Topic: MADI in HIFI Music System

I do not come from pro world. For my music listening, I always wanted to use the method used in in studios. As I understand that almost all studios have computer based source and so, my source is a Windows computer using USB to MADI to AES.

I have following questions that I need help with.

1. Since most of the electronics use linear power supply to have noise-free power supply and RME DOES NOT use one in my ADI-642, what is the situation if noise level in RME electronics?

2. What are some of the best mastering softwares in the market?

2 (edited by ramses 2022-09-24 19:11:04)

Re: MADI in HIFI Music System

To 1: IMHO, nothing to worry about.
To 2: there is not something like “the best” software. Skill is needed.

BR Ramses
UFX+, 12Mic, XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE, RayDAT, X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10Pro22H2, Cub12Pro

Re: MADI in HIFI Music System

hifimckinney wrote:

I do not come from pro world. For my music listening, I always wanted to use the method used in in studios. As I understand that almost all studios have computer based source and so, my source is a Windows computer using USB to MADI to AES.

I have following questions that I need help with.

1. Since most of the electronics use linear power supply to have noise-free power supply and RME DOES NOT use one in my ADI-642, what is the situation if noise level in RME electronics?

2. What are some of the best mastering softwares in the market?

I agree with Ramses…
It‘s about skills and a clear idea where to bring the music :)

But here are some software suggestions.. but again it all depends on what you want to to with it (editing vs shaping vs pre mastering to ddp or vinyl etc.)
We are working on Macs, so the list might look a little different on pcs.

- Steinberg Wavelab Pro (very flexible, not so intuitive, with support for Multichannel / surround sound)
- Hofa Master.ddp.pro (intuitive, a little sluggish, great for easy ddp)
- dsp quattro (nice editor, ddp, but no automation, Mac OS only)
- Sadie (the classic, pc only)

But this is just the start… you also need some plugins and might want some analoge Hardware as well.

Most of all you need to have a professional listening environment..

I wrote something about it on our website… if you are interested:
http://the-quiet-music.company/Studio-mastering/

http://the-quiet-music.company/Equipment-overview/

http://the-quiet-music.company/Papers/

4 (edited by ramses 2022-09-28 11:32:32)

Re: MADI in HIFI Music System

I like bx_masterdesk very much, a recommendation from a friend who is a professional jazz guitarist and partially masters his songs himself.

He uses this on Apple as UAD based solution. As a native plugin on Windows it works just as well and reliably.

The nice thing is that you can go gently with the tool and first only turn up gain and a few other things. The manual should be read, the VST was designed for ease of use.

There is also a slimmed down version, which works well for the beginning.

BR Ramses
UFX+, 12Mic, XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE, RayDAT, X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10Pro22H2, Cub12Pro

Re: MADI in HIFI Music System

Bx_masterdeck ist ein Plugin, das in einer DAW, die dann eben auch zum Mastering genutzt werden kann.
Es hat halt grundlegende, “wohlklingende” typische Masteringfunktionalitäten wie EQ, Kompressor, Distortion und Limiter.
Es ist aber sehr grob und eignet sich ehr für Homerecorder, die schnell ein angemastertes Ergebnis jemand geben wollen. Mit Mastering hat das aus meiner Sicht nicht viel zu tun.
Hier sollte s in erster Linie erstmal um da Korrigieren von Fehlern (z.B. Entfernen von Resonanzen) gehen, dann um die gezielte Optimierung der spektralen Verteilung und Dynamk. Hier möchte ich verschiedene EQs mit verschiedenen Qs und Opertonstrukturen und Kompressoren (mit verschieden Transferkurven, Geschwindigkeiten, etc.) nutzen.
Da ist dann bx_masterdesk schon ein ziemlich grobschlächtiges Instrument, kann aber gerade eben für “Hobbyisten” deswegen gut sein, weil man sich nicht verrennen kann…
Oh, ich sehe, dass ich auf Deutsch geschrieben habe :-/ Sorry

