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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 ?




Profile picture for user Guido

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.....

Tony C Wed, 03/14/2001 - 07:13

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

alphajerk Wed, 03/14/2001 - 07:43

true, i dont try to make digital sound like analog. i'd post some but my connection is ridiculously slow and im not a big fan of mp3 other than people hearing to get the jist of it all. i do have a mp3 rough mix up of some 70's stoner rock though for those eager.


stevepow Wed, 03/14/2001 - 14:50

Originally posted by Mixerman:
BTW: The experiment is simple. There can be no rides internally within Pro Tools. The moment you do rides you fuck the sound. You can experiment with that too if you like. But here's the curent proposed experiment:

Run the outputs of drums to individual faders of your Mackie, or whatever board you have available. Run the stereo outputs of the computers 2-bus to 2 channels of the Mackie. Now it's a fair test. Because either way you're going through the Mackie.

Yes, I realize, normally you wouldn't take the stereo ouputs to a Mackie, BUT, if you do, then the Mackie is tainting both sounds equally, and you can properly exaluate the DIFFERENCE between the two. Remember 'control' from science class?

NO internal rides, unity gain, and make sure that as you A/B, the monitoring level is identical. You'll be amazed at how much shittier the stereo output will sound then the individual outputs.

Don't argue, Try.


I gotta try this - one Q, are you panning anything? If so, I'm thinking you'd have to match pans on both the mixer and the DAW.

I sure as hell hope you are right about this 'cause it is going to be a pain in the ass to setup since I don't work that way at all. I do have a ripe and ready A&H 16 channel I can drag into service for this.

I'm also betting if I post MP3s, no one can pick out the difference after MP3 mangling - but we'll see.

Off to the lab...

alphajerk Wed, 03/14/2001 - 15:57

try both panning and mono. also try without running the DAW's stereo output through the mackie, it'll sound better. why put the piece of gear that you are comparing into itself?

also, MAKE SURE THE VOLUMES ARE EQUAL! muy importante! louder will ALWAYS sound better. use your aux sends to send unity/prefader out to the individual DAC's [if you are using ADATs, they will naturally output out their respective tracks on the DAC's as well as run out the pipe to the DAW]. your converters must be the same as well both out to individual tracks and out the DAW.

run the mackie output and the DAW to a switcher to the amps/speakers. then the switcher is an unbiased constant that both have to run through. by going through the mackie, you are tainting the sound of the DAW.

if you REALLY want to hear the difference, run more than just drums through, run the bass through with it. listen to the interaction between the bass and kick on both sides. then add guitar, see what happens to the mackie. then drop some vocals in there... you get the picture? i've even gone SO far in test that i have built two mixes in both enviroments equally between the two, and also used full on everything getting both to sound "best" individually and then compared the two mixes when i was done.

Tony C Thu, 03/15/2001 - 03:37

Do you mean going out (stereo) from the DAW / ADC to a switcher? Then switching A) Into then "through" the Mackie to the amp/speakers and B) from the DAW/ ADC directly to the amp/speakers?

lflier Thu, 03/15/2001 - 09:34

Originally posted by Tony C:
"There are two kinds of fools | One says-this is old and therefore good.
The other says-this is new and therefore better." :eek:

LOL!!! I'd say that about sums it up! Too cool Tony.


Mixerman Thu, 03/15/2001 - 13:01

Originally posted by alphajerk:
switch A-DAW output
switch B-mackie output

A/B goes to amp/speakers

switch between the two for A/B comparison


Use the Mackie as a control. Plug both the stereo output of the DAW into the Mackie (or whatever board you have available), and the individual outputs of the drums into the same board to compare the pure difference betweeen the two.

YOUR experiment compares a Mackie to a DAW's stereo bus, who cares who wins that battle? They're both shit. What I'm trying to get people to hear is the DIFFERENCE between the stereo mix of the drums out the computer, and the individual outputs of the drums summed by a console.

Thanks for helping, but it WAS my experiment. If you'd like to make your own experiments, we'd be glad to partake in them.

