Ableton: Export Audio sounds muffled HELP!!!

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dubgil2
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Ableton: Export Audio sounds muffled HELP!!!

Post by dubgil2 » Thu May 16, 2013 6:37 am

I'm not an Albeton Power user. I use it mainly as a "tape deck" recording different takes of my Elektron machines as a jam out in my music room. I share my jam session recordings with my friends on soundcloud. Everyone always complains that the kick in my tracks is never strong. My buddy told me it's the acoustics of the room; my monitors are too close to the wall. i know the room plays a big role in my what my ears perceive, however.....the stuff that I'm exporting I have noticed just isn't what I hear while I'm mixing it in the Arrangement view..

Earlier I recorded 2mins of audio. no effects of any sort were placed anywhere in the project.
I played this same 2 mins to my girlfriend who knows NOTHING about music making.
First I played the 2 mins to her from the Ableton Arrangement view
then I played the exact same 2 mins to her from the .wav file that was exported

her immediate reaction "The second one sounds softer, muffled, the bass is lower" the same reaction I get from my producer friends. I am using Ableton 8.3something.

Can anyone offer me input on why this could be? How to resolve this? I thought when you're done arranging in Ableton and you're happy with the mix, then it is time to export. It's terrible.

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Re: Ableton: Export Audio sounds muffled HELP!!!

Post by Mono-xID » Fri May 17, 2013 2:40 pm

Have you "Normalize" enabled when exporting? If so, disable it and everything should be fine. It's deffo not an Ableton problem as i'm a power user and never had any bad experiences with exporting audio.

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Re: Ableton: Export Audio sounds muffled HELP!!!

Post by mehta » Sat May 18, 2013 6:58 am

Mono-xID wrote:Have you "Normalize" enabled when exporting? If so, disable it and everything should be fine. It's deffo not an Ableton problem as i'm a power user and never had any bad experiences with exporting audio.
I'm not so sure. A friend of mine has a problem a bit like this. He wasn't dithering properly, had some bizarre gainstage issues, some overly reductive sound design, etc ... but his live set sounds great right out of Albeton into a decent P.A.

In any case, you should try exporting .wav and also 320kbps .mp3 files to check your mixes and especially any self-finalized stuff.

Blaming digital formatting for your sh!t doesn't make any sense. Sure, the degradation is audible, but it's not like the music is lost once uploaded to Soundcloud or Youtube.

At the same time though, some stuff does really suffer - for example, basic channel should be played from the vinyl on a full range stereo at a reasonably high volume or it hardly makes sense. But if you are making digital music, you are making some kinda weird mistake if it doesn't translate to .wav

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Re: Ableton: Export Audio sounds muffled HELP!!!

Post by steevio » Sat May 18, 2013 11:22 am

it does sound like something isnt right if the difference is that noticeable, however saying that, i never use Ableton as a 'tape deck' because it does degrade the sound to my ears, although its hardly noticeable, i always use Soundforge for recording and have no problems.

why not use other software instead and compare ?
try Soundforge.

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Re: Ableton: Export Audio sounds muffled HELP!!!

Post by NoAffiliation » Sat May 18, 2013 9:31 pm

can you post audio examples?

what settings are you exporting at? you need to dither if you're rendering anything below 32 bit. i always monitor through a plugin on the master which is dithering the signal in real time. I think protools and some other DAW actually have dithering built into the mixer

you also might be getting aliasing artifacts which become more apparent when hard written into an audio file.

open a blank live session at 96khz, drop one of your tracks on and audio channel and create a spectrum analyzer device and see how much spectral content you are generating outside the band limit. this will cause all types of inharmonic artifacts in the lower frequencies and generally make everything sound like sh!t

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Re: Ableton: Export Audio sounds muffled HELP!!!

Post by Mono-xID » Sun May 19, 2013 7:55 pm

NoAffiliation wrote:you need to dither if you're rendering anything below 32 bit.
why should you do that? Please enlighten me. I never dither when exporting minxdowns (24 bit) and it doesn't sound muffled at all. Dithering should be done by your Mastering Engineer.

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Re: Ableton: Export Audio sounds muffled HELP!!!

Post by NoAffiliation » Mon May 20, 2013 10:55 am


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Re: Ableton: Export Audio sounds muffled HELP!!!

Post by Mono-xID » Mon May 20, 2013 1:40 pm

Thanks for the link but that doesn't make sense to me. Also i spoke to a Mastering Engineer who told me that dithering is the last step after mastering. Even the guy in your link says it's just his opinion and not a fact nor it's a must.
I think the OP's problem is more a configuration problem rather than something like dithering.

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