Why do I always feel like I'm loosing sound quality?

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beeboyely
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Why do I always feel like I'm loosing sound quality?

Post by beeboyely » Sat May 11, 2013 6:27 pm

I've been recently getting into continuously bouncing all my bass into audio quite early In the production process and sometimes I get the feeling the later bounces haven't retained as much quality. I know distorting the sound throughout the process takes this away but I was wondering if there are other things I should keep in mind, such as adjusting the gain, stereo effects, etc. I'm pretty consistent with keeping the peaks around -10 db and have quality synths for my original sources

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SunkLo
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Re: Why do I always feel like I'm loosing sound quality?

Post by SunkLo » Sat May 11, 2013 6:53 pm

Are you bouncing to 128 kbps mp3 or something?

Are you bouncing to -10dB every time and then turning it back up to 0dB?


Resampling is waaaay overrated imo. An artifact from the days of shit computers. There are several advantages it gives you but I think a lot of people just do it to do it.
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Eat Bass
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Re: Why do I always feel like I'm loosing sound quality?

Post by Eat Bass » Sat May 11, 2013 6:56 pm

yeah i personally dont resample unless the situation absolutely calls for it. its a pain in the ass and a lot of times i end up going back to modulate the source differently to add variation.

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Re: Why do I always feel like I'm loosing sound quality?

Post by Benji » Sun May 12, 2013 1:10 am

SunkLo wrote:Are you bouncing to 128 kbps mp3 or something?

Are you bouncing to -10dB every time and then turning it back up to 0dB?


Resampling is waaaay overrated imo. An artifact from the days of shit computers. There are several advantages it gives you but I think a lot of people just do it to do it.
Out of curiousity, is it best to bounce at 0bB or what?

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SunkLo
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Re: Why do I always feel like I'm loosing sound quality?

Post by SunkLo » Sun May 12, 2013 1:26 am

Well if you're gonna be bringing it right back in again, then yeah I'd probably bounce to -0.1dB. Might as well use all the dynamic range of whatever bit depth you're working at. Several passes of additive effects like distortion, modulation, doubling, etc. will bury your original source sound so it's probably best to keep it as hot as you can. Plus it's just a good watermark for gain staging since you're not gonna go past 0dB, so if you're reimporting the same sample it'll stay the same level as the source.

Degradation is less of an issue with 24 bit vs 16 bit. Turn the oversampling option on on your plugins if they've got em. Especially if you intend to do multiple passes through the processing chain.

IMO the less processing, the better. I suspect OP might just be mangling his samples in the spirit of "more is better" and wondering why it sounds like shit. You have to be pretty precise to keep audio clean while going through tons of processing.
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Re: Why do I always feel like I'm loosing sound quality?

Post by Simulant » Mon May 13, 2013 7:43 am

SunkLo wrote:Resampling is waaaay overrated imo. An artifact from the days of shit computers.
I think a lot of professional artists would disagree with you. Resampling opens up lots of ways to process audio that you can't do in real time. It's certainly not overrated. You can do things like automate a few plugins, resample then change the pitch and the automation will go faster or slower. Or you can bounce and reverse after adding something like reverb, just as an example. There's tons of things you can do with resampling, don't knock it until you've tried it.

OP - each time you process a sound, just listen to what it's doing and decide if the change makes it sound better or not. It just comes down to practice and training your ears. There's no point in adding fx if you don't know what it's doing or don't hear much of a difference. There's tons of ways to resample, you can use a sampler or you can do it in your daw. To keep the audio clean you could just have a dry unprocessed duplicate channel and adjust the volume to mix back in the dry signal.

Be really spot on with your automation and watch what plugins you use. Ones with oversampling can cause issues with timing in some daws, so again just listen to each plugin you add and make sure the change is positive.
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Re: Why do I always feel like I'm loosing sound quality?

Post by sburton84 » Mon May 13, 2013 12:43 pm

Benji wrote:
SunkLo wrote:Are you bouncing to 128 kbps mp3 or something?

Are you bouncing to -10dB every time and then turning it back up to 0dB?


Resampling is waaaay overrated imo. An artifact from the days of shit computers. There are several advantages it gives you but I think a lot of people just do it to do it.
Out of curiousity, is it best to bounce at 0bB or what?
If you're bouncing at 24bit (or 32-bit floating point) then -10dB shouldn't be a problem, but if you're bouncing in 16-bit you'll want to stay close to 0dB. You'll probably want to stick to 24-bit or better for intermediate bounces and only ever dither down to 16-bit for your final mixdown.

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Re: Why do I always feel like I'm loosing sound quality?

Post by kejk » Mon May 13, 2013 4:15 pm

Simulant wrote:
SunkLo wrote:Resampling is waaaay overrated imo. An artifact from the days of shit computers.
I think a lot of professional artists would disagree with you. Resampling opens up lots of ways to process audio that you can't do in real time. It's certainly not overrated. You can do things like automate a few plugins, resample then change the pitch and the automation will go faster or slower. Or you can bounce and reverse after adding something like reverb, just as an example. There's tons of things you can do with resampling, don't knock it until you've tried it.
First of all, I'm positive SunkLo has tried resampling.

Secondly, if you really think about it, there aren't that many options resampling opens up (compared to how much control you lose). Basically you can reverse, pitch shift and time stretch - that's it.
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Re: Why do I always feel like I'm loosing sound quality?

Post by Mad_EP » Mon May 13, 2013 4:23 pm

kejk wrote: Secondly, if you really think about it, there aren't that many options resampling opens up (compared to how much control you lose). Basically you can reverse, pitch shift and time stretch - that's it.
I mainly agree (I rarely resample), but you can also chop it up and re-arrange/shuffle which is why most people I know, who do resample, use it for.
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Re: Why do I always feel like I'm loosing sound quality?

