Cubase Audio Engine vs Logic. Cubase wins!

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Re: Cubase Audio Engine vs Logic. Cubase wins!

Post by Cube100 »

MattiasNYC wrote:I'll just have to say then that if you're truly measuring the "audio engine" then I just don't believe you. Two DAWs just exporting the same file with zero processing should sound exactly the same unless something is wrong. The only technical difference would possibly be dithering, and even if that is a difference it'll be inaudible because it'll exist below the noise floor of whatever room you're listening in.

But you really have to eliminate things that aren't part of the audio engine. You wrote: "the exact same MIDI and VSTs". So, you didn't use anything on the master, but you used midi connected to VSTi? How do you know that what you're hearing is the difference of the "audio engine" and not the "midi engine" or the VSTi themselves?
That's a possibility for sure. There was a difference in the 'raw' tracks, but I'm open to the idea of a lurking factor in settings. I just wish I knew what it could be.
It definitely felt related to the summation of all the audio. In Cubase, the highs and lows felt more upfront. In Logic, they were muddier.
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Re: Cubase Audio Engine vs Logic. Cubase wins!

Post by matjones »

The other, and very often most powerful, variable that needs to be taken into account is Cognitive/Confirmation Bias.... Unless a listening test is conducted double blind then the results are essentially meaningless.

If someone could post a set of files exported from both DAWs under exactlythe same conditions with no identifying factors in each file then the listener's own bias can be eliminated too.
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Re: Cubase Audio Engine vs Logic. Cubase wins!

Post by MattiasNYC »

Cube100 wrote:It definitely felt related to the summation of all the audio. In Cubase, the highs and lows felt more upfront. In Logic, they were muddier.
It's been probably over a decade since there was a big test on exactly summation, comparing DAWs of different makes and models as well as expensive analog and digital mixing consoles. The conclusions were in a nutshell;

- people can't tell the difference between DAWs
- the technical difference that exists is so low it can't be perceived
- people still thought they heard a difference

So, if you're saying that Cubase and Logic sums signals differently then you're just wrong. They don't. 2+2 always = 4. Logic doesn't do that differently. Ever.

And again: The way to figure out if that's the case is NOT to add things like effects and VSTi, you just import files, pan them hard left or hard right, then sum those signals together in each DAW, and then you compare the resulting files. Unless you're changing the level at some point you won't be able to tell the difference. Ever.
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Re: Cubase Audio Engine vs Logic. Cubase wins!

Post by MattiasNYC »

matjones wrote:The other, and very often most powerful, variable that needs to be taken into account is Cognitive/Confirmation Bias.... Unless a listening test is conducted double blind then the results are essentially meaningless.
I agree. I once tested my real Neve 33609 stereo compressor with Universal Audio's UAD-2 emulation of it. I recorded a drum kit and sent the drums through a bus with either the real thing or the software. I set both up so that they got similar amount of compression for the same input level.

Then I took the analog and digital versions, "A" and "D" and strung them out on a timeline in Pro Tools. But I did so in a 'random' order. So it was something like; ADAADADDDADDA.

I then had several people listen to that 8 or 12 bar loop (I forget how long it was) and write down what was what and how they felt about it. I said nothing about the order, and the name in the region wasn't obvious. Nobody consistently even separated A from B, let alone identified which was analog and which was digital.

That's what happens when people truly not only don't know if they're listening to A or B, but also don't know if it's the same from what they just heard.

As far as bias goes I trust my ears as far as I can throw them (not far). I trust double-blind or ABX testing though.
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Re: Cubase Audio Engine vs Logic. Cubase wins!

Post by Wolfie2112 »

Actually, I'm glad I found this post because I also suspected Cubase had better overall quality....although I may be blowing smoke up my own ass.

I have sent rendered orchestral tracks (MIDI, no actual recorded audio tracks) to an editor, and there were very minute artifacts in the Logic stems; not in the Cubase stems. I did not apply any dithering, but I also did not change the sampling rates or bit depth (both sequenced and rendered at 24/48).

