Sound Quality of Sonar X1

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frankandfree
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Re:Sound Quality of Sonar X1 2012/03/06 07:16:16 (permalink)
Oh my, I can literally see the guy at SOS reading the e-mail requests banging his head on the table going "Noooes! Not. a. gain!" .


Even with Amplitube taken into account, all settings equal the plugin has no  other chance than to calculate according to it's algorhithms. Same bits in, same bits out - bar the random processing built into the plugin of course which would be the same difference when you play through twice in the same DAW and not result in one DAW muddy, the other not.
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strikinglyhandsome1
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Re:Sound Quality of Sonar X1 2012/03/06 07:16:54 (permalink)
Does this mean all DAWs handle plug-ins exactly the same way?
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Scott Lee
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Re:Sound Quality of Sonar X1 2012/03/06 07:22:58 (permalink)
Hi all,

My theory about this topic? Straight digital audio from sonar is no different then any other daw. Their I said it! Null til you heart is content or your HDs fill up.

Now a few of my personal concerns. The VST / sonar bridge? Possibly. Vsts were never native to sonar, DXi was the standard. VST support was purchased and added late in the plugin game. I suspect this is one reason why we don't see true VST3 support yet. While it has been integrated and streamlined into sonar x1, its not native code ron or noel wrote.. I cannot say how much has changed I have no idea of the inner workings but then again cakewalk use to talk a bit more freely about bugs and programming years ago.

Other possiblies? We can agree straight digital audio is well, null perfect. How it mixed, bussed, routed, phased, is another factor all together.. Pan laws? There was a bug a few years back that the singals on -3 were doubling. After the usual cakewalk forum "fun" debate, it turned out to be true which Ron corrected. Bugs can and do exist even ones from years back..

News flash! Noel is the chief programmer, the número uno. Note: also a fine jazz guy.  Pro audio was pre sonar by twelve tones ( ah the days ) late 90s and was coded by Ron Kuper. Sonar boasted a new engine with Acid type audio control, but really was an overhauled pro audio. How much code was changed? That's a question for Ron k, as we don't know what's under the hood. What we do know is we are still building off a quite an older audio engine, one revamped  and reworked for many years.. Old code bad? Not saying that. Could x break backwards compatibility? Every daw on the market has gap less elastic audio, some better then others. Why not Sonar? 

The cakewalk team has some fine programmers. In no way am I'm knocking anyone. I suspect, it's a huge market risk to rewrite the engine esepecially when folks say "the color is great!" :-) just always and still bothers me about the mud around 70-200 hz.. 

Not trying to win over the hearts for my campaign here. I truly want sonar to improve its weaker points, risk or otherwise. Don't take my word for it, dig a bit deeper in these forums and you'll find some very old interesting reads..

Best,



post edited by Scott Lee - 2012/03/06 09:27:39

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John T
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Re:Sound Quality of Sonar X1 2012/03/06 07:38:38 (permalink)
I'm not sure I understand your point. Are you speculating that the VST implementation somehow boosts between 70 and 200hz?

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Scott Lee
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Re:Sound Quality of Sonar X1 2012/03/06 07:47:33 (permalink)
John T


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.

We are speaking of software that has been revamped, coded and hot fixed over Justin beibers lifespan.


Bugs have every bearing and revisions should be thoroughly tested. 


Let's test this theory John. I have no idea how you compose with sonar, nor do you have a single clue how I write. Do we write the same music? Is our approach coincide with one another? Who is to say, I won't stumble on a bug writing music, routing, busing, sidechaining the way I do? You see, you've open the can of worms. There is no definitive answer to "it's a 100% perfect.  Move along" 


We test and come to the forums. Some of our "problems" can be self inflicted, some bugs can only be exposed by our techniques using the software. We are all speculating John even you. We don't have the code in front of us. What we do have is allot of years people posting a common issue


I'd love to see SOS tackle this.




post edited by Scott Lee - 2012/03/06 08:16:37

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John T
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Re:Sound Quality of Sonar X1 2012/03/06 07:49:38 (permalink)
I don't see what any of that has to do with the claim that there's a specific colouration within a given frequency range.

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Re:Sound Quality of Sonar X1 2012/03/06 07:51:01 (permalink)
Scott, to amend my previous post, and to ad to your post, my PT vs X1 test was with no FX, and minimum panning. PT was 3db softer than X1 - just to be clear.

