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Aloe Duke

Cakewalk and Reaper which one and Why?

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3 hours ago, Will_Kaydo said:

Did everything. Cakewalk is broken ūüėāūüėā¬†

Jokes aside - Compression are more sensitive. I immediately hear the attack, release and threshold work, as soon as I touch it them in reaper. In Cakewalk with the same piano and chords - it's a bit higher up.

Reverb sounds fuller in Reaper and more thinner, but kind of "Shimmering" in CbB.

Same bars and plugin setting, after exporting the test - and I find myself enjoying the sound reaper gives - though it took¬†me 100 times longer. Routing things are weird in reaper. ūüėē

I agree with the reverb part. As for routing in Reaper, it took me two weeks to figure it out. It was one of the most un-intuitive things I ever dealt with. 

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5 hours ago, Will_Kaydo said:

Jokes aside - Compression are more sensitive. I immediately hear the attack, release and threshold work, as soon as I touch it them in reaper. In Cakewalk with the same piano and chords - it's a bit higher up.

Reverb sounds fuller in Reaper and more thinner, but kind of "Shimmering" in CbB.

Did you check that your ProChannel is off?

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Reverb is largely ignorable and most people will buy a better plugin, anyways.¬† iZotope R44 is $29 and will obsolete pretty much any stock Algorithmic Reverb in any DAW ūüėõ

A lot of the Reverbs in Cakewalk are basically Demo Ware (ReMatrix/BREVERB).  I've never used Sonitus, since I have better, anyways.

Same with the Dynamics plugins.  I have better, so I've never really used much outside of the PC EQ.  Cakewalk's Sonitus plug-ins are a lot more "Legacy," and out of development, than REAPER's ReaPlugs.

As for things "sounding way more fuller" in one DAW or another, one has to factor in Confirmation Bias and Placebo Effect.

Edited by Maestro
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2 hours ago, chris.r said:

Did you check that your ProChannel is off?

Yep. 

I'm gona give it straight. I've reset my entire configuration setting to default the third time. Different genre's same results with Reaper. Tried the laptop same results. Distortion are too more mouth watering in reaper.

Demo'ing Studio One now and again results are different - fuller and more natural sound with effects.

Next up will be my free Ableton that came with the interface. 

I also want to make something clear. I'm not doing this to make CbB seems bad - OH-NO! Cakewalk is rock solid! I just happened to test out Reaper - seeing that it has a free license until end of febuary and started noticing the difference. 

In CbB when sending an effect to an Aux or Bus there's that added +3db on effects. This is not so in these two DAWS I'm testing. What you send to a BUS is what you get out - which I miss, but the sound of the effects are way fuller than what it sounds in CbB and it's this "fuller more natural sound" that's bugging me and that caught me attention. 

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7 minutes ago, Will_Kaydo said:

Yep. 

n CbB when sending an effect to an Aux or Bus there's that added +3db on effects. This is not so in these two DAWS I'm testing. What you send to a BUS is what you get out - which I miss, but the sound of the effects are way fuller than what it sounds in CbB and it's this "fuller more natural sound" that's bugging me and that caught me attention. 

That is to do with pan laws, some daws have center -3dB - so there you have it.

Choose pan law to liking in Cakewalk and it will be the same.

StudioOne does not even have a setting for pan laws, you have to use some special plugin for that to deviate from default.

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2 hours ago, Maestro said:

As for things "sounding way more fuller" in one DAW or another, one has to factor in Confirmation Bias and Placebo Effect.

Really now? You're going there?

If there's a noticeable difference in other daws with effects - theres a noticeable difference! They sound fuller - point! NO ARGUMENT THERE!

No one spoke of using stock plugins with this. The only "Bias" person with the "Placebo effect" here, is you with your response. Everyone else are discussing this with an open mind going through the history of cakewalk. Cause the way these MeldaProduction plugins sounds in Reaper and Studio One are the same and fuller than what it sounds in Cakewalk. 

I've tried different other plugins too. 

Edited by Will_Kaydo

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2 minutes ago, LarsF said:

That is to do with pan laws, some daws have center -3dB - so there you have it.

Choose pan law to liking in Cakewalk and it will be the same.

StudioOne does not even have a setting for pan laws, you have to use some special plugin for that to deviate from default.

Mine is true 0 balance. Also "Panning" laws and Send Levels are two different things. 

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18 minutes ago, Will_Kaydo said:

Mine is true 0 balance. Also "Panning" laws and Send Levels are two different things. 

Pan laws are applied to sends as well obviously.

