Why do Audio Mixdown .wav files sound completely different then Cubase stereo outs?

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Graveley
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Re: Why do Audio Mixdown .wav files sound completely different then Cubase stereo outs?

Post by Graveley »

So simple to test and rule out the "export mixdown" function:
1. Do an "export audio" and tick the import into project "audio track" box. (or bring the exported mixdown in manually.)
2. Create a new stereo output in VST connections, and assign it to the same physical outputs (D/A) as your main mix outputs.
3. Assign the track with your imported "mixdown" file to that new stereo output you created, and flip the phase on this channel.
4. Press play!

If you set up the routing correctly, and the "mixdown file" is identical to the "live playback" you will hear silence.
Note: Some plugins have modulations built into them (like some reverbs and delays and distortions and pitch shifters etc.) which makes them sound different each time, so you will hear "ghosts" of those effects because they will not completely null due to the differences between the modulations that happened during "expert mixdown", and what's happening "live".

Anyway, I can save you the trouble... IT DOES NULL. Something else is wrong. It's not the "export mixdown" function that's changing what you hear.

And on a slightly annoyed note: Come on, if you're talking about something subtle, you can't do tests like listening to an MP3 in a car and say you hear subtle difference in EQ. Of course you do! It's an mp3! And you're in a car! Again, if you really want to narrow it down, you have to compare apples to apples... And be methodical about it. You will figure it out this way, and you'll move on to making great mixes that sound like you think they do!
N10 Windows 7

Fotiself
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Re: Why do Audio Mixdown .wav files sound completely different then Cubase stereo outs?

Post by Fotiself »

Did you find a solution for that?

I have exactly the same problem and it drives me crazy. Exports don't sound the same as the mix. Re-importing in cubase the mixdown still sounds *flower* like the export

Zagnuzer
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Re: Why do Audio Mixdown .wav files sound completely different then Cubase stereo outs?

Post by Zagnuzer »

I notice it too. I saw a site where the guy did a comparison with DAW's (Studio One and Cubase ) He came to the conclusion that Cubase muddied the midrange . In Studio one the Audio engine is different and felt it was more tranpsarent.
https://www.gearslutz.com/board/presonu ... sound.html
This signature is really not worth reading, so if you are reading it, I apologize for not putting more into. But I am sure there are many other fine signatures here on this wonderful site for you to read.

Zagnuzer
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Re: Why do Audio Mixdown .wav files sound completely different then Cubase stereo outs?

Post by Zagnuzer »

I notice it too. I saw a site where the guy did a comparison with DAW's (Studio One and Cubase ) He came to the conclusion that Cubase muddied the midrange . In Studio one the Audio engine is different and felt it was more tranpsarent.
https://www.gearslutz.com/board/presonu ... sound.html
This signature is really not worth reading, so if you are reading it, I apologize for not putting more into. But I am sure there are many other fine signatures here on this wonderful site for you to read.

funkystrings
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Re: Why do Audio Mixdown .wav files sound completely different then Cubase stereo outs?

Post by funkystrings »

Fotiself wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 11:37 am
Did you find a solution for that?

I have exactly the same problem and it drives me crazy. Exports don't sound the same as the mix. Re-importing in cubase the mixdown still sounds *flower* like the export
Yes. I believe I did find the solution. I have since updated to 9.5.50. That may have had something to do with it but after over a year since I first posted this thread, I now believe that practicing better gain staging in my recent mixes has resulted in near-identical audio mixdowns. I was simply overcooking my tracks thinking as long as I just prevented any overs on the meters, that would be enough. Now I'm doing the -6 dB thing religiously on all my tracks. I'm putting a Sonalksis FreeG Mono or Stereo (freeware), as the first plugin on every track to make sure my levels are all hovering at -6 dB by reducing the trim knob on FreeG and then making sure that the output of each and every proceeding plugin in each track is also reading -6 dB so you really gotta un-bypass them one at a time from the first plugin to the last, maintaining a -6 dB at the output of each plugin used in each track "religiously". I think this has helped my current audio mixdowns tremendously because as I said earlier, the Cubase audio engine sounds wonderful but I'm also starting to believe it's also very forgiving, even while monitoring overcooked audio through the Cubase outputs. It really gets revealed after an audio mixdown is played elsewhere, that my mixes simply sucked with the overcooking, but that's because you good people pointed all these things out and overcooking turned out to be my culprit. I'm even doing this on the master bus and the only time I goose the loudness is on a maximizer (like the infamous L2 that started this damn "loudness war" in the first place he he he. I then un-hide the Cubase Right Zone, click Meter on top and Loudness on the bottom, raise my maximizer's threshold until I achieve the required -14 LUFS Integrated, lower the maximizer Out Ceiling to achieve 0 dB True Peak on the Cubase meter for maximum dynamic range on all the internet streaming services. Sounds pretty damn good in my car too and I owe it all to you! Thanks, Cubase Community! Let me know if there's something I could be doing better!

