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The FL Studio 'Audio Engine' & DAW wars

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Scott
Site Admin
Dec 19, 2009 (2:43)
Before you post a thread about some 'oddity' you have noticed with the sound of FL studio, or want to make a claim that FL Studio sounds superior/inferior to some other DAW, please read this thread and its links carefully.

Whatever you may have found, or think you have found, there are many settings and options that affect the live and rendered audio from FL Studio (sometimes differently) and the same is true for any other DAW. Please make sure you understand what these settings and options are, and if you venture into loop-talk with such a claim, be prepared to provide example audio files and evidence you have discounted all the items listed below as the cause (this page is linked in here from the FL Studio Manual):





One final reality check, look at the links posted in this Audio Quality / Audio Engine thread. Every platform gets the same question. Is XYZ as good as ABC?

Additional Links

Perception is suggestible...



This fine thread where Paul Findle (equipment designer) answers questions from the world - http://www.gearslutz.com/board/music-computers/542885-paul-frindle-truth-myth.html

This thread discusses the Loudness War - http://forum.image-line.com/viewtopic.php?t=71776

Nice article on 24/192 Music Downloads - http://people.xiph.org/~xiphmont/demo/neil-young.html <-- Thanks to Charles for this one.

Sampling Theory For Digital Audio (why 44.1 kHz is enough and 196 kHz is bad) - http://www.lavryengineering.com/documents/Sampling_Theory.pdf

I also have a nice piece from Paul Findle (designer of SSL desks)... from here . He has a nice insight into 'that sound', read on...

Paul Findle wrote:I never comment on other people's S/W, especially when I have absolutely no idea what's in it. And since I have a reputation of telling it how it is (even if I suffer financially for it), it's unlikely that anyone would seek my opinion in public as part of their marketing campaign.

Luckily, with audio we have the luxury of 'messing about', no planes are going to fall out of the sky and no nuclear missles are going to be erroneously launched because of our marketing driven consumeresque 'popularist tech' - LOL. If it makes you feel happy and you like what you get from this stuff, you can safely use it, remembering that if you feel good it's likely you will produce better results (I could do a whole book in this stuff from studio experience - it's not trivial and it is important. It's what's called artistic freedom - and long may is prosper. Also please remember that the financial situation ensures that we can only afford to make what you people will buy - and what you buy is heavily influenced by how you feel about it and is not soley constrained by what it actually does :-)

But from a technical point of view it's obvious that since processing can add up numbers almost perfectly (better than anything that could make a difference within the known universe), anything else is forcibly worse. If one thinks 'out of the box', ignore the hype and considers this in the cold light of day, it speaks volumes about our industry (and human psychology) that the one single thing digital processing can do better than anything else in the universe is exactly the very thing that you have been persuaded is flawed! It's both comical and sad all at the same time.

The whole argument about 'summing' is completely false from a technical standpoint and the differences people notice when say flying out of the box into an analogue mixer and reconverting back to digital again are caused by the many intrusive effects of the conversions and interfaces.

As for the so called SSL sound - as most of you know, I designed much of this stuff (especially the G series) and I can tell you there's nothing magic about the technologly used - we got the best performance we could from the technology at our disposal. We would have dearly loved to get anywhere near the performance of todays cheap DAWs and decent plug-ins - but it was simply impossible back then, because we were constrained in analogue by the laws of physics.

The sound people got from the SSL was due massively to the features of the console itself - the way the user was encouraged to operate it (by the fixed control surface) - and the fashion of the times. And don't imagine that that some 'magic' exists in the 'errors of the system' either - apart from a bit of noise (unavoidable in large scale analogue systems), the errors were as low as we could make them (obviously) and are absolutely not the cause of it's success. And please do not take it a stage further as some people have done, and think that some ethereal magic happened due to factors we didn't realise - we were not simply fiddling around - and we did know what we were doing :-)


You cannot magically obtain this from trying to analyse it and 'emulate' it - and more to the point, you cannot ensure the financial successes and environments of that era by simply having a 'name' on your screen. The world has changed technically for the better by miles and the fiscal situation of the industry has completely changed - the important thing is to embrace it and use it to the fullest extent - not get hung up on a virtual past :-)

