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  #1  
Old 08-21-2010, 06:59 PM
WillieB WillieB is offline
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Default Request for 8.05 Update

Hello Duc-land,
I have a formal request for an update. It seems that my mixes are pure and complete works of art when monitored on headphones, near fields and mains. Truely mind blowing. These works are probably the best in the world....ever..... Who knows, if I could but get these works out into the airwaves, all war everywhere would stop, it would end hunger and poverty and........ all the guys in NYC at the UN could just go home or something.

And then.......I bounce them and they turn into complete and utter crap. So this is my formal request for Avid to provide an update that chases this gremlin away. Heck... clearly there's much at stake here.

Thanks
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  #2  
Old 08-21-2010, 07:47 PM
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DigiTechSupt DigiTechSupt is offline
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Default Re: Request for 8.05 Update

When you say they turn into 'complete and utter crap' - how are you reviewing the bounced mixes after they're done? Which application?

Quick test - bring the bounced file back into the same Pro Tools session you bounced it out of and solo it, give it a listen, then mute it and listen to the session itself.

Do they sound the same? If so, the bounce is good - it's the monitor path you're using otherwise that's altering the sound.
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  #3  
Old 08-21-2010, 08:26 PM
WillieB WillieB is offline
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Talking Re: Request for 8.05 Update

Hey Support,
That's a great suggestion.
The definition of complete and utter crap, includes but is not limited various track levels and overall EQ. Not just a little off mind you, we're talking night and day here.
Monitoring of the bounce, sneaker netted a flash drive with the wav file to a laptop to convert to mp3 and tried listening to wav and mp3 on laptop and carried the mp3 out to an SUV parked outside. The bounce was junk on Real player and Windows Media player apps on the laptop.

Existing monitor path didn't occur to me since I monitor headphones right out of the profire light bridge before the signal path gets to the mixing board as well as using the headphones in the mixing board. That would seem to nix a problem in the monitoring signal path... but just in case

I like the suggestion of loading the bounced wav into the session and will try it right now. World peace being at stake and all, it pays to be on the safe side. Be right back.
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  #4  
Old 08-21-2010, 11:49 PM
WillieB WillieB is offline
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Default Re: Request for 8.05 Update

Alright the bounced mix a/b'd with the session is slightly top heavy and one or two instrument peak their heads out of the mix where they don't in the multi...BUT its nothing like what happens when I try to sneaker net the file via flash drive or DVD.

To check the monitoring environment and path: I normally record out a profire lightbridge, into a digital board and on to an mx2424. So for the sake of saying I eliminated the monitoring.. I monitored via three different sets of headphones (diff manufacturers and quality) at the profire, at the board and at the mx2424 and its darned close to identical. For sure the highs aren't off in the stratosphere nor are there instrument tracks blowing out the rest of the mix at any of the three insertion points for the headphones.

The original mix was recorded in 24/48 and it was bounced down to 16/41. Shouldn't this reduce the highs somewhat rather than increase them? I normally would come out the mx2424 to a masterlink to make this change and often do have to compensate just a bit. (a teeny weeny twiddle.....knob twiddle that is)

What could I possibly be doing incorrectly in transferring a stereo audio wave file (2 tracks...left and right) that would result in various instrument tracks coming out way way over the top? (that was 2 'way' so I'm not talking about just bad translation here) Really..... not a rhetorical question. I normally record to an external hard disk, it works great, but recently I've been thinking about going all DAW so this'd definitly be an issue right?

I checked all my documentation for the section on "Simple things to check for dumdums" but that was left out of my package.....maybe cause I got the upgrade, I dunno.
Can anyone shed some light on this? Oh yeah , world peace and ending hunger hang in the balance.
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  #5  
Old 08-24-2010, 04:43 AM
WillieB WillieB is offline
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Default Re: Request for 8.05 Update

Just an update, still looking for help on this.

Used reference signals provided by my original test gear (can't remember the manufacturers name and already put it away) I'm spot-on for monitoring levels for mains and needed a very slight tweak to near fields. Since I used their stuff initially, I went ahead and did some testing using some test signals that came on one of my spectrasonics VI to confirm that my original test signal and metering was good. Odd thing is the tweak to the near fields was a boost between 800 and 1000 which means my mixes should have been heavy there not light.