Post by YeahItsMe » Mon May 13, 2013 4:25 pm

I agree with SunkLo. Resampling everything is overrated. Bouncing to audio is not.
If you resample a sound 5 times, then yeath it will lose a lot of its original qualities, but if that's what you're going for then do it. If you want a cleaner version, use no more than 40% wet. You can tetain many qualities by using a low/dry wet.

But doing reaampling and adding effects just to do it and match up to others is stupid. Make your music. Play your music. Dance to your music. If you can't do that then chill out... it's 4:20 somewhere

Ps: I bounce almost all of my midi to 24 bit. I use effects on that and might bounce once after those effects, but that's as far as I usually go
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Re: Why do I always feel like I'm loosing sound quality?

Post by kejk » Mon May 13, 2013 4:43 pm

Mad EP wrote:
kejk wrote: Secondly, if you really think about it, there aren't that many options resampling opens up (compared to how much control you lose). Basically you can reverse, pitch shift and time stretch - that's it.
I mainly agree (I rarely resample), but you can also chop it up and re-arrange/shuffle which is why most people I know, who do resample, use it for.
Completely true.
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Re: Why do I always feel like I'm loosing sound quality?

Post by SunkLo » Mon May 13, 2013 5:10 pm

Yeah I did agree that there are some uses for it:
SunkLo wrote:There are several advantages it gives you but I think a lot of people just do it to do it.
But something like add distortion > eq > comb filter > resample > repeat, really has no use. New producers get tricked by tutorial videos into thinking resampling is how you get filthy bass or something and the concept has spread like a virus.

Using it for a legitimate reason that actually requires audio is great of course. The other day I took a keyboard section, shrank the midi down to 1/8th of its length, bounced to audio, and used Paulstretch to stretch it back out 8x. Made a nice atmosphere to tuck behind the keyboard part.
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Re: Why do I always feel like I'm loosing sound quality?

Post by VirtualMark » Thu May 16, 2013 1:10 pm

kejk wrote:Secondly, if you really think about it, there aren't that many options resampling opens up (compared to how much control you lose). Basically you can reverse, pitch shift and time stretch - that's it.
It opens up options, therefore it's a useful tool. Like all tools we use. I've seen threads that say not to over compress, that say not to use too much EQ, honestly threads arguing against pretty much every technique we have at our disposal. The whole lot could be summed up as:

Listen, does it make an improvement? Does it sound good? Then use it. Don't use it just for the sake of it.


Which to me is kinda stating the obvious for most tools. But then it's also good to experiment just for fun, or to see what happens. What happens if you pitch the sound down an octave, apply an effect, bounce, then pitch it back up? What happens if you apply an effect, bounce then reverse it? Etc.

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Re: Why do I always feel like I'm loosing sound quality?

Post by Benji » Thu May 16, 2013 1:20 pm

SunkLo wrote:Well if you're gonna be bringing it right back in again, then yeah I'd probably bounce to -0.1dB. Might as well use all the dynamic range of whatever bit depth you're working at. Several passes of additive effects like distortion, modulation, doubling, etc. will bury your original source sound so it's probably best to keep it as hot as you can. Plus it's just a good watermark for gain staging since you're not gonna go past 0dB, so if you're reimporting the same sample it'll stay the same level as the source.

Degradation is less of an issue with 24 bit vs 16 bit. Turn the oversampling option on on your plugins if they've got em. Especially if you intend to do multiple passes through the processing chain.

IMO the less processing, the better. I suspect OP might just be mangling his samples in the spirit of "more is better" and wondering why it sounds like shit. You have to be pretty precise to keep audio clean while going through tons of processing.

Cheers for that, useful stuff

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Re: Why do I always feel like I'm loosing sound quality?

Post by skimpi » Thu May 16, 2013 9:59 pm

I wouldnt say I 'resample' im not making dubstep here LOL

but I really like the sampled sound, so I will often make a chord or something, and then bounce it out to then sample it again, or yeah it is good sometimes if the resonance really make a note dirty at one frequency, so you then bounce that and resample so you can have all the notes be dirty as fvck
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Re: Why do I always feel like I'm loosing sound quality?

Post by press » Thu May 16, 2013 10:05 pm

skimpi wrote:I wouldnt say I 'resample' im not making dubstep here LOL

but I really like the sampled sound, so I will often make a chord or something, and then bounce it out to then sample it again, or yeah it is good sometimes if the resonance really make a note dirty at one frequency, so you then bounce that and resample so you can have all the notes be dirty as fvck

yes this is one reason I have resampled myself, sometimes I cant get a synth to not modulate over time maybe it is a velocity thing or some matrix/step sequencer thing I just cant get right, and maybe a couple notes over time sound slightly different than the rest and I just want them all to be the same.

also reversing is a big thing with me, cant do that in midi.

also I will do it if I keep tweaking my patch and Its not really ever getting much better, bouncing just makes me commit. for better or worse lol.
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Re: Why do I always feel like I'm loosing sound quality?

Post by OfficialDAPT » Fri May 17, 2013 2:11 am

You can thank Datsik for the "resampling" disease
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Re: Why do I always feel like I'm loosing sound quality?

Post by Static D0gma » Sat May 18, 2013 4:37 pm

Sometimes I have to bounce down things to make sure shit doesn't start lagging. My laptop has a shitty processor (1.8ghz) I always bounce one shot effects and my layered drums.

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