Logic Pro DAW sound quality for VST instruments

studiomusic

New Member
Folks - I just joined this forum and hope some one can assist me.

I have been using Logic Pro 10.4.8 (Mac OS High Sierra) actively for past 2 years and learning my way through. I have a couple of sample libraries (CSS & CS2) which I use via Kontakt. A few months ago, I launched Kontakt standalone (outside the DAW) and played the sample lib. The sound quality was fantastic compared to what it sounds when played through Logic DAW when Kontakt is played as a plugin. I have not used any processing or effects in Logic. Also with the Kontakt free player version 6.2.1 - when played through Logic, the VSTs volume level is woefully low and lacks the tonal qualities. I have to raise the volume higher than norm in the Kontakt rack, output and also in my track for it to sound anywhere decent.

Last week, I installed Cubase AI 10.5. I was curious to see how it will sound. I was very surprised - the sound quality of the VSTs was fantastic almost close to when Kontakt was played stand alone. Again, I did not use any processing or effects in Cubase either. No volume drops either.

I understand Logic and Cubase have their pros and cons and there are lot of threads in this forum and elsewhere. I think there are some settings in Logic which I need to adjust to get the tonal qualities for the vst. Can someone help on what i need to adjust?

I have invested time on learning Logic but the sound quality is really not sitting well for me. Any guidance will be much appreciated.

thank you
Lens.
 

jbuhler

Senior Member
I'm not sure what you are doing but the VI should sound identical when played in standalone and in Logic so long as all the settings are the same and you have no effects running with Logic. So first make sure your settings are identical for Kontakt when using standalone and in Logic. Check both the master volume for the Kontakt instance and the volume for the instrument. Make sure the CCs are all identical. On the Logic side make sure you have no plugins or sends on the instrument channel or on the master.
 

robgb

I was young once
It isn't Logic. DAWS all sound the same (with the exception of Harrison Mixbus, which purposely imitates an analog board). I suspect this is a case of user error. I could be wrong.
 

Saxer

Senior Member
I habe both, Logic and Cubase, and I didn‘t realized any difference. At least no difference in an empty song without efx and a single Kontakt instance.
 
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studiomusic

New Member
I am going to go through the recommendations some of you have pointed out. I didn't quite realize there was a mono version of Kontakt - not sure where to check for that - will search. Thank you all for the input. As I said earlier, I am not using any plugins, sends or inserts or any sort of effects. Will let you guys know.
 
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studiomusic

New Member
I just checked and yes, I have setup Kontakt multi-out 16 Stereo. Each output channel is stereo. thx.
 
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studiomusic

New Member
As per all your recommendations, I played around with the stereo, master and individual outputs in the DAW, audio interface and was able to get reasonable levels from Logic.

One thing I noted, with me using the Steinberg audio interface, Cubase takes full control of that sound card virtual mixer and I can't make any changes to the audio interface mixer screen. Any kind of adjustments are done directly in the Cubase DAW. Maybe that is providing a better signal performance with Cubase managing it adeptly. Thanks to all.
 

Living Fossil

Senior Member
Maybe that is providing a better signal performance with Cubase managing it adeptly.
No.
You'd need much more general understanding of digital audio in order to understand why your thoughts are bs. That's quite normal for beginners.
However, use whatever DAW makes you happy. And stop this thread. It's leading nowhere and there are just enough stupid threads about placebo-based things on the internet.
If there is a DAW that sounds "bad" to your ears which in the same time is used by uncounted pros, you just can be sure that it's not them who are wrong. Stretching things further is a waste of time.
 

jcrosby

Senior Member
Also with the Kontakt free player version 6.2.1 - when played through Logic, the VSTs volume level is woefully low and lacks the tonal qualities. I have to raise the volume higher than norm in the Kontakt rack, output and also in my track for it to sound anywhere decent.
Kontakt player is a sample player. The quality of the audio you get out of any given patch is determined by the samples themselves. It sounds like your plugin settings are different from the standalone. I.e. that you have the plugin set to -6 dB under the "engine" tab in Kontakt's preferences. This would explain the difference in level. And, if you're not familiar with loudness perception it would explain the perceived difference in audio quality.
 
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studiomusic

New Member
Thanks to everyone for their pointers and inputs.

I do disagree with Living Fossil member comment. Why is it bs? It is a valid question on how signals levels are routed across various DAWs. The digital audio isn't necessarily fundamentally different - sampling rate, bit depth should be the same regardless of DAWs. But the way the core audio eng reacts / signal routing could be different. It is definitely not an endless argument of Logic vs Cubase. If you had read my first post - I had cleared that.

Consider this posting thread as closed. thanks.
 
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Zero&One

Senior Member
I don’t think they were saying one is better than the other.
More, highlighting a closely integrated software/hardware pair could have been the reason one was working better than the other.

Why so aggressive?
 

Living Fossil

Senior Member
Offering help was the other alternative...
Help was offered in explanations. However, you can give a person information, but It's up to the person to digest that information.
and i think the link to Dunning-Krueger was a really valuable additional help, with much more value than this silly thread with its bs "theories".
 

Sheridan

New Member
Hi Lens,

I have experienced the same perceived difference between Logic and Cubase (detailed in another thread). I have also done a null test between Kontakt Standalone and Kontakt in Logic, by recording their output outside the applications and comparing the waveforms and inverting one of them to see if they cancel out. Kontakt Standalone is +0.3 dB louder than Kontakt in Logic (Kontakt in Cubase was +3 dB compared to Logic if I remember correctly), otherwise waveforms are identical and cancel out when one of them is inverted. So any perceived difference is due to a volume difference.