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  #1  
Old 04-04-2007, 01:57 AM
rabs rabs is offline
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Default Does itunes colour the sound?

Hi,

This may have been mentioned before (or it may be obvious) but does itunes colour the sound of tracks. I had mixed a track and was happy with the outcome when played in pro tools. I then bounced the track and played the track from itunes and it seemed to change the sound of the track...for instance, the vocals seemed to be quieter - I had the itunes eq set flat. Any opinions. Thanks.
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Old 04-05-2007, 09:12 AM
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Default Re: Does itunes colour the sound?

It is BOUNCING that colours the sound. Do some searching on the DUC and you'll find countless threads of debate on this topic. Something happens in the summing phase that seems to affect the quality of the sound (I happen to agree). As a result, many engineers have taken to external mix summing.

On the other hand, a lot of people claim that mixing "in the box" sounds fine and doesn't affect the mix.
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Old 04-05-2007, 09:38 AM
StudioRhythm StudioRhythm is offline
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Default Re: Does itunes colour the sound?

iTunes definitely colors the sound. The older versions were kind of a green, and sometime recently it appears to have switched to more of a blue....

Have you made sure the sound enhancer is off under playback preferences?

Re: bouncing to disk changing the sound vs. playback, all I'll say is, do the null test.
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Old 04-05-2007, 10:28 AM
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Default Re: Does itunes colour the sound?

Quote:


Re: bouncing to disk changing the sound vs. playback, all I'll say is, do the null test.
Math vs. EARS

Which is more valuable to an engineer?
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Old 04-05-2007, 10:29 AM
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Park Seward Park Seward is offline
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Default Re: Does itunes colour the sound?

What file format are you listening to? Are you compressing the music with mp3 or AAC?

iTunes uses Quicktime to play the files. If you are listening to AAIF playback, there will be no difference.
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Old 04-05-2007, 10:34 AM
StudioRhythm StudioRhythm is offline
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Default Re: Does itunes colour the sound?

Quote:
Quote:


Re: bouncing to disk changing the sound vs. playback, all I'll say is, do the null test.
Math vs. EARS

Which is more valuable to an engineer?
Ears are more valuable where there's an actual difference, but math saves you a lot of time wasted straining to hear something that's not there. So, I'd say both are important -- anybody care to put all possible circuit permutations and combinations into their own individual boxes, wire them up with XLRs and do listening tests to hear which one is a micpre, which is a compressor, and which of the millions and millions of them don't pass signal...?
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Old 04-05-2007, 11:55 AM
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Default Re: Does itunes colour the sound?

Maybe you mean what is more important, "objectivity" or "subjectivity".

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

Objectivity (philosophy), encompassing distinguishing references in the field of epistemology regarding the ontological status of a possible objective reality, and the state of being objective in regard to references towards whatever is considered as objective reality.

Subjectivity - refers to the property of perceptions, arguments, and the language terms use to communicate such, as being based in a subject point of view, and hence influenced in accordance with a particular bias. Its opposite property is objectivity.

When comparing audio samples, it is best to be objective.
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Old 04-05-2007, 12:21 PM
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Default Re: Does itunes colour the sound?

And how many music consumers listen objectively? Or audiophiles for that matter? It is all about sound.

If a mix sounds bigger mixed outside the box than inside, yes that is a subjective thing. You can't hear the sound of double-precision math but you can objectively measure it.
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Old 04-05-2007, 01:01 PM
StudioRhythm StudioRhythm is offline
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Default Re: Does itunes colour the sound?

If you like the sound of mixing outside the box, then do it! What I was disputing is the assertion of some that there's a difference in sound between bouncing to disk and recording to another track without bouncing -- this is easily tested (although many blow the test by reimporting the bounce into the mix session and monitoring it through a master fader with additional processing on it...).

Of course there's a difference mixing on a console vs. in the computer, and of course the difference in audio quality that results is subjective. Do it if you like it, don't if you don't. Simple.

Here's a fun little test: Take two tracks. Sum the two tracks digitally. Then send the summed mix to an analog mixer on one channel. Send one of the individual tracks out (through another identical conversion path) to another channel of the analog mixer, and match volumes on the mixer. Now flip polarity on the individual track and listen to it dissapear from the digitally summed mix -- this proves that both digital and analog summing work fine....
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Old 04-05-2007, 01:35 PM
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Default Re: Does itunes colour the sound?

Anytime I am comparing sounds I do blind tests. I have someone else play back the material from different sources while I sit back on the couch with my eyes closed. If I can't identify which source is which then I don't consider it an issue, i.e. both sound good but there is a slight difference between the two.

Your mind will play tricks on you otherwise.
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