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Sonic Quality of various DAW's??

Discussion in 'Recording' started by simonjbinks, Jul 17, 2002.

  1. simonjbinks

    simonjbinks Guest

    I am about to upgrade my system.

    I would like to hear from professional Musicians and Producers with their opinions on the sonic quality of various recording formats.

    For example, many people I have spoken to claim this is not possible, but I believe that Pro Tools sounds better than Logic Audio. I have them both.

    With regard to interfaces, programs such as Nuendo, Paris, Logic Audio, Pro Tools, Cubase etc, I would really like to hear user's opinions.

    Also with Digital Desks, the Pro Control verses the Mackie D8B verses the Control 24 or anything else.

    The D/A converters: Prism vs the Digidesign 888 vs the new Pro Tools HD 1,2 and 3, even Hammerfall vs ASIO, Dig 001, etc.

    Firewire vs SCSI?

    Obviously it is very much horses for courses, but I'm merely talking about the quality of the audio signal at the end of the day.

    Appreciate all opinions.

    Simon Binks
  2. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Distinguished Member

    Apr 7, 2001
    G'day Simon!
    Good questions! Here's what I have heard from people...
    Pro Tools does not sound as good as Logic
    Logic sounds better than Nuendo
    Cubase sounds just like Nuendo(there's a given!)
    I have not heard anything on comparison's on SAW, SoundScape or any other program..(I'm sure Bert will talk about the Soundscape as being good but remember he is biased since he sells it!! Sorry Bert..got to throw that in!)
    Here's what I personally have heard...
    Nuendo sounds better than the new and old PT systems..
    Nuendo sounds better than Logic(at least to me it does)
    I love Nuendo as it is very flexible and easy to use..Logic can be frustrating at first but once you get into it ..it's very nice...
    Pro Tools...whatever..I never liked the interface on it..nor do I like the sound...
    Cubase(well, no need since it's the same as Nuendo)
    Sonar is downright silly(IMHO) and to me isn't pro..anyone who works on PT and tries Sonar laughs quite hard!

    Digital Desks...that is not my area of expertise but generally when used people get external Pre's...another given actually.

    888...well, C'mon..those are not the greatest converters made..that's why most people opted for Apogee AD8000's to replace them..
    Prism...great stuff..RME..low budget oriented but sounds nice..the new AD and DA 16 from Apogee..stellar..

    Those are my comments and my $.02 worth
  3. simonjbinks

    simonjbinks Guest


    Apogee, of course. How could I have not included Apogee (rhetoric question)

    You know what it's like when you find a bulletin board, scrabbling to search the depths of personal experience and conscious memory.

    I'm from the old school, weaned on Neve and Studer A 800, SSL's, AMT's and Lexicon. I made records with Neil Dorfsman and Mike Chapman. But I love this new technology.

    Very interested to hear your opinion of Logic sounding better than Pro Tools. And Nuendo?
    I was hoping for just that reply.

    Very interesting. Thanks for your effort.

    Simon Binks
  4. Fredrik

    Fredrik Guest

    I'd like to add my opinion that Soundscape sounds better than both Logic and ProTools. I haven't compared with Nuendo though.

    Logic's great for midi and for it's integration with ProTools. ProTools is great because it's the most mature all-round DAW you can find. And it's everywhere. But who wants to be like everybody else? I like Soundscape for it's ease of use, unparallelled stability and great sound. They also make very good converters. Otherwise I agree with the above.

    I use IDE or Firewire-disks for audio. SCSI is of course fabulous, but not worth it's price IMO.

    Fredrik Lidin
  5. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Distinguished Member

    Apr 7, 2001
    Simon...yes, it can be hard to remember everything to input on a forum post when racking your brain on the correct wording and so forth..
    believe me..I wouldn't leave out Apogee as I am their tech support! lol
    When I was present at the PT vs Nuendo shoot out..listening through a heavily modded Neve board using the Digi Digital I/O and the AD and DA 16's on Nuendo..it was night and day to be honest...the sound was more lush and alive..low end was there...the PT system seemed to lack the low end..
    now, as far as what the source material was...well, the original tracks from the beach boys album..Pet Sounds!!!! Amzing recording as it was then now sounds twice as good!!

