audio difference cubase pro / artist

so i have dumped my cubase elements and bought cubase artist for my laptop. i had sound differences with elements aswell, but a reinstall of elicenser (weird!) fixed it back then. this time its different and i made alot of tests and cubase pro sounds somehow more bright and also the volume is higher when the file is rendered. cubase artist sounds a littly muddy / dull compared to cubase pro and i really want to know why.

the test i included here was simply made with 2 tracks of omnisphere 2. settings were exctly the same in artist and pro. control room was disabled in cubase pro. iam using an audient id14 with lateny setting at “standard” and buffer set to 256.

i also made several other tests with kontakt 5 and artist sounds always darker. audio files sound the same in artist and pro and also NULL if you do the test, but if i start to use vst instruments or effects cubase pro will always sound better and files do not null. iam really annoyed by this and have spend alot of hours to find out why. any idea?

44.1 24bit rendered

cubase artist 9:
cubase pro 9:

both files at zippyshare. they were a little to big to attach here.

The audio engines are the same. There has to be some other difference such as routing, a plug-in, or the instrument preset, etc.

no there isnt any difference at all. it was really a simple project file. just two instrument tracks with omnisphere. no additional fx on this one or any routing except both tracks going to stereo out. i know its weird and tried to track this problem down for alot of hours without any success.

cubase artist sounds somehow muddy or dark. no matter if i use a synth like omnisphere or kontakt 5. only imported audio sounds the same, but vst doesnt. i also turned asio guard on/off in tests with same results.

i know audio engines are the same aswell as the programm files are the same. i have no clue why it sounds different, but it does.

It has to be something and it may be very obscure like project settings 24 bit vs 32 bit floating, for example.

The engine is the same. In fact, Artist and Pro intall the same Cubase (content is different) and the Pro license just activates more features.

i thought i already said i used the same project file for both examples, didnt it?

settings are 100% identical and iam using the same installation of cubase on one machine. just switching two different usb elicensers.

It doesn’t matter if you are using the same project. Create a project in Pro using Reverence, Frequency, or Quadrafuzz (not available in Artist). If you load the project in Artist, it will not sound the same of course. This is just an example. There are many things that could be different that are not saved with the project. Mixdown settings, ASIO settings, etc.

well, i didnt use any of the effects which are only in pro, besides that, mixdown settings, asio settings are saved in the project file. actually i made sure everything is exactly the same, and still artist will sound different to pro.

i just wonder if you tried it yourself since you assume its not possible what iam saying.
something is different in pro under the hood when audio gets rendered, and iam sure about this. i made so many tests and pro simply sounds better.

i dont have an explanation for it, but its a fact. sadly there is no interest in this topic, but iam just gonna sell artist i guess. i expected it to sound like the pro version. for me it does not at all!

I can’t try it because I have no way to start Artist (that I know of) since I only own Pro.
As far as the audio engines being the same, I won’t say it is a fact, but I can say that I have seen several of these threads in the past, and it has always been the case that it was eventually discovered that a setting was different. I have also seen Steinberg Mods say that the audio engines are the same, which may explain the lack of interest.

I really am not trying to argue just for the sake of it so I will stop now but I am just saying what I have seen several times.

It’s almost certainly something you have missed. The characteristics of an exported VST instrument file should be the same in both programs since AFAIK they both use the same audio engine. Are you listening to both programs on the same computer and via the exact same playback path ? Did you check the pan law is the same ?

pan law set in both to equal power.

i know myself that it sounds weird, but its like iam saying.

maybe its my interface because it sounds slighty different at different buffer settings. but tests i made are always exactly same settings.

to be honest, i tried so much and iam about to give up and just sell artist.

same machine. only thing iam switching is the usb e licensers.

so same vst instruments and cubase installation are used.

exactly same settings in every test i did. and artist always sounds worse than pro.

btw. does asio guard affect sound quality? because for me it does. when i leave it enabled it sounds somewhat more dull or not that bright. hard to describe.

maybe its really my interface (audient id14) and cubase artist works with different buffer settings internally or something. i really dont know :frowning:

IMO this kind of issue is almost always user oversight and it can be a very small detail like a fader not set to unity gain or things not set up the same in VST connections or the routing in the mixer. And it is normal for VST instruments to sound slightly different on each export since many of them have subtle variables which change on each pass (I’m sure you already know this). So you shouldn’t expect them to null. But you say in your first post that the cubase pro 9 file is louder… that shouldn’t be happening to any significant degree, since the software is the same version number and same audio engine, and points to something you have set differently in artist or pro9 with regard to level. Are you sure there is no EQ active in either program?

Have you conducted the same test using one of the supplied VST instruments?

Unfortunately, the only way to really test this is via a very strict and simple scientific test of some kind. And you’d have to give a very precise step-by-step procedure for others to test. For example, so far in this thread there is no description of what you mean by “when I render the files” and the term “louder”. How are you rendering? Is this using export audio mixdown? or something else? What do you mean by “louder”?
It might help to check out the discussion here:
and the tests run by MattiasNYC.
This forum has many similar threads.

i know that alot of things are user errors when it comes to technical stuff, but in this case there isnt any difference in settings. i also made a new install of windows 7 and cubase (other tests were done in windows 10), and the issue is still there.

i made another test. one simple instance of prologue. 44.1/24 mixdown. asio guard off. pan law equal power.
will upload the wav file to zippy share and the project files will be attached here.

the difference is there and also audible. though with this test the difference is small, but it is there and this shouldnt be the case.
when i analyze the exported audio files i get this:

