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DAW editing software

i have enjoyed your posts on RAP for years. i am curious, do you regularly use any editing software (not a splicing block and a razor :-) ) if so what do you use ?



KSmith Mon, 03/12/2001 - 14:39

Wow, an opportunity to bash Pro Tools has been going on all week and I just now found about about it?

Obligatory Pro Tools slam: I've done a lot of mixing in it and I'll never do it again (unless they pay me lots of money).

OK, that out of the way, I wish I had a great big one of my own. With a big stack of AD8000SE's, a chassis full of DSP, and every plug-in known to man. That would be grand.

Of course, every d/a on the Apogee would be plugged into a proper console, preferably an API or Neve. And there'd be a nice Studer and Ampex in the same room too. All would get used a lot, each for what I think they do best:

Analog for tracking basics, especially for rock bands, transferred into Pro Tools. Someone mentioned that people who like analog for tracking are using it as a crutch to cover their mistakes. Bullshit. I can get excellent drums sounds on digital, even cheap digital. I just prefer the analog version 95% of the time, and so do the people paying the bill.

Overdub on the PT rig because it's faster, and for many things, I think digital sounds best. It's clean and its quiet (just don't touch a screen fader). It's awesome for vocal work, saves a lot of time. Since I'd rather lick ashtrays than record vocals, anything that gets it over with faster gets a thumbs up from me!

And of course there's theplug-ins Some of them are great, allowing me to get tones not possible in the analog domain. Every now and then, I actually come up with a good one.

Mixing, well, I'm with Mixerman 1000% on that one. I think the PT mixer is intrinsically flawed, I'd rather use a Mackie - and I hate Mackie's. His a/b test with some drum tracks is a good one, try it some time. I've done it, other people I know have too, and the analog desk always wins.

Then again, for certain, usually sparse music, the PT mixer does fine. Better than fine, even. But most of the stuff I work on these days is pretty dense, and just falls to pieces in the software mixer. I don't know what the problem is but the bigger the production, the smaller it sounds.

The Ampex is there to print the mixes to. Still nothing sounds better to me than a good ATR102. It takes what I hear in the speakers and ever so slightly enhances it. Digital at it's best takes what I hear in the speakers and ever so slightly degrades it.

One more thing - I can't afford my own PT system but I do have a Nuendo system. The mixer doesn't sound any better than Pro Tools, but the analog i/o is a lot cheaper (and sounds better), so I can use it how I like to without going into massive debt buying Apogee's.

mhg Mon, 03/12/2001 - 16:32

a short comment on the social content of this discussion.
what has occurred is that the advent of digital recording has opened the once mysterious and closely held world of recording to the average guy.
what happens from there is this tiring "my way is better" follwed by the equally impressive response "no, my way is better" which then generally spirals downward until someone's mother is blowing every guy on the list.
can we raise the bar a little when it comes to content?
no offense to anyone in particular. :mad:

alphajerk Mon, 03/12/2001 - 20:35

"I just wanted to know, comparing apples and apples, how the sequencers with audio compared to eachother on sound alone."

if you are talking about taking out the mixing section, they should all be EXACTLY the same, its the converters that decide the sound. although the RADAR 24/48 are supposed to have some nice converters. sonics come into play in DAWs in the mixing/automation areas. paris claims to be the best, i didnt have a problem with the sound but the logic of the thing is weird, DP has got a real nice thing going on, PT is probably the most advanced but lacks sonics of Paris and DP, cubase is probably the worst sounding. [simply my comparisons from what i've heard with my ears]

im sure the wolves are circling now.... but then again, everyone has been complaining about PT's sound so far.

cheers to kevin for his post. well said. i guess crutch is totally the wrong word, reliant is more of what i meant. which when i think about it, i am reliant about going to digital. how someone who uses analog knows how what they put in is going to come back off, the same is true about how i see digital. after all, isnt that what its all about anyways? and i certainly have nothing against REALLY NICE analog boards [aside from the recall issue but i wonder, why isnt it digitally controlled yet like the 9098's dynamics section? now that is the best of both worlds] and gawd do i share your sentiments about the vocal tracks.

Aaron-Carey Mon, 03/12/2001 - 20:38

This is insane

I ran a studio that had SSL's Neve's, Tridents, M-49's, C-12's LA-2A's, studers, Ampex's the whole bit.