I think that unless all DAWs are actually running the same code in the back, there are going to be differences that become more apparent, the more processing is used inside the particular song file. I haven't tested it, but it seems pretty obvious to me that for instance one guy's soft-clip algorithm won't be the same as another's, never mind the eq etc. That's why they guard their code so adamantly. 

Otherwise, why would one brand of 1176 clone compressor plugin sound so different to another? It's all "just" compression, right? :O)



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John T
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Re:Sound Quality of Sonar X1 2012/03/06 08:00:15 (permalink)
That's all well and good in theory, but like I say, this *has* been rigorously tested, and continues to be so. And the conclusion in practise is quite the opposite.

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John T
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Re:Sound Quality of Sonar X1 2012/03/06 08:02:12 (permalink)
Tons and tons of data, discussion and sample files here, stretching back for years: http://www.3daudioinc.com...ome-DAW-SUM-Comparison

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Scott Lee
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Re:Sound Quality of Sonar X1 2012/03/06 08:12:41 (permalink)
John T


Tons and tons of data, discussion and sample files here, stretching back for years: http://www.3daudioinc.com...ome-DAW-SUM-Comparison

John I'm impressed.. You are the one person in the world that not only owns every piece of daw code, but can actively speak in its behalf.


Speculation my friend. No one is denying null vs null tests will spawn that perfect match. How the engine colors, routes, treats the audio during post can ****in things up. Again the paths we choose to discovery our creatively can also subject us to unknown software bug discoveries.

That 8 year old bug? I was loading up the matrix in my default profile triggering a drum loop. Apparently by doing so, it would step on and shut down the core audio engine and grey it out.i bet your website didn't mention that 




Though like I said, this topic has been heavily discussed here and the previous twelve tone / cakewalk forums. Hidden treasures.. 



I apologize in advance, auto correct on the iPad can spit out some funny words late at night..

Null was commonly corrected to note node and a few other words. Bare with my typos / unseen auto correct mistakes..im sure we both made a few.  It's lately on the west coast
post edited by Scott Lee - 2012/03/06 09:29:47

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Noel Borthwick [Cakewalk]
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Re:Sound Quality of Sonar X1 2012/03/06 08:12:54 (permalink)
>>My theory about this topic? Straight digital audio from sonar is no different then any other daw

So lets get the facts straight and separate them from the conjecture. I don't doubt that you hear something different but speculating about something being broken solely based on your past experiences with Cakewalk won't help anyone find the reason for the differences you are hearing.
 
Your experience shows that the signal path through a VST is somehow colored simply by running inside SONAR, right? There are a myriad of factors involved that need to be isolated here before anyone can conclude that this is caused by a bug. 
The easiest way to check this theory out is again by doing a NULL test. Use any simple VST that doesn't color the sound in any way such as an eq. Now set the eq settings to flat (or bypass it from the VST itself) and bounce the audio. You should get exactly the same audio that was sent to the VST. If this is true that means that SONAR is not changing the audio in the VST signal path.
Using plugins like amplitube in a test like this is tricky since amp sims do all kinds of stuff that might color the sound differently based on very subtle parameter changes.


If you have a repro project for this strip it down to one track and one plugin and post it. Also save the identical setup in the other DAW that sounds better to you. Then others can independently try and assert whether this is different. We take signal flow issues very seriously and a lot of these things have been tested to death so before we jump to conclusions we need some hard test cases rather than conjecture.



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John T
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Re:Sound Quality of Sonar X1 2012/03/06 08:20:07 (permalink)
Scott Lee
That 8 year old bug? I was loading up the matrix in my default profile triggering a drum loop. Apparently by doing so, it would step on and shut down the core audio engine and grey it out.i bet your website didn't mention that 


I'm sure it doesn't, given that this has absolutely no relevance to the topic it discusses (or that we're discussing here).


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javahut
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Re:Sound Quality of Sonar X1 2012/03/06 08:26:22 (permalink)
Scott Lee


John T


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.

We are speak of software that has been revamped, coded and hot fixed over Justin beibers lifespan.


Bugs have every bearing and revisions should be thoroughly tested. 


