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  #1  
Old 04-20-2021, 01:08 PM
zangiamit91 zangiamit91 is offline
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Default The Ultimate DAW Test

https://youtu.be/O46RpDI6ZTY

In this test, I did the same mix on various major DAWs and then compared the results by ear and by null test.
As far as we know, all the daws sound the same, and it's valid until you start to use the summing engine, and then you can hear the differences. The daws that tested are -
Pro Tools 2021
Logic Pro X
Ableton Live 11
Studio One 5 Artist
Cubase 11 Elements
Universal Audio LUNA
You can hear the Logic has the most difference, I don't know why it is so different, but I'm pointing to the pan law compensation that Logic uses.
I try to print in different pan law mode, but there was no difference.
Also, you can see pretty barely the transient of each track that has some slightly different. Especially on Logic...
If someone has some idea or wants to take the test and try to share the results with us, let me know, and I'll add it to the download folder. here is the link for the media files and projects - https://www.dropbox.com/work/Amit%20Zangi/Daw%20Test
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  #2  
Old 04-27-2021, 10:59 AM
Daniel_Dettwiler Daniel_Dettwiler is offline
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Location: ch 4125 riehen
Posts: 478
Default Re: The Ultimate DAW Test

Quote:
Originally Posted by zangiamit91 View Post
https://youtu.be/O46RpDI6ZTY

In this test, I did the same mix on various major DAWs and then compared the results by ear and by null test.
As far as we know, all the daws sound the same, and it's valid until you start to use the summing engine, and then you can hear the differences. The daws that tested are -
Pro Tools 2021
Logic Pro X
Ableton Live 11
Studio One 5 Artist
Cubase 11 Elements
Universal Audio LUNA
You can hear the Logic has the most difference, I don't know why it is so different, but I'm pointing to the pan law compensation that Logic uses.
I try to print in different pan law mode, but there was no difference.
Also, you can see pretty barely the transient of each track that has some slightly different. Especially on Logic...
If someone has some idea or wants to take the test and try to share the results with us, let me know, and I'll add it to the download folder. here is the link for the media files and projects - https://www.dropbox.com/work/Amit%20Zangi/Daw%20Test
I will gladly listen into this with my students. For me summing is not just adding 0's and 1's, as some are saying. Clearly there are differences. I have the luck to not only be a soundengineer but also a lecturer. Many Students bring their projects in different DAW's. In logic I always felt it was most difficult to get a really good mix, there is something happening when signals get loud (although there is no distortion anywhere to be measured - but something is preventing the mix from sounding really good. I don't think that is psychological). This is rather easy to hear, and should be easy to test (so interesting that in your test logic sounds the most different). There is also a DAW Test bei Igl Schoenwitz - he has a german youtube blog - and in one DAW he also compared different DAW's to see wether they are different. I think the files are also downloadable.

For me Pro-Tools and Reaper is very fine. I come to very good results with Nuendo too. I have difficult to come to the same quality in logic, more over if there are a lot of tracks. Would be interesting to analyze that more.

In a test I would normally not have tracks in the center, but only use Stereo-Tracks. Then the Pan-Law is not a problem. Also I think you had plugins - Even if they are the same Plugins on the corresponding tracks, my guess would be, that, mostly the Guitar, has a different delay-compensating in logic, as I think it would not be possible that it cancels that bad if there is not a timing issue.

Actually that said - many difference can come from different delay compensation. In ProTools, i.e as soon as you mix on an analog board and go back in, then it is physically not possible to have the delaycompensation also for the reverbs totally perfect. I also had many situation with ITB Mixes, where Bussing got too complex for the delaycompensation.
A very easy test: Send the Drumtracks to a Bus (Drum Bus). Make a Reverb-Bus. Send the Signal from the Drum-Bus to that reverb (or you can bypass the reverb, to hear if the signal is in phase. It will be. Now also send the Snare track to the same reverb track, with the reverb in bypass, it can not compensate that correclty anymore. (at least on a ProTools AAX DSP System not, might be different / better on a HD native). I showed that to Avid Tecs, and they could not believe it. That thing seems to be better in Nuendo and also Reaper, although there are good workarounds in ProTools. Also if you use Plug-in Automation - the Automation Datas that you have in Plugins will not be compensated correctly if you change the buffer size ( A fact that even the most advanced ProTools user don't know and also the Tec's could not really believed when I showed them). Say the Buffer is 128 and you go to 512. The Audio-Tracks will get compensated for that additional buffer latency correctly, also the Volume Automation. But the Plungin-Automation will not. Not a problem on very slow move, but a problem if you want to shape the Attack of a Kick with an Automated fast EQ move. Change the Buffersize - EQ Move not at the right place anymore.
So there are many things, why different DAWs, as soon as you really work in depth, will sound different. But different design in summing is for sure also a fact.

Thanks for having set that up..

Daniel
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Last edited by Daniel_Dettwiler; 04-27-2021 at 11:10 AM.
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  #3  
Old 04-27-2021, 11:10 PM
XJENSEN XJENSEN is offline
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Default Re: The Ultimate DAW Test

I recognize your observations. My standard workflow is to start up pro tools forced at the lowest possible buffer size. Then select the one you want to work on. This improves, but not solves, the delay compensation issues related to buffer size.
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Old 04-28-2021, 02:07 AM
Daniel_Dettwiler Daniel_Dettwiler is offline
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Default Re: The Ultimate DAW Test

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Originally Posted by XJENSEN View Post
I recognize your observations. My standard workflow is to start up pro tools forced at the lowest possible buffer size. Then select the one you want to work on. This improves, but not solves, the delay compensation issues related to buffer size.
Oh yes, that's what we do too, except that I don't start it up with the lowest buffer, except in recording sessions (although there it anyway does not matter, as it is a DSP System.

As in most mixes we have complex plugins with Convolution (such as Soothe) that requires a high buffer anyway, our go to buffer is now just 1024. Then I simply know I never have to change it.

But still: If Airplanes would be built the same way as even expensive DAW's are built a lot of people would die. I am often close to stop beeing an engineer, because I simply don't want to work with software anymore that has clear faults (there are bugs and there are simply faults.). All major DAW's suffer from that problem. I have to say that reaper seems to be better. On the other hand, probably, if I would work more deep with it faults would also be revealed...
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