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Old 10-12-2019, 05:43 PM   #1
Diabelli
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Default Rendered audio sounds different (not as good)

Unfortunately, I am unable to find and hear the same sound quality from the rendered file that I hear from the Reaper. I am new to Reaper, but have a lot of experience with PT and Cubase, hence I am sure I did all the rendering settings "by the book". I also tried "Save live output to disk" option, to no avail. Can it be that I am routing something wrongly? I assume that what I hear in Reaper is what comes out from the Master track only, and that it is the sum of all the tracks and ways and means how these are routed and FXed, and it should be identical to the high quality render.

What might be the culprit?
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Old 10-12-2019, 05:46 PM   #2
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Check your Project settings

-render resample mode

Advanced Tab:
-panning law

Another thing can be :

Check if you dont have any effects in the monitoring FX. this would produce the FX only inside reaper playback and they dont get exported .
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Old 10-12-2019, 06:00 PM   #3
Diabelli
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Hi, and thx for the quick response!

I render at the projects rate (48/24), and there is nothing in the FX:Monitoring.
I don't quite understand what you mean by

Advanced Tab:
-panning law


Quote:
Originally Posted by pepe44 View Post
Check your Project settings

-render resample mode

Advanced Tab:
-panning law

Another thing can be :

Check if you dont have any effects in the monitoring FX. this would produce the FX only inside reaper playback and they dont get exported .
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Old 10-13-2019, 01:49 AM   #4
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Are you playing back the rendered tracks in Reaper or in another software??
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Old 10-13-2019, 03:26 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diabelli View Post
Hi, and thx for the quick response!

I render at the projects rate (48/24), and there is nothing in the FX:Monitoring.
I don't quite understand what you mean by

Advanced Tab:
-panning law
others DAWs may have by default a value for the panning law. Pro tools for example is -2.5 dB compensated.
Logic i think it comes with -3.
In the advanced tab of you project settings you can set the panning law. I always use -3 Gain compensation.
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Old 10-13-2019, 10:50 AM   #6
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Hi and thx for explaining, I wasn't aware of that feature. However, I am not sure it would apply, as I hard panned the tracks.

I am looking now again into routing.

However, even if there were some consequences of the panning law or whatever, should the rendered sound not be the same one one hears from Reaper?

A really n00b question: is the sound coming out from Reaper the sound of all the tracks, or just the result coming from the master track?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pepe44 View Post
others DAWs may have by default a value for the panning law. Pro tools for example is -2.5 dB compensated.
Logic i think it comes with -3.
In the advanced tab of you project settings you can set the panning law. I always use -3 Gain compensation.
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Old 10-13-2019, 11:04 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diabelli View Post
... I assume that what I hear in Reaper is what comes out from the Master track only...
Incorrect.

The master track is the default master hardware send bus. However, any track in Reaper can be routed to a hardware output. Tracks are universal and can be used as source tracks, aux (subgroup) tracks, hardware outputs, or all of the above.
The dedicated default master isn't a standard track, but a restricted hardware output bus only.

So...
If you have other tracks sending to your hardware monitor system along with the default master, the render will only be what was routed to the default Reaper master and a subset of what you were monitoring.
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Old 10-13-2019, 11:21 AM   #8
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I mean actually there are a bunch of things that you can render other than just the master, and of course the master doesn’t actually even have to have a hardware send.

Unless you’ve deliberately messed with those things, and assuming you’ve chose “master mix” in the render window, then yes generally what you hear should be what gets rendered.

Except that some interfaces/soundcards have their own software that might change what you hear out of Reaper, and many media players can do various things also. The question was raised above, and was ignored, but is actually the first thing you need to answer before anybody can help. Where and how are you playing back the rendered files?
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Old 10-13-2019, 11:27 AM   #9
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Hi guys, and thx for the input!

