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TEST: 5 DAWs 5 MBP Optical O/P You better read this :)

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TEST: 5 DAWs 5 MBP Optical O/P You better read this :)

Postby Radiogal » Tue Nov 15, 2011 1:09 am

Monday 2011-11-14 The scene: Soundtrade Studios in Stockholm. Live room.

The DAWs: ProTools 9, ProTools 10, Logic 9, Cubase (latest) and Digital Performer 7.24.
All installed on 5 equal Macbook Pros running optical O/P to a switcher to two Genelecs.

30 tracks multitrack projects all with equal panning and gain. (pan law etc were carefully compensated for)
We tested 2 different projects. One tight rock song and and one jazzy more open song.

This test took 2,5 hours and the material was tested on 30+ members of the Swedisch Sound Engineer Society. All professionals.
We compared different looped material in sections, played on MBP nr 1,2,3,4 and 5 and even randomly.

The original projects were recorded 96/24 in PT and converted to 48/24 in PT and this files were imported to the DAWs.
The test also included a listening to 6dB masterbuss overdrive to see how that was processed internally in each DAW.

After every listening part we all got to say what we prefered and why.

The verdict:
The MBP nr 1 always was the most liked and than sometimes also in combination with nr 4 and nr 5.
MBP nr 3 was most often disliked and sounded "compressed".
MBP nr 2 nobody really liked. Only once by one person..

I made them include DP in this test as I really wanted to know myself how DP would compare in this line up.

I was one of those that didn't know what DAW was on what MBP. I heard the engineers say/yell "nr 1 is the best" all the time. I agreed.
It had the most depht, best definition and fullest sound. It was really noticable.

Image

Well. After 2,5 hour we finally got the results.

:shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:
MBP 1= Digital Performer
MBP 2= ProTools 9
MBP 3= Logic 9
MBP 4= ProTools 10
MBP 5= Cubase (latest version)

:shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:

OMG was I surprised!!!! I couldn´t help shouting out loud when DP by far was the most liked in this DAW sound test!
A lot of jawdropping amongst the engineers... "Whut?????!!!"

A big smile on my face.. :D I might be an outsider using DP.
Finally everybody gotta understand why :)

I feel so proud and delighted about this DAW test results as I prompted to the SSES board they should include DP in this test.


(2013 EDIT restoring the photo link)
Last edited by Radiogal on Wed Jun 26, 2013 11:21 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: TEST: 5 DAWs 5 MBP Optical O/P You better read this :)

Postby macguy » Tue Nov 15, 2011 1:13 am

Yeah... I have always known that DP sounds better.... it's just convincing others LOL! :deadhorse:
And a special THANK YOU goes out to you RG for standing up, and making us heard!
Go RG! :woohoo:
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Re: TEST: 5 DAWs 5 MBP Optical O/P You better read this :)

Postby nk_e » Tue Nov 15, 2011 5:11 am

MOTU should capitalize on this on their website. Did you email them directly? I bet they would be interested.

Question: so were the set ups simply palying back the stems from PT or were they employing various plugins and such to recreate the song and mix?

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Re: TEST: 5 DAWs 5 MBP Optical O/P You better read this :)

Postby Killahurts » Tue Nov 15, 2011 7:09 am

Wow, thanks RG! I have to say I was a little surprised at the results at first, until I read that one of them sounds "compressed". That, I totally agree with. The testing appears to be solid.. Well done!!
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Re: TEST: 5 DAWs 5 MBP Optical O/P You better read this :)

Postby macguy » Tue Nov 15, 2011 7:28 am

nk_e wrote:MOTU should capitalize on this on their website. Did you email them directly? I bet they would be interested.

Question: so were the set ups simply palying back the stems from PT or were they employing various plugins and such to recreate the song and mix?

Wouldn't be a fair comparison if a plug was used @ all IMO. I'm almost certain they had enough common sense to just import with only unity levels and NO DSP. The math in DP7 is better now than before IMO.
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Re: TEST: 5 DAWs 5 MBP Optical O/P You better read this :)

Postby MIDI Life Crisis » Tue Nov 15, 2011 8:07 am

:unicorn: :brucelee:


PT, et al => :surrender:

The best! :love:

¡ʇno ǝɯ ƃuıddıןɟ sı sıɥʇ
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Re: TEST: 5 DAWs 5 MBP Optical O/P You better read this :)

Postby Gravity Jim » Tue Nov 15, 2011 8:09 am

Good to know! Since I've been a DP user since, like Version 1, I just haven't had the opportunity to experience the reduced audio quality of other, lesser DAWs. :)
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Re: TEST: 5 DAWs 5 MBP Optical O/P You better read this :)

Postby Radiogal » Tue Nov 15, 2011 11:26 am

nk_e wrote:MOTU should capitalize on this on their website. Did you email them directly? I bet they would be interested.

Question: so were the set ups simply palying back the stems from PT or were they employing various plugins and such to recreate the song and mix?