Fotiself
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Re: Why do Audio Mixdown .wav files sound completely different then Cubase stereo outs?

Post by Fotiself »

Hm maybe we are talking about different things. As stated at a post above, when you export your mix down, it should null with your mix (except of course of modulations, some delays or phasing effects) when I export the stereo out, reimporting it at the project, invert the phase, I can still hear the whole mix but at a low volume. That means all this audio is lost when I export. No plug ins whatsoever on the master out and no way to null the export with the mix...BUT when I make a group and I assign all tracks to it, when I export this group IT NULLS PERFECTLY TO MY MIX. This is my workaround for now, but something is wrong when I export the stereo out of Cubase. I have run so many tests on different systems and versions of Cubase always with the same results. I’ll make a video soon and I’d like somebody to try to explain that. Maybe I’m overlooking something

funkystrings
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Re: Why do Audio Mixdown .wav files sound completely different then Cubase stereo outs?

Post by funkystrings »

...OK, so your question was directed to Graveley. I wasn't sure. Hmm, I wonder if my original problem was some kind of nulling thing as you say and maybe I did something by accident to resolve it. I did try flipping the phase on everything to no avail. Although I do remember saving a newer preset in the Control Room preset folder a while back when everything seemed to be sounding good. Weird.

Kstone58
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Re: Why do Audio Mixdown .wav files sound completely different then Cubase stereo outs?

Post by Kstone58 »

I used Cubase 5 for 18 years and never had this issue -- the exported audio always sounded like my mix in Cubase.
I recently switched to Cubase 10 and now the exported audio sounds really lousy. Very depressing issue. I'm going to look at all of the postings to try to figure out a solution. Sounds like remixing at a lower volume will have to be done for starters. If anyone has any wisdom to impart regarding this issue I would be very grateful!

Thank you.

iCoder
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Re: Why do Audio Mixdown .wav files sound completely different then Cubase stereo outs?

Post by iCoder »

I had the same problem with muddy sounding mixdown exports. It didn't NULL with the project when imported as a track. It turned out to be the send on some of the tracks weren't set properly. After correcting that everything was fine with the mixdown. Hopefully that helps someone that is having the same issue.

mengel
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Re: Why do Audio Mixdown .wav files sound completely different then Cubase stereo outs?

Post by mengel »

I have the same problem, but with particular plugin I place on the master channel - waves Loudness maximizer. When i play the song from cubase, sounds great. But when I do audio mixdown, the audio is compressed in a weird way. Even worst result is when I try to export as mp3. In fact exporting mp3 directly, is always bad. Usually, when I export wav, which is ok and then try to export the same mix to mp3, sounds always bad. Just in that case, I can use external converter, when I have good wav. But in case that wav is bad, nothing I can do. I tried to export aiff - the same sh.. Tried realtime export - nothing! So, there is a problem, but it is not happening all the time. Never had a problem, with simple, not too loud mixes.

DarrenGlen
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Re: Why do Audio Mixdown .wav files sound completely different then Cubase stereo outs?

Post by DarrenGlen »

this problem has been around for years.

1:/ turn all of your track faders down by HALF. the output meter should be just moving no more than 1/3...never out of the green. Cubase's mixer summing algorithm is bad. Has been for years. Mix renders sound punchier, bass fuller, top end smoother when the meters are hardly moving.

2:/ Render Mixdown in real time. Tick the box.

