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  #1  
Old 04-21-2021, 07:00 AM
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Farhoof Farhoof is offline
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Default PT mixer headroom severely reduced to 20dB over 0dBFS. Bug?

I'm running into an issue here. It seems the Protools mixer digital headroom has been severely reduced to max 20dB over zero. Is anyone able to confirm?

Steps to take:

- Create a stereo track, out put to your main out (turn the speaker volume down!)
- Use the signal generator to render a clip with an 80Hz sine at 0dB peak.
- Set the volume of the track to -30dB (or lower).
- Increase the clip gain of the clip to +20dB.

- Playback the sound (mind your speaker level). The internal mixer should process a signal +20dB over 0dBFS, but is then lowered by 30dB before the track output so the end result is safe at -10dB peak. Playback should be normal.

- Now increase the clip gain to +21dB and playback. The sine is now distorted even though it outputs at a safe -9dB. You can lower the output to whatever you want, this is not an interface or clip gain issue, the distortion seems to occur in the Protools mixer.

The same issue occurs using any other method when you go past +20dB within the Protools mixer, like having 2x +12dB trim on a track.

Delving deeper into this, it looks like any sample OVER +20dB is processed as -INF. So it's not digital clipping where anything over +20 is just clipped at +20.

This issue DOES occur in:
Protools Ultimate 2020.12
Protools Ultimate 2019.12
Protools Ultimate 2019.6

This DOES NOT occur in:
Protools Ultimate 2018.12
Protools Ultimate 2018.10
Protools Ultimate 12.8.2
Afaik any version earlier all the way down to PT 11.


Question 1:
Is anyone able to test this using Protools Ultimate 2021.3.1? I cannot run this since it needs an HDX update and I don't want to do that right now.

Question 2:
Is anyone able to confirm this using either PT Ultimate 2020.12 / 2019.12 / 2019.6?

This issue started somewhere between PT 2018.12 and PT 2019.6 so it's been here for a while.
And before you start lecturing me about the importance of gain staging ; no this doesn't affect me on my normal work, I've encountered this while testing new limiters and pushing to the max. It needs to be resolved either way, Protools is using a 64bit floating point mixer and this wasn't an issue before PT 2019.6.

/Edit
Note: I'm running HDX where the mixer is always dsp. This could be a HDX only issue. Not hardware bound though, as different PT version give different results. Please let me know what you are running when testing.

Last edited by Farhoof; 04-21-2021 at 08:36 AM.
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  #2  
Old 04-21-2021, 09:13 AM
dominicperry dominicperry is offline
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Default Re: PT mixer headroom severely reduced to 20dB over 0dBFS. Bug?

I can confirm this as distorted as you describe on 2021.3.1 on PT Standard, running on MacOS Catalina (10.15.7) on a Mac Pro 7.1, 16 core 48GB RAM.

I do not have HDX - just using an RME Babyface Pro fs interface.

Dominic
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  #3  
Old 04-21-2021, 09:20 AM
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Default PT mixer headroom severely reduced to 20dB over 0dBFS. Bug?

Have you created a support case that can be escalated? If so, post the case number.
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Old 04-21-2021, 09:55 AM
Rich Breen Rich Breen is offline
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Default Re: PT mixer headroom severely reduced to 20dB over 0dBFS. Bug?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Farhoof View Post
...Question 1:
Is anyone able to test this using Protools Ultimate 2021.3.1? I cannot run this since it needs an HDX update and I don't want to do that right now.

I can confirm this behavior. HDX, 2021.3, Mojave. Also can confirm it happens if I disable HDX and run natively with just the Metric Halo interface.

Don't have time to fully wrap my head around what this means right now - I don't think it creates an issue in my workflow, but it's very strange!
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Old 04-21-2021, 04:55 PM
Fidelis Fidelis is offline
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Default Re: PT mixer headroom severely reduced to 20dB over 0dBFS. Bug?

That must be a bug, you should report it to the support. I always take care of my gain stage so it does not affect me at all, but since they say infinite headroom with 32 bit they should correct it.
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  #6  
Old 04-21-2021, 10:08 PM
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Default Re: PT mixer headroom severely reduced to 20dB over 0dBFS. Bug?

I just tested this and any method of increasing the gain above +20dBFS results in the distortion. Clip gain, Audiosuite gain, and real-time plugins all get the same result. The only way this doesn't happen is when increasing the gain above +20dB using the mixer alone.

I was able to see the distorted wave we're hearing by using the gain Audiosuite plugin to increase the 80hz tone +30dB in a floating point file and then decreasing it 30dB again. The end result should be the perfect sine but instead there are a bunch of tiny sawtooths.
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  #7  
Old 04-21-2021, 10:30 PM
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Default Re: PT mixer headroom severely reduced to 20dB over 0dBFS. Bug?

Support case created. #04160422
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  #8  
Old 04-22-2021, 02:14 AM
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Farhoof Farhoof is offline
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Default Re: PT mixer headroom severely reduced to 20dB over 0dBFS. Bug?

Thanks all for confirmation.

My support case is #04160484

But to be frank, most bugs I've reported do not get fixed, so if you are escalating this one you can include;

#03522890
#03840195
#03849538
#04026846

as well
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Old 04-22-2021, 06:45 AM
daeron80 daeron80 is offline
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Default Re: PT mixer headroom severely reduced to 20dB over 0dBFS. Bug?

Holy smokes. That means the mixer has reverted from floating- to fixed- point type.
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  #10  
Old 04-22-2021, 06:52 AM
dominicperry dominicperry is offline
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Default Re: PT mixer headroom severely reduced to 20dB over 0dBFS. Bug?

2021.3 (and 2021.3.1) seem to have added more bugs that they have fixed.
Mixer headroom, tab to transient, metering delay, QT export issue, import audio dialog box issue.
Quite an achievement.
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