sound quality

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User offline. Last seen 2 years 18 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 2012-09-24

Hi everyone.

Something that's been baffling me for a while now is the actual sound quality in ardour.
As a test I recently imported exactly the same audio tracks into ardour and qtractor ( both running with the same jack setup ), all settings ( levels, panning etc exactly the same & no plugins). Qtractor playback sounds fine, just like what I heard while recording, Ardour sounds flat and lacking dymanics. Applying plugins in Qtractor sounds fine, in Ardour they sound less good ( presumably because with no plugins it sounds flat ). Recording in Audacity gives similar results to Qtractor.

Also with exactly the same setup in both programs ( jack latency @ 2.3ms ), I get latency issues with Ardour and not with Qtractor.( makes my guitar playing sound like a dog at times) I noticed in the new beta that there are latency compensation options for plugins, does this mean I have to tweak each track?

I would prefer to use Ardour, it's intuitive, well thought out ad offers additional features, but the main purpose is to produce the highest quality output. Currently Qtractor delivers what I expect and Ardour not.

I running ubuntu studio(rt) and get similar results from UbS stock 2.8.11 Ardour_64bit-2.8.14_13065 & Ardour_64bit-3.0beta5_13072, although the latency seems better in 2.8.14.

If anyone could shed some light on why this is and/or some advise on how to improve the sound quality I'd be grateful.

DonF's picture
User offline. Last seen 8 hours 31 min ago. Offline
Joined: 2006-09-12

Qtractor playback sounds fine, just like what I heard while recording, Ardour sounds flat and lacking dymanics.

I imported a track into Qtractor and Ardour. I "flipped the phase" on the Ardour track, synced the two programs, routed both sets of outputs to the system outputs, and pressed Play in Qtractor. As I expected, there was ZERO output. They cancelled perfectly.

I'm not sure how to explain the difference you heard, but I'm pretty sure it's not due to any defect in Ardour.


joegiampaoli's picture
User offline. Last seen 5 weeks 8 hours ago. Offline
Joined: 2008-02-27


It's possible that maybe you had different output gains when doing comparisons, probably had gain higher in qtractor? Remember that speakers, monitors and headphones sound better with higher volumes because some frequencies boost up, mostly lower frequencies, also our ears respond better to certain ranges of sound pressure, that's why you should calibrate everything not higher than 85db (but not necessarily work at these levels) but to a steady and equal pressure, it all depends on your room + acoustic treatment and monitors, and do these tests with same levels.