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Not all audio Daws sound the same ...

Support and feedback for Acoustica's Mixcraft audio mixing software.

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Guaresneider
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Not all audio Daws sound the same ...

Postby Guaresneider » Sat Jan 26, 2019 7:05 pm

OK, I did not think I would find this dilemma because I have used many audio daws since 1995 until now and today I was able to demystify it. Using Samplitude Pro X4 Suite (64-Bit) and Mixcraft 8, just to investigate if they sound exactly the same, but NO, they do not sound the same.

The test was simple, Midi track 1 I used Kontakt with a drums kit, very basic, kick snare and hhat. In MIDI track 2 I used a UVI Falcon sound from the UVX-3P module (preset B06 Synth Brass 2 Unl).

I played the same chords with ninth and 4/4 of drums. And I compared the sound monitoring in my Audio Technica ATH-M50. Equalization in zero, no effects and matching the same level of audio.

The sound produced from Samplitude Pro X4 Suite (64-Bit) is open in the sound of UVI with very good stage feeling, the sound of Kontakt sounded smooth and clear. The sound produced from Mixcraft 8 was more closed for the sound of the UVI, something more rounded with lower and less high frequencies. The midi track 1 of the Drums sounded more punchy and more bass. The two Daws sound good, someone else has been able to prove it?
:o :? :) Greetings.

Drafter
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Re: Not all audio Daws sound the same ...

Postby Drafter » Sat Jan 26, 2019 11:19 pm

Hey there,

I know this is a Mixcraft forum, and this may piss off some Mixcraft fanboys out there. I personally don't fall into that whole brand-loyalty thing. If I find something to be better or worse, then I'll give you my honest assessment.

I own and use Mixcraft Pro Studio 8 and Samplitude Pro X3 Suite. One of the last two productions I finished was done in Mixcraft and the other in Samplitude. Now up to this point, I had only worked exclusively in Mixcraft. When I sent my two mastered tracks to my label for distribution, my guy over there called me to ask me about the second track I sent him. I thought I might know where he was going with his questions, because I thought that the second track done in Samplitude sounded better than the other done in Mixcraft, despite the best efforts I put forward in each program.

He asked me what mastering studio I had sent the Samplitude track to get mastered. I said that I produced and mastered the tracks myself in Samplitude Pro X3, and asked him why. He said because the track sounded amazing compared to anything else I ever sent him done previously in Mixcraft. He said the highs and mids sounded transparent and airy, while the bass frequencies sounded punchy and tight. By contrast he said, the tracks that I had produced in Mixcraft sounded "muddy" when compared to Samplitude. Not that they were bad, just not as good as what was done in Samplitude.

Now, I don't know if it was me just getting better at my mastering over time, but there is a definite difference between the two DAW's, no question. If I bounce tracks to wav that were done in Mixcraft and bring them into Samplitude, then mix them in Samplitude, the result sounds different. It may have something to do with the way Samplitude sums the tracks. Who knows, but one of the things they tout is their "sound neutral" audio engine.

Now to be fair, Samplitude Pro X3 does have 4 band parametric EQ per channel where Mixcraft only has 3 bands at predetermined frequency centers. So you have more control in critically shaping your tone in Samplitude.

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jlouvar
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Re: Not all audio Daws sound the same ...

Postby jlouvar » Sun Jan 27, 2019 2:36 am

Drafter wrote:Now to be fair, Samplitude Pro X3 does have 4 band parametric EQ per channel where Mixcraft only has 3 bands at predetermined frequency centers. So you have more control in critically shaping your tone in Samplitude.


Mixcraft 8 Pro comes with fully adjustable 6 band parametric EQ.
Attachments
TB Parametric EQ.PNG
TB Parametric EQ.PNG (147.67 KiB) Viewed 1127 times
- Joe -
MX 8.1 Pro, Build 418, 64-bit. i5, 1.80GHz, 8GB, Windows 10. Focusrite Scarlett 2i4, Event and PreSonus monitors, Sony MDR-7506, Korg TR61, Akai MPK249, Fender P & J basses, Ric, Strat, D35, stomp boxes and a lot of microphones, etc.

mick
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Re: Not all audio Daws sound the same ...