So even though I designed much of the analogue stuff people are worshipping, you won't see an SSL 'emulation' from me - because I would consider this unfair! If you want to use what I would have made back then had it have been technically possible, go to Sonnox and get hold of the Oxford EQ and Dynamics :-)

BTW - that this not a Sonnox marketing plug. I don't work for them and I get nothing from the sales of the stuff I designed when at Sony :-)


The FL Studio Support Team.
Last edited by Scott on Thu Mar 24, 2011 10:02 pm, edited 37 times in total.
What's this knob do? The F1 key is your friend!

JWMMakerofMusic
 
Dec 19, 2009 (3:12)
Thanks for finally posting this Scott. Hopeful...

swede
 
Dec 19, 2009 (3:26)
Also. Anyone who has problems with latency and...

spectroman
 
Dec 19, 2009 (5:15)
Scott wrote:5. Marketing has influenced you - D...

Aura_Qualic
 
Dec 19, 2009 (13:49)
To Scott-sensei
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Last edited by Aura_Qualic on Sun Jun 13, 2010 3:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

funkshovel
 
Dec 20, 2009 (21:21)
Thank you. Im always in a debate with someone a...

JWMMakerofMusic
 
Dec 20, 2009 (22:21)
funkshovel wrote:Thank you. Im always in a deba...

Sewn
 
Dec 21, 2009 (17:30)
I am so sick and tired of people telling me FLs...

MrAlex
 
Dec 21, 2009 (20:29)
Scott wrote:jnfstnet565 wrote:Isn't it 'awesome...

swaroop
 
Dec 22, 2009 (7:51)
This thread looks like an African elephant scra...

aodioiboa
 
Dec 24, 2009 (16:45)
dont tell this to the LO-FI freaks...

kitekrazy
 
Jan 01, 2010 (16:13)
Scott wrote:Before you post a thread about some...

kitekrazy
 
Jan 01, 2010 (16:26)
Scott wrote:Before you post a thread about some...

Dion
 
Jan 01, 2010 (16:55)
kitekrazy wrote:Scott wrote:No 64 bit is not su...

JohannesRudensten
 
Jan 06, 2010 (22:03)
This post has been deleted by the user.
Last edited by JohannesRudensten on Thu Jun 17, 2010 10:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

Labelwhore
 
Jan 06, 2010 (22:07)
there is no such thing as a sound engine, isn't...

gol
 
Jan 06, 2010 (22:12)
The so called "bad" sound engine was ...

JohannesRudensten
 
Jan 06, 2010 (23:44)
This post has been deleted by the user
Last edited by JohannesRudensten on Thu Jun 17, 2010 10:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

Labelwhore
 
Jan 06, 2010 (23:46)
gol wrote:That's because starting at version 8,...

JohannesRudensten
 
Jan 06, 2010 (23:48)
This post has been deleted by the user.
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JohannesRudensten
 
Jan 06, 2010 (23:52)
This post has been deleted by the user.
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Andy Lindsay
 
Jan 12, 2010 (8:35)
JohannesRudensten wrote:Labelwhore wrote:gol wr...

CosmicOrgasm
 
Jan 14, 2010 (20:16)
hey i just remebered something, The thing that...

wetdentist
 
Jan 14, 2010 (22:18)
i don't know who is participating in these surv...

Scott
Site Admin
Jan 15, 2010 (6:05)
wetdentist wrote:i don't know who is participat...
What's this knob do? The F1 key is your friend!

gol
 
Jan 15, 2010 (7:59)
but if you can't notice the difference between ...

chris
 
Jan 15, 2010 (8:25)
gol wrote:but if you can't notice the differenc...

CosmicOrgasm
 
Jan 15, 2010 (14:19)
I was gonna say that too..!!

delinquent
 
Jan 15, 2010 (16:20)
With regard to point 8, was just thinking that ...

datapark
 
Jan 16, 2010 (6:09)
JohannesRudensten wrote:funkshovel wrote:Thank ...

manictiger
 
Jan 22, 2010 (2:34)
This part: "The DAW doesn't suck, you do....

