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Old 12-10-2014, 09:25 AM
DBK DBK is offline
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Default Mixing Midi VS Mixing Audio (sound quality)

So I get that Pro Tools is more versatile with audio, or however you want to look at it. My question isn't about capability though, my question is about the end result bounced audio quality.

I prefer to keep my tracks in MIDI so I can go back and change something if I want without having to re print. So if it makes no difference I would rather skip printing to audio pre mix and just going right into mixing my midi files. Only thing I'm wondering about is how is the actual audio quality of midi signalled audio vs printed audio? It isn't enough for me to hear a difference, but if there is a difference obviously every little bit matters.

So my question is, does the sound output from an audio track contain better quality than the sound output from an identical Midi track? Or am I clear to go on with EQing/compressing/effects on my midi track and just skip the whole making audio stems part? I don't want to if end quality will be sacrificed, but it will definitely be nice if it isn't.

Don't worry about CPU use, if that becomes a problem ill print to audio. But I'm talking about a scenario strictly based on quality of audio.
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Old 12-10-2014, 09:41 AM
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John_Toolbox John_Toolbox is offline
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Default Re: Mixing Midi VS Mixing Audio (sound quality)

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Originally Posted by DBK View Post
So my question is, does the sound output from an audio track contain better quality than the sound output from an identical Midi track?
No, the recorded track is a recording of the VI's output, so it is the same quality as what you hear when it is still being triggered by MIDI.

That being said, there is more to this than saving CPU:
1. You have a visual representation of the audio, so you can precisely line up transients of your tracks to avoid phase problems. Samplers can also have dropouts that create a click or pop in the audio. With printed audio, you can find and fix these instead of wondering when/if they will happen.
2. Many modern VI's have round robin and other randomization built in to them, so they don't usually play exactly the same thing every time. By printing to audio, you have a permanent file that you can always rely on sounding exactly the same. Round robin samples might have noise in them, or be out of tune, etc... if you don't hear it exactly the same every time this will drive you nuts.
3. If you ever have to revisit this project in the future, who knows if your VI's will still be compatible with your system 10 years from now. It's good insurance to print the stems as audio, you never know what you might need them for in the future.
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If a MIDI event triggers a sample of a tree falling and there's no one there to hear it, does it make a sound?
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Old 12-10-2014, 12:04 PM
DBK DBK is offline
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Default Re: Mixing Midi VS Mixing Audio (sound quality)

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Originally Posted by John_Toolbox View Post
No, the recorded track is a recording of the VI's output, so it is the same quality as what you hear when it is still being triggered by MIDI.

That being said, there is more to this than saving CPU:
1. You have a visual representation of the audio, so you can precisely line up transients of your tracks to avoid phase problems. Samplers can also have dropouts that create a click or pop in the audio. With printed audio, you can find and fix these instead of wondering when/if they will happen.
2. Many modern VI's have round robin and other randomization built in to them, so they don't usually play exactly the same thing every time. By printing to audio, you have a permanent file that you can always rely on sounding exactly the same. Round robin samples might have noise in them, or be out of tune, etc... if you don't hear it exactly the same every time this will drive you nuts.
3. If you ever have to revisit this project in the future, who knows if your VI's will still be compatible with your system 10 years from now. It's good insurance to print the stems as audio, you never know what you might need them for in the future.
All good points thanks.

Funny thing about the midi glitching every now and then. I find it helps me more than it doesn't haha. Sometimes it gives a very cool glitchy representation of the midi you have drawn that fits in nice in some electronic music. Id be lying if I said id never accidentally had a midi track glitch out on me before, where i have then printed it to audio before it fixes itself so I can keep the effect. Nothing beats happy accidents.

And yeah eventually after the mix they will be printed to audio pre bounce when I know I'm done the song. Id just like keeping it in midi until the project is mixed and pretty much done because im still learning composition and music theory; so I tend to change my mind a lot about notes used as the project progresses. Im at that point where I'm learning so much by just doing it that I want to restart every song I do by the time I'm done it because Ive learnt better ways to do it. Its a good problem to have. But its why I want to keep everything in midi. So i can make changes right up until the end, which I will be doing in my workflow for awhile I'm assuming. At least while I'm still learning.
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