How badly can delayed samples affect my mixes?

Discussion in 'Pro Tools' started by swing, May 27, 2014.

  1. swing

    swing Newbie

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    Hello, I´m here to get some extra thoughts, because I´m considering to move to a different (or newer) DAW, if that could improve my workflow. *yes*

    I´m running on Win7 and I think I´ve a decent PC (old i5 first generation, 8GB Ram DDR3). 2 years ago I bought a Mbox 2 Mini and I work with the PT8 LE copy that came with it. All drivers and DAW stuff is updated to date. I used to work in FL but PT allowed me to work with my pardner and some friends, so I prefer to stick with it, besides that I´m always getting some crashes and errors that I never could figure out how to fix... and well, AVID support sucks, even more with old soft versions. :(

    Anyway, recently I noticed a big contrast between my mixdowns and some music from close people I know and work with (PT 9/10, Mac users). Even with similar or same processing and source material. Comparing tracks, my stuff tends to sound duller or weaker, and also the workflow was better in one friend´s notebook -no crashes at all-, with a smaller configuration (Win7, 4GB Ram, i3 -if I remember well- / PT9 user). So, besides the crashes (that could be related to some specific configurations in my machine), I´m wondering if PT had a huge engine improvement in the newer versions, and that could be the difference in sound... ¿? By reading A LOT out there, I found also some people relating some 'muddy' or dull results to delays introduced by some plugins processing, so lately I´ve been paying more attention to dly compensation in my channels, and I found really huge delays with some plugs (up to 400 samples or more... is that normal?). It would be nice if some of you guys could tell me a little about your experience with newer PT versions running on Win, because if I know well, from PT9 version delay compensation can be done automatically, and yes, now I can do it channel per channel :snuffy: , but with large sessions it´s a mess, it takes too much time and kills my workflow. Do you think the updating worths the difference? I don´t want to waste my money. Could be the delays the issue? Other ideas? Any suggestion is welcome, even Wz versions if they´re working fine on Win to try them out.
     
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  3. junh1024

    junh1024 Rock Star

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    I don't use PT, but I have some VSTs which have a second or more? PDC. Normally, FX may have a few hundred or a few thousands sa PDC , that's usual.
     
  4. Kwissbeats

    Kwissbeats Audiosexual

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    I don't use protools, But I don't think delay makes your sound 'dull' or 'weak' ,
    the only thing you should be worrying about is phase problems witch can cancel sound in different places in the spectrum were the phase is 100% opposite.
    witch should not happen if an effect is mixed 100%, if you do want the effect to be mixed like 25% like lets say a distortion,
    u should use the mix button of the effect rather then the mix button of PT, in this situation the dry and wet signal have the same amount of delay
    and the phase delay is minor.

    we could argue long time about delay, but up to 3 ms difference between the channel and the track is neglectable, and can even make the track more alive!
    in my opinion music should be alive, we are not robots :wink:
     
  5. copylefter

    copylefter Producer

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    Quick answer: VeryBadly *yes*

    If you don't compensate for a 400ms processing delay the result is clearly audible, no need to dig into phase interaction.
    If you use PT versions that don't have PDC the only thing you can do is:
    A - manually compensate the latency (a major PITA)
    B - using Mellowmuse ATA that will help automating the compensation work (still a PITA, call it minor PITA if you want)

    btw it's normal to have latecy like that, it must be a heavy-on-the-cpu plugin but it can be.

    Also phase problems can be huge if you don't compensate, example for a reverb send, or worst case: parallel compression,
    if the compressed signal is delayed, when mixed in the 2buss with the original signal coming from the original channel,
    you will likely have phase cancellation/problems.

    And phase cancellations effect can be referred as "muddiness", maybe better say "lose of punch".
    Specially in the low end, 2 similar signals with shifted phase tend to cancel each other,
    causing the lose of punch and focusing.
    Just to name one effect, we can list many others.

    So yes, an update to PT9/10/11 will be a good option :wink:
    (remember PT9 have PDC but limited to somewhere around 10k samples if I remember correctly)
     
  6. Nima

    Nima Noisemaker

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    I noticed the same problem using Ableton Live. Live's Delay compensation could not handle the latency by some plugins. for Example: zynaptiq unveil and unfilter or Some waves Restoration plugins.

    Then I made research and the result:

    If YOu don't want to manually adjust the delay, Don't use Plugins with high latency. DAW Internal pluigns normally work fine and there are enough external zero latency or Low latency Plugins as replacement of Your High latency Plugin in Your Projects.

    To find not audible delay in a Track, I made two Audio recorded tracks, one recorded with plugins and one without. Then I compared the start point of both wave files.

    Hope this helps.
     
  7. swing

    swing Newbie

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    Yes, when I figured out about those delays I inmediatelly considered phase cancelations. I´ll check Mellowmuse, but it would be nice a DAW with better capabilities instead, to avoid more and more plugs. I don´t know if my pc could handle more stuff going on, for large sessions I´ve to bounce several times to give it a breath on processing (without using many plugins), and work in different 'group'/submixes sessions simultaneously, so I can´t see the whole picture at once, that also bothers me when mixing. Yes, I tend to use parallel processing, so it sounds like some phasing issues... fuck... :sad: and reverbs tend to be the most affected, in conjuction with some amp sims I always use and some Waves/Izotope stuff.
     
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