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Thread: What about consistency between platforms ?

  1. #1
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    Default What about consistency between platforms ?

    When transferring a mix between two DAW applications (platforms), on the same computer, same sample rate, same bit depth, shouldn't it sound the same on either platform ?

    For example, on my computer I'll do single track editing in WaveLab, then transfer the tracks to Sonar Producer for multi-track editing and mix down to stereo. Then it's back to WaveLab with the stereo mixes for any audio analysis and/or finishing touches (pseudo mastering).

    The stereo mixes sound slightly different on Sonar and Wavelab. Slight differences, but differences nonetheless...

    What I hear are 1 to 2.5 dB variations in certain frequencies across the spectrum, and a very slight change in soundstage depth.
    Last edited by ticker; 06-15-2010 at 07:26 PM. Reason: spelling error

  2. #2
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    What's the Pan Law settings on the different DAW's?
    Henry Grimmius
    Fresno, CA

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Henry Grimmius View Post
    What's the Pan Law settings on the different DAW's?
    Thanks for getting back to me, Henry.

    Both pan law settings are default. For Sonar the default is 0dB. WaveLab only uses "pan mode" settings if you are using pan envelopes, which, for simple playback, I am not. So if there is otherwise a default pan law setting for playback in WaveLab, I don't know what it would be.

  4. #4
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    I don't know either of the programs, so I'm of no help in that regard. I wish manufacturers had a standard on how to describe it but they don't. On my DM2000 console, I had to read the section in the manual a few times for clarity. Then set my console and never looked back. I also did listening in mono and changed the setting to hear what was changing.
    Henry Grimmius
    Fresno, CA

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    I may have to spend some time talking with the Steinberg (Wavelab) tech support people to get a better understanding of the pan laws specific to their product.

    I did find something that may have been a major factor for the differences I was hearing between those two applications. It turns out my driver mode setting for Sonar was set to ASIO, and for Wavelab was set to MME. Once I set both of them identically to ASIO, most of the audible differences in same-file playback seemed to go away.

    Are you familiar with the different driver modes and their qualitative effects on playback ?

  6. #6
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    Oh man. I've never even considered that. Another thing to check for when comparing DAWs.

    Quote Originally Posted by ticker View Post
    I may have to spend some time talking with the Steinberg (Wavelab) tech support people to get a better understanding of the pan laws specific to their product.

    I did find something that may have been a major factor for the differences I was hearing between those two applications. It turns out my driver mode setting for Sonar was set to ASIO, and for Wavelab was set to MME. Once I set both of them identically to ASIO, most of the audible differences in same-file playback seemed to go away.

    Are you familiar with the different driver modes and their qualitative effects on playback ?
    Lynn Fuston
    3D Audio

    Making beautiful music SEEM easy since 1979.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 3daudioinc View Post
    Oh man. I've never even considered that. Another thing to check for when comparing DAWs.
    Yes Lynn, I wish I knew more about the different driver modes and how they affect the quality of playback, and why you'd prefer one over the other, but there's a big gap in my understanding.

    Any light you (or anyone) could shed on this would be greatly appreciated.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ticker View Post
    Yes Lynn, I wish I knew more about the different driver modes and how they affect the quality of playback, and why you'd prefer one over the other, but there's a big gap in my understanding.

    Any light you (or anyone) could shed on this would be greatly appreciated.
    Well there are all manner of things to which people will "attribute" the differences. Whether they actually have any repeatable demonstrable effect is another matter entirely. I discovered that when we did the Awesome DAWSUM comparison.
    Lynn Fuston
    3D Audio

    Making beautiful music SEEM easy since 1979.

  9. #9
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    I did manage to locate a very well written article that goes a long way toward explaining the different APIs (Application Programming Interfaces). For anyone interested in this level of audio interfacing technology, this article describes the origins and functionality of the four main APIs, which are MME, DirectSound, ASIO and GSIF...or, at least those in existence when the article was written.

    The link to this article is http://www.staudio.de/kb/english/drivers/index.html

    It answers many questions related to audio interfacing architecture (drivers primarily), latency issues and multichannel functionality, but doesn't address the reasons for differences in playback quality. It’s a good article nonetheless, and one you may want to includ in your reference library.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ticker View Post
    I did find something that may have been a major factor for the differences I was hearing between those two applications. It turns out my driver mode setting for Sonar was set to ASIO, and for Wavelab was set to MME. Once I set both of them identically to ASIO, most of the audible differences in same-file playback seemed to go away.

    Are you familiar with the different driver modes and their qualitative effects on playback ?
    Did you try a null test? Wavelab ASIO vs. Wavelab MME?

    Best regards
    Andreas Lassak
    SoundDesign Studio

    It's maddening: As soon as I make it right - it suddenly works!

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