I route everything to the tracks I use as buses, but these lead either to the next bus or the master, have always done so, and have had consistent results with other DAWs. Hence, it seems there must be some difference here in the operating routine compared to the others, and your input certainly helps me get to the bottom of it. Thx!
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Old 10-13-2019, 11:30 AM   #10
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What are you using to play back the rendered files?!?
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Old 10-13-2019, 01:49 PM   #11
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Default PLayer

vlc player

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashcat_lt View Post
What are you using to play back the rendered files?!?
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Old 10-14-2019, 04:33 AM   #12
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And how does it sound if played in Reaper??
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Old 10-14-2019, 09:53 AM   #13
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Brighter and with more detail at low dynamics
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stella645 View Post
And how does it sound if played in Reaper??
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Old 10-14-2019, 10:28 AM   #14
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so you are saying the rendered file is "brighter with more detail.." when played in Reaper compared to VLC?
Are you sure you haven't left any FX on when playing back the rendered file in Reaper?
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Old 10-14-2019, 11:22 AM   #15
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Just curious, are you mixing and playing back in Reaper using headphones, then playing the rendered file through your computer speakers?

I have a similar problem, my rendered stuff played back through my computer sound system tends to sound a bit less bright than what I hear through my Reaper monitors.

If you find a solution, please post it as it might be helpful in my case also.

Good Luck.
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Old 10-14-2019, 11:50 AM   #16
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One would hope that someone would notice if they were listening to headphones vs gimmick "computer speakers" vs proper speakers.

VLC player shouldn't be suspect. Works transparently for me in OSX anyway.

Your OS audio control panel has the options to alter audio.
Reaper has monitor fx options.
Reaper has many render options. Leading to it being possible to choose a lower quality render format.

Before any of that even...
Could be simply a level mismatch somewhere. A volume control not at 100% somewhere. And the "brighter and more detail" is actually simply louder.

A common 'not paying attention' scenario already mentioned is having a limiter on your master bus dialed up with a boost for the render. Then forgetting to bypass it and listening to your render run through that boost a 2nd time. That would make it louder and emphasize the lower dynamic content.

Start with all that.
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Old 10-14-2019, 11:56 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toleolu View Post
I have a similar problem, my rendered stuff played back through my computer sound system tends to sound a bit less bright than what I hear through my Reaper monitors.
it sounds like you are saying the file is playing back with different hardware (interface & speakers)? This is going to sound different - the old apples & oranges scenario, the obvious solution being to use just apples or just oranges
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Old 10-14-2019, 12:46 PM   #18
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VLC has an EQ. Make sure that is turned off.
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Old 10-14-2019, 01:43 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diabelli View Post
Brighter and with more detail at low dynamics
I meant the rendered file.
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Old 10-14-2019, 03:51 PM   #20
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Thx for all the input. I shall leave no stone unturned, as I intend to stick with Reaper.

Just to make clear: the rendered files sound less bright (muddier), have less detail, and - interestingly - quite a BIT LOT MORE OF REVERB.
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Old 10-14-2019, 04:12 PM   #21
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Nobody's mentioned clipping. What are your peak levels in the rendered file?


The clipping would have to be pretty bad to make the reverb more noticeable, but that could happen because clipping is a (bad) kind of compression...


REAPER itself won't clip so you can have audio that goes over 0dB and you won't hear any clipping if you're not clipping your DAC by monitoring at "full digital volume". But, when you render to a "regular" (integer) WAV file, you're hard limited to 0dB.


...Some people use a limiter on the master bus (to avoid clipping) and some people render to 32-bit floating-point (which can go over 0dB), then re-open the rendered file and normalize as a separate "mastering" step. And of course, that works both ways... If your rendered levels are low, normalizing will bring them up.
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Old 10-14-2019, 04:13 PM   #22
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Have you brought the rendered file into a clean project in REAPER to check it?

VLC does have EQ, reverb and other effects. Double check that none of them are turned on.
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Old 10-14-2019, 06:50 PM   #23
Diabelli
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Default EQ etc.

I have taken a quick look at the VLC effects (see screenshot 1): everything is off, so this is definitely not a problem.

The other screenshot shows a panel that might potentially have some influence on the sound, although I am not sure - drivers probably don't change much when it comes to already finished file.

BTW, it appears that concern like mine is pretty recurring on this forum.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Judders View Post
Have you brought the rendered file into a clean project in REAPER to check it?

