Exporting Audio doesnt sound right

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Pitch Black
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Re: Exporting Audio doesnt sound right

Post by Pitch Black » Sat Jun 13, 2015 12:50 am

QuantumKid wrote:I'm getting the same thing too, tried just about every bit depth, compression/ no comp., normalized and not. The funny thing is, the audio sounds fine, i.e. just like in Ableton, in Audacity but sounds like flattened crap when played via VLC or Windows media players. What is up with this?
Check that those apps don't have any "volume smoothing/level matching" type functions switched on.

zimske
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Re: Exporting Audio doesnt sound right

Post by zimske » Mon Jul 13, 2015 10:26 pm

Check the drivers through which the audio is output in a particular player. Had a same problem, matched it with the one set up in Live and voila...

Pigsywigsy
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Re: Exporting Audio doesnt sound right

Post by Pigsywigsy » Wed Jul 22, 2015 12:07 pm

Hi all,

Been reading through this topic with interest as i've been having recent audio exporting issues, i'm on Ableton Standard v9.2, i've tried most of the tips and advice mentioned. When i've noticed a different sound on some of the parts after exporting from Ableton (in some cases just individual tracks/channels don't sound quite right) i've found that freezing that track then re-doing/exporting the mixdown gets it sounding much better, this has mostly applied to u-he and sample heavy parts of tracks. I assume Ableton is converting all to audio during the export but there seems to be a definite difference when I freeze individual parts first then export audio for the full track.

Should maybe mention that my Samsung Ultrabook is struggling processor wise when I use u-he plus a large selection of nice effects, am I pushing it too much?!?

Drew

owlmerlyn
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Re: Exporting Audio doesnt sound right

Post by owlmerlyn » Wed Jul 22, 2015 2:03 pm

This is an older thread. But to be honest I have never noticed a problem with the exporting a mix. Maybe things have improved in 9 versus earlier versions.

What I generally notice though, are volume differences. So, for instance, I render a track that I am used to listening to at a certain volume from the master bus. When I play it back via the file "preview" tab it is generally softer. This is not because the file itself is softer but because the preview / Cue Volume is set softer. Furthermore, my personal preference when doing a final mix is to bounce down all VST instruments to audio tracks, and maybe even bounce down again audio tracks where you have added fx that are now a fundamental part of the sound of the track. I find its easier on the processor while doing a mix, and yes, might even have an impact when exporting the master mix as well.

Having said that I have never done a proper A/B listening test between the mix output and something I have rendered. So all I can attest to is that on general basis I don't pick up variations in tonality or quality.

As to whether you can use Live for mastering? I would say a qualified "yes". If you have dedicated mastering software then rather use that. But if, like me, you don't, then use Live for this purpose. I have done so with fairly good results bearing in mind I am not a mastering engineer. Only thing is, I would definitely NOT attempt to master your mix on the master buss of your mix project. Rather export the mix-down (to 24 bit, without dithering) and then open up the file in a dedicated mastering project where you can put all your focus on the mastering itself, pull in reference tracks, set-up mid/side channels where you can process your mid and side information separately etc. Let me know if you want more info on this...

Pigsywigsy
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Re: Exporting Audio doesnt sound right

Post by Pigsywigsy » Wed Jul 22, 2015 2:47 pm

Thanks very much owlmerlyn, useful info!

I'm exporting from Ableton at 192kb 24bit with no effects on Master channel and 3-6db headroom then using Ozone 6 as a stand alone to master, file sizes are huge and the export takes a long time, so doing it repeatedly to make small adjustments is a big hassle! You mention converting VSTs to audio before exporting, this is similar to what I mentioned I was having to do, good to know others do the same thing!

Drew

owlmerlyn
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Re: Exporting Audio doesnt sound right

Post by owlmerlyn » Wed Jul 22, 2015 5:05 pm

Pigsywigsy wrote:Thanks very much owlmerlyn, useful info!

I'm exporting from Ableton at 192kb 24bit with no effects on Master channel and 3-6db headroom then using Ozone 6 as a stand alone to master, file sizes are huge and the export takes a long time, so doing it repeatedly to make small adjustments is a big hassle! You mention converting VSTs to audio before exporting, this is similar to what I mentioned I was having to do, good to know others do the same thing!

Drew
Hi Drew, jeez 192k 24bit?! Those must be huge! Way beyond the quality I am working with at the mo.

Basically I agree with your approach. Having enough headroom for mastering is very NB. And especially with the quality of files you using it will be no problem to keep your volumes well below 0 db and let the music breath... and give space in the mastering to work the mastering tools without fear of clipping etc.

I find that when I get into mix-mode I much prefer to bounce down my VST's because then I move from VST tweaking (composition) into a mix mindset. But also it has an impact on processing. Not only does it reduce computer resources required, but I prefer my computer to "focus" its "attention" on processing the mix elements (providing quality EQ, compression, reverb etc) rather than on sound generation. Like I said, I have not done a true A/B testing the various configurations of what is "live", recorded etc. But I do prefer this approach.