Let's test this theory John. I have no idea how you compose with sonar, nor do you have a single clue how I write. Do we write the same music? Is our approach coincide with one another? Who is to say, I won't stumble on a bug writing music, routing, busing, sidechaining the way I do? You see, you've open the can of worms. There is no definitive answer to "it's a 100% perfect.  Move along" 


We test and come to the forums. Some of our "problems" can be self inflicted, some bugs can only be exposed by our techniques using the software. We are all speculating John even you. We don't have the code in front of us. What we do have is allot of years people posting a common issue


I'd love to see SOS tackle this.
If you're really so interested in getting to the bottom of this "problem", as you say, then throw up a quick mix you did in whatever other DAW you think sounds "right" on the bottom end. Then throw up a quick mix in Sonar X1 where you can't get the bottom end right, and let's hear the difference. If there's a big difference, someone here should be able to hear it. And if there is... then let someone else use Sonar to mix the same track and see if they can get the bottom end "right".


Otherwise... you're just speculating, giving opinions, and are not helping in any way to solve the "problem". You're asking someone else to find something "wrong" in the exact same way as you find it "wrong", and then asking them to find out the cause of it. How can anyone find a solution to a problem, when no one knows what the problem you're talking about is in the first place. "I hear a problem in the low end, I don't know what it is, I can't/won't show it to you, but believe me... it's there, someone find it and fix it" ain't gonna cut it.


If you can't/won't do this, then you've made your point. Restating it over and over without any proof of anything doesn't help anything.


And I don't recall anyone ever making a huge deal about Sonar "just not sounding right" compared to other DAWs... especially anything related specifically to the low end. So far I know about 2 or maybe 3 of you in this thread. A lot more than that seem to think it sounds fine... and a lot of those people are using it to make electronic music.






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Scott Lee
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Re:Sound Quality of Sonar X1 2012/03/06 08:51:37 (permalink)
Noel, glad you jumped in.

I don't doubt your expertise or how serious signal flow issues are taken. I'm happy we can share this discussion. 

What I was referring to is how RgcAudio's vstplugin Code was injected into Sonar.. I don't recall if you were on board or Ron at the time, but I do know vst support was an after thought of DXi nor the code was originally cakewalks. I will not say or pretend I know the code, I don't. What i do know is I'm getting center channel low end mud or color as some around these parts call it over sonars lifespan/multiple pro rigs. My colleagues have also repeatly spoke of it over the years. Could we be audio stacking via routing or some anomity such as the -3 paw law stacking? I don't know, I hear it, tried to fix it with little resolve. Bussing perhaps?

This just isn't happening with the other daws, audio cards, pro rigs we used tested on back to back. I know conjecture is at play here, but this topic has been a staple on the sonar forums for quite sometime now. People have been voicing concern, not to doubt your stance on the matter, but possibly uncover an unnoticed anomity..  

I write all genres of music. Some sound great in Sonar Noel. Dance music sub kicks, baselines and or low end leads pickup sweep up some extra color unknown to us which creates concern.

I haven't yet tried X1d yet. I'm not aware of too many core audio engine changes but I'll be sure to let you know any findings. 

Thanks for chiming in..

Best,
post edited by Scott Lee - 2012/03/06 13:37:00

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Re:Sound Quality of Sonar X1 2012/03/06 08:57:06 (permalink)
John T


Scott Lee
That 8 year old bug? I was loading up the matrix in my default profile triggering a drum loop. Apparently by doing so, it would step on and shut down the core audio engine and grey it out.i bet your website didn't mention that 


I'm sure it doesn't, given that this has absolutely no relevance to the topic it discusses (or that we're discussing here).

As does in conclusive random websites. I can't predict code, either can you. Neither one of us can make the claim 100% bugproof. My point was all bugs aren't found in a timely manner nor a modern machine cannot factor in problems.  That's all.

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John T
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Re:Sound Quality of Sonar X1 2012/03/06 08:58:43 (permalink)
Nobody has claimed anything is 100% bug-proof. Indeed, that didn't seem to me to be what we were talking about.

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John T
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Re:Sound Quality of Sonar X1 2012/03/06 08:59:14 (permalink)
I don't understand this sentence: "As does in conclusive random websites."

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Re:Sound Quality of Sonar X1 2012/03/06 09:08:35 (permalink)
John and java,

Again this isn't my thread. I am supporting another engineers claims and many other posts about this topic is all. This is also my gripe with sonar x1c / previous versions. 

How you want to deal with knowing this is up to you.. What you think of me nor my ideas is non of my concern. I am simply reporting on a commonly addressed concern and agree it should be studied and looked into.


