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Old 09-29-1999, 01:54 AM
Kenny Gioia Kenny Gioia is offline
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: New York, NY USA
Posts: 3,003
Default Pro Tools Sound Quality???

I'm noticing a lot of people complaining about the Pro tools Quality so I asked a manufacturer of a $350,000 digital board why I should spend so much when I already have a digital board.

He basically said that pro tools resolution is not high enuff once you combine all those tracks. For every track you add, you need another bit. I think that means a 24bit session with 32 tracks would require 56 bits on the path.

He said it's less of a problem if you keep the volumes down on each track so your not combining too much signal.

I don't know if I understand him correctly but I definitely notice the more I add the worse it sounds. And that never happened on my Neve board.

So I think my plan is to ruff mix everything in Pro tools. Then rent 4 AD8000's and book an SSL room and Mix right in pro Tools but having all the tracks individually going out all the outputs to the SSL with the Faders all at 0Vu (so as to keep my mixing moves and save time).

And then of course use all ouboard EQ & compressors because I know those plug In's are ruining my sound. Everytime I bypass them the mix sounds better.

Well if we could all afford the Neve Capricorn we wouldn't be at the Digi Site. Peace :•)
Old 09-29-1999, 09:06 PM
Digi Engineering Digi Engineering is offline
Join Date: Dec 1969
Location: Berkeley, CA USA
Posts: 1,406
Default Re: Pro Tools Sound Quality???

His statement about 1-bit per track is incorrect. To combine 32-full code 24-bit phase aligned signals you need 6 additional bits (2 to the 6th power is 32). Also, you almost never have phase aligned signals so in the typical case you rarely need more than 3 additional bits. The 24-bit optimized mixer has 48-bits of internal resolution.

What resolution was the digital console that you were looking at? If they were using 32-bit floating point DSP's than the mantissa is 24-bit's and since audio is usually normalized to between -1 and 1 in a floating point system has the same dynamic range as 24-bit fixed point.
-Mike Rockwell
Old 09-29-1999, 10:10 PM
tdmuser tdmuser is offline
Join Date: Apr 1999
Posts: 18
Default Re: Pro Tools Sound Quality???

Mike Rockwell writes:
>The 24-bit optimized mixer has 48-bits of >internal resolution.

Yes but those 48 bits are TRUNCATED back to 24 bit fixed point. And as far as I can tell this is the only reason why Pro Tools mixes sound thin. WE WANT DITHER. I don't care if it needs twice the DSP. I choose AUDIO QUALITY over savings. I and many other pro audio engineers (who care about the sound) BEG you to write a dithered mixer.
And to end this note, Mike THANK YOU for your contributions to the list. I hope that these posts will help Dave Lebolt and other Digi managers to consider spending time improving Pro Tools sound quality.
Old 09-30-1999, 12:16 AM
Mini Me Mini Me is offline
Join Date: Sep 1999
Posts: 42
Default Re: Pro Tools Sound Quality???

To the success of Ricky Martin's CD which was recorded and mixed almost conpletely with Pro-Tools, doesn't anyone believe that the systme is capable of stellar mixes?
Old 09-30-1999, 12:25 AM
Mini Me Mini Me is offline
Join Date: Sep 1999
Posts: 42
Default Re: Pro Tools Sound Quality???

I read all you comments regarding Pro Tools sound quality and I'm very much interested in purchasing the entire system, Protools 5.0, (3)-888/24 and ProControl.
Any opinions?

Thanks for your suggestions.
Old 09-30-1999, 01:00 AM
millimix millimix is offline
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: new jersey
Posts: 59
Default Re: Pro Tools Sound Quality???

hear ye, hear ye, im dying to see what one of the die-hard pro-tools users has to comment on the last posting,i personally have some mixes ive done on a pt24 with 1 dsp farm ,2 888-24's,2 yamaha 02r's and the world of high end out board gear, that blows away mixes done in new yorks most expensive studios, on the other hand ive got mixes done on a mix plus with two extra mix farms(mixed internally)audio was recorded through ad-8000's,and the overall sound sucks big time,one user told me that the pt24 sounds better than the mix plus, i find this far fetched since they are basically the same product,through my tests the only direction i can point the blame is to the internal mixer, can someone shed some light on this!!(Also 16 Channel pro-control for sale 12.5k)

[This message has been edited by millimix (edited 09-29-99).]
Old 09-30-1999, 02:03 AM
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Pro Tools Sound Quality???

Why do Mackie DB8 desks also claim to have had a hand in the Ricky Martin Hit in thier promo literrature?
Old 09-30-1999, 08:30 AM
blairl blairl is offline
Join Date: Dec 1998
Posts: 1,084
Default Re: Pro Tools Sound Quality???

Mike Rockwell,

Thanks for your contributions! I have a question regarding 48 bit processing. You mentioned that the Pro Tools mixer uses 48 bit internal processing and yet people are saying that the signal is truncated back to 24 bits. I was reading some information provided by Sonic Solutions which states the following:

"High-resolution, 48-bit processing delivers the highest signal-to-noise ratio needed for working with High-Density Audio™. While common 24-bit and 32-bit floating point processors require that digital audio signals be truncated to 24 bits following all DSP operations, thus adding distortion to the signal, 48-bit processing removes this limitation."

Can you comment on this? Is Sonic Solutions using a different technology to acheive this? I am interested in your response. Thanks!
Old 09-30-1999, 05:29 PM
Pete45 Pete45 is offline
Join Date: Sep 1999
Posts: 21
Default Re: Pro Tools Sound Quality???

To Mike Rockwell:

Can we assume that there is some kind of interaction of mixer elements in Pro Tools and can we consider this as digital crosstalk,related to TIME DIVISION MULTIPLEXING.

Old 09-30-1999, 05:52 PM
Digi Engineering Digi Engineering is offline
Join Date: Dec 1969
Location: Berkeley, CA USA
Posts: 1,406
Default Re: Pro Tools Sound Quality???

You should absolutely not assume that. There is zero crosstalk on TDM and within the mixer. Time division multi-plexing either works perfectly or it doesn't. There would be very obvious catastrophic results if TDM were not working such as full code digital noise.
-Mike Rockwell
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