why does iTunes suck?

general questions, comments and ideas about recording, audio, music, etc.
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JohnDavisNYC
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Re: why does iTunes suck?

Post by JohnDavisNYC » Mon Apr 19, 2004 5:58 pm

Evan Wrote:

"As limited as my understanding of programming is, I'm pretty sure there's not a "better" or "worse" way to read a file -- it simply takes the data, looks at it in the way appropriate to reading the type of data it is (spreadsheet, text, audio, etc.), and then outputs it. Software reading a file is not the same as an A/D converter translating an audio signal. "



while in theory, that is correct, in practice, that isn't always the case... why does every software mix buss sound different? it isn't just a matter of reading a file, it's passing the file through a number of processes (remember, their are volume controls for both itunes and core audio) and THEN passing it on to the D/A converters.

I'm frankly quite shocked that noone else has noticed a lack of clarity and depth between a DAW and itunes.

maybe it's also important what type of computer it's playing on... but i doubt it.

aaron (monkey boy) can probably fill you in on the specs if he is so inclined.

again, just because people keep missing this, we are talking about identical 16bit aiff files, level matched (between the two programs... itunes actually is hotter than '0' and registers overs (4 consecutive clipped samples) in the monitor window) in the RME monitor app VU/peak meters.

scary.

john[/quote]
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Re: why does iTunes suck?

Post by evan » Mon Apr 19, 2004 6:06 pm

toaster3000 wrote:while in theory, that is correct, in practice, that isn't always the case... why does every software mix buss sound different?
With a mix bus you're doing more than just reading audio -- you're summing it, too. You're talking about a mix bus with multiple tracks, right?
toaster3000 wrote:it isn't just a matter of reading a file, it's passing the file through a number of processes (remember, their are volume controls for both itunes and core audio) and THEN passing it on to the D/A converters.
If you're A/B'ing iTunes and another program, I'm assuming you're turning off all audio processing in iTunes. And I'm assuming iTunes can operate without any audio processing -- which it should. If it can't, however unlikely that may be, then my argument's farce.

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Re: why does iTunes suck?

Post by chris harris » Mon Apr 19, 2004 7:21 pm

toaster3000 wrote: why does every software mix buss sound different?
they don't.

check out the dawsum sampler cd from 3d audio..
http://www.3daudioinc.com/

another digital audio myth debunked!

how many software mix busses have you compared?? and, how were the tests conducted?

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Re: why does iTunes suck?

Post by Electricide » Mon Apr 19, 2004 7:27 pm

anyone have that cd that wants to post it? :P

damn extortionists :evil:

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Re: why does iTunes suck?

Post by maz » Mon Apr 19, 2004 7:58 pm

I have a friend who swears he can hear a difference in a copy of a pro tools session. same file format. just copy it to another drive and it sounds different.

i promise it's not me. i think he's full of crap! (my friend, not the guys who are saying itunes sucks!)

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Re: why does iTunes suck?

Post by JohnDavisNYC » Mon Apr 19, 2004 9:33 pm

i think that's all bollocks that all busses sound the same... there is a difference... it may not be huge, or incredibly specific qualities to each, but i strongly believe that Logic, PT, and Live(all of which i have used on a regular basis) sound rather different... or maybe a more accurate way to describe that would be that they lead me down different paths... mixes i hear done in Logic sound quite different than mixes done in PT to me... maybe it's not entirely the buss, but rarely am i suprised when i find out what platform it was mixed on.

my 'scientific test' of mix busses was conducted by hating the way some stuff sounds and liking the way other stuff sounds... often the same audiofiles imported into another program. Logic sounds very natural to me. PT (when mixing in the box... i think it's a terrific tape machine) sounds like plastic. my judgements of how a buss sounds comes down to how easily i can get sounds out of it that i like.

maybe this is rather self centered in terms of my criteria, but at the end of the day, if it sounds different to me, i believe it.

evan, i don't think it's possible to disable every bit of audio processing in itunes, because it seems there is always some sort of volume change going on... it's higher than unity when the volume controls are at their '0' setting, so there must be some sort of invisible processing going on that you can't control. i reccomend that you check it out if you have a mac... it's pretty crazy.

also, i'm suprised that no-one has suggested an alternative music listening app for mac. is there a complete itunes monopoly?

cheers,
john
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Re: why does iTunes suck?

