bad ableton sound rumour - just caught myself :-)

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mr.ergonomics
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bad ableton sound rumour - just caught myself :-)

Post by mr.ergonomics » Sun Aug 08, 2010 1:13 am

I just want to share a funny little story before I hit the sack.

I was never a believer that ableton sounds bad, I really tried to find something with various tests, but I didn't find anything apart from from some PDC problems(other hosts aren't perfect too is this aspect by the way). But I just caught myself starting to believe this rumour today. What happened? I read the last thread regarding this topic here and after that I made a beat in cubase, I started using it more again lately. I had the strong impression that the sound was really good, better then in ableton. I thought wow this is more pristine and I used the same drum samples. Knowing that perception isn't objective and critical against myself I didn't just believed my ears - even if I could sworn to you that it sounds better in this moment. So I did a test.

I rebuild this beat in ableton, bounced it and did a phase cancellation test. The funny thing, I could see a signal at -180 dbfs, so there was a difference! That was confusing, even if after all what I know a signal at -180 dbfs isn't something you could hear under any circumstance (that means both files do sound the same). But there shouldn't be any signal.

But I was a bit alienated. I thought why does I see a signal at -180 dbfs? Both files had exactly the same loudness, I normalized them to -1 dbfs. After a short moment I realized that this was the reason, the volume change. I tested confirmed it, I took a file, did a phase cancellation test. No signal in my analyser. I changed the loudness from one file to -30 db and after that +30 db and did the phase cancellation again. I had exactly this -180 dbfs noise again.

What I want to say, be more critical against your perception it's so easy to be biased. It's good to take it serious, but if there are good reason against it do yourself a favour and test if your perception is just wrong. If I had just believed my ears I would say that ableton sounds worse, but my ears where clearly wrong in this case.

good night
Last edited by mr.ergonomics on Sun Aug 08, 2010 2:52 am, edited 1 time in total.


ze2be
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Re: bad ableton sound rumour - just caught myself :-)

Post by ze2be » Sun Aug 08, 2010 5:45 am

8)

smaucher
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Re: bad ableton sound rumour - just caught myself :-)

Post by smaucher » Sun Aug 08, 2010 6:41 am

very, very good.
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Dalski
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Re: bad ableton sound rumour - just caught myself :-)

Post by Dalski » Sun Aug 08, 2010 8:32 am

I think this perception is to be blamed on the drab grey tones of Live. You see dull so you THINK you hear dull.

Change your skin to "Frost", not only does it make Live look superb, I find it improves the sound immensely!

:lol:

ikeaboy
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Re: bad ableton sound rumour - just caught myself :-)

Post by ikeaboy » Sun Aug 08, 2010 4:53 pm

mr.ergonomics wrote:I just want to share a funny little story before I hit the sack.

I was never a believer that ableton sounds bad, I really tried to find something with various tests, but I didn't find anything apart from from some PDC problems(other hosts aren't perfect too is this aspect by the way). But I just caught myself starting to believe this rumour today. What happened? I read the last thread regarding this topic here and after that I made a beat in cubase, I started using it more again lately. I had the strong impression that the sound was really good, better then in ableton. I thought wow this is more pristine and I used the same drum samples. Knowing that perception isn't objective and critical against myself I didn't just believed my ears - even if I could sworn to you that it sounds better in this moment. So I did a test.

I rebuild this beat in ableton, bounced it and did a phase cancellation test. The funny thing, I could see a signal at -180 dbfs, so there was a difference! That was confusing, even if after all what I know a signal at -180 dbfs isn't something you could hear under any circumstance (that means both files do sound the same). But there shouldn't be any signal.

But I was a bit alienated. I thought why does I see a signal at -180 dbfs? Both files had exactly the same loudness, I normalized them to -1 dbfs. After a short moment I realized that this was the reason, the volume change. I tested confirmed it, I took a file, did a phase cancellation test. No signal in my analyser. I changed the loudness from one file to -30 db and after that +30 db and did the phase cancellation again. I had exactly this -180 dbfs noise again.

What I want to say, be more critical against your perception it's so easy to be biased. It's good to take it serious, but if there are good reason against it do yourself a favour and test if your perception is just wrong. If I had just believed my ears I would say that ableton sounds worse, but my ears where clearly wrong in this case.

good night
Thanks man, for doing the test and posting the results. I was getting creeping doubts myself, but until somebody tells me a test I can do in Logic and Live with clear differences (besides Dennis Ferrer's kick on a 15" driver which I may try the next time I'm soundchecking at a gig but then Dennis is the first I can think of to critique the low end, usually it's the top end that comes in for flack and he reckons Live is brighter then Nuendo!) I'm not going to get stressed and move onto a platform without Live's possibilities.

3dot...
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Re: bad ableton sound rumour - just caught myself :-)

Post by 3dot... » Mon Aug 09, 2010 4:25 am

mr.ergonomics wrote:
I rebuild this beat in ableton, bounced it and did a phase cancellation test. The funny thing, I could see a signal at -180 dbfs, so there was a difference! That was confusing, even if after all what I know a signal at -180 dbfs isn't something you could hear under any circumstance (that means both files do sound the same). But there shouldn't be any signal.