I have no rational reason to believe Cubase is superior to Logic Pro i this regard, but if further tests can prove this than I know I am not going crazy. And if it's indeed true, then it's time to stick to Cubase 100%.

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Re: Cubase Audio Engine vs Logic. Cubase wins!

Post by Stephen57 »

MattiasNYC wrote:
matjones wrote:The other, and very often most powerful, variable that needs to be taken into account is Cognitive/Confirmation Bias.... Unless a listening test is conducted double blind then the results are essentially meaningless.
I agree. I once tested my real Neve 33609 stereo compressor with Universal Audio's UAD-2 emulation of it. I recorded a drum kit and sent the drums through a bus with either the real thing or the software. I set both up so that they got similar amount of compression for the same input level.

Then I took the analog and digital versions, "A" and "D" and strung them out on a timeline in Pro Tools. But I did so in a 'random' order. So it was something like; ADAADADDDADDA.

I then had several people listen to that 8 or 12 bar loop (I forget how long it was) and write down what was what and how they felt about it. I said nothing about the order, and the name in the region wasn't obvious. Nobody consistently even separated A from B, let alone identified which was analog and which was digital.

That's what happens when people truly not only don't know if they're listening to A or B, but also don't know if it's the same from what they just heard.

As far as bias goes I trust my ears as far as I can throw them (not far). I trust double-blind or ABX testing though.
Excellent testing set-up. It reminded me of one of the AES videos from several years ago, there's discussion of a false comparison where a large, wall type switch with a nice positive click was labeled A-B claiming to switching between some "high-end analogue system" and some "high-end digital system." Both were playing back from, if I recall, a good, but standard CD player of the time over some normal professional-grade headphones. I'd have to go back to get the exact details, perhaps you know the clip I'm referring to? So, with both sides being fed the same source, some listeners reported hearing much more "warmth and whatever" from the "high-end analogue." Others, just looked at the demonstrator and said, "nice try."

Separating what we want to hear, or even think we should be hearing, from what is actually there is the critical thing, and is why good testing such as you described is important for solid, reliable, repeatable engineering. As discussed before, someone should release a calibration and testing package for all the DAWs. Ideally, the package would also do some DAW computer system analysis and perhaps suggest or implement actual system optimization. Take care for now.
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Re: Cubase Audio Engine vs Logic. Cubase wins!

Post by TNM »

I always find topics like this hilarious.. Cubase is a superior program to Logic for sure, but if you want to get technical, Logic now has 64 bit float mixing engine.

regardless, when it was 32 bit, i nulled it to cubase to infinity.. at -170 db on span there was nothing. Zero.

You have to understand, a phase null proves there is no difference..

Even the best ears can hear a "difference" at various points of the day. Even a slight change in pan could cause it.. just a setting that you think is dead on the same as cubase's and vice versa but isn't.

Ultimately what sounds better, is which program facilitates *your* workflow to allow *you* to get the best result possible. It's entirely believable that someone could get a better sounding mix in cubase over logic and vice versa. But there is nothing "faulty" about logic's audio engine maths.

I tested ableton vs cubase vs logic vs pro tools native and they all nulled completely. I did a very scientific and simple test. I put 4 audio files in each, on 4 audio tracks. Did not touch pans and left volumes at zero. No plugins. Exported. Put the four exported results, one from each daw, in a new project and did phase cancellation tests. All were identical, and i mean identical. This is maths.. we are dealing with digital audio, not analog. It is ALL NUMBERS. If a phase cancellation test cancels it out to infinity, there is no difference to hear as it's simply not there.

The reason i don't like these topics is because it misleads people especially newcomers.. trust me, the workflow is what enables one to get a better result vs one daw over the other, AND of course, the subtle change in our ears even within a few seconds of direct comparison testing. I have been doing this for 26 years now, and the other day i was hearing the differences between the plugin on and off, i was hearing a volume difference every single time i pressed bypass, But what i hadn't realised was that the plugin was disabled the entire time with it's internal bypass.. it was not activated and doing absolutely zero! This happens to *everyone* and is normal. Hope this helps explain it somewhat.
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Re: Cubase Audio Engine vs Logic. Cubase wins!

