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thinking of upgrade to elements 7 from le 7

Posted: Sat Aug 29, 2015 10:38 am
by kk123
I am thinking of upgrading to elements 7 from LE 7 but I can't find any official chart comparing LE to elements version so hopefully I can get some ideas here.

My major concern is that - I am a pop songs lover. I use lots of strings and drums in my production. So is the VST library for strings and drums in elements more plentiful than that in LE?

Plus, I find no way to create a vocal harmony in the audio tracks. Is there any stuffs in elements could help this out?

Re: thinking of upgrade to elements 7 from le 7

Posted: Sat Aug 29, 2015 3:55 pm
by Martin.Jirsak
Hi,

You are right, it's not possible to find this kind of comparison.

In general, you can use more tracks in Elements. There is more Instruments and Effects. There are 8 slots for plug-in effects instead of 4 in LE.

To create a vocal harmony, you need Cubase Pro.

Btw: If you upgrade now, you will upgrade to Cubase Elements 8, so you will get everything, what is new in this version, included MP3 export, ChordPads, etc.

Re: thinking of upgrade to elements 7 from le 7

Posted: Sat Aug 29, 2015 5:01 pm
by kk123
Thanks for the reply.

I'd here like to add one more question. I export the audio mixdown at 24 bitrate in the form of WAV and I find the sound quality is not as good as the CDs'.

I know the recording format in Cubase is 32-bit float and I heard something called "dither" in versions other than LE.
Is that helpful?

Re: thinking of upgrade to elements 7 from le 7

Posted: Sat Aug 29, 2015 7:03 pm
by Martin.Jirsak
Hi,

Yes, Audio-CD quality standard is 44,1kHz an 16bit.

Here you can find a very nice explanation, what the Audio dithering is.

As you can see here, the UV22HR Apogee dithering plug-in is also part of Cubase Elements. And, you are right, this plug-in is not part of Cubase LE.

Cubase LE also doesn't support ReWire (if I'm right), but Cubase Elements does. So you can connect it with Reason or Ableton Live. There is unlimited Undo/Redo in Cubase Elements. You can define your own Key Commands, and Macros. There is an Arranger track.

Re: thinking of upgrade to elements 7 from le 7

Posted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 2:29 pm
by kk123
Thanks for the reply.

I tried to export at 44,1kHz and 16bit using LE. The result was even worse (not only the audio parts but also the VST instruments). Does that mean using dither can settle this problem and bring me a CD quality export? Plus, what if I export at 32 bit? Does 32 to 32 mean no distortion? If so, why do people reduce the bitrate when export?

I am new to music production. Hopefully my question wasn't too silly :|

Re: thinking of upgrade to elements 7 from le 7

Posted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 2:59 pm
by Martin.Jirsak
Hi,

No 32 Bit doesn't produkce a distortion. Sorry, I was probably wrong. So you can hear VST Instruments, but you can't hear an Audio tracks, right?

Weird. Are your Audio tracks routed to the Stereo Out? Could you send a screenshot of your Export Audio Mixdown window settings, please? Maybe also the screenshot of MixConsole would help.

Re: thinking of upgrade to elements 7 from le 7

Posted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 6:04 pm
by kk123
I can hear both tracks, but the sound quality was way too far from what I can hear before the mixdown.

picture is here

http://holland.pk/4a0n9ujs

http://holland.pk/bitg49u0

Re: thinking of upgrade to elements 7 from le 7

Posted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 7:41 pm
by Martin.Jirsak
It seems to be OK from these screenshots.

In which aspect is the sound quality different?

Re: thinking of upgrade to elements 7 from le 7

Posted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 3:43 am
by kk123
This is a sample of mine without any audio tracks exported at 44kHz and 16bitrate.

http://vocaroo.com/i/s03xDiIa54FG

Here I found two problems:

First, the sound quality is not good (don't know if you also agree). It's like being "submerged" in water. Notice that it sounds quite satisfactory when using a headphone, but it becomes really wrong when using speakers.

And second is that the exported volume is quite low, even though I push the volumes of the individual tracks to their limits. Usually I will further boost the volume using audacity, but I don't think that is good for the quality.

Re: thinking of upgrade to elements 7 from le 7

Posted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 8:23 am
by Martin.Jirsak
So, you are comparing your mix with others mix, right? Not your mix in Cubase comparison with exported file, right? So everything is OK in Cubase.

This is art of mixing. You have to set (mainly) the EQs and Compressors correctly.

Re: thinking of upgrade to elements 7 from le 7

Posted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 9:03 am
by kk123
Martin.Jirsak wrote:So, you are comparing your mix with others mix, right? Not your mix in Cubase comparison with exported file, right? So everything is OK in Cubase.

This is art of mixing. You have to set (mainly) the EQs and Compressors correctly.
Yes. I am comparing my mix with others mix.

The problem is that even I did nothing about the mixing, just simply acoustic piano VST as Cubase presets, it still gave me a poor quality output, especially when it is on the speakers. That's why I am not so sure if it is about the mixing but the settings.

Re: thinking of upgrade to elements 7 from le 7

Posted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 9:14 am
by Martin.Jirsak
Yes, it is. Even this simple record needs to be "mixed", and then mastered well. To make a very nice simple record is sometimes even more difficult, because there is no way, how to "evade" something. You have to make a pure, nice sound.

Re: thinking of upgrade to elements 7 from le 7

Posted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 1:43 pm
by kk123
It's weird that Cubase requires a beginner like me doing simple piano songs to have good mixing skills. :|

So do you have any general idea about working with the compressor and EQ for piano songs?
Any recommendation is appreciated.

Re: thinking of upgrade to elements 7 from le 7

Posted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 10:38 pm
by Martin.Jirsak
Sorry, but any DAW will requires this. The source Piano signal will always sound different. So it's up to the sound engineer, to make the sound, how he would like to.

Of course, you can use a presets, but these are only some general, "standard" settings. To make a great sound, you have to use great settings.

General idea: reduce lower frequencies, to reduce their energy, which you probably don't need to. Then, you can increase the volume of the whole track.

Re: thinking of upgrade to elements 7 from le 7

Posted: Fri Sep 04, 2015 12:44 pm
by kk123
Martin.Jirsak wrote:Sorry, but any DAW will requires this. The source Piano signal will always sound different. So it's up to the sound engineer, to make the sound, how he would like to.

Of course, you can use a presets, but these are only some general, "standard" settings. To make a great sound, you have to use great settings.

General idea: reduce lower frequencies, to reduce their energy, which you probably don't need to. Then, you can increase the volume of the whole track.
Thanks for the ideas. I've tried those presets and found that the export quality had improved a lot, though they are still not very satisfactory.

Aside from compressor and EQ, are there any other effects or settings that can also improve the export quality in Cubase?

Re: thinking of upgrade to elements 7 from le 7

Posted: Fri Sep 04, 2015 1:01 pm
by Martin.Jirsak
In general: Compressor, EQ and Reverb is the most important set.

Re: thinking of upgrade to elements 7 from le 7

Posted: Fri Sep 04, 2015 1:56 pm
by kk123
Thanks for the comment.

I tried to apply EQ and compressor to both the piano track and stereo output channel, the result was even better and quite satisfactory. But what should I do if I have other tracks say strings and vocal? Should I tackle them one by one?

Re: thinking of upgrade to elements 7 from le 7

Posted: Fri Sep 04, 2015 3:42 pm
by Martin.Jirsak
Yes, we process every single tracks, then sometimes even a group of tracks (for example Drums), and then the outout.

I would recommend to search for some on-line mixing tutorials.