Sound Quality of Sonar X1

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Scott Lee
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Re:Sound Quality of Sonar X1 2012/03/06 02:15:08 (permalink)
LJB


In the good ol days, a bit of colour was considered a bonus.. Oh, wait, that's why UAD, Slate and lord knows who else all clone classic gear! :O)

Color is great for rock, jazz, classical, and acoustic forms. Some like it but some also want a neutral DAW engine. 


On the other hand, color is horrible for electronic dance, house, trance, dub step, rap, industrial and other genres dependent heavily on synth sounds. Electronic sounds can easily wash out a mix (take a listen to a typical dub step track) so producers have to play micro surgeon allow the dynamics to play nicely. Color or a muddy low in can make a break a mix in these types of genres. 

Dance music is dependent on being loud, clean, and dynamically managed properly to compete with todays mixes. Low end mud or color is not an option.  



Scott Lee (ASCAP)
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#31
billruys
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Re:Sound Quality of Sonar X1 2012/03/06 02:15:33 (permalink)


-Scott Lee


Im sure you mean well

How terribly condecending 



Which pro studios have you worked
Beaver Studios http://beaverstudios.com
Stebbing Recording http://www.stebbing.co.nz/
Chapel Studios http://www.chapelstudios.co.nz/



Ive tested my findings at Toad-AO Sound stages - CBS Radford, Los Angeles Ca, Capitol records, Novalogic, THQ, Volition

Care to outline your testing methodology?  How did you test your findings?



Tell me all day long tell your blue in the face its my system.

When did I tell you it's your system?  I just made the observation that small rooms cause modes and modes cause muddy bottom end.  Most users on this forum are small/home studio owners, so when I see lots of complaints about muddy audio, I have to ask if people are in an accurate monitoring environment.



I've worked as senior audio director using the product for since, well before the audio engine existed.

I've been using CW since it was delivered on a 3.5" floppy, back when it was midi only too - what's your point?


I'd like to see a double-blind test from mixes of the same tracks in Sonar and other DAWs involving a few experienced panelists and see what the consensus is on this.  I've seen lots of speculation and idle dribble on this forum, but generally, when tests have been performed on a more scientific level, inverting the phase of tracks, the results have been a null signal, which kind of refutes the claims being made.


You'll excuse me if I want something more concrete than the subjective opinions of one or two forum members.




post edited by billruys - 2012/03/06 02:25:34

Bill Ruys
Silicon Audio


#32
Scott Lee
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Re:Sound Quality of Sonar X1 2012/03/06 02:23:25 (permalink)
bapu


So there is concurrence in both directions. 

Who do I believe?

Oh wait, it matters not to me. I own three DAWs and I use SONAR nearly every day. So whether it is colored or doesn't sound as good I care not. I get the results I'm capable of (with no claim to be good or bad by professional standards) and I have no complaints*




*Well, I'd love folders in folders and true solo capability on a muti-output/track setup with a Drum MAP (without having to first solo the MIDI track).

Hi Bapu,


You are correct.. Its not about believing. One thing though is we all write different genres of music. Music can work well in other daws and not so well in Sonar or vice versa. It is subjective, but at the same token we have seen the same compliant for many years. 


Im sure there are a lot that have had configuration problems, bad audio cards and or maybe not enough hand on experience. Threw out Pro audio/sonars lifespan we have also had a lot of reputable folks speak up about the audio engine and claim this very problem. 

Who knows? The warmth may make some feel great with a guitar and vocals. The double edge sword to that is not everyone writes just that type of music in Sonar. 

Scott Lee (ASCAP)
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#33
dappa1
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Re:Sound Quality of Sonar X1 2012/03/06 02:35:30 (permalink)
Agreed Scott

There is a warmth or could I say it does not sound as tight as in other DAWs that is probably why other DAWs sound pristine and clean.

It is not imagination, it is true that they are subtle differences between the top tier DAWs but against Sonar the differences are not so subtle. They are audible.

Maybe x1e (update) will look at fixing this BIG problem and Sonar will fall into line with our expectations and what other DAWs are currently achieving.

Warm can be nice as Scott says on certain genre's

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#34
Seth Perlstein [Cakewalk]
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Re:Sound Quality of Sonar X1 2012/03/06 02:51:19 (permalink)
To actually compare audio engines you need to use exactly the same source audio, plugins, settings, etc. in all DAWs tested, otherwise the findings are mere opinion.

If you're doing this and attempting to null said audio then you;d have a reasonable, scientific test. If you're basing it off of 'opinion' or, 'experience', then there are many other factors involved such as audio interfaces, DAW-specific plugins, settings, etc.