Re: MADI in HIFI Music System

Bx_masterdeck is a plugin that can be used in a DAW, which can then also be used for mastering.
It has just basic, "well-sounding" typical mastering functionalities such as EQ, compressor, distortion and limiter.
But it is a little rough and is more suitable for home recorders who want to quickly give a “premastered” result to someone. From my point of view it has not much to do with mastering.
Here it should be first of all about correcting errors (e.g. removing resonances), then about the specific optimization of the spectral distribution and dynamics. Here I want to use different EQs with different Qs and opertone structures and compressors (with different transfer curves, speeds, etc.).
bx_masterdesk is  a rather grob instrument, but can be just great for "hobbyists" because you can not get lost in all the different possibilities… smile

Re: MADI in HIFI Music System

hifimckinney wrote:

I do not come from pro world. For my music listening, I always wanted to use the method used in in studios. As I understand that almost all studios have computer based source and so, my source is a Windows computer using USB to MADI to AES.

I have following questions that I need help with.

1. Since most of the electronics use linear power supply to have noise-free power supply and RME DOES NOT use one in my ADI-642, what is the situation if noise level in RME electronics?

2. What are some of the best mastering softwares in the market?

no answer?

8 (edited by ramses 2022-10-12 10:35:45)

Re: MADI in HIFI Music System

mruebsamen wrote:
hifimckinney wrote:

I do not come from pro world. For my music listening, I always wanted to use the method used in in studios. As I understand that almost all studios have computer based source and so, my source is a Windows computer using USB to MADI to AES.

I have following questions that I need help with.

1. Since most of the electronics use linear power supply to have noise-free power supply and RME DOES NOT use one in my ADI-642, what is the situation if noise level in RME electronics?

2. What are some of the best mastering softwares in the market?

no answer?

Didn't you agree yourself, there is not something like “the best mastering software”, skill / methodology is most important?

Regarding noise. RME devices deliver SNR values according to specs and according to RME there are no noise problems with the PSU's inside devices or the external PSU's. I also never heard of such issues.

BR Ramses
UFX+, 12Mic, XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE, RayDAT, X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10Pro22H2, Cub12Pro

Re: MADI in HIFI Music System

You don't tell us what you want to achieve with this mastering tool.

Vincent, Amsterdam
https://soundcloud.com/thesecretworld
Babyface pro fs, HDSP9652+ADI-8AE, HDSP9632

Re: MADI in HIFI Music System

I am an audiophile and had been using Windows Media player or foobar to play my music until one fine day, out of curiosity I played a track in Adobe Audition and found it to be way better than what I got from Windows Media and Foobar player. Since Adobe Audition is a monthly subscription based service, I bought equivalent Steinberg WaveLab. This basically told me that even the playback software on a computer plays a role in how music is rendered. With that I wanted to check if there is any mastering software whose file playback piece is very accurate or considered best in the market?

Re: MADI in HIFI Music System

Sorry, but this is not the way mastering works, there isn't one best solution.

BR Ramses
UFX+, 12Mic, XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE, RayDAT, X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10Pro22H2, Cub12Pro

Re: MADI in HIFI Music System

hifimckinney wrote:

I am an audiophile and had been using Windows Media player or foobar to play my music until one fine day, out of curiosity I played a track in Adobe Audition and found it to be way better than what I got from Windows Media and Foobar player. Since Adobe Audition is a monthly subscription based service, I bought equivalent Steinberg WaveLab. This basically told me that even the playback software on a computer plays a role in how music is rendered. With that I wanted to check if there is any mastering software whose file playback piece is very accurate or considered best in the market?

If I understand you correctly, you were using audition and wavelab without any plugins inserted, just as a player? If yes and you like this way then wavelab is perfect.

Vincent, Amsterdam
https://soundcloud.com/thesecretworld
Babyface pro fs, HDSP9652+ADI-8AE, HDSP9632

13 (edited by ramses 2022-10-12 17:38:59)

Re: MADI in HIFI Music System

Hmm? But then it's completely useless … if you use no plugins in wavelab, then you use it simply as audio player.
Lossless playback of digital audio data, what every audio player does, if it supports either WASAPI excl mode or ASIO.