VLC does have EQ, reverb and other effects. Double check that none of them are turned on.
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Old 10-14-2019, 06:55 PM   #24
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I do classical music, so there is no clipping concern, as I always leave a couple of dB headroom. No limiters at all, just a tiny bit of compression (not happy of including it, but the experience shows that a gentle/clean compression is necessary).

Quote:
Originally Posted by DVDdoug View Post
Nobody's mentioned clipping. What are your peak levels in the rendered file?


The clipping would have to be pretty bad to make the reverb more noticeable, but that could happen because clipping is a (bad) kind of compression...


REAPER itself won't clip so you can have audio that goes over 0dB and you won't hear any clipping if you're not clipping your DAC by monitoring at "full digital volume". But, when you render to a "regular" (integer) WAV file, you're hard limited to 0dB.


...Some people use a limiter on the master bus (to avoid clipping) and some people render to 32-bit floating-point (which can go over 0dB), then re-open the rendered file and normalize as a separate "mastering" step. And of course, that works both ways... If your rendered levels are low, normalizing will bring them up.
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Old 10-14-2019, 06:58 PM   #25
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No set of speakers pre amp room seating position etc etc will ever give you the same sound?
Have you before and after examples so people can hear what you hear?
By the by my files sound different on my studio monitors my computer monitors and my lounge stereo.
This is to be expected.
I realize you may have problem but it would be easier to pin point it hearing the contrasting files.

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Old 10-14-2019, 07:32 PM   #26
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Hi, I listened to all the versions on the same speakers (though I do master with headphones). I'd gladly post the files, but I don't think the artist would be happy with it. Also, it would be hard to simulate the Reaper version, as we'd have to have same FX, even if I posted the whole project file.

I'll see tomorrow about importing the rendered file back to Reaper.

Thx all for the input!
Quote:
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No set of speakers pre amp room seating position etc etc will ever give you the same sound?
Have you before and after examples so people can hear what you hear?
By the by my files sound different on my studio monitors my computer monitors and my lounge stereo.
This is to be expected.
I realize you may have problem but it would be easier to pin point it hearing the contrasting files.

Grinder
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Old 10-16-2019, 12:54 PM   #27
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Is maybe here some box I should check?
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Old 10-16-2019, 01:39 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by serr View Post
Your OS audio control panel has the options to alter audio.
Yeah, I'd suspect system's audio "enhancements" (there's a tab in windows audio properties) as well. Or third party crapware, my work laptop has some "DTS" software nonsense which keeps enabling itself and turning audio into phasey mush.
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Old 10-16-2019, 01:42 PM   #29
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So you played back the file from inside Reaper and it still sounded different??
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Old 10-16-2019, 03:09 PM   #30
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Looking at the comment in his post #26, I don't think he ever did.
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Old 10-16-2019, 05:56 PM   #31
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Hi guys and thx for the input. Sorry that I didn't record here every step of troubleshooting, but it was due to multiple places and computers.

I did import back to Reaper and it sounded better than VLC - same technological circumstances.

I am really primarily a Linux guy, then OSX, and then Windows, so I feel pretty lost in the Microsoft world. I looked in the settings, and couldn't find anything. Seems like I can confirm that rendered file is still the same as the project file - but the question is still if Reaper's playback engine is so much better, than what I get from VLC?

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Looking at the comment in his post #26, I don't think he ever did.
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Old 10-16-2019, 10:32 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diabelli View Post
but the question is still if Reaper's playback engine is so much better, than what I get from VLC?
VLC plays pretty much exactly like reaper on my (windows 10) system. Be sure to check there are no effects activated in VLC, there's a lot of stuff in there that can mess up your sound.
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Old 10-17-2019, 01:51 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diabelli View Post
I am really primarily a Linux guy, then OSX, and then Windows, so I feel pretty lost in the Microsoft world. I looked in the settings, and couldn't find anything. Seems like I can confirm that rendered file is still the same as the project file - but the question is still if Reaper's playback engine is so much better, than what I get from VLC?
If all effects and gain are zeroed in both, they are set to the same sample rate and bit depth etc., they should sound the same.
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Old 10-17-2019, 04:47 AM   #34
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Well, that IS the mystery.

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If all effects and gain are zeroed in both, they are set to the same sample rate and bit depth etc., they should sound the same.
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