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Thread: Comparing DAW Mixers

  1. #31
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    With all due respect, Lynn, I think you misunderstood what I meant by my saying "I like gospel, but that's not the point."

    I was responding to your comment that anyone who would be offended by the music being gospel need not apply. I meant that it doesn't matter what kind of music it is for the purposes of this test. IMHO, it'd be a shame for anyone to close their mind to this project because they can't get past their belief system.

    My comment had nothing to do with picking through the details of the original recording with a fine tooth comb, as you seem to have reacted to below.

    Originally posted by 3D Audio Inc.:
    <STRONG>Sorry if I seem a bit testy, but there is so much engineering minutia that we just love to scrutinize and dwell on that is completely immaterial in this matter.

    Dither? No way. It's not under review.
    Noise shaping? That's out as well.
    Converters? Don't enter into it.
    Plugins? Sorry, can't use them.
    Maximizers? Not allowed.
    Word Clocks? Insignificant here.
    Panning Laws? Not a factor the way the test is designed.
    Better mixing? Not an issue at all.
    Louder? If it is, then it's wrong.
    Recorded to? Doesn't matter.
    Recorded with? Doesn't matter either.

    This is a mathematical exercise and the resulting soundfiles will either be right in terms of level and panning, or they will be useless. There's no gray. It's just black and white.

    If you null the ref mix with your mix and you hear snare, then it's wrong. Hear some bass guitar? It's wrong. There's no margin for error according to this test.</STRONG>
    Jackson Burks
    Cauldron Audio
    San Rafael, CA

  2. #32
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    Originally posted by Jackson Burks:
    <STRONG>With all due respect, Lynn, I think you misunderstood what I meant by my saying "I like gospel, but that's not the point."
    </STRONG>
    Likewise. I wasn't responding to your comment.

    It's just that so much of what gets picked apart in these comparisons will have little meaning here. People may dislike the choice of the music or the production style or the musical message. It simply doesn't matter for our purposes here.

    I think the music and the recording are both very good. Certainly good enough to use as test material for this comparison. I think it will be enlightening.

    Part of my reaction is just knowing that whatever methodology is used, the audience is the same and engineers, just like myself, can always think of something that can be done better or differently. Sometimes waiting for "better" means nothing gets done at all. How long have people been asserting the differences in DAWs and hardware dig mixers? And yet, to date, no one has done any scientific comparisons. I find that odd, but typical at the same time.

    That's why I'm taking the initiative to go ahead and do this test. I bet we'll learn something. I hope.

    [ February 15, 2003: Message edited by: 3D Audio Inc. ]
    Lynn Fuston
    3D Audio

    Making beautiful music SEEM easy since 1979.

  3. #33
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    Another Samplitude user here. (Currently 6.x). In case one of your others falls through, I'd be happy to help out.
    Chris Putnam
    (3D VIP member)

  4. #34
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    I'm up to over 20 platforms so far. This could be very big. I'm reconsidering file distribution since so many are eager to participate. I may do downloadable files at a password protected ftp site.
    Lynn Fuston
    3D Audio

    Making beautiful music SEEM easy since 1979.

  5. #35
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    Glenn Meadows has pointed out that mixing 24-bit soundfiles will create mix files with much greater than 24-bit info. Therefore some form of dithering will be required to reduce the bit depth, or else truncation will be performed on the mix.

    I think the easiest way to deal with this issue then is for each person to use whatever their preferred method is on their platform of choice and I will note it in the documentation, which will be posted on the 'net anyway.

    So for now, yes dithering will likely be included and noted. Hopefully there aren't many more variables that will arise. Glenn?
    Lynn Fuston
    3D Audio

    Making beautiful music SEEM easy since 1979.

  6. #36
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    Originally posted by 3D Audio Inc.:
    <STRONG>

    What a tease.

    Don't give it away, but I'd love to hear what you discovered. After we finish beating up all these others, you'll have to enlighten us.</STRONG>
    No tease intended. <SMILE> It's just the opinion of my two ears. Ears that never embraced digital until a few years ago.

    "He that has ears to hear, let him hear."
    Go, Luke.

    Best - Don

  7. #37
    Kevin Perry is offline Gold Club Member (1000+ posts)
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    Originally posted by 3D Audio Inc.:
    <STRONG>
    So for now, yes dithering will likely be included and noted. Hopefully there aren't many more variables that will arise. Glenn?</STRONG>
    Lynn, why not print the dither to a track so that all partisipants use the same dither at the same level? This would work much like the Crane Song dither CD technique, that you add by slapping the CD's dither to it's own track and raise it to a certain level in the mix depending on 24 bit or 16 bit.
    Kevin Perry
    Chameleon Music
    Nashville, TN

  8. #38
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    Originally posted by Kevin Perry:
    <STRONG>

    Lynn, why not print the dither to a track so that all partisipants use the same dither at the same level? This would work much like the Crane Song dither CD technique, that you add by slapping the CD's dither to it's own track and raise it to a certain level in the mix depending on 24 bit or 16 bit.</STRONG>
    Primarily because the "sound" of one system compared to another, which is the "subject" under review (think of a guinea pig in a laboratory), is the integrated sound of the complete system. Those people who swear by Paris say that it does something completely different than any other DAW. And from the descriptions that I've heard of the way it operates, there must be some "voodoo" going on under the hood. To alter that one aspect for the sake of this test would make their "integrated system" sound different than what they are accustomed to and would therefore make it less than what they know it is and is capable of. (How many dangling participles can I put in one sentence?)

    I am discussing the "dithered, level adjusted" versus "non-dithered, unity gain" mixes with the guys at the Mastering WebBoard even as I type.

    I suspect that the "native" dither that is included with each system will be used for all cuts, since that is what is typical.

    Either way, I'm sure we'll have a lively debate about it. For now, though, there will be two submissions from each participant. The first will be (A) absolutely unity gain and the second (B) will include level adjustments.
    Lynn Fuston
    3D Audio

    Making beautiful music SEEM easy since 1979.

  9. #39
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    Hi Lynn, I'd suggest adding a single sample timing spike at the start of one of the tracks. This will make it easier to line up all the mixed tracks side by side when it's all done, and do some analytical comparison (if there are indeed significant differences).

    My suspicion is that there will not be significant differences between the mixes until you get near the edge of clipping...I guess I'll wait and see (hear).

    Cheers,

    Kris

  10. #40
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    Originally posted by Kris:
    <STRONG>Hi Lynn, I'd suggest adding a single sample timing spike at the start of one of the tracks. This will make it easier to line up all the mixed tracks side by side when it's all done, and do some analytical comparison (if there are indeed significant differences).
    </STRONG>
    Good idea. Actually it's already there at the beginning of each track to confirm start timing accuracy of each of the tracks. It will also be attached to each of the returning sound files.
    Lynn Fuston
    3D Audio

    Making beautiful music SEEM easy since 1979.

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