Postby mick » Sun Jan 27, 2019 5:07 am

I recently commented that the mixcraft mixer HF is "useless" I withdrew my comment and changed it to " the HF comes in @ around 7khz and that it does not take over from the mid smoothly, some of the recorded detail around 4k to 7k is lost, so the mid is used to bring out the high's but has some mids tagged to it, it's a bit better than a general tone (and not frequency) control. That was met (along with a lot of other stuff) with denial. I don't post stuff to cause argument but to point out something I regard as needing attention and making Mixcraft better. If I use an eq Mixcraft sounds very good and close to Samplitude but as mentioned, and I can confirm, Samplitude does have a more open sound. The difference is stunningly clear. If you can't tell the difference then your monitoring speakers/headphones are not up to the job. The general idea that one bit is the same as the next is not correct. Samplitude has always been the one to master with. There are comparisons all over the net against Pro-tools and others but Samplitude wins every time. I have to say again the the Mixcraft mixer tone controls are lacking and its best to use 3rd party vst's for tone management. Mixcraft will never compete with the likes of Samplitude if the Acoustica team refuse to consider comments that are relevant and choose to go into denial instead of facing up to the challenge/situation.

bigaquarium
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Re: Not all audio Daws sound the same ...

Postby bigaquarium » Sun Jan 27, 2019 6:28 am

Morning,

Yep. I posted something similar last year with about the same reception. Part of it I attribute to some of the plugins packaged with MCPS8 being long in the tooth, and some of them are just terrible to begin with like the G-sonique stuff with the intentionally built-in analog hiss (mercy!). But the first time I opened up the AAS Journeys/Entangled Species player that comes with MC, I was like "What the heck just happened? This sounds great!"

I think some of it is just that the program needs to be set up more carefully from the factory in terms of gain, stereo image, EQ etc... It's a perfectly capable program, but does not give the best account of itself out of the box.

Just for giggles I pulled the old iMac out of mothballs last night, plopped it on the desk and laid down a new song with Logic 9, and although I'm getting pretty ok with recording live sounds with MC, Logic still blows the doors off it when being used by the same idiot (me) who doesn't really know what he's doing. I'm fairly certain that Apple is working to referenced standards when it comes to audio, maybe that accounts for some of the difference as well.

That said, after spending some $$$ on good plugins, MC sounds really, really good. I'm getting great results with Native Instruments, with the Overloud stuff, and also getting fond of the Dirty Duck freebie stuff now too.

- N

mick
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Re: Not all audio Daws sound the same ...

Postby mick » Sun Jan 27, 2019 8:16 am

I also agree that Mixcraft sounds very good with 3rd party gear, and throw in a little stereo image (I've got the bluespot MSW1 and you have a different listening experience. :D
I get good results from the bog standard Acousica rev/eq/compressor with MSW1.
The Acoustica drums are dull and lifeless, but apply some fx and the difference is huge with tiny nuances coming out.

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jlouvar
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Re: Not all audio Daws sound the same ...

Postby jlouvar » Sun Jan 27, 2019 8:58 am

mick wrote:I recently commented that the mixcraft mixer HF is "useless" I withdrew my comment and changed it to " the HF comes in @ around 7khz and that it does not take over from the mid smoothly, some of the recorded detail around 4k to 7k is lost, so the mid is used to bring out the high's but has some mids tagged to it, it's a bit better than a general tone (and not frequency) control. That was met (along with a lot of other stuff) with denial. I don't post stuff to cause argument but to point out something I regard as needing attention and making Mixcraft better. If I use an eq Mixcraft sounds very good and close to Samplitude but as mentioned, and I can confirm, Samplitude does have a more open sound. The difference is stunningly clear. If you can't tell the difference then your monitoring speakers/headphones are not up to the job. The general idea that one bit is the same as the next is not correct. Samplitude has always been the one to master with. There are comparisons all over the net against Pro-tools and others but Samplitude wins every time. I have to say again the the Mixcraft mixer tone controls are lacking and its best to use 3rd party vst's for tone management. Mixcraft will never compete with the likes of Samplitude if the Acoustica team refuse to consider comments that are relevant and choose to go into denial instead of facing up to the challenge/situation.


Hi Mick,
Tip: I have several friends who switched from Samplitude to Logic, so if you really like Samplitude you may want to checkout Logic. :wink:
- Joe -
MX 8.1 Pro, Build 418, 64-bit. i5, 1.80GHz, 8GB, Windows 10. Focusrite Scarlett 2i4, Event and PreSonus monitors, Sony MDR-7506, Korg TR61, Akai MPK249, Fender P & J basses, Ric, Strat, D35, stomp boxes and a lot of microphones, etc.