SP
#35
billruys
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Re:Sound Quality of Sonar X1 2012/03/06 02:55:29 (permalink)
Dappa1


Agreed Scott

There is a warmth or could I say it does not sound as tight as in other DAWs that is probably why other DAWs sound pristine and clean.

It is not imagination, it is true that they are subtle differences between the top tier DAWs but against Sonar the differences are not so subtle. They are audible.

Maybe x1e (update) will look at fixing this BIG problem and Sonar will fall into line with our expectations and what other DAWs are currently achieving.

Warm can be nice as Scott says on certain genre's

Where's you proof?  If you are going to assert that this is a BIG problem you need to conclusively demonstrate it.  Have all the bakers and beta testers really got cotton wool in their ears?  You say it's not imagination and that it's true, so the burden of proof is on you.  If you can't demonstrate it, why should I believe you?


Without a proper double-blind test, performed under controlled conditions, this is all just fluff and now there are people jumping on the bandwagon and the state of Sonar's audio engine is a Big Problem and Sonar needs to fall into line with what other DAWs are achieving?!?!?

By this time tomorrow, people will be claiming that Sonar's audio engine sounds like a grinding gearbox.

Bill Ruys
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#36
Scott Lee
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Re:Sound Quality of Sonar X1 2012/03/06 03:00:37 (permalink)


Which pro studios have you worked
Beaver Studios http://beaverstudios.com
Stebbing Recording http://www.stebbing.co.nz/
Chapel Studios http://www.chapelstudios.co.nz/

Here we go. 


Toad AO CBS Radford http://www.audioease.com/IR/VenuePages/todd-ao.html Hollywood movie scoring stage.
Capital Records http://www.capitolstudios.com/index.cfm?page=home Housed recording from iconic masters as Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Nat King Cole, The Beach Boys, etc.


Not going to list them all you get the point.


Now that we are done with our pissing contest lets get down to it. You posted as I quote :


I wonder if people who do some work at home on Sonar and some work in pro studios on other systems are hearing different rooms. 



Not quite sure how you came up with its your room acoustics? While I do agree incorrect accoustic treatment can create a slue of issues in post production, that is not what this topic was ever about. Its like someone asking "Hey my car won't start whats the problem?......Answer: Hey are you sure the tires are attached?" When 2 daws are wielding "color, mud, whatever you want to call it" tested on many multiple pro rigs setups, thats where the debate can open. Some want to call it warmth, some like myself, call it a nightmare. It really depends on what type of music you use sonar for. Like I have said, some genres are a lot more transparent. 


Alot of folks around these parts aren't just basement warriors, some have put in a dedicated career in the audio field. Im not questioning your audio skill set, thats not my job. Please also don't question mine. We are all here giving friendly advice at our free will to support and better the software. Sometimes it can be end user error, but from experience with Cakewalk, it can also be an long overdue bug. In the end we all want better software and Sonar to shine in the DAW market. 




Scott Lee (ASCAP)
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#37
billruys
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Re:Sound Quality of Sonar X1 2012/03/06 03:12:06 (permalink)

Scott Lee


Toad AO CBS Radford http://www.audioease.com/...ao.html Hollywood movie scoring stage. Capital Records http://www.capitolstudios...?page=home Housed recording from iconic masters as Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Nat King Cole, The Beach Boys, etc. Not going to list them all you get the point.



Yes, we're all very, very impressed with your credentials Scott, but you haven't answered any of the real questions like how you tested this.  All we have is your opinion and to back it up you list a bunch of studios.  How important you think you are is nothing to do with the issue at hand.

Bill Ruys
Silicon Audio


#38
Scott Lee
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Re:Sound Quality of Sonar X1 2012/03/06 03:29:56 (permalink)
Actually I was not the starter of this thread. It seems its more then my opinion Bill. 

Can you prove that Sonar is 100% bug free? Since I know you've been around due to your join date of 2003 like me (before the old cakewalk forums) Im sure you remember the Rom Kuper and Bob debates. Bug can/do exist wether we like it or not in software and can not always easily "proven" by the end user. We have no idea whats under the hood of Sonar, either do you. 

Case in point. When Sonar X1 first came out and I was still using my MOTU 424/1224 audio rig, X1 was crashing like crazy/dropping.The first wave of folks were "its your system, its 64 bit, its the os, etc". Second wave said "its bs, Im not seeing it, etc". After called Cakewalk about 4 times I started to make videos showcasing the issue on youtube. Some folks ever said I was running a "vitural PC to crash Sonar X1"... 