If you've got 3 dB difference in pan law center - it affect send too. 

So when comparing daws, don't compare apples and oranges.

If using 3rd party, and same effects it would sound the same as well.

It could be you like a stock plugin better from one daw, that is fine.

Just compare in a fair way.

 

Over the years there has been floods of threads stating that one daw sound better than the other like on KVR Audio forum.

Go with what you believe - just don't confuse it with facts.

 

One thing when starting to load plugins that can be different is how inserting mono->stereo plugins on mono tracks. These things can be different and you don't have full control in Cakewalk. Cubase and Reaper allow full control which channel goes where etc. StudioOne does not.

Also setting stereo interleave or not makes a big difference with various plugins in Cakewalk.

Waves have clearly stated plugin components, mono, stereo, mono->stereo etc - not on all plugins - is it a stereo component and put on mono track it can be quite different result in different daws. Various versions of StudioOne I ran handle this according to different rules it seems, v2.x filtered out stereo plugins in listing if on mono track etc. Something was changed in StudioOne v4.x regarding this - but no real control how channels are routed.

So when building full project to compare daws many things may affect how it sounds.

So be aware of such things - and it will sound the same with the same plugins.

 

But I had incidents with Cakewalk Prochannels was active with no activity from me, so as said - check that out. I'd like to disable PC completely not having it happend over and over again. Having that  module hidden in console may show what is active.

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From StudioOne manual

"Studio One uses a -3 dB pan law for all channel panning. On stereo Channels, the panner adjusts the balance of left and right signal
levels."

so if setting 0dB center in Cakewalk there is the difference - on track out - on send level.

There are pans on sends as well.

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3 minutes ago, LarsF said:

Over the years there has been floods of threads stating that one daw sound better than the other

No one said reaper or studio one sounds better than Cakewalk. I'm talking about plugins - don't mix the two. 

When someone talks about DAWs sounding different, I immediately think of Audio quality when recording or using a samples.

If someone tells me plugins are more sensitive and sound different in this daw - I immediately think of headroom space.

Dont turn this discussion in to a "DAW War" thread - cause this is clearly not what this is about. 

If cakewalk's mix-engines (not playback engines) are still strictly digital signal based from the 90's it's signal based. 

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33 minutes ago, LarsF said:

From StudioOne manual

"Studio One uses a -3 dB pan law for all channel panning. On stereo Channels, the panner adjusts the balance of left and right signal
levels."

so if setting 0dB center in Cakewalk there is the difference - on track out - on send level.

There are pans on sends as well.

Well aware of that, Thanks. "PAN LAW." 

Now onwards to why the same reverb sounds fuller in reaper and thinner/sharper less analogue in CbB. 

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Would you mind posting an export from each doing this in Reaper and Cakewalk?

Just 15-20s or so.

Which reverb is it, and assume on an effect bus so sends are used?
Inserts may cause issues usually stereo and if not on stereo interleave setting.
There are some plugin manager setting as well if on a mono track.

And assume you use a saved VST preset from that reverb doing it in another host.

Using Waves mostly, I save presets in their plugin menu so easy to use same in any daw.

I have Reaper 4.7 at least(VST2 only) if I happend to have same reverb, I could try it out.

 

Things that happends to me in Cakewalk, I forget to watch a new busses output - being defaultet to hardware outs, to get through master instead.
Just a thought - one thing to check out?

So when putting mix so limiter on Master is limiting I had returns from effect bus not going that route and appeared stronger due to that.

Just assuming there is a natural explanation why it would sound different - whatever we might find....

 

There is a lengthy thread at KVR Audio how crap a guy claimed Cakewalk sound compared to Cubase, as one guy digitized vinyl at 96k/24.
Looking closely into this, I found this anomaly that poster did not know about obviously, looking like a 8k boost in there suggesting wrong capacitance on RIAA amp
And it was Cubase that sounded a bit muffled in my tests, will of course sound more normal if having a treble boost.
CakeCubaseRecordTestVideo.JPG

(done in Sonar 8.5 32 bit I happend to have Ozone on)

The guy went silent after that discovery, he overlooked something.

I kind of like digging into these kind of issues. One always learn new stuff going deeping into things....

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47 minutes ago, Will_Kaydo said:

Well aware of that, Thanks. "PAN LAW." 

Now onwards to why the same reverb sounds fuller in reaper and thinner/sharper less analogue in CbB. 

You need to match the input first. As I have mentioned already, that is not easy.