    As far as Logic sounding better than PT...from what most people say is that PT(Mix+ systems) sounded...well, not too alive..PT has a sound they say and it's not that pleasing...if using it for Hip Hop or Rap...not going to notice much difference IMHO...
    Logic I guess has a wamer more brilliant sound to it..

    I did forget to discuss hard drive options....SCSI is over priced these days...for 172 bucks you can get a 120GB Western Digital drive with an 8MB buffer on it that handles audio data like nothing you've seen before!
    people are using these drives for 24/96 recording and it handles it like butter! All on a PCI bus on a PC none the less! :eek: lol

    SCSI is nice due to it being truly hot swappable but that's about it...10,000 or 15,000RPM and those things get soooooo friggen hot it's not funny..the WD drives are as cool as ice man!

    Firewire..well, I would wait until 1394b is out before deciding to go that route...as that will be a better option for hot swappable solutions

  6. As for Soundscape, Fredrik summed it up well. As for the PT vs. Nuendo shoot-out...could very well be (but then again, Opus works for the interface manufacturer...) :p
  7. Opus2000

    Opus2000 Distinguished Member

    Apr 7, 2001
    Touche!!!! lmao :p
  8. simonjbinks

    simonjbinks Guest

    Thanks Guys,

    I'll have to check out Soundscape.

    Any URL's to recommend?

  9. Fredrik

    Fredrik Guest

    Well, since Mackie recently bought Sydec who manufactures Soundscape you can have a look at:
    http://www.mackie.com/mbp/ (don't miss to check out the new AD/DA interface I/O 896)

    ...or visit the "old" site:

    Fredrik Lidin
  10. simonjbinks

    simonjbinks Guest

    And again I thank you all.

  11. Dedric

    Dedric Guest

    I haven't A/B'd them, but a local producer/engineer compared PT with Paris and everyone in the room agreed Paris sounded better. This was not PT HD as far as I know.

    I have Paris, Logic 5 and Cubase SX, and by comparison, Paris does sound great.

    However, I just mixed the same 16 track project in Paris and SX - they are very similar, and if anything SX may be just a little clearer (all through Paris' D/A converters). One significant difference is that in SX I was able to use UAD plugins for comp and EQ in place of the Paris comp and EQs (in addition to duplicated Waves plugin settings on applicable tracks). Paris' EQ is very transparent and the comps are good, but UAD's comps are better.

    I have found similar indications with Logic 5, but haven't mixed the same project in it yet (later if I have time - I should be able to setup the identical mix in Logic as SX).

    I firmly believe (esp. now) that if the DAWs processing retains 32-bit floating point all the way through to the final output (SX can output 32-bit files I believe), the mix quality should be more dependant on plugins used than the application itself. I do get the feeling this hasn't been the case until Cubase SX and Logic 5 (for those two).

    Nuendo does get rave reviews so I think we are entering an era where the front end, and mixing tools are bigger factors than the DAW itself. That is good news.

  12. simonjbinks

    simonjbinks Guest

    Dedric's points are of particular interst; not meaning to minimise all the other good points raised, but we are getting to the most critical issue in the equation I consider.

    I am going to attempt to post a poll (don't know if my virgin membership allows), on each successive component of the system I intend, in order of priority as I see it.

    It's gotta start with the converters.

    Simon Binks
  13. Doublehelix

    Doublehelix Distinguished Member

    Oct 7, 2001
    I agree...the converters are *huge*..."crap in...crap out" I always say.
  14. BrockStapper

    BrockStapper Guest

    there are a couple of others left out:
    sequoia and samplitude. the new version of samplitude due out sept. 30th looks pretty impressive. they still have a ways to go with the midi, but the audio is truly impressive. Great bang for the buck as allot of people use it for its excellent mastering abillities. It now has support for logic control, full vst and asio, and automatic delay compensation on inserts, aux, and groups. they are really allowing good interface with video (soon to be much better). I view it as a healthy alternative to Nuendo as a more stable platform. Still needs some of the features Nuendo has but for half the price...

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