Darren

svennilenni
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Re: Why do Audio Mixdown .wav files sound completely different then Cubase stereo outs?

Post by svennilenni »

DarrenGlen wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 8:11 am
this problem has been around for years.

1:/ turn all of your track faders down by HALF. the output meter should be just moving no more than 1/3...never out of the green. Cubase's mixer summing algorithm is bad. Has been for years. Mix renders sound punchier, bass fuller, top end smoother when the meters are hardly moving.

2:/ Render Mixdown in real time. Tick the box.

Darren
That´s simply not true. Plenty of Posts in here already on how this thesesis can be disproved.

DarrenGlen
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Re: Why do Audio Mixdown .wav files sound completely different then Cubase stereo outs?

Post by DarrenGlen »

okay. the problem is not real. Just like coronavirus is not real, right svenn?

svennilenni
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Re: Why do Audio Mixdown .wav files sound completely different then Cubase stereo outs?

Post by svennilenni »

DarrenGlen wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 9:49 am
okay. the problem is not real. Just like coronavirus is not real, right svenn?
Ah, Coronavirus of course… :roll: Obviously there is no real use, discussing with people like you…
I am not saying the problem is not real, but by simply following your steps, I can disprove what you wrote, and so can anyone else who knows what he is doing.
Alone the fact the the meter colours can be adjusted renders your description somewhat pointless. (In my own humble opinion). But of Course you are allowed to hear everything you want to hear.

immanuelobodo
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Re: Why do Audio Mixdown .wav files sound completely different then Cubase stereo outs?

Post by immanuelobodo »

im not a mac user,is it possible that audio card driver used by DAW is different then driver of other regular audio players ? (in pc ASIO for DAW and WDM driver for general audio)
if so maybe some settings and processing is going on on the DAW audio driver ?
i can't think of any other reason except this or a problem ,bug or whatever with cubase and your computer.
cubase in normal work definitely won't cut highs and lows.
hope you sort it out,we need highs and lows badly :)

Jim Deal
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Re: Why do Audio Mixdown .wav files sound completely different then Cubase stereo outs?

Post by Jim Deal »

I'm having the same exact problem with Cubase 10.0.60 running on a Dell with Windows 10. Never experienced anything like this in all the years I have used Cubase. The output file sound is lower level, squashed, high frequencies gone, and the stereo image severely collapsed. It sounds like something you would hear over the phone. I just spent three days on a very complicated project, and now this? Any ideas are appreciated, as Lord knows there is ZERO support on anything from Steinberg.

svennilenni
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Re: Why do Audio Mixdown .wav files sound completely different then Cubase stereo outs?

Post by svennilenni »

Jim Deal wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 7:42 pm
I'm having the same exact problem with Cubase 10.0.60 running on a Dell with Windows 10. Never experienced anything like this in all the years I have used Cubase. The output file sound is lower level, squashed, high frequencies gone, and the stereo image severely collapsed. It sounds like something you would hear over the phone. I just spent three days on a very complicated project, and now this? Any ideas are appreciated, as Lord knows there is ZERO support on anything from Steinberg.
Well, obviously they do not fix your mix at tech support, nor explain the functionality of the program.
Any useful information..? a snippet of the exported file...?

StellarSofa
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Re: Why do Audio Mixdown .wav files sound completely different then Cubase stereo outs?

Post by StellarSofa »

Im so glad this thread is still kinda alive. Like some others, I have the same problems. Im using an older version (6) than most of
the other people, but the problems sounds the same: When I do a mixdown, its always sounds, so empty, no bass, just flat. And everybody can hear the difference. I went through all of the pages, and there were some good tips and things to look at, but still the problem remains.

Im not so techy like others here with this, but I do think there is a problem with audio driver difference between Cubase 6 and other music players. If I do a mixdown and then import it back to the same track, it plays every sound perfect. Otherwise in any other way when exporting, it doesnt.
Please guys, help me (us) out, I included some screenshots( never understood why others didnt?) About what my settings are,
some are in Dutch, but its mostly common things, Ive you have question about that, let me know!
EVIV Cubase Mixdownissue3.png
EVIV Cubase Mixdownissue3
(83.93 KiB) Not downloaded yet
EVIV Cubasemixdownissue4.png
EVIV Cubase Mixdownissue4
(48.85 KiB) Not downloaded yet
EVIV Cubasemixdownissue5.png
EVIV Cubase Mixdownissue5
(49.99 KiB) Not downloaded yet

StellarSofa
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Re: Why do Audio Mixdown .wav files sound completely different then Cubase stereo outs?