  • Pan law and exac level matching should be achieved. Note that corresponding settings in Cakewalk and REAPER are different, the same result is not always coming from almost the same words in the preferences, so that has to be checked explicitly.
  • audio sample size used for processing. Check both DAWs are in 64bit processing (sample size as floating point, not program code) mode.
  • audio sample size and sample rate used for the input. F.e. if your recording is 96kHz, Cakewalk apply pre-conversion in case the project settings are different (and project settings are always in sync with your audio interface). In REAPER project sample rate and interface sample rate can be different. Also note conversion algos (f.e. different for "online" and "offline"). Don't forget CAKEWALK can upsample/split buffers, if corresponding settings are activated.
  • output chain, including rates and levels. Also don't forget to check you have nothing in the REAPER Monitoring chain (since it is a kind of "outside of the project", it is easy to forget).
  • plug-in settings. Not only current "preset". DAWs (can) indicated offline/online rendering mode to plug-in and plug-in can use that. More safe is compare "rendered" results, and in case they are the same find the reason "real-time" is different (there are several related settings).

And the list is far from complete...

But one program (plug-in), with the same input and the same settings produce the same result (down to random component, which in most plug-ins is not time line nor host dependent). Computer programs are not "creative" and I have not heard any plug-in explicitly made sound different in different DAWs (while that is technically possible, if caught, the (commercial) plug-in developer will loose the reputation... and you know, in the audio world "believe" is almost everything ;) )

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I could add something to Azslow3 comments about Reaper and an issue I had

 

Reaper never convert and do sample rate conversion on import. It always just resample in realtime.

And there are different resample/stretching algos for playback and rendering in Reaper.

 

I had an issue I had reference track on another tab in Reaper that were 44k.

And my project at 48k in another tab.

And listening to reference track I got overs, professional bought recordings, I got overs - so it resampled to 48k in realtime.

First I got 1.6 dB overs.

Increasing quality to highest on playback algos resampling for this went down to 0.6 dB overs.

Of course playback of professional recording in 44k so no resampling - no overs on that when I tried that.

 

This tells a story that resampling does things to material - it is severly affected - depending a quality chosen.

To save cpu Reaper usually have less quality setting for playback as default.

 

So if to do critical compare one have to consider many things....

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3 minutes ago, azslow3 said:

You need to match the input first. As I have mentioned already, that is not easy. 

Yep. I always do this. 

5 minutes ago, azslow3 said:

audio sample size used for processing. Check both DAWs are in 64bit processing (sample size as floating point, not program code) mode.

ūüėÖ I've checked for these too. I have my fair share of knowledge.¬†

Try it yourself. 

Write down the level the moment you hear the threshold work in cakewalk and do the same in reaper. 

Free Compressor I've tested with 

https://www.tokyodawn.net/tdr-feedback-compressor-2/

Free reverb I tested with. 

http://www.lesliesanford.com/vst/plugins/

And . . .

https://u-he.com/products/protoverb/ 

 

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2 hours ago, LarsF said:

One thing when starting to load plugins that can be different is how inserting mono->stereo plugins on mono tracks. These things can be different and you don't have full control in Cakewalk. Cubase and Reaper allow full control which channel goes where etc. StudioOne does not.

Also setting stereo interleave or not makes a big difference with various plugins in Cakewalk.

Waves have clearly stated plugin components, mono, stereo, mono->stereo etc - not on all plugins - is it a stereo component and put on mono track it can be quite different result in different daws. Various versions of StudioOne I ran handle this according to different rules it seems, v2.x filtered out stereo plugins in listing if on mono track etc. Something was changed in StudioOne v4.x regarding this - but no real control how channels are routed.

So when building full project to compare daws many things may affect how it sounds.

So be aware of such things - and it will sound the same with the same plugins.

This is exactly why I regret that DAWs do something weird with mono and stereo tracks (just look at mono outputs of Vsti's in CbB)! In the old days there were only mono tracks in a mixer and if an effect had a stereo out you had to feed it to 2 mono tracks. That way everything was much more transparent and more equal independent of the suppliers! No such sophisticated hidden stereo rules! ūüėÜ

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Had a bit of time before a session tonight and I did a quick test.

NOTE: CbB Pan Law set to 0dB center, sin/cos taper, constant power. Internally I'm using 24 bit depth, not 32 bit or 64 bit double precision.

First we'll do some Self-null tests to ensure CbB isn't creating inconsistent results that don't null with itself, just as a control.