But I was a bit alienated. I thought why does I see a signal at -180 dbfs? Both files had exactly the same loudness, I normalized them to -1 dbfs. After a short moment I realized that this was the reason, the volume change. I tested confirmed it, I took a file, did a phase cancellation test. No signal in my analyser. I changed the loudness from one file to -30 db and after that +30 db and did the phase cancellation again. I had exactly this -180 dbfs noise again.
at the risk of sounding like a fanboi
I think your test is a bit flawed..
here's how I'd do it...
(did this comparison with cubase/reaper/protools)
make your beat in cubase.. export to audio..
(avoiding slight differences when "recreating")
drag it into Live.. (warp off /'create fades' off /0db on track and master )
render the cubase wav file through Live...(no sample rate or bit-depth conversion)
now compare..
the signal gets canceled 100%....JOY ! :mrgreen:
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3phase
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Re: bad ableton sound rumour - just caught myself :-)

Post by 3phase » Tue Aug 10, 2010 1:08 am

mr.ergonomics wrote:I just want to share a funny little story before I hit the sack.

....

But there shouldn't be any signal.

If I had just believed my ears I would say that ableton sounds worse, but my ears where clearly wrong in this case.

good night

I dont understand that... your ears tell you that cubase sounds better.. your null testing shows that there is a difference...

but because it cant be what cant be it cant be?

so every daw sounds the same than? good to know... one gets really tricked by the background colors.. theese dark cubase sound and the pristine whiteness of pro tools...


and than mr wiener that allows us to keep they good ol soundblaster card because the difference is too little that one can hear it... really safes a lot of money..
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3phase
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Re: bad ableton sound rumour - just caught myself :-)

Post by 3phase » Tue Aug 10, 2010 1:12 am

but just one question.. now after you have cleared your perception... does cubase still sounds better to you?

so is the background still working on your ears even after you realized that you were biased?
mac book 2,16 ghz 4(3)gb ram, Os 10.62, fireface 400,

DangerousDave
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Re: bad ableton sound rumour - just caught myself :-)

Post by DangerousDave » Tue Aug 10, 2010 2:01 am

Is it possible that a beat/melody whatever sounds different before rendering than it does after? Maybe in Live/cubase the beat sounds a bit different but when rendered they sound the same? Just throwing shit on a wall here...
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3dot...
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Re: bad ableton sound rumour - just caught myself :-)

Post by 3dot... » Tue Aug 10, 2010 11:12 am

DangerousDave wrote:Is it possible that a beat/melody whatever sounds different before rendering than it does after? Maybe in Live/cubase the beat sounds a bit different but when rendered they sound the same? Just throwing shit on a wall here...
of course it sounds different 32-bit volume to 16-bit volume..
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ze2be
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Re: bad ableton sound rumour - just caught myself :-)

Post by ze2be » Tue Aug 10, 2010 5:51 pm

3dot... wrote:
DangerousDave wrote:Is it possible that a beat/melody whatever sounds different before rendering than it does after? Maybe in Live/cubase the beat sounds a bit different but when rendered they sound the same? Just throwing shit on a wall here...
of course it sounds different 32-bit volume to 16-bit volume..
Depends if the audio file will be further processed. Pitch shifted, stretched, volume changes, whatever. But static, untouched, it should be very hard to hear a difference.

I always work with 24bit audio files for the sake of change. The internal engine runs at 32bit always, so any modulations, effects, etc does not make a difference if your file is 16 or 24bit. If you drop the audio file in a sampler though, and pitch it up an octave, you can clearly hear a difference to 24bit!

One interesting part (there was many) of the video was that you can re-record a 16bit file through rather cheep preamps, multiple times without loosing sound quality.

But pitching it, stretching it, all that: go 24bit or more. You always work within a 32bit resolution, which is huge.

3phase
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Re: bad ableton sound rumour - just caught myself :-)

Post by 3phase » Tue Aug 10, 2010 6:39 pm

ze2be wrote: One interesting part (there was many) of the video was that you can re-record a 16bit file through rather cheep preamps, multiple times without loosing sound quality.

thats a really ridicolous claim mr wiener is doing in his video.. ( and there was many too)

the stupidity of some people is really scary.. the only thing this video prooves is that you can tell people everything.. as soon some poppy scrum and grey hairish guys show diagrams they will belive it.

I really would like to know if the listeng test with cubase is now neutral..
that would be an interesting test..after you know that your brain was fooled by the background picture it shouldnt be fooled anymore..

or?
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mr.ergonomics
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Re: bad ableton sound rumour - just caught myself :-)

Post by mr.ergonomics » Tue Aug 10, 2010 10:52 pm

hey I see you 3phase, but I'm not at home at the moment, I will check it when I'm back. I will also repeat this test just for fun without rendering in live, just with the played out signal.

3phase
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Re: bad ableton sound rumour - just caught myself :-)

Post by 3phase » Tue Aug 10, 2010 10:59 pm

mr.ergonomics wrote:hey I see you 3phase, but I'm not at home at the moment, I will check it when I'm back. I will also repeat this test just for fun without rendering in live, just with the played out signal.

that will be interesting.. there shouldnt be a difference with your actual mind set
mac book 2,16 ghz 4(3)gb ram, Os 10.62, fireface 400,

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