Different programs different sounds?

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by jesserr17, Oct 10, 2003.

  1. In terms of the wave file that gets recorded when recording r they all technicaly the same???? it seems to me i notice a distinct sound difference from each other when i use Cakewalk Sonar or Logic Audio ... not just the effects and stuff , jus the raw tracks recorded into the program..

    what do u think ???

    I find cakewalk easyer to use caue it's what i learned on .. But i like the sound from logic better.... :eek: :confused: :D
  2. Johnalex


    Jul 20, 2001
    South Carolina
    Yes true, they all have different audio structures. Sonar sounds WAY different then Pro Tools, and Cubase and so on. Sonar 3, wich was released this week, is supposed to have a redessiegned audio structure, which supposidly makes it sound better.
  3. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    That's the last thing to worry about IMO.

    The converters of your soundcard influence the sound much more.
  4. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    On another forum, I heard a comparison between a Logic and a Sonar mix, no effects, faders untouched, just some tracks mixed down to a stereo 16-bit wave file. The difference seemed quite significant at first, the Logic mix was MUCH more punchy and articulate. However, it was revealed that the Logic output had about 3 dB more gain in it, so raising the sound level on the Sonar mix to match the Logic one, there was not much of a difference anymore. At least I (and the guy who did the test, among others) couldn't hear it.

    In theory there will be differences since every program uses different algorithms, and in theory every sound processing algorithm degrades sound quality to an extent. The question is by how much. And will it be noticeable? In most situations and for the vast majority of listeners, I think not.
  5. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Yeah, one reason programs sound differently is differing pan laws (e.g. -3 dB or -6 dB).
  6. paintandsk8

    paintandsk8 Pushin' my soul through the wire...

    May 12, 2003
    West Lafayette, IN
    There are many variable to consider. For one every program has a different default recording mode, inside the .wav category are hundreds of different types of encoding created by different company's and labs, if you multiply that by the different bitrates and sample rates u get thousands of combinations that all have a slightly different sound. I am not sure but the different drivers may have an effect too like MME Vs. Asio.
  7. Once it's normalized no one can hear the difference anyway!

  8. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    ...and a Creative Labs card will ruin your recording anyway :spit:
  9. 12notes


    Jul 15, 2003
    Why normalise and compress?

    These are the best, and sure ways to kill the dynamic of the music.

    Unless all you do is dance, or dead metal music.
  10. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Normalization and compression are useful tools, if used properly.

    Normalization only raises the volume level so that the peaks(!) reach a certain threshold (typically 0 dB). It does NOT affect dynamics.

    Good compressors improve/enhance the sound without audibly affecting dynamics. Even if they do, it still can sound more "punchy".
  11. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    I thought the algorithms used would determine HOW the sound gets recorded, not WHAT gets recorded. I bet if you hear a difference you'll eventually ahve the same experience as Oysterman, and find a setting that was different.
  12. 12notes


    Jul 15, 2003
    I know how they work.

    Yes, normalization is not as bad as compression. But I much prefer to have everything all planned out in advance. So, no eq /compression, normalization would be needed.

    Loudness is not everything. I rather to maintain the dynamic at its fullest, than to lessen it, in order to make the music plays louder. Or to sound more even by masking bad techniques, and production.

    That's why I can't stand listening to most radio and tv broadcasts.

    That's just my personal preferences.
  13. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    Normalization does not equal a super loud mix. Saying normalzation is not as bad as compression is like saying eq is not as bad as a "puncher" effect. As JMX said, neither normalization nor compressoin need kill dynamics AT ALL. Of course, any tool can be used badly. ;)
  14. 12notes


    Jul 15, 2003
    I know some people can utilise compression and normalization without killing much of the music. It's all personal tastes and preferences.

    But I see no reason why music needed to be at similar loudness level?

    In a way. I sometimes use compression too. But not with a compressor, but just get the needed compression effects from the output tubes in the power amps. Other than that, I don't use compression at all.

    On my own recordings, the contrasts in the music are very important part of the feels, the moods, the emotions of the music. My music will sounds dead without the big dynamic range. And not intended for radio, or low-fi play back. The vu meter jumps between -50 dB (lowest marking before infinite on my CD recorder) to about -0.5dB all the time. No limiter or eq either. Yes, it's very tricky to set the level, but well worth the extra effords.

    But then again. I don't play metal or dance music either. I can see that dead metal and so on will need lots of compression and normalization though.
  15. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    i'm not sure were getting at the same thing here, but Ok.
  16. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    I believe the disconnect here is over the difference between song-by-song normalization (peaking each song to 0dBFS), and album-as-a-whole normalization (keeping the relationship between the songs the same, but adjusting the whole album up to 0dBFS peak).
  17. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    (I'm probably on thin ice with this, as I have no expert knowledge myself, though I've done quite a bit of reading of what so called experts have said...)

    The usable dynamic range of a 16-bit recording (i.e. a music CD) isn't as wide as one could guess. Listening to a -30 dBFS signal and a 0 dBFS signal at the same volume would most likely reveal a lower sonic quality in the lower level signal. If you have one wild peak in a song that drastically lowers the RMS level of the song, the overall quality of the audio may suffer because of it!

    In most cases this won't be an issue, but in some situations you have those wild peaks, and naturally normalization can't do anything about them. There may be transients that are quick enough to not really be noticeable, and then their only contribution would be to lower the overall level and therefore the sonic quality of the song! For these situations, a LIMITER could do wonders. Compressors aren't much good because their response would be too slow.

    One should also keep in mind that there's a difference between PERCEIVED dynamics and ACTUAL dynamics. The two don't necessarily always walk hand in hand. 12notes, I don't think your recordings would suffer from a bit of gentle mastering. On the contrary, I would think it would be difficult for most people to listen to your work since they don't have the necessary listening environments or equipment! There would be a psychological factor too - since most people are used to mastered music, I would think there's a risk that your recordings could sound "odd" to them. But hey, it's your music, your call.

    One thing is for sure, though - too many mastering engineers got carried away at work in recent years. No one's a winner in a loudness war.
  18. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    thanks for being the articulate oerson that I'm not. ;) You are correct.
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