----------------

CbB Self-null test 1:

Input files: 
1KHz Sine - 24 bit, 44.1KHz stereo
White Noise - 24 bit, 44.1KHz stereo
Sine Sweep - 24 bit, 44.1KHz stereo
Drum Loop - 24 bit, 44.1KHz stereo

Output:
24 bit, 44.1KHz stereo files, all exported seprately.
Reimported back into CbB along with the original input file and the phase inverted

Results:
All files entirely nulled to silence.

----------------

CbB Self-null test 2:

Input files (all 24 bit, 44.1Khz mono):
Kick
Ride
Snare
Bass
Hats

Volume for each track set to -6db. Panning set to center.

Output: 24 bit, 44.1Khz stereo mixdown
Reimported this file, inverted the phase of this new track

Results:
Output meter showed -136dB maximum, or practically inaudible difference. I would expect that to be lower or 100% using 32 or 64 internal bit depth.

----------------

CbB Self-null test 3:

Input files (all 24 bit, 44.1Khz mono):
Kick (panned center)
Ride (panned 100% L)
Snare (panned 50% R)
Bass (panned 50% L)
Hats (panned 100% R)

Volume for each track set to -6db. Panning as above.

Output: 24 bit, 44.1Khz stereo mixdown
Reimported this file, inverted the phase of this new track

Results:
Output meter showed -136dB maximum, or practically inaudible difference. I would expect that to be lower or 100% using 32 or 64 internal bit depth.

----------------

CbB Self-null test 4:

Exactly the same setup as test 3, except MCharmVerb was in the FX bin on the kick and snare tracks with the same settings (see attached pic for settings).

Output: 24 bit, 44.1Khz stereo mixdown
Reimported this file, inverted the phase of this new track

Results:
Output meter showed -136dB maximum, or practically inaudible difference. I would expect that to be lower or 100% using 32 or 64 internal bit depth.

----------------

CONCLUSION:

CbB completely nulls with itself for all intents and purposes - as expected - even with MCharmVerb and panning applied.

------------------------------------------------

REAPER vs CbB Null test 1:

Input files: 
1KHz Sine - 24 bit, 44.1KHz stereo
White Noise - 24 bit, 44.1KHz stereo
Sine Sweep - 24 bit, 44.1KHz stereo
Drum Loop - 24 bit, 44.1KHz stereo

Output:
24 bit, 44.1KHz stereo files, all exported seprately.

Imported the CbB exports from CbB Test 1 for each respective file and inverted the phase.

Results:
All files nulled to silence.

----------------

REAPER vs CbB Null test 2:

Repeated CbB test 2 but inside REAPER, same source files, same settings.

Output: 24 bit, 44.1Khz stereo mixdown

Imported the CbB export from CbB Test 2 and inverted the phase.

Results: Output nulled to -48dB maximum. Not completely silent, but close to silent in a real-world situation. I would suggest this is due to rounding differences with the 24 bit file and the internal bit depth of REAPER mixing engine.

----------------

REAPER vs CbB Null test 3:

Repeated CbB test 3 but inside REAPER, same source files, same settings.

Output: 24 bit, 44.1Khz stereo mixdown

Imported the CbB export from CbB Test 3 and inverted the phase.

Results: Tracks panned away from center did NOT null with the default REAPER settings. Overriding the project defaults for each track to dual mono reduced the difference by 6db but the files did not entirely null, and no settings would achieve this.

----------------

REAPER vs CbB Null test 4:

Repeated CbB test 4 but inside REAPER, same source files, same settings.

Output: 24 bit, 44.1Khz stereo mixdown

Imported the CbB export from CbB Test 4 and inverted the phase.

Results: Obviously this will not null as per Test 3 because the panned tracks weren't correctly nulling due to the differing pan laws. Reverb decay did not null on the stereo sides, in a similar way to regular tracks panned off center did not null.

----------------

CONCLUSION:

When tracks are panned center CbB nulls either completely or very close to 100% with REAPER. The minor difference betwen multitrack mixes can be down to rounding (ie: the exported files were 24 bit / 44.1Khz vs an internal 32 bit or 64 bit mixing engine, so the more tracks imported, the more there will be differences as they're mixed together). In modern pop/rock/metal/hiphop/etc music, apart from very quiet sections or the end of reverb tails, in real-world use, this is going to be practically inaudible.

When tracks are panned off-center, the results don't null for any tracks not panned to center. This is due to differing pan laws. This will be audible for those tracks only, even in a modern mix, and can be compensated to match by raising or lowering the track volume.

When there are stereo effects added, the results don't null for the amount of sound on the stereo part of the material. For time based effects, this can make the tails seem either louder or quieter depending on the settings and the width of the effect, and will definitely be audible in a modern mix.