I enjoyed working on analog equipment, also digital tape too.
If you cant get as good a sound on a Sony 3348 as you can on a studer 827, then you SUCK...maybe you get a DIFFERENT sound on a Studer than the Sony, but hard pressed to say " better ".

I enjoyed working on consoles and tape machines...everything was " immediate" you could turn a real knob, push a real fader, patch in a real effect.

Nowadays I do a LOT of mixing and editing in my PC, using mostly cheap ass apps. You MAY be able to argue about the sound quality difference, and CERTAINLY the ergonomics are better in the real world, but there are MANY MANY MANY things I can do on a DAW ( or my ghetto configuration of one) that have NO real world equivalent...

Is everything perfect except that kick drum came in too early, oh big deal, cut and paste...2 that on tape!
Wow all the choruses were good except the second word in the third problem, just use the one from the first chorus!

Stupid to argue the point

analog is great, digital is great, real world is great, virtual world is great...

ALL have their plusses and minuses and I use them all

BTW, alpha, you should give the console summing trick a try, many times I mix all the drums together to two tracks on the console from my PC back to my PC, it sometimes just sounds better, no joke.

Mixerman Mon, 03/12/2001 - 23:07

Flame war? No Angelo, I assure you, this hasn't come close to a flame war. I'm just warming up.

I think many are missing the point here. So I'll reiterate. This is not about digital vs. analog. This is about running an entire mix through a chip, as opposed to running an entire mix through the 2-bus of a board.

Some JERKS would like to argue that there is no audible difference between the two. I don't really give a rats ass what the JERK thinks. I deal with different DAW's all the time. I've tried mixing out of several DAW's. They sound like shit. When improvements occur, I try again. Notta. The more instruments in the mix, the smaller the mix becomes.

I'm not some web site designer, amateur recordist, who likes to dick around on weekends by recording (does that sound familiar AlpaJERK?). I do this for a living. Every day. I compare formats constantly. If you think that a DAW sounds fine out of the computer, GO for it, I couldn't care less. But JERKS shouldn't argue out their ass that a DAW's 2-bus is not sub-par. It IS sub-par, and you ARE arguing out your ass.

No don't confuse these words with my being upset. Quite the contrary. I laugh at you. You speak like a know-it-all, but you don't experiment. I experiment, and speak from experience.

Just so we are clear. I respect hobbyists, and encourage hobbyists. I get e-mails every day from hobbyists asking me questions, and I take the time to help them. What I don't respect, is someone that comes on a board where people are trying to gain information, and just spew absolute BS, ignorant statements that are based on fantasy, as opposed to controled experimentation, and careful listening.

What am I saying here? AphaJERK, you don't know what the fuck you're talking about, you're lying when you say that you've compared the 2-bus of your computer to the 2-bus of a console, and you are a complete ignoramous when it comes to this subject.

There's nothing wrong with being an ignoramous either, God knows there are plenty of things that I'm ignorant about. But I don't pretend to be knowledgeable when I'm actually ignorant. That's really the trick in being respected in life.

How's that? Nah, the torch is still cold. Damn!


John Sayers Mon, 03/12/2001 - 23:53

I don't think that was really necessary or constructive.

Let's talk film. As anyone who has worked in the film industry will know you must shoot a feature film on FILM. Sure there are really smart digital cameras around but a major feature film director would never consider shooting on anything but film.

Film has a graininess that has never ever been duplicated on digital systems. BUT film transfers to digital OK hence the huge amount of digital post being used in feature films today. Once done it all goes back to film again in the lab processing.

I think this is exactly the same as tape. Tape has a sound that cannot be duplicated by digital, yet tape sound transfers to digital and back again, like film.

The digital cameras cover the news, the sports and make the interesting docos etc just as the DAWs cover the ads, the jingles, the TV soundtracks, maybe the first release albums, etc. Plus the DAWs can be a useful tool for processing tape recorded sounds.

The film heads will always love film as will the tapeheads always love tape. :)

And so they should as they are distinctive in the way they record their respective signals.

BTW isn't the sampling rate of tape the bias frequency??