Point is, its not my job to prove anything to the user base, Ill address Cakewalk. Im a reporter, reporting my findings and bring attention to a long overdue issue Ive had with Sonar, and as it seems, others have too. I agree with the OP of this thread and the many other thread on this very topic, thats why I chimed in.

How did the story end? Turns out Noel not only found the bug greying out MOTU audio cards, but also discovered a 8 year old bug.
post edited by Scott Lee - 2012/03/06 03:44:30

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#39
FastBikerBoy
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Re:Sound Quality of Sonar X1 2012/03/06 03:48:17 (permalink)
Aside from the opinions I'm amazed at the length of time some people use a piece of software if their not happy with it.

If I wasn't happy I'd be using one of the other DAWS that I thought was better.
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Scott Lee
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Re:Sound Quality of Sonar X1 2012/03/06 04:06:01 (permalink)
FastBikerBoy


Aside from the opinions I'm amazed at the length of time some people use a piece of software if their not happy with it.

If I wasn't happy I'd be using one of the other DAWS that I thought was better.

If thats was towards me, I am.. 


I use Studio One quite a lot and dabble with Logic Pro Audio. Do I still use Sonar? Yes! It holds 20+ years of music I want/need for work. 


Next question, why are you here then? Well to popular belief, I do care about -want- Sonar to improve. I put a lot of my life into working with the software and would like to see it develop further. Its a great piece of software, half baked at times, but this subject I hold dear to my heart. The audio engine was a huge reason why I finally looked elsewhere. 


Why? Well, I championed Sonar up until about mid X1. It was my only daw for 20 years. I love how easy it is to get going writing tracks, easy bussing / routing, etc. While I liked Cakewalk for improving and reaching out to other "types" of musicians like electronic artists (I do a bit of everything but the last 13 years a lot of EDM) some things really bother me Beatscape, matrix, etc. It never got completed nor is something we can actually use in the real world. I really wanted software that worked on every angle.


Since Ive been doing really complex EDM music lately, once I got up to the mastering portion of Sonar it just was, lets say, a lot more of a challenge then other daws. Partly not the audio engine being gapless, dropouts after meeting a certain vst threshold that other daws can handle, but most importantly the constant EQing I had to do to the lowend I do not have to fuss with elsewhere.

 Im not saying Sonar isn't great. It has its strong points that I do like. But this threads problem isn't one of them.


Best,


Scott Lee (ASCAP)
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#41
FastBikerBoy
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Re:Sound Quality of Sonar X1 2012/03/06 04:31:54 (permalink)
Scott Lee


FastBikerBoy


Aside from the opinions I'm amazed at the length of time some people use a piece of software if their not happy with it.

If I wasn't happy I'd be using one of the other DAWS that I thought was better.

If thats was towards me, I am.. 


I use Studio One quite a lot and dabble with Logic Pro Audio. Do I still use Sonar? Yes! It holds 20+ years of music I want/need for work. 


Next question, why are you here then? Well to popular belief, I do care about -want- Sonar to improve. I put a lot of my life into working with the software and would like to see it develop further. Its a great piece of software, half baked at times, but this subject I hold dear to my heart. The audio engine was a huge reason why I finally looked elsewhere. 


Why? Well, I championed Sonar up until about mid X1. It was my only daw for 20 years. I love how easy it is to get going writing tracks, easy bussing / routing, etc. While I liked Cakewalk for improving and reaching out to other "types" of musicians like electronic artists (I do a bit of everything but the last 13 years a lot of EDM) some things really bother me Beatscape, matrix, etc. It never got completed nor is something we can actually use in the real world. I really wanted software that worked on every angle.


Since Ive been doing really complex EDM music lately, once I got up to the mastering portion of Sonar it just was, lets say, a lot more of a challenge then other daws. Partly not the audio engine being gapless, dropouts after meeting a certain vst threshold that other daws can handle, but most importantly the constant EQing I had to do to the lowend I do not have to fuss with elsewhere.

Im not saying Sonar isn't great. It has its strong points that I do like. But this threads problem isn't one of them.


Best,


Hi, one of your posts (I think) in this thread instigated it but it was more of a general observation. I'm labelled a fanboi as I happen to really like most of X1, far better than any previous Sonar (I started on V2) but I've never had any real insurmountable issues with any version although V7 was a bit of a nightmare for me IIRC.

However in reality I'm probably about as far from a fanboi as one could get, cos if I had some of the issues some have I'll be off like a shot to something else whereas presumably a fanboi will defend it no matter what.