Post by matjones »

I can't help feeling sometimes that very often some people can get sucked down the rabbit hole rather than just getting on with making music, perhaps it's some kind of subconscious avoidance mechanism at work..... i can think of one or two people i know in RL that definitely seem to do just that.
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Re: Cubase Audio Engine vs Logic. Cubase wins!

Post by Stephen57 »

TNM wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 2:25 pm
I always find topics like this hilarious.. Cubase is a superior program to Logic for sure, but if you want to get technical, Logic now has 64 bit float mixing engine.

[...]

I tested ableton vs cubase vs logic vs pro tools native and they all nulled completely. I did a very scientific and simple test. I put 4 audio files in each, on 4 audio tracks. Did not touch pans and left volumes at zero. No plugins. Exported. Put the four exported results, one from each daw, in a new project and did phase cancellation tests. All were identical, and i mean identical. This is maths.. we are dealing with digital audio, not analog. It is ALL NUMBERS. If a phase cancellation test cancels it out to infinity, there is no difference to hear as it's simply not there.

The reason i don't like these topics is because it misleads people especially newcomers.. trust me, the workflow is what enables one to get a better result vs one daw over the other, AND of course, the subtle change in our ears even within a few seconds of direct comparison testing. I have been doing this for 26 years now, and the other day i was hearing the differences between the plugin on and off, i was hearing a volume difference every single time i pressed bypass, But what i hadn't realised was that the plugin was disabled the entire time with it's internal bypass.. it was not activated and doing absolutely zero! This happens to *everyone* and is normal. Hope this helps explain it somewhat.
Welcome to the forums. That test would make for an excellent youtube video or an article. I'm very glad to you did it and got the results you did. Thanks for posting about it.

Maybe the next big plug-in will be named PlaceBO and everyone will be "raving" about it. :mrgreen:

These forums have helped me avoid many pitfalls and I've collected tons of useful information from the people posting here. Posts and threads like this thread and your post, do help newer users; and, what's more, are just interesting to read.
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Re: Cubase Audio Engine vs Logic. Cubase wins!

Post by MattiasNYC »

Stephen57 wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:28 pm
That test would make for an excellent youtube video or an article.
I think you'll find that a lot of us who read up on this years ago just make the single odd comment and then move on, because it's already been tested.... years ago.... with documentation etc. Not to be a downer, I do appreciate people taking the time to test this for themselves, it's just that it's been done and discussed a million times already.
Stephen57 wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:28 pm
Maybe the next big plug-in will be named PlaceBO and everyone will be "raving" about it. :mrgreen:
Yep, but make the name an anagram so people don't dismiss it!

"Paleo-BC", for "clean, natural processing"..... your turn......
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Re: Cubase Audio Engine vs Logic. Cubase wins!

Post by TNM »

Stephen57 wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:28 pm
TNM wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 2:25 pm
I always find topics like this hilarious.. Cubase is a superior program to Logic for sure, but if you want to get technical, Logic now has 64 bit float mixing engine.

[...]

I tested ableton vs cubase vs logic vs pro tools native and they all nulled completely. I did a very scientific and simple test. I put 4 audio files in each, on 4 audio tracks. Did not touch pans and left volumes at zero. No plugins. Exported. Put the four exported results, one from each daw, in a new project and did phase cancellation tests. All were identical, and i mean identical. This is maths.. we are dealing with digital audio, not analog. It is ALL NUMBERS. If a phase cancellation test cancels it out to infinity, there is no difference to hear as it's simply not there.

The reason i don't like these topics is because it misleads people especially newcomers.. trust me, the workflow is what enables one to get a better result vs one daw over the other, AND of course, the subtle change in our ears even within a few seconds of direct comparison testing. I have been doing this for 26 years now, and the other day i was hearing the differences between the plugin on and off, i was hearing a volume difference every single time i pressed bypass, But what i hadn't realised was that the plugin was disabled the entire time with it's internal bypass.. it was not activated and doing absolutely zero! This happens to *everyone* and is normal. Hope this helps explain it somewhat.
Welcome to the forums. That test would make for an excellent youtube video or an article. I'm very glad to you did it and got the results you did. Thanks for posting about it.

