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Summing - What track sounds better to you?

Discussion in 'Summing / Mastering consoles' started by audiokid, Mar 8, 2012.

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Summing - Which Track Do You Prefer?

Poll closed Apr 7, 2012.
  1. Sum 1

    2 vote(s)
    18.2%
  2. Sum 2

    7 vote(s)
    63.6%
  3. They both sound the same

    2 vote(s)
    18.2%
  1. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    Location:
    BC, Canada
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    Thanks for the kind words as well. I'm very proud of her.

    Yes, you heard it the same as me too with the soundcloud clips. Kudo's, we are all hearing the same. I'm confident then, the current tracks are accurate to our ears.

    Have a good night!
     
  2. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2008
    Location:
    Rainy Roads WA USA
    OK...LOL
    Sounds advanced for my pea brain!
    If you know Cubase boulder, could you run me through the steps?
    I'm assuming with this test, I would have Sum1 wav on a stereo track and Sum2 on a second stereo track and then line them both up and play them together into the same output bus?.
    Then process one of the tracks Sum1 or 2 to "invert the polarity"...In Cubase I'm not sure how you do that...
    Sorry if this is newb stuff...I've just never done this...
     
  3. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Rainy Roads WA USA
    So I voted Sum1 on the SoundCloud set
    and Sum2 on the wav set....!!!???
    Are you messing with my pea brain now?
    duh
     
  4. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

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    That's right, but I don't know Cubase and all the ones I know do it differently. Oddly enough I just posted this elsewhere for a related question:

     
  5. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Rainy Roads WA USA
    Thanks boulder
    OK I got it figured out...I HAD done this before.....
    easy squeezy....phase switch at the top of each channel.
    I tested cancellation with two Sum1 tracks and with phase switch on dead quiet on the output.
    When I try that with Sum1 and Sum2 it has a real phasey sound to it but no cancellation at all?!
     
  6. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    The tracks were nulled best I could before I saved them as a a wave file and uploaded them. They will not null dead quiet because something changed in the summing of 1 & 2. But they were close. I haven't checked them after I uploaded them but you are all welcome to hear what remainder is left from your own tests..

    If they were both digital dups, however, they would null perfect. So the question I have is, which track sounds better to you, and you have already answered it. The 3 of us appear to be similar. It will be interesting to hear what the crowd says.

    I suppose we could also ask why they didn't null perfect after the summing and why does one sound better than the other? The answer is, one went otb and back in again. Using the null test, I time aligned and balanced the levels best I could and what you hear is the difference between two methods of summing. Does everyone get this same result and the answer is, not likely. They would have to be using the exact same gear as me and this is where it gets interesting.
     
  7. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2008
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    Rainy Roads WA USA
    We're up late on a rainy Friday night!
    I suppose the difference in the levels could be the reason but I certainly didn't get much of any sort of null...
    Unless I did it wrong...Like I mentioned...I tried it on the two Sum1 and it null perfectly and the only thing I did was delete one of the Sum1's and imported Sum2 and ran it.
    Should I try and adjust the levels?
     
  8. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    import both SUM 1 & 2 tracks in stereo , invert SUM 2, align SUM 2 with SUM 1, and adjust the levels of SUM 2 best you can to a null then, A/B them.
     
  9. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    The process above is what I did before I saved and uploaded them for you all. I have no idea what another null test will do again but I would expect them to line up the same. Its hard to know what happens in the upload process. Your own null test should expose the changes that occurred between the two summing processes I did.
    That being said, how you hear them on dropbox is how they sound first generation after I summed them the two ways. That vote is the one I value and would expect to count but its all fun and interesting regardless. You have answered it with flying colours. Nothing wrong with your hearing.

    I'll share which is what at the end of this poll.
     
  10. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

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    Apr 4, 2006
    Location:
    Blacksburg, VA
    I voted for the third option since I didn't really have a preference. I could hear a bit more in the presence range on SUM 1. I see that I'm not the only one hearing that. But they are VERY close. I'd be interested in how I'd do on an ABX test.

    Another nod to the great work by your daughter!
     
  11. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

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    I took Sum1 and Sum2 and aligned them they didn't start at the same time.
    They're within 1ms of each other now.
    I also decreased the gain on Sum2 by 2db.
    They nulled much more than at first try.
    Low end dropped off and only high end content remianed.
    Still not a complete null though, not even close.
     
  12. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

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    Wow! You sure about that?
     
  13. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Yes, they matched up on my level meters when I did that.
    Sum2 also started later in time than Sum1 if you snap each wav file to zero.
    Sum2 from the direct wav downloads I imported has always been slightly hotter.
    Is that not what you found?
     
  14. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    Sum 1 & Sum 2 will not null because they are different after the summing. One track was summed analog (OTB) and the other was summed digital (ITB). What you hear (+/-) by nulling them on your computer now is what makes one track sound better or worse to you.

    Make sense?
     
  15. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

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    Listened on my home system with the same results. I heard it with one pass straight through Sum1 then Sum2.
     
  16. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

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    Went back and did it again and I "increased" Sum2 wav 2db to match Sum1
    LOL...sorry about that Bob good call!
     
  17. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    Okay, I downloaded my Dropbox files and performed a null test on these files also. Not sure why the start points and level changed from within my DAW to the download, I'll have to look at that too now. More fun...

    After the dropbox wave files were imported as 2 stereo tracks, inverted, aligned again, levels and panning adjusted I am surprisingly able to get them to almost completely null but this time with a remainder of approx -50 on peaks with upper mids hanging over. I have a feeling if I could figure out how to do ultra fine adjustment in Sequoia ( never needed to go this fine) I could get that overhang down another 20 db. I wonder which SUM has the overhang. How do you tell this?

    Doing a comparison now, I cannot tell which one is what. The tracks sound more identical. So what I find interesting and important, If there was a discernible amount of difference between the two sums at the end of the day, I would question my hybrid rig. If the hybrid rig added noise and lost the edge, I would have tossed it at this point.

    What I'm wondering about right now, why did the DAW make the analog track more digital sounding?

    So, I move on to the next step. Does hardware improve my hybrid system and how do I keep it from sounding digital and the end of the day?
     
  18. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Rainy Roads WA USA
    I pretty much got the same results.
    I couldn't align them perfectly with 1ms grid snap, and Sum2 visually looks a smidge ahead of Sum1.
    Maybe if I can turn snap off I can slide it a little more. I was zoomed in as far as I could go but I may be able to get in closer.
    I don't know if I can level match that accurately either...I can do 1db increments but maybe there is a way to determine the gain of Sum1 and then change Sum2 in .5db increments.
    Maybe you can run them again and see if you can match them?
     
  19. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    I have a feeling if we performed this over and over they would be forced to evenually match.

    What does this tell us all?
     
  20. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2008
    Location:
    Rainy Roads WA USA
    That digital is digital? LOL

    Ooooh...1000 posts...yeah for me!
     

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