Title;Statistik - “prologue artist”
Date;Freitag, 27. Januar 2017
Loudness_Value;-22.43 LUFS
Loudness_Range;2.68 LU
Max_True_Peak_Level;-10.74 dBTP
Max_Momentary_Loudness;-18.23 LUFS
Max_Short_Term_Loudness;-20.35 LUFS
Sample Rate;44.100 kHz
Average RMS (AES-17) Links;-22.04 dB
Average RMS (AES-17) Rechts;-22.62 dB
Max. RMS Links;-18.89 dB
Max. RMS Rechts;-19.14 dB
Max. RMS;-18.89 dB
Min. Sample Value Links;-11.39 dB
Min. Sample Value Rechts;-11.30 dB
Max. Sample Value Links;-10.81 dB
Max. Sample Value Rechts;-11.10 dB
Peak Amplitude Links;-10.81 dB
Peak Amplitude Rechts;-11.10 dB
True Peak Links;-10.74 dB
True Peak Rechts;-11.00 dB
DC Offset Links;-oo dB
DC Offset Rechts;-oo dB
Resolution Links;24 Bit
Resolution Rechts;24 Bit
Estimated Pitch Links;718.4Hz/F4
Estimated Pitch Rechts;701.4Hz/F4

Title;Statistik - “prologue pro”
Date;Freitag, 27. Januar 2017
Loudness_Value;-22.02 LUFS
Loudness_Range;3.70 LU
Max_True_Peak_Level;-10.13 dBTP
Max_Momentary_Loudness;-18.23 LUFS
Max_Short_Term_Loudness;-19.76 LUFS
Sample Rate;44.100 kHz
Average RMS (AES-17) Links;-22.16 dB
Average RMS (AES-17) Rechts;-22.92 dB
Max. RMS Links;-18.46 dB
Max. RMS Rechts;-19.14 dB
Max. RMS;-18.46 dB
Min. Sample Value Links;-11.19 dB
Min. Sample Value Rechts;-12.30 dB
Max. Sample Value Links;-10.28 dB
Max. Sample Value Rechts;-10.13 dB
Peak Amplitude Links;-10.28 dB
Peak Amplitude Rechts;-10.13 dB
True Peak Links;-10.27 dB
True Peak Rechts;-10.13 dB
DC Offset Links;-oo dB
DC Offset Rechts;-oo dB
Resolution Links;24 Bit
Resolution Rechts;24 Bit
Estimated Pitch Links;682.9Hz/F4
Estimated Pitch Rechts;715.2Hz/F4
projects.rar (28 KB)

With the sound you chose ‘Saturn V’ yes that should be the case. That is the nature of the sound you have chosen. That is not a good test sound since it has LFO modulation and effects so the sound varies all the time. You could actually export this in pro 9 alone and you’d get a different result every time… each export does not sound the same and, with this preset, it is not meant to sound the same.

So unfortunately this test doesn’t really prove a difference between artist 9 and pro 9 , it proves a difference each time you play this particular preset (Saturn V).

well i made several tests with kontakt5, omnisphere etc. it will sound different ALL the time in artist. also differences in volume shouldnt be there even with prologue and the saturn patch.

the only thing when artist and pro sound the same is if you work with audio files. if iam using VSTs there will be always a difference.

so what test should i do? i did so many and nothing can convince me that pro and artist sound the same, but i really wanna know why.

Not true. There will indeed be a slight difference in volume. You can prove this yourself by doing a number of exports within pro 9 and comparing them.

Again sorry, this is not true. It’s highly dependent on the VST instrument you are using and the chosen patch.

You’d have to find a patch that doesn’t use LFOs, effects or other randomly changing elements.

P.S. You have actually already proved that Artist and Pro 9 sound the same (use the same audio engine) since you say that they do sound the same when you work with audio files. So therefore the difference lies elsewhere, and this difference is almost certainly as a result of the patches you have been testing with.

…FWIW I can’t say I noticed any difference from when I changed from Artist to Pro but ,as has already been remarked, it’s not possible for most of us to try it out for ourselves since once you’ve got Pro you can’t launch Artist. So, not lack of interest, just not possible.

well, ofcourse they use the same audio engine and audio files do sound exactly the same in both versions. BUT handling VST instruments and effects is different.

4 files inside.

Kontakt5 cinestrings solo cello. buildin reverb disabled. without a reverb send they are exactly the same, but the ones which use a reverb send (lexicon hall) are quite different. sure they would never “null” because of the reverb, but they should atleast sound similar. it seems the mix between wet/dry channels or something isnt right.

whatever, iam about to give up on this. i do understand you guys saying audio engine is the same and such, but fact is i got 2 elicenser with artist and pro and artist does give different results (when using VSTs). somehow the vst handling or mixing or whatever is different. i dont have a clue why, but its a fact.

Maybe. But I seriously doubt it.
Are you still saying that the volume of VSTi exports is consistently higher in Pro 9 than in Artist 9 ? and that the sound is consistently brighter in Pro 9 than in Artist 9 ? Did you try doing a number of exports within pro 9 alone and compare them ?

I’d humbly suggest that there’s probably a large dose of psychoacoustics going on with your tests (i.e. they are are based upon belief and not science). And don’t get me wrong, we can all fall victim to this when it comes to listening tests.

Sorry no more time to test here. Maybe someone else has an opinion on this. Good luck.

pro will always sound good, yes. i did a shitload of tests, and also analyzed the audio while ofcourse i could always hear a difference. i get that you dont believe me, and its ok. but maybe you should also consider that i might be right maybe?

some things get disabled in artist while it uses the same programm code, and maybe there is something wrong. i dont know, but i know there is a difference when working with pro or artist when using VST instruments or effects.