I think he has a misunderstanding, as if there is a best tool or a best result for mastering.
But there is no magic tool.

And then when I think of the results of wrong mastering. The many audio CDs that have been "remastered".

What he wants, in my opinion, is an adaptation of audio to his listening habits. This is why the ADI-2 Pro has the B/T control, so that differences in the mastering of music can be easily and quickly compensated for (or to use PEQ to compensate deficits of a certain type of headphone).

But what does that have to do with hi-fi, audiophile or high-end when you put your audio files through a meat grinder and everyone cooks his own (mastering) soup…?

BR Ramses
UFX+, 12Mic, XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE, RayDAT, X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10Pro22H2, Cub12Pro

Re: MADI in HIFI Music System

I know, just trying to understand the OP.

Vincent, Amsterdam
https://soundcloud.com/thesecretworld
Babyface pro fs, HDSP9652+ADI-8AE, HDSP9632

15 (edited by hifimckinney 2022-10-13 15:00:16)

Re: MADI in HIFI Music System

ramses wrote:

Hmm? But then it's completely useless … if you use no plugins in wavelab, then you use it simply as audio player.
Lossless playback of digital audio data, what every audio player does, if it supports either WASAPI excl mode or ASIO.

I think he has a misunderstanding, as if there is a best tool or a best result for mastering.
But there is no magic tool.

And then when I think of the results of wrong mastering. The many audio CDs that have been "remastered".

What he wants, in my opinion, is an adaptation of audio to his listening habits. This is why the ADI-2 Pro has the B/T control, so that differences in the mastering of music can be easily and quickly compensated for (or to use PEQ to compensate deficits of a certain type of headphone).

But what does that have to do with hi-fi, audiophile or high-end when you put your audio files through a meat grinder and everyone cooks his own (mastering) soup…?

I totally agree with you but that is what the ugly reality is. When I started this hobby, I was told that bits are bits and no matter what hardware/software you use the end result would be same. But for me as an example, when I play a .WAV or .FLAC in foobar and then in WaveLab, they sound different, with WaveLab being better.

But you are right that I may be only (fool:) in the world who is using a $100 piece of software only for playing back music.

Re: MADI in HIFI Music System

Many additional things come to my mind:
1. Do you use in both cases (audio player vs. Wavelab) the same driver, so that it is certain that the same signal path is being used inside of Windows up to the computer?
2. Did you perform a blind test to exclude any psychoacoustic phenomena, and is the playback/listening volume the same? Louder sounds better to our ears.

As a side note … This is one of the advantages of the ADI-2 DAC/Pro for monitoring / listening to music. You can use the so called Bittest for validation, that audio data have not been altered from source to destination up to the DAC, just before D/A conversion.

If the Bittest had succeeded, then it's absolutely certain, that the digital information / the digital music content is absolutely the same.
If not, then the reason is not that Wavelab is the better player, no, this would show you that you have still a difference in the signal path, and you need to find the root cause.

BR Ramses
UFX+, 12Mic, XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS R BE, RayDAT, X10SRi-F, E5-1650v4, Win10Pro22H2, Cub12Pro

Re: MADI in HIFI Music System

Could the internal sample rate conversion in windows be the problem? When working with my DAW ("mastering software" - Sequoia, the best, haha...) audio interface and DAW always share the same sample rate settings, no SRC needed. Windows playback can handle different sample rates without changing the clock of my audio interafce, so there is SRC going on. When passing through  the windows sound system also volume processing is going on. Using the DAW with suitable drivers is a safe way to bypass the windows sound system.

Re: MADI in HIFI Music System

Yes sure! But using that same driver, asio, with a media player will have the same result and I believe the wasapi driver too.

Vincent, Amsterdam
https://soundcloud.com/thesecretworld
Babyface pro fs, HDSP9652+ADI-8AE, HDSP9632