Do you have some of your work online? Would love to hear the end result of a 192k, 24bit mix

Tarekith
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Re: Exporting Audio doesnt sound right

Post by Tarekith » Wed Jul 22, 2015 6:06 pm

There's no need to export at 192kHz, if anything there's a lot of debate that it could sound worse than lower sample rates. Try 44.1kHz.

regretfullySaid
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Re: Exporting Audio doesnt sound right

Post by regretfullySaid » Wed Jul 22, 2015 6:53 pm

Maybe it's for the spirit realm...
ImageImage

Pigsywigsy
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Re: Exporting Audio doesnt sound right

Post by Pigsywigsy » Thu Jul 23, 2015 9:54 am

Thanks guys,

Owlmerlyn, my dodgy tunes can be found on the link on my signature!

Erik, thanks for the info, got to admit, i'm no Mastering Engineer, I was doing all my mixdowns at 44khz but found that with my end to end process (Ableton -> Ozone -> mp3 conversion -> track online) the resulting mp3 sounded slightly better when I started with a mixdown at higher khz from Ableton, although I couldn't hear much difference between the 192khz and 44khz files from Ableton myself.

Drew

owlmerlyn
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Re: Exporting Audio doesnt sound right

Post by owlmerlyn » Fri Jul 24, 2015 9:08 am

Pigsywigsy wrote: Owlmerlyn, my dodgy tunes can be found on the link on my signature!
Thanks man, will have a listen...

Shift Gorden
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Re: Exporting Audio doesnt sound right

Post by Shift Gorden » Thu Aug 27, 2015 4:37 pm

owlmerlyn wrote:This is an older thread. But to be honest I have never noticed a problem with the exporting a mix. Maybe things have improved in 9 versus earlier versions.

What I generally notice though, are volume differences. So, for instance, I render a track that I am used to listening to at a certain volume from the master bus. When I play it back via the file "preview" tab it is generally softer. This is not because the file itself is softer but because the preview / Cue Volume is set softer. Furthermore, my personal preference when doing a final mix is to bounce down all VST instruments to audio tracks, and maybe even bounce down again audio tracks where you have added fx that are now a fundamental part of the sound of the track. I find its easier on the processor while doing a mix, and yes, might even have an impact when exporting the master mix as well.

Having said that I have never done a proper A/B listening test between the mix output and something I have rendered. So all I can attest to is that on general basis I don't pick up variations in tonality or quality.

As to whether you can use Live for mastering? I would say a qualified "yes". If you have dedicated mastering software then rather use that. But if, like me, you don't, then use Live for this purpose. I have done so with fairly good results bearing in mind I am not a mastering engineer. Only thing is, I would definitely NOT attempt to master your mix on the master buss of your mix project. Rather export the mix-down (to 24 bit, without dithering) and then open up the file in a dedicated mastering project where you can put all your focus on the mastering itself, pull in reference tracks, set-up mid/side channels where you can process your mid and side information separately etc. Let me know if you want more info on this...
Totally agree with this. The ear naturally prefers louder to softer, so if the track is louder natively in Live then it will sound better than the rendered .wav. Try comparing at the same volume (e.g. turn the master down in Live when comparing to the .wav).

And again, totally agree on the mastering thing! I spent quite a bit of money on mastering plugins, but you can get awesome results importing your .wav into Ableton and doing it that way. In fact, I prefer mastering in Ableton using the native EQs and compressors, etc. Of course, 90% of mastering (made up figure) is all down to the mix - if you get things as polished in the mix as you can, your mastering should be relatively easy - no need to do a huge amount of work.

Another good reason for not mastering on your project master is because you might be tempted to tweak your mix and mess everything up. Rendering to .wav after mix down means that you are now able to concentrate just on the mastering and nothing else. :)

Tarekith
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Re: Exporting Audio doesnt sound right

Post by Tarekith » Thu Aug 27, 2015 9:13 pm

With the Glue Compressor and the new EQ8, I could totally see mastering in Ableton and being able to have it stand up to professional mastering. The limiter still is the weak spot, but with a balanced mix it's all doable for sure.

mykeyz
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Re: Exporting Audio doesnt sound right

Post by mykeyz » Fri May 06, 2016 1:59 am

I had the same issue, the fix for me was going into my computer's playback devices, right clicking on the option I was using and changing the sample rate and bit depth to 24/192. As soon as I did this, it played back perfectly like how it sounded in Ableton.

dperk001
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Re: Exporting Audio doesnt sound right

Post by dperk001 » Sun Jul 24, 2016 2:56 pm

I was having the same problem, exporting sounded like crap!
I tried all the dithering, non dithering made no difference, 32 bit to 16 bit, nothing.

I finally did what was suggested by Ableton since there was no difference of sound quality after all my experiments that I could tell
44100khz 16bit Triangle Dither
I started to look other places
the Key!!!!
To boost your Effects/Compression/Limiter etc.. in your Master.
In Master I use ToonTrack Master widener 2, which I love how it brightens up the mix,
Still once I exported my music with toontrack master widener 2, it sounded like crap after export! like WTF
finally I had to increase the level of Widener 2 in Master, I could not tell a difference nor did it increase the level bars when listening through Ableton live but BAM it sound exactly like Ableton when I export.

just thought I'd pass it along.

TeenTaal
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Re: Exporting Audio doesnt sound right

Post by TeenTaal » Wed Mar 04, 2020 3:29 pm

I have tried all the options, for some reason the exported audio from Ableton does not sound good at all. What is the problem, why ableton does not export what's being played on DAW?

Need help, I am trying to get this fixed for so long and not able to figure out what and where is the problem.

Santosh

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