Maybe the next big plug-in will be named PlaceBO and everyone will be "raving" about it. :mrgreen:

These forums have helped me avoid many pitfalls and I've collected tons of useful information from the people posting here. Posts and threads like this thread and your post, do help newer users; and, what's more, are just interesting to read.
thanks for the welcome.. you really made me laugh with the placebo plugin LOL! Cheers

ps been here a while, at gearslutz much more active under same name, these days i tend to only really post when i have a problem, i am busy making music 99% of the day, every day!
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Re: Cubase Audio Engine vs Logic. Cubase wins!

Post by TNM »

matjones wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 2:38 pm
I can't help feeling sometimes that very often some people can get sucked down the rabbit hole rather than just getting on with making music, perhaps it's some kind of subconscious avoidance mechanism at work..... i can think of one or two people i know in RL that definitely seem to do just that.
spot on! wish we could up vote posts here..
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Re: Cubase Audio Engine vs Logic. Cubase wins!

Post by TNM »

MattiasNYC wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 8:59 pm
Stephen57 wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:28 pm
That test would make for an excellent youtube video or an article.
I think you'll find that a lot of us who read up on this years ago just make the single odd comment and then move on, because it's already been tested.... years ago.... with documentation etc. Not to be a downer, I do appreciate people taking the time to test this for themselves, it's just that it's been done and discussed a million times already.
Stephen57 wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:28 pm
Maybe the next big plug-in will be named PlaceBO and everyone will be "raving" about it. :mrgreen:
Yep, but make the name an anagram so people don't dismiss it!

"Paleo-BC", for "clean, natural processing"..... your turn......
I had to know once and for all which is why I did my own test.. i did a much simpler test in that i just tested that the audio that went in was the same that went out.. and it was, in all of them.

I doubt i'd bother doing it again but if people really want it, I will do it and prove it when i have some time :)

Even little things like time stretch perhaps being enabled in default in one daw and it wasn't in the other, can change results.. this is why a very simple careful test is the way..
For example, people argued for years that live sounded bad.. but live enables stretch on everything by default. Not only that, until recently it's automation was completely out of time due to a faulty plug in delay compensation engine.. this has been rectified somewhat, but all little mixing and timing errors could trick the ear into thinking it sounded bad.

The real kicker for me was what happened the other day when i was bypassing and activating an actually internally bypassed plugin, and i was hearing a volume difference LOL. This is why i say, the slightest change, the way the head is tilted even say one inch differently compared to the time one is testing a different daw.. means our ears respond differently.
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Re: Cubase Audio Engine vs Logic. Cubase wins!

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Re: Cubase Audio Engine vs Logic. Cubase wins!

Post by MattiasNYC »

It's very disappointing that Steinberg is representing 64-bit processing the way it does. If it has stated clearly and technically accurately what the benefits were I'd have thought it might have been a good idea (assuming they were technically correct), but the video to me looks like a bunch of garbage. Exactly the type of language we could do without.

I am looking forward to being able to at some point A/B compare mixes in 32-bit float with 64-bit float, doing a null test, and see just to what degree there's a difference attributable to the actual summing engine. I'm guessing it'll be in the LSB or two, and not audible, and thus a pointless exercise in spending development money (as opposed to fixing Nuendo v7/8 for example).
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Re: Cubase Audio Engine vs Logic. Cubase wins!

Post by Split »

MattiasNYC wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 2:55 pm
It's very disappointing that Steinberg is representing 64-bit processing the way it does. If it has stated clearly and technically accurately what the benefits were I'd have thought it might have been a good idea (assuming they were technically correct), but the video to me looks like a bunch of garbage. Exactly the type of language we could do without.
Not from a marketing point of view, pulling in new users that may think such things matter is important to the growth of the company.
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Re: Cubase Audio Engine vs Logic. Cubase wins!