I guess I've found out in life in general that the grass is very rarely greener on the other side and I assume the DAW world isn't any different. I used Cubase briefly a longtime ago but didn't gel with it. I just didn't hang around the cubase forums moaning about it, I started using Sonar more and more. That isn't aimed at you by the way, again more of a general observation. I find it morbidly fascinating I guess how different users respond to bugs/problems or perhaps it's an expectations thing.

Anyway sorry to drag this OT, I'll go back to sleep.....


#42
bobguitkillerleft
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Re:Sound Quality of Sonar X1 2012/03/06 04:34:54 (permalink)
There seems to be a ton of conjecture on THIS topic all over the audio forums presently.

I'm hoping someone somewhere is actually going to do a rigorous scientific test like Seth P. mentioned.

I'm having a little low end fog here myself,however I put it down to user error,or lack of time spent,as I've only had the tools to record myself with any quality since my join date.

When I was recorded in pro studios in the late 80's early 90's,the big problem then,after great recording's, was careless mastering,of the worst kind.

If there is a known "lack of low end clarity",surely even the Pro Channel Asymmetrical EQ could sort it?

How about a NEW "preset"-"Other Daws Low End Clarity"..........simple no?
post edited by bobguitkillerleft - 2012/03/06 05:37:25

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#43
Scott Lee
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Re:Sound Quality of Sonar X1 2012/03/06 04:43:14 (permalink)
For 20 years I fought guitar center "Hi Id like to see your audio section" sure which Mac do you have? "Hi Id like to buy Sonar" Whats that? . . . 

They have finally gotten a lot better but was that "guy" that was always talking up Sonar and Cakewalk to folks that thought PCs went audio workstations. (Now IM on both sides of the fence).

 So if anything I was a long-term fanBOI if one would have it. Just that X1 and the problems gave me enough time to "play with" other software. I was PC exclusive and build my systems around Sonar. Now though I like being both Mac and PC. Studio compatibility / more flexibility. 

My goal here is simply making Sonar X1 Daw 3.0...... Well at least help improve the software on its weaker areas.

Best,  

Scott Lee (ASCAP)
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#44
soens
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Re:Sound Quality of Sonar X1 2012/03/06 05:02:06 (permalink)
wmountney


SONAR does not compress any audio, neither at import nor recording, and it never has, nor did its predecessor Cakewalk Pro Audio.  I'm not sure where you read that -- and if it was years ago you probably don't remember yourself -- but it couldn't have been from any reliable source of information.
 
Thanks for clearing that up. I know I read it somewhere but I really can't remember where.
post edited by soens - 2016/08/29 04:25:26
#45
LJB
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Re:Sound Quality of Sonar X1 2012/03/06 05:31:26 (permalink)
How about putting it to Sound On Sound or Mix to do a REAL audio comparison. Not to knock any DAW but to debunk a lot of BS and enlighten the lot of us in a scientific way.

Those boys are geared for it and it would make a great article and research topic. If we all mailed them and suggested it, they might actually bite.

We can email:  http://www.soundonsound.com/information/Contact.php

and/ or:

http://mixonline.com/contact/

Who's game to join me in this?

Ludwig Bouwer, One Big Room Studios.
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#46
bobguitkillerleft
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Re:Sound Quality of Sonar X1 2012/03/06 05:59:43 (permalink)
LJB


How about putting it to Sound On Sound or Mix to do a REAL audio comparison. Not to knock any DAW but to debunk a lot of BS and enlighten the lot of us in a scientific way.

Those boys are geared for it and it would make a great article and research topic. If we all mailed them and suggested it, they might actually bite.

We can email:  http://www.soundonsound.com/information/Contact.php

and/ or:

http://mixonline.com/contact/

Who's game to join me in this?

Yeah, I just wrote to SnS,as per suggestion,I did have to mention the obvious[oblivious?] pandering to UA/Waves and Avid,as SO many magazine publications are blatant in their doing of this[hope it didn't offend,I just find mags like "Future Music" very "fanned out"]


How do you find PT compared to X1 by the way?

RK.

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#47
John T
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Re:Sound Quality of Sonar X1 2012/03/06 06:08:44 (permalink)
This topic has been done to death over the years, and was settled pretty conclusively nearly a decade ago, in the very thorough Awesome DAW-SUM tests and its on-going follow-ups. There is - in actual measurable fact - no difference between the sound of different DAWs. Most of them will null completely, in fact. There's no getting around this. Any differences you think you can hear are either imaginary or down to some other factor.