Post by StellarSofa »

and two more screencaps:
EVIV Cubase Mixdownissue1.png
EVIV Cubase Mixdownissue1
(138.93 KiB) Not downloaded yet
EVIV Cubase Mixdownissue2.png
EVIV Cubase Mixdownissue2
(137.05 KiB) Not downloaded yet

st10ss
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Re: Why do Audio Mixdown .wav files sound completely different then Cubase stereo outs?

Post by st10ss »

StellarSofa wrote:
Wed Aug 19, 2020 9:05 pm
and two more screencaps:

EVIV Cubase Mixdownissue1.png
why mono downmix?
Steffen
DAW: Nuendo, Cubase, Wavelab
Plugins: Fabfilter, UAD, Eventide, Waves, Voxengo
Desks: A&H dLive (Live Sound), A&H QU16 (Live Sound), Yamaha DM1000(Home Studio)
i5 6400, 16GB RAM, Win10Pro 2004

st10ss
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Re: Why do Audio Mixdown .wav files sound completely different then Cubase stereo outs?

Post by st10ss »

Graveley wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 6:18 pm
So simple to test and rule out the "export mixdown" function:
1. Do an "export audio" and tick the import into project "audio track" box. (or bring the exported mixdown in manually.)
2. Create a new stereo output in VST connections, and assign it to the same physical outputs (D/A) as your main mix outputs.
3. Assign the track with your imported "mixdown" file to that new stereo output you created, and flip the phase on this channel.
4. Press play!

If you set up the routing correctly, and the "mixdown file" is identical to the "live playback" you will hear silence.
Note: Some plugins have modulations built into them (like some reverbs and delays and distortions and pitch shifters etc.) which makes them sound different each time, so you will hear "ghosts" of those effects because they will not completely null due to the differences between the modulations that happened during "expert mixdown", and what's happening "live".

Anyway, I can save you the trouble... IT DOES NULL. Something else is wrong. It's not the "export mixdown" function that's changing what you hear.

And on a slightly annoyed note: Come on, if you're talking about something subtle, you can't do tests like listening to an MP3 in a car and say you hear subtle difference in EQ. Of course you do! It's an mp3! And you're in a car! Again, if you really want to narrow it down, you have to compare apples to apples... And be methodical about it. You will figure it out this way, and you'll move on to making great mixes that sound like you think they do!
to make it clear... again
the problem reported by only a few people should be no problem with the Software in general...
it surely is a problem with individual setups

I don't have this problem and so many others do not have the issue

without screen shots of the control room, export settings dialog or output patching it is nearly impossible to point in any direction
and that's why many "professional" Cubase user don't answer this thread in the last weeks
there could be so so much involved... and there is much room for misconfiguration

sometimes the flexibility/complexity is too bad for a simple setup
Last edited by st10ss on Thu Aug 20, 2020 12:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Steffen
DAW: Nuendo, Cubase, Wavelab
Plugins: Fabfilter, UAD, Eventide, Waves, Voxengo
Desks: A&H dLive (Live Sound), A&H QU16 (Live Sound), Yamaha DM1000(Home Studio)
i5 6400, 16GB RAM, Win10Pro 2004

st10ss
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Re: Why do Audio Mixdown .wav files sound completely different then Cubase stereo outs?

Post by st10ss »

DarrenGlen wrote:
Fri Jul 24, 2020 8:11 am
this problem has been around for years.

1:/ turn all of your track faders down by HALF. the output meter should be just moving no more than 1/3...never out of the green. Cubase's mixer summing algorithm is bad. Has been for years. Mix renders sound punchier, bass fuller, top end smoother when the meters are hardly moving.

2:/ Render Mixdown in real time. Tick the box.

