Do all DAWs sound the same?

Discussion in 'Mixing and Mastering' started by Haliax, Sep 26, 2020.

  1. phumb-reh

    phumb-reh Platinum Record

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    You posh audiophile bastard with that dream rig, but my 33MHz 4mb sounds more warm and vintage.
     
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  2. KungPaoFist

    KungPaoFist Audiosexual

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    Only pro's use Pro Tools
     
  3. coolbeanz

    coolbeanz Producer

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    came here to say something similar.

    a DAW is just a table to work in, digitally, with audio waveforms. if you don't load audio, does it make a sound?

    load the same audio file into two different DAWs & play them both. as long as there aren't any effects being processed on the audio track, they should sound exactly the same, of course minus any slight differences in DAW settings, like pan laws or other nuances that might be built in (harrison console users say it gives an analog warmth, so they might be the exception. i've never used it). i've used audition, reaper, cubase, pro tools, FL studio, and probably some others in time. they all played & sounded the same to me when playing audio unprocessed. but maybe it's just me :dunno:

    now let's all recite the DAWs prayer:

     
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  4. KungPaoFist

    KungPaoFist Audiosexual

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    This is kind of true, glad someone else mentioned...
     
  5. DoubleTake

    DoubleTake Audiosexual

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    realdannys said:
    No, my DAW sounds better than yours.
    :rofl:2 words using 3 letters .... yet hilarious :rofl:
     
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  6. DoubleTake

    DoubleTake Audiosexual

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    If you had a nice studio in a cabin in the woods and a tree fell and smashed your DAW but nobody heard it, does it still sound better?
     
  7. 11Fletcher

    11Fletcher Producer

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    Everytime I see some video or article with that question it makes me think of those video explaining that the earth is not flat. No matter how many test and proof you'll read/hear, people will still think the earth is flat because they think big conviction is equal to science proof.

    "My daw sounds better/more analog/more clean" is the sound equivalent of that :)
     
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  8. Pinkman

    Pinkman Audiosexual

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    Yeah. They all pretty much sound the same.
    It's not the tool. It's how you use it.

    How's that for profoundly cliche..?
     
  9. Sylenth.Will.Fall

    Sylenth.Will.Fall Audiosexual

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    Do all DAWs sound the same?

    I'm pleased you asked that question because if you delve deeper MUCH MUCH deeper, you will notice the

    western jackdaw.jpg

    western jackDAW goes tweet tweet tweet, but the refined among you will notice the

    Eurasian Jackdaw.jpg

    eurasian jackDAW goes twe twe tweet

    So my friends here is your definitive answer from the world of birdy DAWS.
     
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  10. mild pump milk

    mild pump milk Russian Milk Drunkard

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    I would say so:
    If a DAW sounds different from the rest, there is somewhere wrong happens, bug or so.
     
  11. Ad Heesive

    Ad Heesive Rock Star

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    And so now all hell must break loose.:guru:

    Either the Western jackDAW is being too posh or the Eurasian jackDAW is being too sloppy.
    Even a papal decree or an offended Hindu god can not stop us arguing over which is the universally correct bird song.
    and which one sounds best.

    Which uses the best rhythm? which uses the best frequencies?
    Are either or both of them cheeky enough to be microtonal?

    So much to learn here. :dunno:

    p.s. @JMOUTTON - love the Hindu artwork :wink:
     
  12. Clayton123

    Clayton123 Kapellmeister

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    These threads are DUMB. If you're on this forum, for the love of God just download a couple different DAWs from the sister site, drop in some wav files [***no effects***], bounce them, and then null test them. and I promise you all will null perfectly. There's no need for these threads you can find out on your own that all DAW's sound the same.
     
  13. Citrik Acid

    Citrik Acid Platinum Record

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    Mixbus from Harrison have his own sound since this DAW emulate Harrison console sound and workflow
     
  14. Xupito

    Xupito Audiosexual

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    There's also the "mine's bigger than yours" ancestral element
     
  15. Okay. Whatever you say. You must be right. Let's all abandon our preferred DAW and use Harrison. Finally we have a definitive conclusive incontrovertible answer.
     
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  16. noise.maker

    noise.maker Producer

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    Lets "turn on" the placebo effect.
    Does sex feel the same for a man no matter what woman he's with?
     
  17. starkid84

    starkid84 Kapellmeister

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    ALL PROFESSIONAL under digital 0 should theoretically sound the same. The ONLY thing that I have noticed that will make a DAW sound any different is the summing engine/algorithm. This determines how the DAW handles clipping and distortion on individual channels and master bus. I also noticed years ago that DAWs that used '64 bit process precision' sounded better than programs that were using a 32 bit process engine.

    So in short what this means is: If you gain stage correctly, and keep you headroom on each channel clear of the red they should all sound the same (with the exception of DAWs like Harrison mixbus which emulates analog circuitry on each channel.

    Back in the day when I did this test I wondered why mixes in Cubase 5 sounded so terrible, while my mixes in other DAWs like Sonar and Studio One sounded so much better. It was because I was abusing my headroom and Cubase didn't handle it as well as Sonar's summing engine could. It wasn't a placebo.

    In 2020 I would expect the playing field to be more even between DAWs regarding their summing engines, but I don't know as I've been using Studio One exclusively for years now.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2020
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  18. DoubleTake

    DoubleTake Audiosexual

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    So it seems there is consensus that for practical purposes, all major DAWs have the same "sound".


    But that does not mean that FL Studio doesn't suck.
     
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  19. Riot7

    Riot7 Producer

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    This is nonsense. Sorry.

    Modern DAW's have been around for a while but somehow people still keep repeating this stuff. The 32bit floating point engine means you don't have to "gain stage" shit. You have over a thousand dB of "headroom". You should not be able to clip your DAW mixer under any normal circumstances.

    As long as you are not feeding your DA-converter too hot, you're fine.
     
  20. Qrchack

    Qrchack Platinum Record

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    The only thing a pan law changes is how the volume changes when you move the pan knob. If you're not automating panning, the only difference is in one DAW you'll hear the track you're panning quieter or louder – and you'll compensate right away with the volume fader in a second to get the balance you need. And if you are, and for some reason have a preference for a "warmer, more analog sound" of you moving the pan knob – you can change the pan law to be the same in all DAWs you're testing.

    No pan laws means if you pan something center you get your track +6dB louder, because over on the right it was playing with just one speaker - and now it plays on two speakers. What pan law does is turn the volume down while you pan from the right to the center, so the volume is constant. There are different settings like -6 and -3, plus different ways of handling the inbetween hard pan and center. This is for situations like if you want your instruments balance to be the same in mono as it was in stereo, and various trivia like that. Still, the only thing they change is how much the volume is turned down as you turn the knob from one side to the center. And if you keep it after you set it, the pan law does literally nothing.

    Agreed with the rest though.

    Here's a nice video showing the issue btw:
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2020
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