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#48
LJB
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Re:Sound Quality of Sonar X1 2012/03/06 06:08:56 (permalink)
RK, I don't like PT but it has never let me down in live recording, unlike Sonar. I bought it for live and for elastic audio, and that's why I call it my most expensive plugin :O)

In the beginning I thought I heard a difference - in fact, in the DAW I still think PT is kinda more "bouncy" and tight, but I did a crude shootout of a 16 track file that was not recorded in either, and I could not hear the difference on the mixdown.. AT ALL.

Maybe I'm just too busy to care :O)

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LJB
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Re:Sound Quality of Sonar X1 2012/03/06 06:10:40 (permalink)
John T


This topic has been done to death over the years, and was settled pretty conclusively nearly a decade ago, in the very thorough Awesome DAW-SUM tests and its on-going follow-ups. There is - in actual measurable fact - no difference between the sound of different DAWs. Most of them will null completely, in fact. There's no getting around this. Any differences you think you can hear are either imaginary or down to some other factor.

JT, hence my suggestion to let the big boys settle this once and for all.


Lud

Ludwig Bouwer, One Big Room Studios.
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#50
John T
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Re:Sound Quality of Sonar X1 2012/03/06 06:14:34 (permalink)
They already did. Many big names with superb reputations involved in that test, and all data published in extremely thorough detail for anyone to review. Seriously, google it, it's very informative. It makes a far better read than the pages of old wives' tales, guesswork and superstition that this thread is already becoming.

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LJB
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Re:Sound Quality of Sonar X1 2012/03/06 06:20:42 (permalink)
Will do, thanks for the info!

Ludwig Bouwer, One Big Room Studios.
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#52
moffdnb
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Re:Sound Quality of Sonar X1 2012/03/06 06:23:15 (permalink)
love 2 see SOS do that. i respect their opinion on everything.

still the bible 4 me
#53
Rain
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Re:Sound Quality of Sonar X1 2012/03/06 06:24:13 (permalink)
My impression is that we didn't really investigate the OPs statement.

Amplitube 2 sounds different to him in Sonar and Reaper. Before we argue about the fine prints, we should get a few things out of the way.

Is this in the context of a mix or just AT by itself?
Is the track bounced or is the plug-in processing live?
Can you take one dry audio track, import it in both Reaper and Sonar, use the same AT preset, and using the exact same settings, volumes and all, panned dead center and compare them?

I'm not saying there is or there isn't a difference - but there's a few thing to examine before we jump to any conclusion.

TCB - Tea, Cats, Books...
#54
bobguitkillerleft
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Re:Sound Quality of Sonar X1 2012/03/06 06:33:29 (permalink)
Hasn't the technology improved significantly since the test[Lynn Fuston?] your'e referring to?[64bit,ability to stack hundreds of plugs?]


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#55
John T
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Re:Sound Quality of Sonar X1 2012/03/06 06:45:39 (permalink)
Ability to stack hundreds of plug ins has no bearing whatsoever on the issue. As for 64 bit, if you're talking about processors, that has no bearing either. If you're talking about signal paths, well, that starts to matter the more complex a mix gets. But it certainly doesn't equate to "colouration" or "mud" or any of that stuff.

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#56
FastBikerBoy
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Re:Sound Quality of Sonar X1 2012/03/06 07:01:14 (permalink)
I think X1's audio engine sounds like a grinding gearbox.....
#57
bobguitkillerleft
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Re:Sound Quality of Sonar X1 2012/03/06 07:04:10 (permalink)
I appreciate the explanation,I am curious about this "Low End Clarity" deal though,and will be awaiting the P.C. preset in anticipation!

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"You are what you is"-Frank Zappa "But I'm gonna wave my freak flag high"-Jimi Hendrix    
#58
mudgel
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Re:Sound Quality of Sonar X1 2012/03/06 07:04:57 (permalink)
Have to say I agree 100% with John T.

- done and dusted.

Audio is a subjective area when we don our individual ears; but when you look at the pure science behind it all the DAWS processing is unfortunately the same no matter which one. I say unfortnately because as much as we want to have our favorite be the best DAW in the world its only in the packaging of the feature set and workflow where the real differences exist. That's the basisi on which we make our DAW choices. That and the very many subjective matters that involved in us making our choice.

Mike V. (MUDGEL)

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#59
Bristol_Jonesey
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Re:Sound Quality of Sonar X1 2012/03/06 07:15:42 (permalink)
Like how much Becan you own

CbB, Platinum, 64 bit throughout
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#60
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