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  #31  
Old 10-05-1999, 11:02 PM
Kenny Gioia Kenny Gioia is offline
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Default Re: Pro Tools Sound Quality???

Boy, look what I started!

Well I'm glad to see that mostly pros are using the system that I am. We are bitching about a pretty good sounding system.

Let's suppose Digi does post an A:B test against an SSL analog console mix. Let say the SSL kicks the Digi Mix's butt. Ya

Is everyone on this thread gonna go out and sell there Pro Controls and buy an SSL???

Ya gotta believe it's pretty cool to buy a system that costs about $30,000 (all in) that people are complaining about it not sounding as good as an SSL.

Is anybody calling up the $30,000 console makers (Amek) and asking why there consoles don't sound like the SSL.

They also don't include Graphic Editing!!!

Hey Amek!! Where's the graphic editing???
  #32  
Old 10-05-1999, 11:04 PM
Kenny Gioia Kenny Gioia is offline
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Default Re: Pro Tools Sound Quality???

Also does anyone know if the trunication still happens if you insert a piece of outboard gear in a channel instead of a plug in???
  #33  
Old 10-06-1999, 12:42 AM
RMD RMD is offline
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Default Re: Pro Tools Sound Quality???

I went to the digi 5.0 tour tonight at a local dealer. I mentioned some of the comments I've been reading about the sound of the mixer. He said he is totally unaware of any problem. There are 300 000 digi users worldwide who are completely satisfied with the sound of protools. Was unaware of the upcoming "test" but did say digi has always been good at improving their product.

This leads me to wonder whether people on this conference have "enlightened" auditory abilities or are in a deep minority amongst digi users.

Whatever the case it does make for some great reading.

cheers to all
Robert M. DiVito

  #34  
Old 10-06-1999, 02:33 AM
johnwhynot johnwhynot is offline
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Default Re: Pro Tools Sound Quality???

Well, I say to hell with the statistics. I'd be interested just for my own edification/confusion. I love listening tests.

But comparing two mixes done on different systems is not terribly instructive in my experience. Too much chaos in the process. Brings to mind a demo I saw for BASF tape, in which a live band was recorded to two 24-track machines and the mixes put up on two sides of a SSL9000J. Of course the BASF sounded fantastic! Until I noticed that the group master on the BASF side was about .5 db louder. An error, yes, but just one element in a vary large collection of potential cumulative errors. Bye the way, I switched to BASF after doing a comparison of 2-track recordings done on the same machine. It did indeed sound better than 499.

Anyway, the more rigorous the test the more fun the examination of the results, I reckon. Keep the source the same for each run of tests. I'll definitely listen hard!

  #35  
Old 10-06-1999, 12:19 PM
nipple nipple is offline
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Default Re: Pro Tools Sound Quality???

Speer,

Judging from my own experience I would say trimming back the source faders sounds better to me than slamming the master bus. Just did an A-B between the two the other day. I had built a mix that the client was loving but it was killing the master and it was kind of bugging me so after they left I tried it with pulling the master down and with trimming the automation on the source faders. The difference for me on this particular tune was that when I pulled the source faders down the mix seemed to clean up a bit, seemed to have more depth and stereo spread albeit at the expense of some punchiness. Your mileage may vary.
  #36  
Old 10-06-1999, 12:23 PM
Digi Engineering Digi Engineering is offline
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Default Re: Pro Tools Sound Quality???

Speer,
The clip meter on the Master Fader does actually tell you when the internal bus is clipped even when you bring the Master Fader down. There is around 30 dB of internal headroom on the 24-bit optimized mixer so you should be able to hit it pretty hard and bring down the Master Fader with NO audio degradation. This was not the case on the 16-bit optimized mixer. Were your problems with the 16 or 24 bit Mixer?
-Mike Rockwell
  #37  
Old 10-07-1999, 01:50 AM
Monte McGuire Monte McGuire is offline
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Default Re: Pro Tools Sound Quality???