Post by chris harris » Mon Apr 19, 2004 10:09 pm

I THOUGHT that I could hear a difference too!

but, if you're hearing a difference, it's not coming from the mix buss.

you can take a mix, done on PT and one done on Logic, with no fx processing, line them up on two tracks, and invert the phase of one... the result............... SILENCE!!

if there was a difference, here this is where you'd hear it.

there are other factors in these programs that affect the sound... but, the summing is not one of these factors.

just another music forum spawned myth of digital audio.

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Re: why does iTunes suck?

Post by chris harris » Mon Apr 19, 2004 10:13 pm

and, I've now tried the listening test with Cubase SX2 and iTunes on a g4 Powerbook and a windows pc.

I still hear no difference.

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Re: why does iTunes suck?

Post by JohnDavisNYC » Mon Apr 19, 2004 10:18 pm

i'm curious, is the mix you're talking about with all the faders at unity? ok, maybe what i'm talking about is more the intrinsic sound of the app and how it deals with plug ins and stuff... i dunno...

anyway, this discussion is NOT about mix busses, however, and unless there is just some wierd anomoly in our apartment, logic and itunes, without a doubt, sound different.

i'm gonna go cook some tasty noodles.

boobs.

john
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Re: why does iTunes suck?

Post by JohnDavisNYC » Mon Apr 19, 2004 10:20 pm

actually, just curious, subatomic peices, but.... do you own the sampler, or just check out the forum? i'm just wondering, not pointing fingers... just want some concrete info.

j

if you can't hear a difference, maybe there is something different about your setup... because the difference is quite drastic here.
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Re: why does iTunes suck?

Post by chris harris » Mon Apr 19, 2004 10:30 pm

same file, 2 apps, same converters... the only difference is that I'm using Cubase SX and you're using Logic.

I do own the sampler... I didn't even realize that they had a forum until today when I went to find the link to their website.


You guys are the only ones here reporting any difference... maybe my "setup" is not the problem. also, not pointing fingers...

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Re: why does iTunes suck?

Post by chris harris » Mon Apr 19, 2004 10:31 pm

maybe what i'm talking about is more the intrinsic sound of the app and how it deals with plug ins and stuff... i dunno...
now, there would definitely be a difference here.

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Re: why does iTunes suck?

Post by JohnDavisNYC » Mon Apr 19, 2004 10:38 pm

i actually haven't cchecked on my own personal rig (i use an external CD player for checking mixes) so this is only on my roomate's rig. but as far as i can tell, there is nothing different about his setup from anyone elses... i don't know. maybe there's some wierd problem with the setup, but it just seems suspect...

i'm also not going to proclaim that i have better ears than everyone else... shit... i wish some of you lived like, upstairs in the building or something... make it easier to 'level the playing field' so to speak.

maybe i'll set up some comparisons on my rig... i just use itunes for mindless background music right now... not for anything critical...

my one critique of the whole mix buss argument, is that shouldn't the intrinic qualities of the software be considered as part of the mix buss? i mean, if panning sounds different in PT and Logic, i see that as a difference in the mix buss... although maybe this is just an issue of semantics. for instance, panning in Logic 4.8 sounds rather thin when things are panned hard. in v6.0 onward, the edges sound a bit more robust.

well, i'm rambling.

jj
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Re: why does iTunes suck?

Post by joel hamilton » Mon Apr 19, 2004 11:18 pm

I have heard things come from tape, go to protools, edited in logic all in the same room with the same converters and the same engineers, and we all agreed that unless you looked at the screen with your ears... there was no difference.

John, that was during those "nerve" sessions at mission.

We tracked to protools that time, before HD, just 888's, then switched to logic on the same rig the next day. Sounded exactly the same.

This was NOT summing in the box, and we were using the 80 series Neve, with 1073's on every channel. Regardless, it was the same signal chain EXACTLY for each program, and it sounded that way.

We only flipped back and forth like twice, and not one person in the room noticed.

The control room volume changed the sound one click up or down more than the programs. Like none.

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Re: why does iTunes suck?

Post by Red Rockets Glare » Wed Apr 21, 2004 4:01 pm

Onion Mentions ALbini AND itunes in one page.
http://www.theonion.com/infograph/index.php?issue=4016

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