Went with the tried and true method of recording multi track to the mx2424 cause frankly it was a pretty darned good mix. Plays back just fine, no top heavy freqs or unruly instrument tracks.

Tried just bouncing again thinking maybe I got a freak occurance....Nope
Tried reloading PT software..... nope.

Currently trying desperation measures. Tried switching sync source between aardsync and profire internal..nope.
Added more busses to increase number of submixes, thinking something was up with the summing....nope.
Currently I'm trying it with less submixes... still working on that mix.

Any ideas?
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  #6  
Old 08-24-2010, 12:51 PM
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Default Re: Request for 8.05 Update

Quote:
Alright the bounced mix a/b'd with the session is slightly top heavy and one or two instrument peak their heads out of the mix where they don't in the multi...BUT its nothing like what happens when I try to sneaker net the file via flash drive or DVD.
Is the bounce at the same bit depth and sample rate as the original session? I just wanted to be sure, as the bounced file should not have any noticeable differences from the multi-track mix. Minor point in this case, but I thought I'd bring it up...

With that said - what you're experiencing is nothing new to engineering. How to make your mixes 'translate' to different playback systems is what separates great engineers from novices (no offense intended).

Quote:
Since I used their stuff initially, I went ahead and did some testing using some test signals that came on one of my spectrasonics VI to confirm that my original test signal and metering was good. Odd thing is the tweak to the near fields was a boost between 800 and 1000 which means my mixes should have been heavy there not light.
Signals and metering rarely tell the whole tale of a monitoring environment as there are many more factors (room size, absorption, room modes, monitoring position, etc) involved in what you hear at the desk. This is a whole field of expertise in itself, though you can learn enough about it via the internet to at least improve your situation and understand more about how to make mixes translate and get as 'flat' (or at least more translatable) frequency response at mix position.

Anytime I hear about a situation like yours, what I recommend is to take your mix on a CD (NOT MP3, as MP3 degrades the sound quality, sometimes quite significantly - which could explain at least some of what you're hearing outside your studio..) and play it on as many systems as you can, noting any anomalies and which anomalies appear on which systems. If your mixes are always bass heavy on other systems, but sound fine on your studio system, you'll know your studio system is a little bass shy (or there are room modes causing nulling of bass frequencies at the monitoring position, etc.).

The goal is to analyze what you're hearing in your studio vs. how it translates to other systems and then make adjustments as needed. This comes with experience - mix, test, remix, test again until you get a mix that works on a variety of systems without too much compromise. Besides the room and your actual monitors, gain structure can have a huge effect on mix translation and clarity, amongst other things.

Hopefully the above is helpful - and here's a few more articles that may help in one way or the other:

http://audio.tutsplus.com/tutorials/...in-your-mixes/

http://www.tangible-technology.com/a...bassmanage.htm
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  #7  
Old 08-24-2010, 01:03 PM
Dism Dism is offline
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Default Re: Request for 8.05 Update

Are you dithering at all when bouncing down to 44.1/16?

Plus, DTS is right about mp3s, and all that. Laptop speakers and mp3s are possibly the worst reference for your mix, and car speakers are pretty much always going to be a bit bass heavy.

If your bounce doesn't sound exactly the same as your mix... there's something happening to it on the way out. Whether it's being truncated, or there's something on the master fader... hell, if you bounce out through a masterlink, it's going to sound a bit different after it passes through it, even with all the settings flat. It also depends how you're going into the ML... analog or digital? Are the devices sync'd?

How are you bouncing? Are you doing a bounce to disk, or a bounce to track? With a bounce to track, you can easily check right there if your bounce sounds like the mix. When you export the bounce to track, it will sound exactly the same as what you heard in Pro Tools. You can even bring it back in for a phase test, and it should cancel out. Even with a BTD, it should still cancel.
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  #8  
Old 08-24-2010, 05:04 PM
WillieB WillieB is offline
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Default Re: Request for 8.05 Update

DTS
"Is the bounce at the same bit depth and sample rate as the original session? I just wanted to be sure, as the bounced file should not have any noticeable differences from the multi-track mix. Minor point in this case, but I thought I'd bring it up..."

