Audio quality. PT vs. Logic.
I've branched this topic from the "Fixing Live Drums" thread:
Strange this. I had this very discussion with Jon Hiseman last year. Jon uses PTools TDM and Logic sync'ed, he uses Logic for the MIDI but records audio into PTools. At the time I was using Logic for MIDI and audio, using the DAE to record to the Digi TDM hardware. Jon didn't like doing this as he felt the audio sounded better going through PTools. When I A/B'ed them, I too thought the audio was better going through PTools. Why this should be, considering I was using the same recording hardware, I have no idea.
I'm not overly surprised that you feel the opposite is true. It could just be a personal thing or it could have something to do with the listening environments.
I know that Cool Edit Pro, and Wavelab are probably not in the same league as PT and Logic but they are what I have worked on in the past, as well as some of the others out there that I tried as demo's. The very first thing that I noticed about PT once we loaded it, was the sound!
I had never even thought about "how does this program sound" because it never occurred to me that there could be a difference, anyway its just processing what I put in it, 1's and 0's! (at that time we were transferring in from ADAT via lightpipe)
The sound was so noticeable that I didn't have to A/B it to hear the difference.
So for my ear, PT does sound better than any of the others that I have worked with!
I've A/B'ed a self PT drum mix & Logic mix 2 months ago.
I find (to my ears... maybe i'm wrong... my ears are perfectless sure) Logic sound more rounded to me. PT is harsh in the high end. The system ends in active Genelecs & the enviroment was a control room ever capable of acoustic update (but not sounds bad at all). I tried the same configuration in both mixes (vol & pan... no FX).
Logic has creamy low end & progresive lose in high end (more analog sound) and PT is very "enhancer" in highs. To these time until now i'm had searched answer about this sensation. I've heard many rumours & posibilities: the master bus (24 bits in PT & 32 bit float in Logic (I don't understand it if Logic uses TDM hard)), the little enhance of PT around 3khz to up on every track (summed all tracks it's more evident... I am looking for this rumour on audio forums now... but I think that is part of the "PT sound" that many people asociate with it), the process of volume & pan between software,...
I don't know... but I hear a difference between audio programs (even in hifi). I've heard Nuendo & Cubase (demos) and more difference. Maybe we'll finish talk 'bout sonic singularities of audio software like now we topic on Neve vs SSL sound.
Ah, I was right, it is just a personal thing. I agree with your assesment of the difference. Although in my particular case I prefer the space the highs give in PT.
I am still confused though as to why there should be a difference at all. If all the recording/playback hardware is identical what is happening to create this difference?
Anyone have any ideas?
I'm new to this Forum, but I've been observing it for a while (more pro than most). I thought I'd jump in here since this thread caught my attention.
Anyway, first off I don't use PT or Logic. I use Cubase VST/32/ mac. However, I use a MOTU 1224 audio system and I have discovered something very similar in my never ending search for the best audio quality I can afford.
Here is my weirdness: I've been using Cubase for over a year and just the other day I decided to try the MOTU Audio desk software that came with my 1224 (Audio Desk is the audio void midi part of Digital Performer). Much to my surprise there was an obvious difference!
zepdave, the description you gave in comparing Logic to PT is exactly what I heard. Needless to say the MOTU audio desk is much more "analog" like sounding. Even if I export a file from the Audio desk to Cubase it seems I lose a lot of (smooth) harmonic tone once the file is played back through the Cubase audio engine, especially in the low end. I’m beginning to wonder a lot more about DAW software and hardware compatibility!!
Hi greg & tony.
I've heard many people to say that Protools has a distintive sound, a "Protools sound". This sound is very prominent in audio of films today. The rumour of the enhancer in every track has its fundament, and the more tracks to a project, the more Protools sounds like this.
I've worked with Logic & Protools. And i've encountered Logic more pleased to hear its sound over more time. There's a lot of ear fatigue with the Protools work in my case. It's like to compare the fatigue after nearfield monitors (NS10's or Event ones) or audiophile speakers (Fisher,...).
I think that it is normal the difference in the audio between software. The code is diferent. The algorythms used in this programs are programmed by diferent people, like the sound of this awesome plugins (even Bombfactory can recreate the sound of diferent analog gear).
It isn't bad... it's like compare SSL's with Neve's, or Focusrite's with API's,...
This topic has been haunting me for the last six months and I have yet to get a definitive answer. The consensus seems to lean toward DP (Digital Performer) as the best sounding with Paris running a close second followed by Pro Tools. Since I don't have either I can not comment. Many folks say that it is all in the quality of A/D and the signal path going to disc...And some say that if all you are doing is recording audio and not processing with internal EQ than there should be no difference. It's true most software is coded differently and handle audio in different ways which is why they have their own distinct sound. If you stick with well designedplug-insthat handle audio in 32 bit floating point or higher then you are indeed preserving the quality of the sound rather than degrading it. But ofcourse the way audio is summed in a DAW also has a lot to do with its character sound. That's why an SSL or Neve sounds so much nicer than a software mixer. Have you ever seen the electric bill from a studio that runs these boards? WHew! I aint no techie but I know that each track stays 3 dimensional when mixed through one.
At this point I have found that as long as you are getting the results you want then it really isn't important on which sounds best. It's a pretty subjective topic and the only person that can determine what sounds best for your particular application is YOU. I for one have let up on the quest for the "best sounding" DAW and began concentrating and learning more on getting the sound I want from my exsisting set-up (which includes Rosetta, hammerfall, and Cubase VST 32).
I guess when you are dealing with DAW's at this level then the differences are really shades of gray rather than apples and oranges. I think if we all approach it from this point of view then the differences are really not that important. I've opted for tracking at home and then mixing at the "Big studio" in Pro Tools through the SSL to get satisfying results. Ofcourse YMMV. Peace!