Export quality

I am getting really good quality sound when listening live to the Cubase track, but when I export the stereo mixdown, either to WAV or MP3, it seems to lose “sparkle”. Hard to describe but it just generally loses a bit of volume and dynamics.

It’s disappointing because when I play back through Cubase the quality is now very good but when I export out, the final result is not what I’m hoping for. I am using same computer, same audio interface, same headphones, all that is changing is that I’m playing the exported audio file rather than listening live in Cubase.

I’m exporting at full quality settings and just don’t understand why even basic things, like the volume, would alter? Must be missing something simple…!

I should add - all my “live audio” that I am listening to in Cubase is recorded (vocals, guitars, etc) - so I am not listening to real instruments via MIDI or anything like that. I am listening to audio tracks, hence the reason I don’t understand why the audio mixdown doesn’t sound exactly the same.

Try to record stereo mixdown to another track in realtime. Then compare it with exported mixdown. You can put both in new project, put them each on its own track, zoom fully in just to check that both are perfectly aligned by sample, and flip the phase of one file. This will show you if there is any difference at all. If you get total silence after flipping phase of one, it means they are both exactly the same. If this is so, then problem is in your analog chain, maybe jitter, maybe sample conversion…

Yeah or psychoacoustic.

Sometimes when we listen while looking at the beautiful DAW interface, it makes the track sounds more “professional” while when we listen to it through VLC, which’s not as sexy, it seems it sounds like sh** :slight_smile:

Maybe there are some inserts in the control room?