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javahut
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Re:Sound Quality of Sonar X1 2012/03/06 09:10:40 (permalink)
Scott Lee

What i do know is I'm getting center channel low end mud or color...

I know conjecture is at play here, but this topic has been a staple on the sonar forums for quite sometime now. People have been voicing concern...
Dance music sub kicks, baselines and or low end leads pickup sweep up some extra color unknown to us which creates concern
So give us an example of this "extra color".

And show me the posts that have been "a staple on the sonar forums for quite some time"... besides you and the OP.

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John T
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Re:Sound Quality of Sonar X1 2012/03/06 09:20:25 (permalink)
Not opposed to anything being investigated. If there's a problem, then it's in everyone's interest that it get solved, of course. But as Noel as has directly asked for, Java has also suggested, and I am now adding my voice to the chorus, this has to start with some kind of example to work from. Myself, I have not encountered the issue you describe.

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Re:Sound Quality of Sonar X1 2012/03/06 09:22:07 (permalink)
+1 javahut.  Specific examples would help support Scott's points.  I appreciate Noel's comments also.  Scott?

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Re:Sound Quality of Sonar X1 2012/03/06 09:24:06 (permalink)
For those hearing a difference, are you comparing mixed down audio (Saw several references to Null tests) or are you comparing playback while working on a project?

Maybe record the output of each DAW while doing a playback (Before it gets to the DA conversion) and Null test those.

There may be a difference in how the code handles many audio functions during playback vs mixdown.



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Re:Sound Quality of Sonar X1 2012/03/06 09:31:02 (permalink)
Ok...here's my take...

I was a die hard Cubase user for years...loved the program...but could never really get "the sound"...

I made the switch to Pro Tools...which I found to be far too "transparent"....sounded VERY digital to ME...regardless of what you did to it....

With the advent of Sonar X1 I made the switch again....and am QUITE pleased...
What some may consider MUD...I consider to be a clean slate with some "analog" sound quality...which I LOVE!!!

Pro Tools STILL sits in the 32 bit domain....and I don't see a 64 bit version coming any time soon...and I just don't like
the "digital" quality of the sound produced by it...

Sonar X1, to MY ears, sounds more like an analog console, which is what people are playing HIGH dollars to get...
Granted, no "IN THE BOX" program has YET to reach the "Pro Console" status...but I think Sonar X1 has come the closest...to MY EARS....


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John T
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Re:Sound Quality of Sonar X1 2012/03/06 09:35:01 (permalink)
Has anyone noticed that if you see a penny and pick it up, all day long you have good luck? Many of my colleagues have noticed this too.

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Re:Sound Quality of Sonar X1 2012/03/06 09:35:25 (permalink)
It's nice to see so much love on this topic :)
 
First, the reason I like Sonar is that I'm proficient with it and like the workflow...and I've spent quite a bit of money over the years keeping things upgraded to the latest.  I've liked the sound of projects I've put together, but always thought that Amplitube, with my current setup, sounded muddy, where the audio just seemed a bit muffled...right, wrong or indifferent.  So, recently, I decided to purchase a Reaper license and loaded a free version of Ableton Live Lite 8 (that came with a piece of gear I purchased). 
 
When I started to play with these 2 other DAWS, loading instances of Amplitube 2 into both, I was like, WOW, this sounds nothing like it does in SONAR.  This is not some make believe story.  Since I started the post, I went back and loaded, again, Amplitube into all 3 programs, and I'm telling you, there is a substantial difference in lthe quality of the sound coming from REAPER and Live when compared to Sonar Expanded X!c. 
 
The environment that I'm using, in all 3 systems is:
Startup DAW
Select Mono L Input on E-MU 1616m
Set Gain level on audio interface and leave the same for each DAW
Faders in each daw (Master and Track) are at default value of 0db
Plug in Stratocaster, leave volume, tone, etc the same for each test
Live Monitoring of Plugin selected
Listening on Shure SRH-440 studio headphones
Load Aplitube 2 X-Gear
Pull up the same Patches (Ambience & Ambiance Crunch)
Play guitar
 
I'm telling you, the difference, when going through the routine with each DAW, was clear as a bell.  I wouldn't be wasting my time if it weren't extremely noticeable.  So, what exactly is the difference that my ears are hearing?  First of all, the sound level does seem to be lower, call it muffled.  The clarity, or how pritine the sound is, was immediately noticeable; not by a little, but by a lot.  Frankly, I was shocked at the noticable difference.
 