------------------------------------------------

Bonus test:

Importing the exports from CbB and REAPER into Adobe Audition matched the results seen above.

----------------

My take?

I stand by what I said about pan laws being the biggest difference between how these DAWs sound. That doesn't make either one sound better, but just slightly different. The more tracks, the more stuff is panned, the more differences there will be. If I had more time I would repeat this with 64 bit settings to rule out rounding errors with the 24 bit stuff I was using, so don't take this as anything like a definitive scientific test. I'm sure others here could do it better.

Ultimately, if you're finding that one DAW is dramatically better than the other then more power to you - use that DAW. If having slightly louder reverbs and some tracks a little differently balanced in REAPER when you're doing an exact apples to apples comparison with CbB, you'd probably get more benefit by actually listening to what you're mixing rather than comparing the differences between each DAW. Can you hear that -50dB track difference? I doubt it. Is a slightly louder reverb going to sound different? Sure. Will that negatively impact your mix?  If it does, perhaps practicing mixing more than splitting hairs might be a good option.

 

Reverb settings as used above:

1178338196_ReverbSettings.jpg.468914f894e2a4d9df94c18d1f6269ce.jpg

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This argument about DAWs sounding different needs to die.

If there is a difference, it's largely due to the processing chain or the plugins used.

In some case the DAW is designed to sound different.

But DAWs generally null with each other.  That is a solved problem and hasn't been a thing for about a decade, if not more, yet people are still willing to have that conversation.

It's like arguing with a flat earther.

Edited by Maestro
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5 hours ago, Will_Kaydo said:

Really now? You're going there?

If there's a noticeable difference in other daws with effects - theres a noticeable difference! They sound fuller - point! NO ARGUMENT THERE!

No one spoke of using stock plugins with this. The only "Bias" person with the "Placebo effect" here, is you with your response. Everyone else are discussing this with an open mind going through the history of cakewalk. Cause the way these MeldaProduction plugins sounds in Reaper and Studio One are the same and fuller than what it sounds in Cakewalk. 

I've tried different other plugins too. 

 
 
 
 
 
 

Yes, I'm going there. Because you cannot argue against psychology.  Saying they sound fuller and that it's noticeable is not the end of any argument.  That's your own perception of the sound.  There is nothing objective or scientific about it.

See if the sounds cancel out, as is the case with almost any DAW that isn't designed to deliver a specific sound character (i.e. MixBus 32C).  In almost all cases, they do when you feed the same sound into the DAW and use the same processing on them (i.e. the same plugins, not different plugins that "do the same thing").

In the past, it was common that some DAWs sounded difference because the audio engines were, then, less developed.  Some DAWs (like Samplitude, for example) were far more advanced than others (like Pro Tools, for example) in that area.  But, times have changed, and there is relative parity there, except - aforementioned - in cases where the DAWs use a processing chain designed to deliver a specific sound character.

Lastly, why so defensive?  You act as if I personally attacked you with that statement?  I'm growing tired of these childish responses whenever someone tries to have a mature discussion about a topic.  There is always that one person who turns it into a pissing match. No one cares what DAW you use, ultimately.

We don't do your work for you, and we don't have to listen to your music, either.

Edited by Maestro
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1 hour ago, Maestro said:

This argument about DAWs sounding different needs to die.

But here is the thing. I never said The "DAW's" sound different - all I asked was why are these plugins more sensitive with their settings in Reaper. Go read read my first Post  

The reverb sounded more darker projecting a "fuller" sound - in Cakewalk there's a roll-off in the low end of the reverb and boost in highend giving it a thinner-but-shimmering "aka" gloss/air sound to it. Compression are more sensitive. 

So basically what I'm asking, is - Does this have to do with the headroom differences between the two? Cakewalk db boost goes up to +6db, where reaper is at 12db boost.  

My question never reflected on a which daw is better. I keep saying Cakewalk was the DAW I learned on at varsity with Avid. 

At the time Cakewalk made Waves above Avid in professional studio's. 2008/09. I remember receiving articles on this because of it being Strictly Digital Based - if my memory serves me right it was with Sonar Studio or Producer 8.5. Then came x1, but studio's moved away when x2 introduced the many Audio Dropouts. 

So why would I start a DAW war when it's¬†my Go-To DAW. If the Mix engine are still Digital based - than obviously things will be unique in their own way. Though, I cannot ignore the fact that hearing is in fact true. My ears don't lie ūüėā

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