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treesha

Duplicate of track not identical

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This is not new but I never asked before. Say I have 1 backing vocal track I like and i want to duplicate it, so I duplicate it and it has say an eq or some fx on it so it duplicates with the eq or whatever along too . But when i play them back together the peaks will be different? The settings in the eq or whatever is identical and all i did was duplicate changing nothing, I don’t understand why they would have different peaks? Later on I would process them differently but this occurs before I do anything. Pro channel also looks identical? Puzzled 

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You're saying the peaks will be different ? Does that mean that the visual representation of the wave file is different - or are the numerical peak indicators actually showing different numbers?  I just did this and the duplicated track  remained the exact same.

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The numerical peak indicators will show different peak numbers. I never did go to peak to see if they look different. Yeah i never saw anyone on the forum mention this so i figured its not usual but thought i would ask for any ideas why this might happen for me. Thanks for checking 

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The clue is in "when I play them back together".

When you combine any two (or more) tracks, the result is the algebraic sum of them. If they are identical, i.e. one is cloned from the other, then the level will be doubled. Not just the peaks, although it'll be peak values that are most noticeable. If the tracks are not identical, they'll add together in some places and subtract from one another in other places. That's how you can end up with a mix on the master bus that goes into the red even though none of your individual tracks do.

 

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When this happens one track peak meter will be maybe -12 db or so and the duplicate track meter might be -10 just guessing at an actual example but something like that. I usually just adjust the duplicate to be closer to the original and move on but don’t get why this happens

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2 dB is a pretty small difference. Even a small discrepancy between FX on the two tracks will result in different levels. We often forget that EQs change levels, as do most effects. More than once I've wondered "how'd my vocal suddenly get louder?" only to remember "oh, yeh, I just added a send to the reverb bus".

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If there are plug-ins on the tracks, there may be some randomizing happening in the plug-ins.

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Its odd, i dont know why any fx setting would move when all i do is click duplicate track. Orig is panned center cause i havent messed with it yet. It is always a small difference. Being puzzled I have looked at any fx settings to see and dont notice any differences but will look harder next time. I will also experiment doing a duplicate with no fx or with something besides vocals because that is what i am most likely to be duplicating. Or see if maybe its a specific fx ? Thanks  

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Duplicating audio tracks without effects should cancel each other when the phase is flipped on one of the tracks.

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Thanks for the comments and ideas about this. I have some checking to do ! 

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2 hours ago, treesha said:

The numerical peak indicators will show different peak numbers. I never did go to peak to see if they look different. Yeah i never saw anyone on the forum mention this so i figured its not usual but thought i would ask for any ideas why this might happen for me. Thanks for checking

The only cases where I noticed such behavior was with instrument tracks (NOTE: interleave of the audio part set to mono). First, I adjusted the volume of the instrument to have a certain loudness. When done I could run it several times with about the same peak values. Then when I froze the instrument track the peaks were completely different! Copying the audio to another mono audio track changed the peak values again (not the same like in the beginning and not the same after the freeze!). Those things happened to me several times in different projects and there is no FX involved at all, but solely with mono tracks!

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9 minutes ago, marled said:

Then when I froze the instrument track the peaks were completely different! Copying the audio to another mono audio track changed the peak values again (not the same like in the beginning and not the same after the freeze!).

This is a longstanding issue, not related to the OP's case since instruments and freezing are involved. Freezing a mono synth output adds 3dB regardless of pan law.. It has been that way for a long time, and has not been fixed despite being reported by many. Bouncing to tracks does not have the same effect, so either you want to freeze your instruments before you start mixing or leave them 'live' all the way through the bounce/export of the final mix. 

I think the OP's case is almost certainly related to particular FX that do not behave consistently from one playback to the next - i.e. they have some randomness built-in as scook suggested. That, or possibly there is some issue with the the way they interact with Cakewalk with regard to reporting and storing parameter values.

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7 minutes ago, David Baay said:

This is a longstanding issue, not related to the OP's case since instruments and freezing are involved. Freezing a mono synth output adds 3dB regardless of pan law.. It has been that way for a long time, and has not been fixed despite being reported by many.

I agree with you that my first issue may have to do with the +3dB thing! But my 2nd step when I copy (Ctrl + drag) the frozen audio to another track may have something to do with the OP's case!

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You had my curiosity.  I first duplicated a few vocal tracks and played them side by side watching the peak meters and I found no difference. I also saved the track as a template, inserted it and copied the audio into it and it stayed the same as well. I only have a Compressor in the pro channel so possibly your issue is what @scook said. It's an effect your using on the track randomizing the playback levels. 

A solution might be to put your vocal effects in a Vocal Buss and keep the tracks simple. I generally work this way. I only use the  PC compressor and EQ on tracks. That way as I re record new parts they are all going to get the same processing down the line. You can see there is nothing in my FX bin. 

You can see the 3 vocal tracks after playing about a minute all show -5.2. Track 12 is the original, 13 is a duplicate and 14 is a track template and copy. 

 

1657741610_Screenshot(142).png.2d2c00439c3c9d3c0199a350dedaf513.png

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On 6/6/2021 at 10:13 AM, marled said:

But my 2nd step when I copy (Ctrl + drag) the frozen audio to another track may have something to do with the OP's case!

I can't repro that. Copying  frozen audio is the same as copying any audio; it just creates a new clip that references the same audio file. If the track configuration is the same (gain, interleave, panning, volume, output routing, sends, automation, etc.), it will sound identical to the frozen audio, and null with it when phase-inverted. If it sounds different, some track parameter is likely not matching.

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Did you figure out the issue here? I have the same issue - just duplicating a particular track the volume is 'substantially' different.  It often works fine with slight volume variations, which I'd think since it's a duplicate they'd be the same. I did this post about it - 

 

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Just experimenting with this again since it came up. I duplicated a backing vocal track with no fx and the track meters are identical. Next I duplicated a different backing vocal track that has 1 fx (vocal finalizer) and the peaks in the meter are not identical. Like 1 says peak -11.6, the duplicate at the same time says -12.4. Another spot the original says -10.6 the duplicate says -11.2. They vary in small amounts as they play throughout. For fun I duplicated the duplicate. The original says -11.3, the first duplicate says -11.9, the duplicate of the duplicate says -10.2. To create a duplicate I right click on the track, go to duplicate track, check all the boxes under duplicate except link to original clips, ok.. I don’t touch the fx at all or anything else at all. No automation involved. With backing vocals I dont mind these very small variations just something I have noticed and was curious about. As suggested it must be a fx thing as it didn’t happen to a plain track.

ps i wanted to add the fx in my example is pretty new to me, and this has happened long before I had this fx so its not just this fx that does it. 

Edited by treesha
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Thanks for following up on the thread. We all learn that way.

 

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