Post by MattiasNYC »

I'd say that level of user also puts a larger strain on support. On the other hand, doesn't seem like there's much support at Steinberg to begin with, so maybe that's a non-issue.

Either way I really dislike the marketing in the last couple of videos I've seen.
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Re: Cubase Audio Engine vs Logic. Cubase wins!

Post by Romantique Tp »

The main point of this is that there were quite a few not very bright people refusing to try Cubase because their DAW had 64 bit summing and Cubase didn't. Now that it has 64 bit summing, automation curves and a ton of inserts there's really no excuse to avoid Cubase other than the dongle.

BTW there have been reports that the 64 bit engine actually performs better than the old 32 bit one. It might be worth it to give it a try.
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Re: Cubase Audio Engine vs Logic. Cubase wins!

Post by Jarno »

Romantique Tp wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 7:01 pm
BTW there have been reports that the 64 bit engine actually performs better than the old 32 bit one.
Could you please clarify? Which reports? In which way it performs better?

If "better performance" is lower distortion figures, it doesn't matter because figures of 32-bit engine were non-issue already. If "better performance" is lower CPU usage for a given task I might get interested.
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Re: Cubase Audio Engine vs Logic. Cubase wins!

Post by MattiasNYC »

Romantique Tp wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 7:01 pm
BTW there have been reports that the 64 bit engine actually performs better than the old 32 bit one. It might be worth it to give it a try.
"better" is an "iffy" word. "Better" can simply be "more efficient", i.e. something users never ever notice except for lower CPU usage of whatever. But what Steinberg claimed in the video is something I'd dispute.
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Re: Cubase Audio Engine vs Logic. Cubase wins!

Post by Romantique Tp »

Jarno wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:23 pm
Romantique Tp wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 7:01 pm
BTW there have been reports that the 64 bit engine actually performs better than the old 32 bit one.
Could you please clarify? Which reports? In which way it performs better?

If "better performance" is lower distortion figures, it doesn't matter because figures of 32-bit engine were non-issue already. If "better performance" is lower CPU usage for a given task I might get interested.
Yes, I mean better CPU performance.
Here's a quick test someone did:
viewtopic.php?f=250&t=126461
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Re: Cubase Audio Engine vs Logic. Cubase wins!

Post by Jarno »

Romantique Tp wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:29 pm
Yes, I mean better CPU performance.
Thanks for clarification!
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Re: Cubase Audio Engine vs Logic. Cubase wins!

Post by HughMcManners »

Hello - my first post here having returned to PC world from 13 years of Mac, and transitioning across from Logic X.
I'm puzzled about Cubase 9.5 having a 32bit audio engine, but a 64bit mixing engine. I've built my new PC with huge RAM, so am keen to utilise it. (Logic X puzzled me too, in quoting file and IO resolution of 24bit, with a 64bit summing engine.)
Sorry if this is a dumb question...

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Re: Cubase Audio Engine vs Logic. Cubase wins!

Post by Romantique Tp »

The 64 bit mixing engine they mention is a new 64 bit audio engine. Change the "Processing Precision" to switch to it:
https://steinberg.help/cubase_pro_artis ... tem_r.html
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Re: Cubase Audio Engine vs Logic. Cubase wins!

Post by SantiagoValencia »

I have had Cubase since 9.5 and am now in 10.5.
Today I did an experiment and bought Logic Pro X version 10.5. In Logic I loaded HZ Piano from Spitfire Audio and started playing. I immediately noticed that the sound wasn’t as clear or pronounced, kinda muted. I thought that I had done something wrong and checked my settings In Logic. Played again and still sounded muted.
So I loaded Cubase at the same time with HZ Piano. Same exact settings, same levels, no plug ins other than the Piano patch through Kontakt 6. To my surprise there was a major difference! Cubase sounded clear, lush and powerful. But in Logic this $400 piano sounded like a $50 Piano.
Can there really be that much of a difference between DAWs?! Has anyone else experienced this??
All the best,
Santiago Valencia

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