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Old 05-01-2017, 09:40 AM
jspencer jspencer is offline
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Default Do DAW's Really Sound Different?

Ok, I know this has been beaten to death, and I can't believe I'm asking, but......

I recently sent stems to an editor that I've never worked with before, and he claimed there were "artifacts" in some of the audio. I played them several times through my monitors and headphones, but couldn't hear anything other than a little "click" in one of the files. They ended up using the stems, but told me that Logic X was probably the culprit (they wouldn't elaborate on what these artifacts were). I call BS on that claim, so I ask....

1) Is there really a difference in rendered audio from each DAW?

2) Going forward, should I render all audio in realtime vs offline? I admit I get lazy and render offline for bigger cues (and don't always play them through for final analysis), but perhaps that introduced certain artifacts? I personally suspect this may be the source of the issue.
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Old 05-01-2017, 11:32 AM
Arnaud.G.Music Arnaud.G.Music is offline
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Hi Jeremy,

1) Short answer: no. The only variables that could make a potential sonic difference between DAWs are dithering, noise shaping and resampling algorithms that are used during rendering, assuming they're needed.

2) Yes you should, especially with Play. I'm currently working on a feature film with a pretty short deadline, and I bounce all my cues offline to save time and send them to the director asap for feedback. I get weird clicks in almost every single rendered cue. They're either pretty subtle and only heard through headphones, or they're clear echoey/grainy/glitchy artifacts.
I render all final cues online, making sure that I unload any unused track from my template to free up resources.

Cheers,
Arnaud
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Old 05-01-2017, 12:11 PM
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Yeah, I'd also be calling BS on it being the "sound of the DAW"
Testing the same sound through DP9, Pro Tools 11, Cubase 8.5, and Logic Pro X, same computer, same speakers, same audio interface, I've never heard a difference.

Unless maybe you were using some built-in audio manipulation tools (for instance, Logic's Flex-Time vs. Pro Tools' Elastic Audio), there shouldn't be any difference in audio. It just comes down to (at least, to me) extra features, plug-ins, and workflow.

And I'm with you in that sometimes on longer cues I don't always use realtime bouncing when I should, especially when I'm required to bounce each instrument separately on a 3-5 minute cue for a whole orchestra
Though I always realtime bounce the full mix (and mix minus if I'm getting some of the instruments recorded live).
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Old 05-01-2017, 12:18 PM
jspencer jspencer is offline
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Thanks Conrad and Arnaud, great tips. Going forward, I'm going to deliver audio that has been rendered realtime, and double checked (not doing so is just careless and complacent on my part). I suspect the "artifacts" were a direct result of offline bouncing with Play (that's all I was using for that project). The tip about unloading any unused tracks from my template to free up resources is something I'm going to utilize for sure.

BTW- I don't know what it is with these "old dog" studio guys using Pro Tools, they all have this notion that you are not professional if you aren't using PT for everything LOL!
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Old 05-01-2017, 01:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jspencer View Post
BTW- I don't know what it is with these "old dog" studio guys using Pro Tools, they all have this notion that you are not professional if you aren't using PT for everything LOL!
"Industry standard, must be the best, no argument!"

Although I will say Pro Tools is perhaps the best I've used in working with actual audio files in terms of workflow. Falls absolutely flat on its face with MIDI though
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Old 05-01-2017, 03:03 PM
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Is there really a difference in rendered audio from each DAW?

There can be, depending on how the pan laws are set. And I believe that not all DAWs are the same here. However, the diff there should only be level... even tho someone might be tempted to say that the "louder one" sounds better.

Otherwise, no - there is no difference in rendered audio from each DAW.

Cheers.
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Old 05-01-2017, 07:13 PM
jspencer jspencer is offline
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Thanks Jeff! Your advice is always appreciated.
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