No, the multi session was 24/48 and was bouncing to disc at 16/41

"With that said - what you're experiencing is nothing new to engineering. How to make your mixes 'translate' to different playback systems is what separates great engineers from novices (no offense intended). "

No offense taken. My mixes translate well normally when my multi is summed outside of the DAW. This is the reason I posted my delimma as the problem only occurs when I use the bounce function inside ProTools and then copy the file to either DVD or flash drive. It seems that my attempt to share my process to rule out the monitoring environment have drawn attention to the monitoring environment as a possible cause. Pretty sure that is ruled out simply by not experiencing the same problems when the summing occurs outside the DAW; but just to be sure, and so you could be sure, I broke out the meters and test gear.

I routinely check my mixes on different devices to see how they translate. I want to hear what my listeners will experience to be sure.

".....Besides the room and your actual monitors, gain structure can have a huge effect on mix translation and clarity, amongst other things."
This is why I was trying remixxing within PT using a different buss structure. Still working on that. Further...compression is very light where ever its inserted (just worked out that way) with the exception of an upright bass track. And I just now went and checked gain at all eq. inserted and don't see anything bothersome. I'm typically trimming eq at the pt mixer stage rather than adding. No digital overs, but I think I'm hitting the board pretty hot prefader (peaking in the yellow).

At this point I'm wondering if something screwy is happening in the DAW host computer when its copying the file.

Dism:
Dithering isn't an option listed on the bounce to disc pop up menu as far as I can tell. I didn't add dithering plug in, but frankly don't know where I'd call it up for bounce purpose.
FYI; Up till now, my typical use of the PT DAW was as an interface for my VI that I routed to an external digital mixer and then on to a digital hard disc recorder. For this piece I was trying to use the DAW exclusively. Worked fine up to the point that I bounce and then copy the bounce.

"If your bounce doesn't sound exactly the same as your mix... there's something happening to it on the way out."
Yup, I think so. Just not sure what. My initial thought was bouncing out of 24/48 to 16/41 was the chief culprit. Importing the bounce into the session revealed only a slight degredation.... slight, relative to what happens when the bounce is copied. (insert shudder here)

Phase test... hmmmmmmmm.....cancelation.... hmmmmm something else to check into.

Thank you both for your help. I'll keep working on it, any other input would be greatly appreciated.
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  #9  
Old 08-24-2010, 05:15 PM
Dism Dism is offline
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Default Re: Request for 8.05 Update

Quote:
Originally Posted by WillieB View Post
DTS
Yup, I think so. Just not sure what. My initial thought was bouncing out of 24/48 to 16/41 was the chief culprit. Importing the bounce into the session revealed only a slight degredation.... slight, relative to what happens when the bounce is copied. (insert shudder here)
It's very possible.

Dithering is important in this step. During Bounce to Disk... there is no dither. The best way to add dither in this step, is to create a Master fader, and put a dither on that. (as an Insert)

I won't go into all the technical mumbo-jumbo about dither, but there are plenty of resources available around including wikipedia. To simplify... when you mix down from a higher bit depth, there is truncation. That is to say, there are bits lost. This can result in very obvious sound degradation, especially in the low and high end. Essentially, you are chopping up your dynamic range. To compensate, dither adds a noise floor, that "fills in" the missing bits and smooths it out. In the same way that taking a high resolution photo and reducing the quality can make it look pixelated and grainy, photo-manipulation software often adds dither to smooth out the image and compensate for lost detail.

This tends to be the most common reason for most complaints about bounces sounding degraded. My advice is to to read up on dither, and bouncing tracks for mastering. There's a few details that are good to know, and can prevent a lot of headaches when trying to perfect that final mix.
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  #10  
Old 08-24-2010, 06:14 PM
WillieB WillieB is offline
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Default Re: Request for 8.05 Update

Thanks Dism, I've got the 2nd attempt at varying the bussing(submixes) cued up at the moment on the DAW, so I'll give adding a master fader with dithering inserted a try here when folks clear out. I'll bounce the re-buss attempt before and after inserting dither just to be sure of the effect, then I'll recall the original mix and dither that.

I don't mind saying, I sure hope that's all it was. With my usual workflow dithering is handled at the masterlink. When I dither there the variation of sound is minimal compared to what I'm currently experiencing.

Thanks Again
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