Differences in sound quality during recording between DAWs

Hello, I am a sound engineer in South Korea.

Recently, while working, I was tinkering with something and couldn’t understand it, so I decided to use the
so I thought I’d leave a question here.

Basically, I have been thinking that there is no difference in sound quality between DAWs.
Even if the coding of the basic audio engine algorithm is different.
I thought that the sound quality would not be much different.

However, something happened recently that changed my mind significantly.

I’m a Studio one user, and I’ve been experimenting with mixing and mastering
all of my mixing and mastering in that DAW.

Then one day I got curious.
As an experiment, I went from Studio one → converter out → converter in → Logic Pro X

I set up a chain like this and printed it out.
The sound was completely different.

Shocked by this, I set up all my environments the same
Studio One → Converter Out → Converter in → Multiple DAWs (Protools, Waveslab, Acon Acuostica)

I tested several different DAWs.

Naturally, there were some meaningless sound differences, but some of them were definitely significant.

My point is not which DAW has the better sound.
I want to know why there is such a difference.

Note that all DAW sessions are formatted in


for all DAWs.

Also. In my main DAW, Studio One
I printed the tone generator at 1,000hz -20dBFS.
All DAW input meters also showed -20dBFS.

But the character of the printed tone is different.
The bottom line is that the sound pressure, the musicality, changes a lot.

Or am I missing something?
Please give me some knowledge.

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Interesting !

Would you send us your files ?

Also, I’d suggest you print a version studio one - converter out - converter in - back into studio one (to make it a fair comparison since your other tests involve a comparison !)

I’ll be a the studio tomorrow and would love to listen to those comparisons !

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Of course!

I have a project I’m working on that I’ll share with you on Google Drive once I get permission from the client.

However, in the interest of fairness, I don’t want to include the name of the DAW in the file name.
I hope you can understand that. ㅠㅠ

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리샘플모드가 다를 수 있습니다.
Daw마다 기본값이 다르며 설정이 불가능한 경우도 있습니다.
또한 패닝의 기준도 다릅니다.
팬로우와 팬타입 - 사인테이퍼, 하이브리드테이퍼, 리니어테이퍼가 있습니다.
패닝 시 daw마다 위상이 달라집니다.

Resample modes may vary.
Each Daw has different default values and may not be possible to set them in some cases.
Additionally, the criteria for panning are different.
Fan lows and fan types - there are sine tapers, hybrid tapers, and linear tapers.
When panning, the phase changes for each daw.

안녕하세요 현성님 이렇게 의견 남겨주셔서 대단히 감사합니다.
말씀주신 리샘플모드가 SRC가 맞으실까요?
맞다면 해당 사항은 96,000hz → 48,000hz로 리샘플링이 이루어질때 소리가 변환되는 정도로 알고 있는데 혹여나 다른게 있을까요?

추가적으로 Panlaw와 Pantype, Pandepth등등은 실질적으로 패닝이 이루어졌을때
위상이 변화 할텐데 제가 궁금한점은 패닝을 하지않고 단순 레코딩 프린팅을 하였는데 해당 요소들이 관여를 하는가? 였습니다.

다만, 현재 여러가지 실험을 해본결과 당시 테스트에 문제가 있는게 아니였을까 합니다.
관련 사항은 하기 리플에 남겨 드리오니 참고 부탁드리겠습니다.

Hi Hyeseong, thank you very much for your feedback.
Are you sure the resample mode you mentioned is SRC?
If so, I know that the sound is converted when resampling from 96,000hz → 48,000hz, but is there anything else?

Additionally, Panlaw, Pantype, Pandepth, etc. will actually change their phase when panning is done.
I was wondering if they would be involved in simple recording printing without panning?

However, after conducting various experiments, I wonder if there was a problem with the test at the time.
I will leave the related matters in the following Ripple, so please refer to it.

Hello Maxime!
I’d like to start by apologizing.
My impatience may have cost me some time.

Since then, I have done various verifications and tests once again
and in the end, there was no difference in sound quality.

The process is as follows

I’ve made a lot of changes since the first test
I restarted all environments and tested again.

First, I stopped printing all at once.

  • In the first test, we didn’t print to multiple DAWs at once, but to each one individually.

    The result: the null test showed a change, but it was meaningless.

Second, we switched the word clock to a 10Mhz square wave.

-In the first case, the 10Mhz word clock was connected as a square wave, and in the later experiments, it was reverted to a sine wave.
I switched it back because the connection to the master clock was less than 20cm and I was receiving it as a sine wave.

The result: It was pointless…

Result: it was meaningless.

But it’s really still a mystery.
There really was a change then.
because the idea of using another daw to get a printout
was really just a curiosity, and I hadn’t thought about plugins, so it was really just simple I/O and printing.

I don’t know if it was a computer error or a system error.
Of course not, I must have touched something wrong.

Here’s the file I printed at the First time.


첨부해주신 파일 열어보았습니다.
세 파일 모두 디지털클리핑이 발생합니다.
잘못 렌더링하신게 아닐까 추측됩니다.

앞서 말한 팬타입(스테레오펜/듀얼팬 등) 설정과 관련있습니다.

That’s reassuring !! :):slight_smile:

I’ve actually lately started to mix in the DAW that I’m given the session in.

It seems to me that they all sound very very similar and it’s quite easy to learn a new DAW well enough for mixing, so instead of having to ask the producer to bounce all the tracks, and have those debates of what FX / Mixbuss should be printed and having to chase the rough mix back in Protools like I used to do before, I just mix the song in the DAW I’m given. It makes things so easy because you start exactly from where the rough mix was printed, no matter what DAW they were using, and then you can just by-pass certain plugins you don’t like, add your chains etc…

Is anybody else doing this? I find it also fun to change DAW environment from one day to the other… Also really nice for collaboration with the rest of team to adapt to the environment they’re working in …

Anyway, that’s where I am now, wondering if anybody else is doing this?