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Bounce vs. Print to track?


Eric Wikman

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Hi,

Dave Pensado said he always prints his mixes instead of exporting. Has anyone done the 2 files comparison to see what/if any are the differences? I know time based fx might be different each pass anyway, but is there really anything to this for any type of improvement in sound?

Thanks

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Well, I think he was talking about the final mixdown only... and I know he says he's all in the box when working at his home studio.

So the sig-flow would be the same, but he says it sounds different to him. I know the ears are really the only judge here, but I thought I'd get some feedback from others who have tried this comparison. (maybe with that cancellation test of two files?)

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I use both methods. Bouncing "Off line" as well as returning the mix back to a track and record (though still staying in the digital domain). There is a difference. For example I have found that peaks seem to be handled better in a bounce than with the "return" to the computer. Also, the Logic arpeggiator will not work in a bounce situation. And every now and then, that last run through as it's bouncing reveals an issue I might have lost... plus, you can stop this "mix down" half way through and continue mixing from there.. handy if it's a long piece, then merge the files..very easy as they are "in place" in the sequence.
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Also, the Logic arpeggiator will not work in a bounce situation.

We were discussing real time bounce. It seems like you're talking about offline bounce. The arpeggiator works normally in real time bounce. In any case there shouldn't be any difference in sound: in once case Logic is drawing a region onto your track, in the other case it does not draw anything on your screen. In both cases it calculates the zeroes and ones that make up your mix and places those into an audio file. Whether or not Logic draws something on your screen for you to SEE doesn't change which zeroes and ones go into the audio file: in both cases, they're the same.

 

If you hear differences, they most likely come from somewhere else, for example the use of non linear effects (modulations, reverbs) or sound sources (most synths). In that case you could bounce the same project twice in a row using the same bounce method, and your results will be different, as they are every time you press play in Logic.

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Any unsynchronized LFO's or random/non-linear effects will cause a difference. Difference is the word here, not better or worse.

 

However, there can be an objective quality difference between a realtime and offline bounce with certain instruments. In the preference setting of the instrument you can set an option for higher quality during offline rendering. The realtime version uses less CPU intensive and lower quality processing.

 

A few plug-ins seem to misbehave with offline bouncing though. Auto-Tune EVO can sometimes do this during offline, but never realtime bouncing. No idea why, so I'll call it a bug. I also bounce in realtime or double check an offline bounce with Auto-Tune.

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