Audible difference between DAWs?

Discussion in 'Mixing and Mastering' started by Ted Smithton, Nov 21, 2017.

  1. Ted Smithton

    Ted Smithton Ultrasonic

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    Hey Guys
    Given that the code differs for each application, I've always wondered is there any established audible difference between the different DAWs.
    Do they use different ways of processing/summing audio, or is that more to do with the AD/DA in a sound card. I'm interested in the difference between something like Protools Vs Ableton Vs something like Harrison Mixbuss.
    Cheers
    Teddy Boy.

     
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  3. Medrewb

    Medrewb Platinum Record

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    All DAWs sound exactly the same. Harrison Mixbuss adds the analog flavour to all the channels so, it will sound different.
     
  4. ia

    ia Producer

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    Everything the same.
     
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  5. Raddler777

    Raddler777 Noisemaker

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    No
     
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  6. Raddler777

    Raddler777 Noisemaker

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    And No. They do not all sound the same. I hear pro's time and time again say the same.
     
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  7. Ted Smithton

    Ted Smithton Ultrasonic

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    Wow, care to elaborate on the subtleties if they were mentioned ?
     
  8. darthphader

    darthphader Noisemaker

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    After 10+ years working on various DAWs, I've come to the conclusion that (if anything, it's a personal thing) the standards are ProTools and Audition. You either sound better or worse than those two. Also, to me almost every DAW sounds the same.

    The only exceptions are PreSonus Studio One and Sonar, which sound exceptionally good, while I wouldn't touch the Ableton engine with a 10-foot pole. Ableton is just painfully bad.

    YMMV
     
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  9. taskforce

    taskforce Rock Star

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    Digital audio is supposed to sound the same in every DAW when a mono or stereo channel is played back. Given though, that all daws use a slightly different summing algorithm, add (the same) 4 tracks in 2 different daws and you may notice a slight difference. This is also strongly dependent by how good is your re-production hardware and environment (monitors,soundcard,proper room etc etc) and of course how good and trained is your personal forensics-analyzing skill. The more channels you add the bigger the difference may occur, and beware this example contains no efffects just dry audio. So theoretically it is the same, but in practice (music creation/multitrack audio/midi mixing etc) it may differ, hence the DAW wars are still alive and kicking hehehe.
    Personally i find the difference to lie mostly in how DAWs perceive and treat really low volume passages and really loud ones as well, when rendering/exporting a multitrack in stereo. In the real world you may struggle to hear a difference in an 8 channel mixdown/export, but with 32+ channels, differences may be audible after thorough and repeated listening. I find that to be able to hear a difference the content has to have a wide dynamic range with lots of live instrumentation (like live jazz or classical music). I rarely (if not at all) hear any differences when electronic material is reproduced, unless it was all recorded with analog equipment.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2017
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  10. devilorcracker

    devilorcracker Producer

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    Google null test. Come back when you're done.
     
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  11. Ted Smithton

    Ted Smithton Ultrasonic

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    Wow man, geez I use Ableton for everything, care to elaborate on your theory? I'd love to know your thoughts!
     
  12. Von_Steyr

    Von_Steyr Audiosexual

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    Yes they sound different, wont go into detail, but the difference is there.
     
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  13. Amydarkfang

    Amydarkfang Newbie

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    Try Renoise the audio quality is amazingly good
     
  14. beatmagnus

    beatmagnus Kapellmeister

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    I love Ableton and have used Logic, and Protools. Live really does have a different sound, a change was even noticeable from Live 8 to 9 where things got more crisp . Logic sounded more full to me and I really liked it but couldn't stand the GUI, navigating it was clunky to my workflow. Protools has a great sound as well but just didn't seem to have as many features as the rest and also stunted my workflow so was when I switched to Logic. Live is an aqcuired taste but I really like its sound.

    Haven't tried any others because by now I've got too many sessions in Live so to switch would be a pain.
     
  15. xbitz

    xbitz Platinum Record

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    if u mean DAWs + their stock plugins then yes there are difference
     
  16. bigboobs

    bigboobs Ultrasonic

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    There might be differences, but unless you earn $100k/year with mixing/mastering, you can give a f*** about this topic!
     
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  17. huschiwuschi

    huschiwuschi Producer

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    compare it youself, DAWs 'behave' differnet when mixing
     
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  18. Olaf

    Olaf Kapellmeister

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    I would say, if you have two DAWs that sound different for no apparent reason (e.g. Mixbus supposed to sound different, but that's a feature, so it's ok), there's a bug in at least one of them. Summing multiple waveforms (or sample values in the digital domain) is a well-defined mathematical operation. If a DAW does it in a different way somehow, i.e. colors the sound, I would like to know and I would like to have the option to disable it. Else it's really a bug for me.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2017
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  19. quadcore64

    quadcore64 Producer

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    This is a topic that keeps coming back for more....

    There are diferrences between DAW software without adding any stock plugins. And I am thinking of those without any
    published and known built-in console or tape emulation.

    Some DAWs give a more centered/mono perspective while others give a wider focus. This alone will color the tonal balance.
    The main argument seems to be thinner/fatter, colder/warmer.

    For me there is also the headroom question. How far can you push it before noticable breakup or distortion.
     
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  20. SyphonX

    SyphonX Ultrasonic

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    Try to recreate an indentical song with exactly the same processing plugins in different DAWS and you will discover that there are differences in sound....
     
  21. xbitz

    xbitz Platinum Record

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    it's the matrix, reality is what your brain decodes to u ;)
     
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