I knew you hadn't tried it.


alphajerk Thu, 03/15/2001 - 14:50

your experiment [which i have done...1-8 drums, 9-10 stereo send off DAW] isnt proper since both are going through the mackie mix bus. you can send what you are comparing through itself. you HAVE to take them both into a singluar constant

otherwise you are tainting the sound of the DAW with the board.

i do YOUR little experiment EVERYTIME i record [i have a stereo send coming up on two channels, not a switcher]. my complaint with DP is that there is no center section to speak of so i cant pull my board out of the setup yet. so i use it to send out headphone mixes and monitor in the control room as well as talkback. so invariably everytime i have a mix up analog and a mix up inside DP. i compare the two ALWAYS. ive probably done this more times than you have. ive built mixes on both to see how each would turn out, the analog board used to win, now it doesnt anymore.

alphajerk Thu, 03/15/2001 - 21:57

a fresh recording to dispell this once and for all. the setup:
akg d112->api312 [inside kick 1" off beater head]
soundelux u195->cranesong flamingo [fat] [2" off resonator head, FAT engaged]
shure sm57->cranesong flamingo [fat] [typical positioning]
octava mc012 matched pair->api312 [split LR equidistant from snare]
soundelux u99 [omni]-api312 [10' back, 4.5' off ground]

16/44.1 into ADAT XT->DP. ran individual outs [aux prefader @ unity] into mackie 1604vlz [borrowed special for this test since that is what has been mentioned, i tried my eurodesk too... hey, i got the cheapest board i could find for monitor sends while tracking... and suprisingly it sounds pretty much exactly like the mackie] channels 1-6/DAW stereo bus out to 7/8. all panned zero, unity gain. [also panned overheads fully LR as well for shits and grins]

the top end on the DAW is so clear you can see the nylon tip strike the cymbals with a nice tight sound, the mackie not so clearly with a more dampened sound.

the midrange fairs well between both listening to the snare and the attack of the kick although the DAW seems more punchy overall.

the bottom is where it all hangs out. i just see that little old lady from the wendy's commercial going "where's the bass?" when listening to the analog submix, the extended bottom that the DAW has [and quite tightly] is gone like a HP filter is somewhere in the chain. its REALLY noticable on the room mic. in a blindfold test with the one room mic, you could pick it 100% of the time [i had to check the boards EQ to make sure it wasnt on several times on that channel].

the real problems dont appear though until you start adding all the other elements of a typical rock mix. add bass on the mackie, lose definition, the DAW stays tight.

and here is the kicker, pull any average music consumer off the streets and i bet not one [i9f not, then only a few] could hear a difference, or for that matter a 2" and largeframe. if they cant hear the difference between an mp3 and a cd, then all this is moot anyways. it all comes back to what you work best on. for me, instant recall and massive automation/editing along with a tighter bottom...

i hope everyone else is trying this too. mixerman might think its shit but i think his attitude is shit. how you climbed as little as you have is beyond me.

Mixerman Thu, 03/15/2001 - 23:04

Originally posted by Tony C:
Hey Mixerman, do you think all DAW's are shit?....... just curious.

No, I think the stereo output of an internal mix of all DAW's is unacceptable. And I'm trying to show people that are happily going through life thinking that their system is the SHIT, that they might want to re-think their position.

My point here isn't to bash DAW's. It's to educate people. (I'm beginning to wonder why I try to educate people, because it's not necessarily worth the ration of shit that one gets for it). Perhaps instead of laying down $5000 on a few compressors, someone will try my experiment, and then buy a console instead. My point is to prevent people from being lazy, and have some passion for what they do. To learn why they can't make something sound the way they want. I may be incredibly blunt, and perhaps even abrasive, but I have passion for what I do. Why else would I have chosen to do it every day as my primary living?

Gear is a tool that makes life either easier or more difficult, not makes a great mix. However, the stereo bus makes or breaks everything. If the DAW's stereo bus, and internal mixing system is inherently flawed, (currently) then you have no chance of creating the mix you desire.

Alphajerk thinks my experiment is invalid. But it's not invalid. All I want is for people to hear the difference between a mix of instruments internally in the computer out the 2-bus, compared to individual outs into the same console. It's the DIFFERENCE that I want people to hear. It's OK that it goes through the same console. It still illustrates the difference.

Whatever, Alpha wins. He obviously has way more time than me. He can outpost me any day, since my attention is to making records. Even when I take a break at the studio and I read responses, my head isn't there. It's when I get home at night and I'm totally wired that I can focus on the topics here.

You all can leave what I have to say. Alpha knows better than me. I can't even make it through his posts, (partly because there are so many), and they are so incredibley detailed and never have any discrepencies in logic. He has the time to impart his wisdom, at all times of the day and night, of all his years mixing and recording albums. Thank you, Alpha.


stevepow Thu, 03/15/2001 - 23:16

For what it's worth, I think it is good that a few of you brought this up if it is even a possible concern considering the investment required to get a good PT system up. Regardless of the results, running the test will have been worth the trouble for the peace of mind in making an informed purchase or not.

However, I agree that putting the DAW into the "analog mixer" is degrading/enhancing (depending on your camp) the actual sound of the DAW stereo bus which has been called into question. It should be easy enough to do both versions of the test.

In a controlled experiment you want to vary only one parameter. (One group gets the placebo, the other gets the dose - not the dose plus the placebo.) So the outputs of the tracks should go thru one mix bus or the other and nothing else. Then on to the common playback amp/monitors.

