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Thread: Ableton LIVE Sound Quality... Your Thoughts

  1. #1
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    Ableton LIVE Sound Quality... Your Thoughts

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    So I was browsing around the web and noticed that A LOT of people were slamming LIVE's - summing bus - and said LIVE sounds like crap compared to other DAW's.

    Most were audio engineers and the LIVE users / fans fought them tooth and nail. I had never run into this before but I did notice that REASON used to sound "BRIGHTER"...

    Any thoughts on LIVE sounding DULL / UNINSPIRING ?
    Last edited by biggrome; 10-15-2010 at 02:09 PM.
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    Reason can be deceiving mainly with the mastering suite, a little limiting and some high end boost and you have a brighter sound. And the 24bit samples in R5 is gonna fuel this debate further.

    The few times I have used Live I haven't noticed. Its hard to find a DAW without complaints like this, I don't really buy into it, as long as the music is hot who gives a shit, its not like people are gonna be thinking damn this is hot but that summing ain't right mang **throws CD out the window**.

    After all were making Hip Hop, pause tapes, 5 sec sampling, stealing music, recording in or closets, two tracking songs the list is endles we can get away with bad summing

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    It's definitly true that Live imparts it's own sound on export. There are ways around that though.
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    What about the "uninspiring" part though?

    I like to hear a nice "sound" while I work. I've been blaming my monitors for a long time and now this pops up, lol. Maybe I don't need new monitors...
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    Never dull

    ---------- Post added at 03:50 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:49 PM ----------

    and Never uninspiring
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    All Daws have distinct things that alter overall sound. Most can be adjusted, but are usually set default. i don't know Live to comment, but Reasons has the Mastering Suite on output that "colors sound" as well as the 14:2 Mixer that has a "special EQ curve" build into it. Record has the SSL Bus Comp. FL Studio has it's Panning laws(stereo dynamics)that give it the "thinner sound" until you turn them off. Pro Tools has it's channel plugs that can be changed out(I prefer dithering per channel).

    None of these things are "bad", they give a distinct sound. Smae thing any gear would do. Anyone competent enough to mix a song make no big deal of these things because the finished sound is left to what you do.

    The way your Daw alters sound is no bigger of a deal than going from recording in one booth to another, or going from a Motif to a Fantom. It shouldn't hinder your overall sound in any way. These are the things folk complain about because they have nothing better to do than A/B recordings between 2 DAWS.

    No listener/consumer/fan cares that Bruno Mars' new album wasn't mixed the exact same way in the exact same studio as Maroon 5's or Lady Gaga's and those were all dramatic differences, not a slight bit more noise in the Limiter plug when used that a chart can show.

    No to mention who's to say Live doesn't sound "better"?

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    Quote Originally Posted by biggrome View Post
    What about the "uninspiring" part though?

    I like to hear a nice "sound" while I work. I've been blaming my monitors for a long time and now this pops up, lol. Maybe I don't need new monitors...
    I don't notice any difference in sound vs other DAWs when I'm working, only on export.

    Uninspiring is kind of a weird word to use here. I dont really look to my DAW for inspiration. I listen to good music for that, or intake certain substances...

    Anyway if it really sounds that dull to you, just throw a high shelf on the master channel.
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    This has been discussed ad nauseum on Ableton's forums. I'm not sure if anyone has offered any "Mathmatical" proof that there is a difference, or that Live's audio engine is inferior to any other DAWs. For all who truly understand floating point math, Live does, in fact, use a 64 bit floating point engine, even though Mr. Henke himself says that he believes it's just marketing hype.

    That being said, I personally believe that all DAWs have their own distinct sound. I own Pro Tools, Live, Record, Live, Sonar and even Tracktion. If I had to choose which one I think sounds the best, I would have to say Sonar. When it comes to strictly mixing, it seems that I can get better results with minimal effort with Sonar.

    But Live is still my DAW of choice.
    Long Live the Old School!!!!

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    You also have to consider playback engines. The lower the latency, higher bit depth and sample rate, and more to the performance depending on delay compensation for CPU intense processes, the less accurate the playback engine more than likely is, so it may be a case of what you hear inside the DAW not being accurate, so it won't sound the same when mixed down to an accurate audio file.

    It can also be the dithering. Varies from DAW to Daw and has a huge effect on the overall sound.

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    Yeah, REASON does have the MClass Mastering Suite loaded when I use it, never thought about that. I'll try that high shelf suggestion too.

    I never paid it any attention... until I read it.

    They were saying stuff like most serious music makers think LIVE, REASON, FL and damn near everything except Pro Tool, Logic and something else are toys.
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