Tony C Tue, 03/13/2001 - 04:32

I have found alphajerks findings to be on the money! To hear the differences he has heard in the DAW's he lists tells me that his ears are in great shape (weather he is a pro or not is irrelevant) I too have made similar discoveries (took years & ears)...
Mixerman, lets face it the time has come to realize that DAW's have reached the same level as analog as far as "the sound" is concerned. Digital audio is improving as an amazing rate. The demands of pros and amatures are creating a big digital audio market resulting in both really good and really bad stuff, what else is new.
To be so black and white as to say analog = better vs digital = not as good is fast becoming a thing of the past. Why are you so uptight about that?
I tend to go with the Bob Katz school of theory and fact..
“The time for digital audio has arrived with the advent of 96/24 converters”. Of course there is A LOT more to it, when you consider mixers, mikes, sound processing, YEARS of experience etc. but I think everyone here knows that.

"There are two kinds of fools | One says-this is old and therefore good. The other says-this is new and therefore better."

Ang1970 Tue, 03/13/2001 - 05:49

MM, why do you feel the need to defend yourself against the guy? None of us who have a clue are doubting your method, and you can't stop the world just cuz one guy disagrees. There will always be one more guy, you'll never get anything done for all the arguing. If he does the experiment and still can't hear the difference, is that your problem? Is it any of our problem on this board? I already have my own set of problems to worry about, thank you.

And still, this is getting off topic. I would much rather a new thread be started to explore the topic of digital summing vs. analog busing. Start a new thread and slam digital busing all you want. In this thread we should just be looking at what everyone uses to digitally edit with. Anything else is adding confusion.

Speedy Tue, 03/13/2001 - 07:28

Hi Y'all,

Just a thought...

The mixer page on PT (or any other DAW) looks like 1 big mixer summed 2 a bus. However, following the design logic it's probably a bunch of small mixers IN SERIES, usually in groups of 8 channels. Bring up ch 9 in the mix & 2 mixers r summed 2gether by a third 1.

I remember that was the case in earlier versions of PT. If changed already, pls 4give me PROs and TOOLS alike.
If however, this IS the case, than the more tracks 1 mixes, the more mixers r created and summed.

If so, the digital / analog summing difference would b even more noticeable on larger number of tracks. So Mixerman's experiment should b tried with 17+ tks by skeptics.
I've tried it myself many times (only on SSL, I'm afraid) and I can only repeat Mixerman's conclusion.

I've worked with every DAW it's name I can spell, and use mainly DAWs 4 editing & manipulating but I still prefer analog 4 tracking and summing.

Oh, & I prefer the playstation 4 Tekken 3...


dgooder Tue, 03/13/2001 - 09:55

I agree that this discussion is turning into a waste of time. We all have our own opinions, some based on experienced fact, and others based on wishful thinking and ignorance. Here is what I propose. We should have a new category where only the cats who acknowledge the differences hang-out, and another new category where those who apparently have no ears hang. I am not arguing that digital is here to stay or that digital is the future, etc. It is indeed the future, but it's just not there yet. YES IT IS CLOSE. But even when it does deliver and surpass what us "elitists" consider to be superior sound, I will continue, for MANY reasons, to record my dates analog. That's just what I choose, and I really don't need to waste my time explaining why to "the new generation." It ALWAYS falls on deaf ears.

Dave g

alphajerk Tue, 03/13/2001 - 10:01

whatever you say [eMineM]. the sad thing about your closemindedness is that i have more than experimented, probably more than yourself.... see when you dont have big budgets, you have to be even more creative to make shit work and you certainly test things to see which is better. i have tried your little test, in fact ive done it many many times and now taking care of it inside the digital realm IS better than some POC mackie. im NOT talking about largeframe analog consoles [which i love the sound of some of them....]

never mind that how i make the majority of my money [and its quite a bit of money, more than 90% of the engineers out there] doing not just web design but animation, sound design, video [and digital has come a long way there too... the film world will lose the film soon] on top of doing recording as much as i design, not to mention a musician of all the stations in rock along with programming electronica. heaven forbid im not a single facted asshole. you kid yourself putting me down to make yourself feel better. wow, i would hate to be the artist who has to work with an egocentric asshole who has major self esteem issues to boot. you show your ass, maybe someone will put a foot right up it.

hargerst Tue, 03/13/2001 - 12:12

Geez, somebody remind me never to invite both of you to the same party. Lighten up, it's only the Internet (or if you prefer, it's only rock and roll). You have different views - big deal. It ain't worth breaking a sweat about. Mixerman will continue to do what he does, and so will Alpha.

