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-   -   Guitar tone reduced in Pro Tools 10 (http://duc.avid.com/showthread.php?t=348687)

trainwrecktwostep 12-23-2013 05:16 PM

Guitar tone reduced in Pro Tools 10
I have a question for you guys and gals about sound quality: I've noticed I lose some of the characteristics of my guitar tone through Pro Tools 10 as opposed to how it sounds straight from my Focusrite Scarlett into my headphones. I'm using the same headphones for both, of course.

I've tried using all different bit depths and sampling frequencies possible, up to 32-bit/96Hz, and of course, that helps the latency issue, which I don't really have an issue with anyway, it's about the loss in tone, especially the nuances of the extreme low frequencies. I have a nice Triple Rectifier sound coming from my Kemper, but it changes in Pro Tools.

Would PT HD improve on this?? I don't think it's the Focusrite sound card, since the sound is still great through it and direct to my headphones in Zero Latency Monitoring, instead of, again, going through the DAW. Or would some higher end sound card actually make a difference where the Focusrite does not when signaling through my laptop/DAW?

Would a faster CPU improve on this? My OS is already 64-bit, and I realize PT10 is not, so would the switch to a 64-bit version of PT make a difference with my current sound card?

Thanks to whomever can help me with this....I'm stumped. But the Kemper indeed does sound bitchin'....

Katherine_Focusrite 12-30-2013 01:42 PM

Re: Guitar tone reduced in Pro Tools 10
Hi trainwrecktwostep,

This is a very odd issue, as there should be no difference in what you hear in the DAW, once it is converted to digital.

Can you please provide some specifics on the computer you have? Mac/PC, OS version?

Which Scarlett do you have?

You are also welcome to contact us directly for support: http://us.focusrite.com/answerbase/contact

Best regards.

trainwrecktwostep 12-30-2013 06:53 PM

Re: Guitar tone reduced in Pro Tools 10/11
Hi Katherine, thanks for the response.

I'm using Windows 7, SP1 with an i5 Intel Core processor @ 2.6GHz, 6GB RAM, and I just upgraded to PT 11.1 ..64-bit.
The Scarlett is the 8i/6, and I was happy to get it, as having an interface with its own power supply greatly improved my freezing, fuzzing, and popping woes, by the way... As I said, it sounds great just going through the interface. Between headphones into the Kemper or headphones into the Focusrite, but no DAW, there is no difference to me.

I upgraded to PT11.1, and with the Routing set on DAW, there is still a noticeable difference. NOT MUCH, now, but it is there. Enough that I can tell in a blind test, when I'm not playing the guitar myself. The Kemper produces a detailed tone, and I'd like to get that in there. The difference is so small that it really is no longer noticeable in a mix, but if the guitar is playing alone, it's noticeable.

I've tried 96HZ sample rate with 24 bit and 32 bit (floating) sessions, but the improvement is minimal. There's a low mid-range thickness that seems to be added, and some of the transparency or detail of the far high end of the tone is lost, that's really all I can say to describe it. Some extra chunk and less definition.

I know I'm being picky, but I would just like to know what I might try to get closer to the true tone, wherever the source of that difference might be. Looking for advice on that.

Again, thanks for the response!

trainwrecktwostep 01-03-2014 07:11 PM

No difference after upgrade to 64-bit
I have to keep pursuing this...is anyone experiencing this? I don't mean to imply it's any particular area of the signal chain that is at fault... I would like to figure out why there is a noticeable tone difference in my guitar signal. It's fine through the sound card at the Zero Latency Monitoring stage of the Scarlett, but when switched to DAW routing, at 96kHz/24-bit, in PT11 now (I upgraded), there is a noticeable difference, especially noticeable with palm muting, chugging distortion. How could it be the sound card if it sounds great before the DAW? And my DAW is now 64-bit, sampling at 96kHz? Levels and panning are equal in comparing both stages.

WernerF 01-04-2014 09:54 AM

Re: No difference after upgrade to 64-bit
In answer to your question, no I have never experienced this and you shouldn't be either. Oddly enough, one of the great things about digital recording is that your input monitoring sounds exactly like your source material. This is not always true with, for example, monitoring through a tape machine. If pushed hard with levels, monitoring the tape head will often times reveal that the resulting sound has a little less attack due to the compression of the tape. Nothing like this happens with digital. The input should match the output exactly. I know that it seems a bit mysterious but, nontheless, something is most likely not right in your monitoring chain. Sorry to not have any more concrete suggestions. Just thought that it was important for you to know that there should be no sound difference between your input and your output when recording with Pro Tools.

dave911 01-04-2014 06:04 PM

Re: Guitar tone reduced in Pro Tools 10
Is the Scarlet Zero latency path analog?

Also, If you are trying to do an A/B comparison you need to get the levels very closely matched and if you are playing the guitar while monitoring that is a very different experience than just listening to playback.

trainwrecktwostep 01-05-2014 06:09 AM

Re: Guitar tone reduced in Pro Tools 10
Hi, guys, thanks for the quick responses! Yes, the Zero Latency path is analog. I go for the same levels/stereo channeling signal in order to replicate as closely as possible. I agree that playing is definitely a different experience from listening, latency plays a factor in it, too, but I'm playing through the Zero Latency stage and it's sounding great. It's such a minor difference, but the test doesn't lie, so to speak... The signal chain remains the same all the way through with A and B, up to the DAW, and back out of the interface, i.e., I'm using the same flat response headphones and monitors, both result in this difference.

Thanks again!

jasonthurley 01-06-2014 08:54 AM

Re: Guitar tone reduced in Pro Tools 10
I have never had an issue like this, could it simply be an issue with your headphone amp? Since this is the only gain stage I see that is any different.... maybe try using a different monitoring setup to see if its the same or different?

also, could very well be that your headphone amp is either lower or higher in volume than the playback which is tricking your ears??

zolko 01-06-2014 10:42 AM

Re: Guitar tone reduced in Pro Tools 10

Originally Posted by trainwrecktwostep (Post 2117965)
(...)but I'm playing through the Zero Latency stage and it's sounding great. It's such a minor difference, but the test doesn't lie, so to speak... !

1. What test? You are comparing listenig while playing instrument vs listening while playing back...
2. Did you try to use Kemper digital output?
3. Is anybody except you experienced that "feeling of difference"
4. Can you record Zero latency output and playback output and compare?

"Enough that I can tell in a blind test, when I'm not playing the guitar myself."
Sorry for sarcasm but this kind of test does not require ears at all :)

Katherine_Focusrite 01-07-2014 04:24 PM

Re: Guitar tone reduced in Pro Tools 10
Hi trainwrecktwostep,

I would suggest running through the basic troubleshooting steps for Pro Tools, such as deleting Databases and Preferences: http://avid.force.com/pkb/articles/e...DocType=1078&q

You should also follow some of these steps with regard to disabling Network Cards, updating graphics card drivers, etc.

You could be finding that there is a setting in Pro Tools, such as Playback Engine "Ignore Errors during Playback and Record" or "Dynamic Plug In Processing" that is effecting the playback.

You could also test another DAW, such as Reaper: http://www.reaper.fm/

This could help you narrow it down to Pro Tools only or the computer/CPU path in general.

Are you using an external or separate record drive?

Please let me know how you come along.

Best regards.

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