CazaroTaro
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Re: Not all audio Daws sound the same ...

Postby CazaroTaro » Sun Jan 27, 2019 10:04 am

This is a topic where science may help.

A few years ago, I generated two WAV audio files at 44.1 kHz sample rate using Audacity. I used these audio files to assess various equalizer VSTs in Mixcraft. The audio files are:

1. White noise
2 A series of sine tones at 50, 100, 200, 400, 600, 800, 1000, 2000, 3000 4000, 5000, 6000, 8000, 10000, 12000, 14000, and 16000 Hz

I loaded these audio files into Mixcraft 8 build 418 (64 bit), and a copy of Ableton Live 9 Lite version 9.7 (32 bit). I put a copy of SPAN on the Master bus. NO other VSTs of any variety were present.

The white noise file should generate basically a flat line in SPAN (slope set to 0 in the spectrum mode editor) and the peaks of the sine tones should also form a flat line in SPAN for the same settings. The results are shown in the graphics below.

Mixcraft 8 and Ableton Live 9 Lite generated the same SPAN graphs. Both showed slight non-flat behavior, but identical slight non-flat behavior.

Conclusion: The audio engine performance of Mixcraft 8 and Ableton Live 9 is identical.

I will hypothesize that all DAWs will produce the same result with the same audio test files and same test method. I will leave it to others to test their DAWs. The white noise file is easy to generate with Audacity. The multi sine tone file is more difficult to produce, and is attached in a zip file.

The sound processing VSTs applied between the raw audio and the output of the Master bus are the most likely sources of audible differences between identical audio sources.
Attachments
50 to 16000 Hz Sine Tone.zip
(2.96 KiB) Downloaded 22 times
Audio File 1 Test Results.png
Audio File 1 Test Results.png (272.1 KiB) Viewed 1088 times
Audio File 2 Test Results.png
Audio File 2 Test Results.png (276.18 KiB) Viewed 1088 times

Drafter
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Re: Not all audio Daws sound the same ...

Postby Drafter » Sun Jan 27, 2019 11:27 am

jlouvar wrote:
Drafter wrote:Now to be fair, Samplitude Pro X3 does have 4 band parametric EQ per channel where Mixcraft only has 3 bands at predetermined frequency centers. So you have more control in critically shaping your tone in Samplitude.


Mixcraft 8 Pro comes with fully adjustable 6 band parametric EQ.



I was talking about Mixcraft's useless three band eq on each channel strip. I was just making quick a observation about the DAW's channel control, nothing more. What you posted there is a plugin from a third party, not part of Mixcraft itself. If you want to talk about eq plugins, well sure, then every DAW can have anything you want as far as eq.The point here is that I rarely ever have to run an eq plugin on any of my tracks in Samplitude, where in Mixcraft it's almost a requirement if you don't want things to sound out of whack.

mick
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Re: Not all audio Daws sound the same ...

Postby mick » Sun Jan 27, 2019 11:39 am

J louvar wrote; Hi Mick,
Tip: I have several friends who switched from Samplitude to Logic, so if you really like Samplitude you may want to checkout Logic. :wink:


Thanks! but don't have Apple stuff, windows only!

Drafter
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Re: Not all audio Daws sound the same ...

Postby Drafter » Sun Jan 27, 2019 11:47 am

mick wrote: If I use an eq Mixcraft sounds very good and close to Samplitude but as mentioned, and I can confirm, Samplitude does have a more open sound. The difference is stunningly clear. If you can't tell the difference then your monitoring speakers/headphones are not up to the job. The general idea that one bit is the same as the next is not correct. Samplitude has always been the one to master with. There are comparisons all over the net against Pro-tools and others but Samplitude wins every time. I have to say again the the Mixcraft mixer tone controls are lacking and its best to use 3rd party vst's for tone management. Mixcraft will never compete with the likes of Samplitude if the Acoustica team refuse to consider comments that are relevant and choose to go into denial instead of facing up to the challenge/situation.


Mick, I'm in total agreement, and that's why I'm fazing-out my use of Mixcraft and going exclusively with Samplitude from this point on. I will always concede that MC8 is a bit easier to use, but that is because it is a much simpler and rudimentary program compared to Samplitude. But in the end if sound quality is what you want, take the plunge dude. Samplitude is fairly easy to learn and once you get into it, you will never look back. I'll still keep Mixcraft installed so I can open old projects that I never finished or to be able to collaborate with Mixcraft users, but I don't see the need to start any new projects in it if I have something that works and sounds better.