Scott
Site Admin
Jan 22, 2010 (3:17)
manictiger wrote:This part: "The DAW does...
What's this knob do? The F1 key is your friend!

manictiger
 
Jan 22, 2010 (6:26)
Scott wrote:You have to be a bit careful making...

gol
 
Jan 22, 2010 (8:00)
feel free to use inferior encoders that have be...

manictiger
 
Jan 22, 2010 (10:00)
gol wrote:feel free to use inferior encoders th...

Scott
Site Admin
Jan 22, 2010 (10:37)
manictiger wrote:gol wrote:feel free to use inf...
What's this knob do? The F1 key is your friend!

gol
 
Jan 22, 2010 (10:44)
all the best software names are open source or ...

A/V4U
 
Jan 22, 2010 (17:47)
Little late....however just wanna say thanks Sc...

sabiland
 
Jan 25, 2010 (8:42)
A/V4U wrote:Little late....however just wanna s...

AbstractCats
 
Jan 26, 2010 (2:33)
This is very interesting, I love FL and it is t...

pheeleep
 
Jan 26, 2010 (23:08)
"The DAW doesn't suck. You do." LMA...

Labelwhore
 
Jan 27, 2010 (15:50)
projectbluepheonix, there is a piano roll of so...

AbstractCats
 
Jan 27, 2010 (15:55)
Labelwhore wrote:projectbluepheonix, there is a...

Labelwhore
 
Jan 27, 2010 (16:04)
projectbluepheonix wrote:Labelwhore wrote:proje...

vonikk
 
Jan 28, 2010 (5:27)
Fl studio I love you .....you are not complicat...

kbruff
 
Jan 28, 2010 (5:53)
the DAW WARS will never end until Imageline is ...

MrD
 
Jan 28, 2010 (11:20)
This argument will rage on and on as most peopl...

Labelwhore
 
Jan 28, 2010 (16:06)
kbruff wrote:or when Luke and Darth Vader are s...

1up
 
Jan 29, 2010 (0:44)
Let's all work on a compilation for each genre ...

survei
 
Feb 05, 2010 (2:34)
One time, I had way too many kick drum samples ...

Scott
Site Admin
Feb 05, 2010 (5:15)
survei wrote:One time, I had way too many kick ...
What's this knob do? The F1 key is your friend!

kitekrazy
 
Feb 13, 2010 (2:07)
survei wrote: Another thing I've noticed is tha...
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JWMMakerofMusic
 
Feb 13, 2010 (2:31)
Goodness sakes! Just looking at Sonar's interf...

CosmicOrgasm
 
Feb 15, 2010 (17:03)
the Zen masters always said that the simplest t...

SpencerSteel
 
Feb 15, 2010 (22:16)
I had to use Sonar once, as I had some demo son...

Red_5
 
Feb 21, 2010 (11:37)
Cubase? The one that makes you use a dong;e tha...

random coil
 
Feb 21, 2010 (18:54)
last night I met a guy who works as a programme...

luxun
 
Feb 21, 2010 (19:04)
SpencerSteel wrote:I had an interesting chat wi...

Dj K.I.R.
 
Feb 25, 2010 (17:20)
I do not care that others say about ur FL Studi...

Reina Lamour
 
Apr 07, 2010 (11:58)
mm. love.
Last edited by Reina Lamour on Fri Jun 11, 2010 6:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

livehouse
 
May 21, 2010 (2:23)
I must admit i have had wayy way to much time o...

Scott
Site Admin
May 21, 2010 (2:29)
livehouse wrote:I must admit i have had wayy wa...
What's this knob do? The F1 key is your friend!

gol
 
May 21, 2010 (6:11)
But since then i invested the time to try my ex...

livehouse
 
May 21, 2010 (20:33)
gol wrote:But since then i invested the time to...

coady
 
Jun 13, 2010 (22:59)
Great topic, loads of handy facts. First off: I...
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Socrates
 
Jun 23, 2010 (15:46)
Aah, the wars. So many wars over sound. Digital...

fabb
 
Jul 26, 2010 (13:28)
Great help, two days ago I defended FL's "...