Now, people say, "just use whatever sounds better to you.  If you're not happy with Sonar, so be it".   Well that's great, except I've put a lot of time learning the program and getting comfortable with its functioinality.  So, I'm not here to complain about Sonar, rather, I'm here to find out if others are having the same issue, with the same setup, or similar setup (perhaps another one of the E-MU audio interfaces). 
 
To digress a bit, a few years ago, I loaded a free version of Cubase LE to try it out, and the same thing happened, but I ignored it because I didn't want to be bothered going through the A/B...and I was too busy with other things going on in my life to really care.  But this time, I had a bit more free time to screw around with the other programs.
 
So, my subjective opinion is that there is certainly a difference in the clarity of audio when using Amplitube 2, within different DAWS, using my system.
 
I have a s Focusrite Sapphire Pro 14 that I'm going to use for a comparison, to see if the results are the same.  Like I've stated, perhaps we (I) am dealing with an issue regarding how sonar,  E-MU, and Amplitube work "together". 
 
Is it a make or break issue?  Perhaps.  I now now that if I want to use Amplitube, I will get superior sound when using another DAW.  In Sonar, I can EQ and adjust levels and get the audio to sound similar to what is coming through in the others, but why go through the hassle?  And it still doesn't sound quite as good.
 
Until I do another comparison, with the Sapphire interface, I'll sit back to see if anyone else has had the same experience.
 
I'm a fanboi of nothing, so I'm completely neutral.  I want to use whatever gives me the best results, but I'm holding out hope that I can resolve the issue or find out why this is occuring.  Sonar was my first DAW and I have a soft spot (and some cash invested) for Sonar.
 
Thanks everyone!
 

Tools: Sonar Producer X1c // PC Dual Core Intel/Giga/Windows XP 32 bit // E-MU 1616M // M-Audio BX5a studio monitors // M-Audio Axiom 61 // Korg
PadKontrol // Amplitube 2 // Dimension Pro // Rapture //  V-Station // FM8 // Battery // EZ Drummer // Carvin Bolt // Fender Stratocaster // Tradition Jerry Reid Pro Tele // Alvarez 5056 // Vox AC4TV // Roland BC-60/310 // Blackstar HT-60 Soloist
#85
javahut
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Re:Sound Quality of Sonar X1 2012/03/06 09:45:54 (permalink)
brozobob
When I started to play with these 2 other DAWS, loading instances of Amplitube 2 into both, I was like, WOW, this sounds nothing like it does in SONAR.  This is not some make believe story.  Since I started the post, I went back and loaded, again, Amplitube into all 3 programs, and I'm telling you, there is a substantial difference in lthe quality of the sound coming from REAPER and Live when compared to Sonar Expanded X!c.  
SO LET'S HEAR SOME EXAMPLES!!!!! Someone just post one single thing that shows this huge difference. It apparently should be easy to hear.
 



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#86
John T
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Re:Sound Quality of Sonar X1 2012/03/06 09:49:14 (permalink)
What do you know, javahut? YOU WEREN'T THERE MAN. I WAS THERE, WHEN IT WENT DOWN.

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#87
javahut
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Re:Sound Quality of Sonar X1 2012/03/06 09:53:27 (permalink)
John T


Has anyone noticed that if you see a penny and pick it up, all day long you have good luck? Many of my colleagues have noticed this too.

GIVE ME AN EXAMPLE!!!!   

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#88
Bristol_Jonesey
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Re:Sound Quality of Sonar X1 2012/03/06 09:54:13 (permalink)
javahut


brozobob
When I started to play with these 2 other DAWS, loading instances of Amplitube 2 into both, I was like, WOW, this sounds nothing like it does in SONAR.  This is not some make believe story.  Since I started the post, I went back and loaded, again, Amplitube into all 3 programs, and I'm telling you, there is a substantial difference in lthe quality of the sound coming from REAPER and Live when compared to Sonar Expanded X!c.  
SO LET'S HEAR SOME EXAMPLES!!!!! Someone just post one single thing that shows this huge difference. It apparently should be easy to hear.
 

^^^ This.

Without some evidence to backup these claims, this thread is nothing more than a pissing contest.



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#89
moffdnb
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Re:Sound Quality of Sonar X1 2012/03/06 09:55:10 (permalink)
Yes post it!   I need to hear this.  Words won't do it justice....
#90
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