No plugins whatsoever. Just 30 MONO tracks in a project with tracks paned and Fader gained all the same on each and every DAW. The difference on the masterbus O/P between these DAWs was 0.2 dB from the highest to the lowest difference but that was also compensated for.

Need to say that the Swedish Sound Engineer Society claims this in no way to be a scientific research.
However the goal was to find out if there is any sonical difference between DAWs.
The answer to that was: Yes.
Not an enourmous difference but still significant for the trained ears that attended this test.
MAC PRO 6 Core 3.33 GHz, 16 GB RAM, OSX 10.8.5, DP 8.05 MAC and WIN (64bit/Jbridge) AMPGUI Mellow, Logic 9.1.8, Wavelab 8 MOTU 24I/O (x2), MOTU 2408 MK3 (2x), WAVES Mercury 9, SSL, UAD2Quad, McDSP, Sound Toys, Sonnox, Sonalksis, NomadFactory, T-Racks, P&M, LexPCM, AbbeyRoad, DSM, VCC, VTM, FGX, Melda, EWQL SymphOrch/Piano Gold. Mixingdesk: AMEK Big 44, TK BC-1MK2, SSLcomp clones, GAPPre73, PCM91, TC, FMR. Monitors: Genelec 1031, ADAM A7, >40 mics http://www.ragdollproduction.com
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Re: TEST: 5 DAWs 5 MBP Optical O/P You better read this :)

Postby Kubi » Tue Nov 15, 2011 11:48 am

Please post this on Gearslutz.... :D :D :D :D :D :D :D
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Re: TEST: 5 DAWs 5 MBP Optical O/P You better read this :)

Postby Killahurts » Tue Nov 15, 2011 11:59 am

Kubi wrote:Please post this on Gearslutz.... :D :D :D :D :D :D :D


= hang this slab of meat out in front of the wolves. :lol:
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Re: TEST: 5 DAWs 5 MBP Optical O/P You better read this :)

Postby Phil O » Tue Nov 15, 2011 12:43 pm

Things that make you go, "Hmmm."
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Re: TEST: 5 DAWs 5 MBP Optical O/P You better read this :)

Postby jloeb » Tue Nov 15, 2011 12:55 pm

:headbang:
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Re: TEST: 5 DAWs 5 MBP Optical O/P You better read this :)

Postby Radiogal » Tue Nov 15, 2011 1:15 pm

Killahurts wrote:
Kubi wrote:Please post this on Gearslutz.... :D :D :D :D :D :D :D


= hang this slab of meat out in front of the wolves. :lol:



DONE! :)
http://www.gearslutz.com/board/so-much-gear-so-little-time/668340-test-5-daws-5-mbp-optical-o-p.html#post7234730
MAC PRO 6 Core 3.33 GHz, 16 GB RAM, OSX 10.8.5, DP 8.05 MAC and WIN (64bit/Jbridge) AMPGUI Mellow, Logic 9.1.8, Wavelab 8 MOTU 24I/O (x2), MOTU 2408 MK3 (2x), WAVES Mercury 9, SSL, UAD2Quad, McDSP, Sound Toys, Sonnox, Sonalksis, NomadFactory, T-Racks, P&M, LexPCM, AbbeyRoad, DSM, VCC, VTM, FGX, Melda, EWQL SymphOrch/Piano Gold. Mixingdesk: AMEK Big 44, TK BC-1MK2, SSLcomp clones, GAPPre73, PCM91, TC, FMR. Monitors: Genelec 1031, ADAM A7, >40 mics http://www.ragdollproduction.com
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Re: TEST: 5 DAWs 5 MBP Optical O/P You better read this :)

Postby Kubi » Tue Nov 15, 2011 1:36 pm

Bookmarked that one. Looking forward to the flamefest. :D

One question: Do you know if they used a master fader in DP, or did they have the tracks go straight to the output sans master fader? Lately I've been experimenting with leaving the master fader off, and felt I reliably get a subtle but surprisingly noticeable improvement in width, depth and general 'clarity'. (Needless to say, this is w the master fader doing nothing but sitting there at 0dB, w/ no plug-in.) Def still to be taken with a large grain of salt - haven't done any blind testing, and more importantly, haven't done the comparison when it comes to the printed file yet, which is of course most important. But so far every time I went back and forth, the version without master fader seemed to sound ever so slightly improved. To be continued...
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TEST: 5 DAWs 5 MBP Optical O/P You better read this :)

Postby MIDI Life Crisis » Tue Nov 15, 2011 1:53 pm

I'm curious about a few things, Radiogal.

What order were the DAWs employed (which was first, second, third, etc.).

Was that order changed over the course of the test or was the order the DAWs were used the same every time?

To be somewhat empirical, changing the order several times and even replaying the same sample several times and recording specific observations would yield a 'more accurate' or at least believable result.

If the same order was employed each time, it could be argued that other factors may have colored the results, such as ear fatigue, familiarity with the recording, anticipation of high and low points by the listener, etc.

Any comments on this aspect?

Thanks.
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