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Thread: Comparing DAW Mixers

  1. #61
    Kevin Perry is offline Gold Club Member (1000+ posts)
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    That is truly odd! .1 db down on the individual faders and .1db up on the master results in an 8db difference when inverting and summing?? It would be wonderful to hear some insight from a Digidesign engineer about this.
    Kevin Perry
    Chameleon Music
    Nashville, TN

  2. #62
    Sal Vito is offline Gold Club Member (1000+ posts)
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    Lynn,

    I wonder if 1 db with 1 db gain makeup on the master fader SOUNDS different than .1db with .1 db gain makeup on the master fader...

    Maybe you should have the mixers do a +.1 mix AND a +1 db mix... I BET you will notice a pattern; perhaps one set of mixes will be more telling/a better torture test...

    Then on the final cd (for space concerns)... include ONLY the .1 mix or the 1dB mix... whichever is generally agreed to be the better torture test...

    Also wondering... What happens mathematically when you add 1.1 db of gain? Is that better/worse? Just curious...

    Hmmmm....

    Also... it's a shame we can't use alternate amounts of gain on each track... .1dB for track 1; 1db on track 2; 1 db on track 3; .1 db on track 4, etc...

    For testing purposes adding the same gain to all tracks is probably a necessary evil... But... How many mixes do we do in real life where you add the same gain to every instrument then you subtract it to the end?
    Sal Vito
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  3. #63
    Sal Vito is offline Gold Club Member (1000+ posts)
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    Lynn,

    How about cuts? What about a 1 dB cut vs a .1dB cut... how much math does that require?
    Sal Vito
    The Man of Sound
    salvito@hotmail.com
    312-409-0176

  4. #64
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    Originally posted by Kevin Perry:
    <STRONG>That is truly odd! .1 db down on the individual faders and .1db up on the master results in an 8db difference when inverting and summing?? It would be wonderful to hear some insight from a Digidesign engineer about this.</STRONG>

    When you compare the difference of A) an original mix at unity gain (all faders at 0) to B) the same mix files with the individual faders pulled down .1 dB and a corresponding +.1 dB boost on the master fader, the peak value of the difference signal is -120 dB. When Mix A is compared to Mix A (using I&C), then the peak value of the difference signal is -138.

    [ February 20, 2003: Message edited by: 3D Audio Inc. ]
    Lynn Fuston
    3D Audio

    Making beautiful music SEEM easy since 1979.

  5. #65
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    Know that these are mathematical differences. No attempt has been made so far to determine which of these levels, if any, have any effect on the sound.

    Just as taking a number and multiplying it by .99 and then by 1.01 will not return you to the same number, most likely any gain change and reciprocal gain change will not return an identical signal to the original signal. What I am curious about is not the numbers that are returned but the effect on the sound. I am hypothesising that the gain change with the greatest numerical difference would likely have the greatest impact on the sound. But that is simply a theory.
    Lynn Fuston
    3D Audio

    Making beautiful music SEEM easy since 1979.

  6. #66
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    As far as "sound" in digital, a cut and then a boost results in loss of resolution in the digital signal. A boost and then a cut just results in a bit of quantization distortion.

    Wanna do a little test at home? Record a signal that averages -30 or so. Now, drop the signal level to -60, print, raise it back up to -30, print. For the second track normalize it, print, the drop it to -30, print.

    Compare the two and tell me which you like better? My experience is that floating point based systems suffer a little bit, and integer systems become REALLY noticeable.

    Of course, if you have dither on each step, it will make the results much less obvious.

    --Jim
    Jim Dugger
    Poorhouse Productions

    At 20 bits, you are on the verge of dynamic range covering fly-farts-at-20-feet to untolerable pain. Really, what more could we need?

  7. #67
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    The test methodology has been set, after several days of research and consultation. The files will be finalized and uploaded today. Passwords will begin going out ASAP.
    Lynn Fuston
    3D Audio

    Making beautiful music SEEM easy since 1979.

  8. #68
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    If you would like to read some other's thoughts on this subject, there is an active thread going on at George Massenburg's MusicPlayer.com forum. The thread is here.

    If the listening is half as enlightening as what I've learned doing research for this comparison, then this should be a very successful undertaking.
    Lynn Fuston
    3D Audio

    Making beautiful music SEEM easy since 1979.

  9. #69
    Haigbabe's Avatar
    Haigbabe is offline 3D VIP 2004, '05, '06, '07, '08, '09, '10, '11, '12
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    Greetings Lynn,

    You were saying

    If you would like to read some other's thoughts on this subject, there is an active thread going on at George Massenburg's MusicPlayer.com forum. The thread is here.
    Well this stuck out to me....


    Hmmm. OK, I'd better check my sources. Since I don't know much about how floating point is implemented in a lot of computers I relied on a cohort who works on code at Microsoft and he told me that the Pentium chips do not truncate or round, but rather that they do "something clever" to break up statistical anomalies and non-linearities on complex math. I had assumed that this "something clever" thing was a form of dither but perhaps it is not? Hmmm...
    It's probably not important but this has now introduced the concept that (on native systems anyway) a Mac porcessor and an Intel processor and an AMD processor may give different results in mixes that require gain change calculations.

    My brain hurts!

    Best regards,

    Haigbabe
    Proud supporter of 3D as a 2012 3D VIP

  10. #70
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    Originally posted by Haigbabe:
    <STRONG>Greetings Lynn,

    It's probably not important but this has now introduced the concept that (on native systems anyway) a Mac porcessor and an Intel processor and an AMD processor may give different results in mixes that require gain change calculations.

    My brain hurts!
    </STRONG>
    Like I said before. There is no limit to what we may discover as we conduct this experiment. Because that is truly what this is. We're conducting research that no one has ever done before. I hear all manner of people insisting that "DAW-X sounds better than DAW-Y and it's because of....." And yet, every time I have asked for solid evidence to support their premise, there is none. Usually it's just something like "Well we recorded vocals in PT at Studio E and then we had to finish them a month later at Studio F in Nuendo and the Nuendo vocals rocked!"

    That's not evidence. That's a story. I want something that I can listen to and hear for myself. Soon I'll have it. With all of your help of course.
    Lynn Fuston
    3D Audio

    Making beautiful music SEEM easy since 1979.

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