people have warp on w/o realizing it, and probably default to complex, b/c they think that's best. and complex warp will mess with just about any sound, even at same tempo.

to recap: so on the DAW side, the sound's the same, even if you may end up with different mixes b/c of how summing/panning done on different DAWs. on the looping side, use warp in beats at same tempo (make it exact tempo, beware those hidden digits) or just cutpast/retrigger w/o warp.

now could we pls argue about something useful like whether cheney is el diablo or somesuch? thx.

tekkers
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Post by tekkers » Thu Oct 19, 2006 2:03 am

i've had a go with cubase every now and then over the years

and i absolutely despise the thing

i cant be bothered to learn a piece of software that i find clumsy - awkward and slow to use, just for a possibble slight increase in sound quality..

personally i'd rather spend time making my mixes sound better in a daw i'm familiar with - than lookin for the elusive magic formula in some prog that makes me feel like i'm operating a spreadsheet - on a sinclair spectrum..

and anyway i'm happy with my sound as it is!


8O

technatural
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fax

Post by technatural » Thu Oct 19, 2006 11:52 am

Fax, you keep a diary of all your messages?

Stop living in the past. It has nothing to do with this subject.

forge
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Re: fax

Post by forge » Thu Oct 19, 2006 11:59 am

technatural wrote:Fax, you keep a diary of all your messages?

Stop living in the past. It has nothing to do with this subject.
no it's just a pretty good insight into the character of the poster, that's all

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