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jlouvar
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Re: Not all audio Daws sound the same ...

Postby jlouvar » Sun Jan 27, 2019 12:16 pm

Drafter wrote:
jlouvar wrote:
Drafter wrote:Now to be fair, Samplitude Pro X3 does have 4 band parametric EQ per channel where Mixcraft only has 3 bands at predetermined frequency centers. So you have more control in critically shaping your tone in Samplitude.


Mixcraft 8 Pro comes with fully adjustable 6 band parametric EQ.



I was talking about Mixcraft's useless three band eq on each channel strip. I was just making quick a observation about the DAW's channel control, nothing more. What you posted there is a plugin from a third party, not part of Mixcraft itself. If you want to talk about eq plugins, well sure, then every DAW can have anything you want as far as eq.The point here is that I rarely ever have to run an eq plugin on any of my tracks in Samplitude, where in Mixcraft it's almost a requirement if you don't want things to sound out of whack.


FWIW: I never, or rarely use the mixer channel EQ’s.
- Joe -
MX 8.1 Pro, Build 418, 64-bit. i5, 1.80GHz, 8GB, Windows 10. Focusrite Scarlett 2i4, Event and PreSonus monitors, Sony MDR-7506, Korg TR61, Akai MPK249, Fender P & J basses, Ric, Strat, D35, stomp boxes and a lot of microphones, etc.

mick
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Re: Not all audio Daws sound the same ...

Postby mick » Sun Jan 27, 2019 1:59 pm

Drafter, I'm familiar with Samplitude (music studio 2016) especially the object editing. BTW I put in a suggestion similar to OE years ago but it fell by the wayside. I also tried for snapshot mixer settings more recently. I've kept trying with suggestions (tried and tested only and not brain flashes) doesn't appear to any interest, even with the mixer basic problem :?

Drafter
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Re: Not all audio Daws sound the same ...

Postby Drafter » Sun Jan 27, 2019 2:49 pm

mick wrote:Drafter, I'm familiar with Samplitude (music studio 2016) especially the object editing. BTW I put in a suggestion similar to OE years ago but it fell by the wayside. I also tried for snapshot mixer settings more recently. I've kept trying with suggestions (tried and tested only and not brain flashes) doesn't appear to any interest, even with the mixer basic problem :?


Well, that's what I mean. Why try to make Mixcraft into Samplitude? Just switch. I recently posted a short list of things in the Mixcraft Suggestions topic, which I know aren't going to go anywhere. I merely put it there because I'm trying to plant seeds. But seeds take time to take root, and personally I don't have the time to wait. And if you're going to switch, don't waste money on the Music Studio version. Go with Samplitude Pro X3 or X4 Suite. It's not that expensive anymore, and the full-blown Suite version has everything you'll ever need in there.

Mixcraft is an awesome beginner DAW, or geared to musicians who don't necessarily want to be recording engineers, and I think it has a great place in that particular niche. Maybe calling it "Pro Studio" is a bit ambitious, considering that's it's lacking even in basic things found in most other DAW's. But again, I don't suspect Acoustica is really trying to tap the market space where Samplitude or Pro Tools lives. If you're like me and you've outgrown Mixcraft, or you're just unsatisfied with certain aspects of it's capability, just switch. It only took me roughly a week to transition to Samplitude Pro X3 to a level that I feel comfortable doing anything I need to get done.

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jlouvar
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Re: Not all audio Daws sound the same ...

Postby jlouvar » Sun Jan 27, 2019 3:57 pm

<snip> Acoustica's mission is to create high quality, intuitive and powerful software. Our motto is "Software Should Be Easy To Use!" We embrace the simplicity of creating music with our software. <snip>
——————————-
Personally, I like MC8P and the simplicity over other DAW’s. :wink:
Last edited by jlouvar on Sun Jan 27, 2019 4:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.
- Joe -
MX 8.1 Pro, Build 418, 64-bit. i5, 1.80GHz, 8GB, Windows 10. Focusrite Scarlett 2i4, Event and PreSonus monitors, Sony MDR-7506, Korg TR61, Akai MPK249, Fender P & J basses, Ric, Strat, D35, stomp boxes and a lot of microphones, etc.


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