Mr. Rockwell,

Sorry I was careless about the terminology - by referring to 32 bit floating point as having 24+8 bits of resolution, I meant 24 bit mantissa and 8 bit exponent, as you stated. If you talk about resolution strictly, then only 24 of those bits should be counted as resolution. Sorry for the sloppiness! I guess the point I wanted to make is that 32 bit float doesn't really have any more instantaneous resolution than straight 24 bit integer, it merely has an exponent which gives it greater dynamic range. I shall be more careful with "reserved words" in the future!!! ;-)

As for Produceher's question about hardware IO inserts, they are 1:1, unprocessed paths between the 24 bit TDM bus and your IO interface. If your IO interface handles 24 bit digital IO (as do all interfaces attached to a PCI card), then there is no truncation or any other sort of math involved - it's just a data copying operation.

Of course, if the external box you're feeding can't handle full 24 bit IO, then you'll get truncation, but simply looping through a hardware IO loop only adds delay - it is a perfect clone otherwise. Systems using NuBus cards do not have this property. Digital IO is only 16 bit wide on PT3 NuBus hardware.

Speer wrote:
<<Monte, interesting idea. I suppose Digi could make it mandatory for all plug-ins to dither back to 24. Of course, they would have to also do that for the Digi-Rack stuff. This would lessen the amount of power they can claim for a core system, so of course they won't and here we go again...>>

I didn't mean that only dithered plug ins should be available on the platform as a whole, only that the ones used to prepare the test mixes that Mike is talking about should use 48->24 bit dither. This is simply to provide the least damaged signals to the mixer and make the test more optimistic.

And, finally, RMD said:
<<I went to the digi 5.0 tour tonight at a local dealer. I mentioned some of the comments I've been reading about the sound of the mixer. He said he is totally unaware of any problem. There are 300 000 digi users worldwide who are completely satisfied with the sound of protools. Was unaware of the upcoming "test" but did say digi has always been good at improving their product. This leads me to wonder whether people on this conference have "enlightened" auditory abilities or are in a deep minority amongst digi users.>>

The guy giving the demo must have loved you ;-)

Seriously, I don't think the whole DSP quality issue is a _huge_ problem and PT DSP quality as a platform is higher now than ever. But, it's still something that if it were improved, it could greatly enhance the usefulness and value of the system to more than a few people. And wouldn't it be a great thing to have PT be the DSP quality leader for a change...

I know for a fact that a lot of people operate DAWs in very foolish and signal damaging ways, they don't hear the difference and the work still gets done. But you know what? A lot of stuff sounds pretty poor out there.

There will always be a bunch of people out there who worry about the details and a bunch who don't even know what they don't know. All I care about is advancing the quality of my productions and right now, DSP quality ranks in the top 10 list of tech things to fix in my system. Of course the current level of quality is usable and on an absolute sense it's better than ever, but I don't think I'd still be doing this if the quality of my work wasn't improving.

From my experience with high resolution plug ins, I think it would make a worthwhile difference, and that's why I continue to ask for it.

Monte McGuire
  #38  
Old 10-08-1999, 12:04 AM
RMD RMD is offline
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Default Re: Pro Tools Sound Quality???

Monte,
I wasn't vicious or anything. I just voiced some concerns and he answered to the best of his ability. Nothing to do with whether he likes me or not. Just trying to get useful information which is what this is all about. (and I must say your posts are always well informed and very useful!)

Regards,

Robert DiVito
  #39  
Old 10-08-1999, 01:14 AM
Digi Engineering Digi Engineering is offline
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Default Re: Pro Tools Sound Quality???

Thanks for you reply Monte. As ever you are the level headed guy. Let's see what these tests turn up. The plan is to only allow 48 to 24-bit dithered changes in the test files so we should really be able to see if folks can hear the difference.
-Mike Rockwell
  #40  
Old 10-08-1999, 02:13 AM
Joris Vincken Joris Vincken is offline
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Default Re: Pro Tools Sound Quality???

Maybe the dithering to 24 bit in every plugin is a good thought. Why not make it switchable, this way if you want it, you lose some DSP and otherwise nothing changes.
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