Scott
Site Admin
Jul 26, 2010 (13:41)
fabb wrote:A question: is there a reason why th...
What's this knob do? The F1 key is your friend!

Charles Deluxe
 
Jul 29, 2010 (5:13)
Hey Scott, I saw several times in the help file...

Scott
Site Admin
Jul 29, 2010 (5:27)
MrChr wrote:Hey Scott, I saw several times in t...
What's this knob do? The F1 key is your friend!

Dynaudio82
 
Jul 29, 2010 (9:01)
- Scott, what you want to say with "Untr...
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Scott
Site Admin
Jul 29, 2010 (9:11)
temptation07 wrote:-Scott, what you want to say...
Last edited by Scott on Thu Jul 29, 2010 9:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
What's this knob do? The F1 key is your friend!

Dynaudio82
 
Jul 29, 2010 (9:14)
hehe okey dokey, thanks... also i want to ask ...

Charles Deluxe
 
Jul 29, 2010 (13:07)
Scott wrote:MrChr wrote:Hey Scott, I saw severa...

Dynaudio82
 
Aug 03, 2010 (10:32)
- Well, after all the document and after my t...
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fabb
 
Aug 03, 2010 (11:25)
you have to DEactivate dithering in FL as it wi...

Dynaudio82
 
Aug 03, 2010 (11:44)
fabb wrote:you have to DEactivate dithering in ...

Scott
Site Admin
Aug 03, 2010 (12:03)
temptation07 wrote:fabb wrote:you have to DEact...
What's this knob do? The F1 key is your friend!

Dynaudio82
 
Aug 03, 2010 (12:28)
Here i show my first configuration in the first...
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Last edited by Dynaudio82 on Tue Aug 03, 2010 3:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Dynaudio82
 
Aug 03, 2010 (13:06)
- So, its done... and the same result FL wav 2...
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Last edited by Dynaudio82 on Tue Aug 03, 2010 2:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

fabb
 
Aug 03, 2010 (13:30)
are the two 3d graphics really showing the same...

Dynaudio82
 
Aug 03, 2010 (13:49)
fabb wrote:are the two 3d graphics really showi...

fabb
 
Aug 03, 2010 (13:51)
maybe you could compare both exporting 16bit un...

Scott
Site Admin
Aug 03, 2010 (14:49)
temptation07 wrote:fabb wrote:are the two 3d gr...
What's this knob do? The F1 key is your friend!

Dynaudio82
 
Aug 03, 2010 (15:16)
fabb wrote:maybe you could compare both exporti...
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gol
 
Aug 03, 2010 (15:20)
I can´t show the audio track because its per...

fabb
 
Aug 03, 2010 (15:21)
the two exported wavs have a differing length a...

Dynaudio82
 
Aug 03, 2010 (15:35)
Scott wrote:First, what are the render settings...
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fabb
 
Aug 03, 2010 (15:48)
did you use an audio clip in FL?

gol
 
Aug 03, 2010 (15:48)
To start with, one of your 2 wavs has been time...

Dynaudio82
 
Aug 03, 2010 (16:01)
gol wrote:To start with, one of your 2 wavs has...
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gol
 
Aug 03, 2010 (16:02)
I don't know but you can clearly see that your ...

Dynaudio82
 
Aug 03, 2010 (16:34)
gol wrote:I don't know but you can clearly see ...

fabb
 
Aug 03, 2010 (17:10)
the wav from cubase is more stretched (minimal)...

gol
 
Aug 03, 2010 (17:38)
About the timewarp, load one of his wav in edis...

fabb
 
Aug 03, 2010 (17:39)
no, the 3d display is from wavelab.

fabb
 
Aug 03, 2010 (18:03)
gol wrote:About the timewarp, load one of his w...

smilekzs
 
Aug 04, 2010 (5:52)
Man, this is just wrong. A bit of stretch is th...

Dynaudio82
 
Aug 04, 2010 (19:50)
gol wrote: About the timewarp, load one of his ...

fabb
 
Aug 04, 2010 (19:58)
i don't think it's a bug but a feature.

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