Is the rest of this thread gonna be about who can call the other the worst names?

Monte McGuire Tue, 03/13/2001 - 12:37

Back to the original question, I use ProTools, 4.3.1 on a TDM Mix and 3 old farms system. I use it for pretty much all the recording and editing I do. While it's operationally very pleasant, it's been quite an experience to make it sound good, especially with rock and roll.

However, I have been pretty happy recently, and I think it has to do with the fact that I only use 48 bit plug ins and I'm using the 48 bit dithered to 24 bit mixer. I'm on TDM hardware, and the great majority of plug ins are single precision. These, along with Digi's older mixers, can do some very questionable things to a signal. Stack a few together on a channel and you've lost some goodness. It's a struggle to work your way out of that.

These days though, I have two compressors that work (Compresor Bank and Renaissance Compressor), a limiter that works (L2) and an EQ that works (Renaissance EQ). It's just like 1965 in the sense that there are very few processing options, but there is still a complete and sufficient set of toys available for making good sounding mixes. I'm finally having fun and realizing that most of the remaining limitations are related to me and not the machine.

I wanted to add one point about the phenomenon where "the more things you add to a mix the smaller it sounds". I have to state that this has _always_ been my experience over the past 20 years, using tape, doing live sound, using digital with consoles and using DAWs with integrated mixing. While it's true that digital mixers (and analog ones too) can screw up the summing and make large mixes sound worse, usually it's the arrangements and mix treatment of the parts that's the leading cause of "small mixes" or just plain "bad mixes". It's the old "10 pounds in a 5 pound sack" problem.

The trick is treating the tracks and getting the arrangement together so it all fits in the 5 pound sack. Maybe that means throwing out 5 lbs worth of tracks... or trimming them down so they aren't such space hogs... or welding a few tracks together so they become one instead of three. But, regardless of the format, I find that you have to look at the arrangement when things are sounding small and bad and fix them there. I've yet to find a magic bullet piece of hardware or mix format that eliminates _that_ problem.

Yes, a DAW (or a console) can get in the way, but a good arrangement can sneak by even some really crappy gear and still sound good.

Happy recording,

Monte McGuire

alphajerk Tue, 03/13/2001 - 18:07

okay brad, we got off on the wrong foot earlier in the thread but i would be glad to send you something, email me where to send it, i got some promo stuff to get out next week anyways.

sure we talk big budget i dont hold these views but we were talking analog of mackies vs digital. factor in big budget analog consoles and ill take them but im still recording to a digital medium, simply for the fact that i know how what i put in is going to come back off, plain and simple. not that i dont know how something is going to come off analog [used it for the majority of time i have been recording] but i dont like what ELSE comes back off with it. that coupled with that i LIKE how digital sounds, freaky notion i know.

anyways eMineM, hope you arent taking it personally. after all its just preferences. red read reed, its all good in the end as long as you captured it right? maybe im suffering from PMDD right now.

Guido Wed, 03/14/2001 - 03:53

My 2 cents....
I feel that DAW'S are a great tool. I just bought an iZ Radar so I can track on a 2" a dump it into the Radar for the overdubs I feel do not need to be analog. (midi keys/percussion/vocals...) It is my opinion that digital will never sound like analog. Ever. Two completely different beasts. Those of you who think it does were probably born after 1970. That's cool, though. Knock yourselves out. Buy yer Pro Tools...yer plug ins...yer software upgrades....blah blah blah. Keep buying music that is squashed to death, soulless and perfect...I don't give a rat's. But when I decide I wanna quit this God forsaken business, please feel free to line up and buy my "old, noisy analog" gear..... to warm up yer DAW' top dollar. 96/24 will NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER sound like analog. NEVER!!! Digital will ALWAYS sound goofy in the low midrange. You can "emulate" and "simulate" but you cannot "recreate" analog with digital. You can fake analog....but you can only make the sound of analog with......ANALOG!!! PERIOD. Get over it!
Next topic, pleases.....