Otherwise you are comparing "one bus" plus "some of something else" to the "something else". You wouldn't print a mix this way so it makes little sense to evaluate it this way.

Mixerman Thu, 03/15/2001 - 23:33

Originally posted by alphajerk:

i hope everyone else is trying this too. mixerman might think its shit but i think his attitude is shit. how you climbed as little as you have is beyond me.

You're right, Alpha. On a pure Industry level, I _have_ climbed so little. However, I believe my name is on at least 4 or 5 million more albums than yours. Now, the question is, does that make me more qualified than you?

If the answer is no, then why are bringing sales up as if it did?

I have never professed to be a HUGE name in the industry. That could change in a week, it could never change (I broke my chrystal ball). But if you want to make sales an issue, go for it.

Personally, I prefer to keep it on a level of knowledge. Seeing as knowledge (let alone talent)rarely has anything to do with sales.


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anonymous Fri, 03/16/2001 - 02:53

Originally posted by Mixerman:
Personally, I prefer to keep it on a level of knowledge. Seeing as knowledge (let alone talent)rarely has anything to do with sales.

I was seriously trying to come up with an example of why this is wrong...and couldn't

dgooder Fri, 03/16/2001 - 04:13

Originally posted by Mixerman:
Personally, I prefer to keep it on a level of knowledge. Seeing as knowledge (let alone talent)rarely has anything to do with sales.

I learned that lesson in NYC. I honestly thought that if I knew my shit, I could walk in any studio as a 1st engineer. After 6 months of banging on doors, I decided to take a seconding gig to try the climb. My very first session involved a top-dollar "engineer" with credits out the ass. I was actually looking forward to maybe picking up a few tricks when he turned to me with a freaked look in his eyes and asked me if I knew how to turn on the automation. I thought he was just kidding, but after grinning and telling him to hit the run button, he didn't even know where it was. I'm not saying the talent of an engineer is decided by whether or not he/she can use a certain automation system, but that was certainly one of many eye-opening situations. After two weeks of that BS, I decided that being a kiss-ass was not in my make-up, so I continued down the independent path I was originally on.

Back to the discussion at hand, it has been my experience that the 2-bus is a weak point in a lot of analog consoles, as well as the daw shit. The SSL E's and G's 2-bus totally sucked. Most quality studios using SSL's bypassed the factory 2-bus either with on-board mods, or outboard faders. The "J" seems to be better, but most of the daw's do indeed blow. I agree with Mixerman on this topic. Alpha, maybe there is something technically wrong with your mackie (other than the design). If everything is done the way MM suggests in his experiment, there is a definite difference in the quality (daw is not as acceptable). If you feel the daw is better, that's your choice. Maybe you have taught your ears to hear things a certain way, and anything different is translated in your mind as less quality. This is a scary thought, as most people born after a certain date will not have had the experience (as was brought up earlier) of hearing what the rest of us are hearing as a degradation in quality. At any rate, if you are working and your clients are happy, run with it. We are simply trying to defend what we know certain styles should sound like.

Dave g

Tony C Fri, 03/16/2001 - 07:41

OK folks I did a quick but basically fair test to show my findings on this (stereo) sum/busing in DAW vs DAW direct outs to analog channels for sum/busing.A/B thang.....
Contense - six tracks previously recorded 24 bit/44.1 tracks.Preamps> > 24 bit converters >> Digital Performer 2.7.2 and Cubase 5.0 (same signal path and bit resolution) - (bass dr., snare, hats, bass guitar, acoustic. guitars L&R).

I made a quick mix in DP then in Cubase then bused these individual six tracks into my analog mixer routed through 6 separate DA converters then recorded a stereo take through the mixer mains without adding anything to the mix.
THEN with all things being the same in the in DP and Cubase mixes I bused the overall mix from the DAW stereo master bus section>> DA converters then to the analog mixer (two channels) and did a take.
Note; I did the best could to get a good level comparison with out going to crazy (which I feel is not necessary in this case).
DP basically passed with flying colors, in fact the acoustic guitars seemed to have more harmonics with the two channel mix from the DAW 's master bus..... Other than that it sounded Pretty much the same!
Cubase did exactly what Mixerman has been saying in this thread. The bass fell apart and my D35 Martin sounded like it was under water. And yes, the analog mixers individual channels busing worked better w/ Cubase for sure.
My humble Conclusion:
Not all DAW's are created equal!!!!!
However, I will proceed to try this test another time with at least 24 tracks to do a more in depth test or......... maybe I’ll just get a Paris *DAW* and not even think about it any more! ;)
Praise the lord and pass the ammunition....... I’m done for now