Darren
that is completely b....t
Steffen
DAW: Nuendo, Cubase, Wavelab
Plugins: Fabfilter, UAD, Eventide, Waves, Voxengo
Desks: A&H dLive (Live Sound), A&H QU16 (Live Sound), Yamaha DM1000(Home Studio)
i5 6400, 16GB RAM, Win10Pro 2004

st10ss
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Re: Why do Audio Mixdown .wav files sound completely different then Cubase stereo outs?

Post by st10ss »

mengel wrote:
Sun Jul 19, 2020 2:48 am
I have the same problem, but with particular plugin I place on the master channel - waves Loudness maximizer. When i play the song from cubase, sounds great. But when I do audio mixdown, the audio is compressed in a weird way. Even worst result is when I try to export as mp3. In fact exporting mp3 directly, is always bad. Usually, when I export wav, which is ok and then try to export the same mix to mp3, sounds always bad. Just in that case, I can use external converter, when I have good wav. But in case that wav is bad, nothing I can do. I tried to export aiff - the same sh.. Tried realtime export - nothing! So, there is a problem, but it is not happening all the time. Never had a problem, with simple, not too loud mixes.
that points to... not hearing the maximizer in your monitors during mix down
but the export renders it in...
Steffen
DAW: Nuendo, Cubase, Wavelab
Plugins: Fabfilter, UAD, Eventide, Waves, Voxengo
Desks: A&H dLive (Live Sound), A&H QU16 (Live Sound), Yamaha DM1000(Home Studio)
i5 6400, 16GB RAM, Win10Pro 2004

StellarSofa
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Re: Why do Audio Mixdown .wav files sound completely different then Cubase stereo outs?

Post by StellarSofa »

st10ss wrote:
Thu Aug 20, 2020 11:34 am
StellarSofa wrote:
Wed Aug 19, 2020 9:05 pm
and two more screencaps:

EVIV Cubase Mixdownissue1.png
why mono downmix?
I heard it was better? But it doesnt make any difference ( in this problem) if I do or don't, the issue remains.

StellarSofa
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Re: Why do Audio Mixdown .wav files sound completely different then Cubase stereo outs?

Post by StellarSofa »

st10ss wrote:
Thu Aug 20, 2020 11:43 am
Graveley wrote:
Sat Sep 08, 2018 6:18 pm
So simple to test and rule out the "export mixdown" function:
1. Do an "export audio" and tick the import into project "audio track" box. (or bring the exported mixdown in manually.)
2. Create a new stereo output in VST connections, and assign it to the same physical outputs (D/A) as your main mix outputs.
3. Assign the track with your imported "mixdown" file to that new stereo output you created, and flip the phase on this channel.
4. Press play!

If you set up the routing correctly, and the "mixdown file" is identical to the "live playback" you will hear silence.
Note: Some plugins have modulations built into them (like some reverbs and delays and distortions and pitch shifters etc.) which makes them sound different each time, so you will hear "ghosts" of those effects because they will not completely null due to the differences between the modulations that happened during "expert mixdown", and what's happening "live".

Anyway, I can save you the trouble... IT DOES NULL. Something else is wrong. It's not the "export mixdown" function that's changing what you hear.

And on a slightly annoyed note: Come on, if you're talking about something subtle, you can't do tests like listening to an MP3 in a car and say you hear subtle difference in EQ. Of course you do! It's an mp3! And you're in a car! Again, if you really want to narrow it down, you have to compare apples to apples... And be methodical about it. You will figure it out this way, and you'll move on to making great mixes that sound like you think they do!
to make it clear... again
the problem reported by only a few people should be no problem with the Software in general...
it surely is a problem with individual setups

I don't have this problem and so many others do not have the issue

without screen shots of the control room, export settings dialog or output patching it is nearly impossible to point in any direction
and that's why many "professional" Cubase user don't answer this thread in the last weeks
there could be so so much involved... and there is much room for misconfiguration

sometimes the flexibility/complexity is too bad for a simple setup
Your probably right its a set up thing, but where do I make any changes? Been through all of Windows and Cubase, but my knowledge in this area is still limited. I know this can never be the end result of a mixdown, thats for sure.
And I added screenshot, will add more if anyone needs the info.

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