Offline vs Realtime Sound Quality?

I haven’t thought about this for a long long time, but using the UAD Studer A800 plugin lately I’ve been applying offline before mix sessions and…it seems like it sounds better but I’m not sure. Anyone know if there is still any difference in sound quality between offline and realtime plugs?


Well, the standard answer is “nulltest”. So I’m going to go with “nulltest”.

If there’s a difference I doubt it’ll be of relevant magnitude.

Ok well, it used to be an acknowledged thing that offline was better quality. If the official line is that they are the same that’s good enough for me.

Ok, my response was a bit “short” in its tone. I know that PT had reduced automation accuracy during recording and bouncing yielded potentially better accuracy if I remember correctly. When it comes to offline vs realtime in Nuendo I was never aware of a difference. Maybe it existed. I honestly don’t know.

I would simply set up an audio track, insert a relevant plugin, tweak it, save settings as a preset, export mixdown in realtime, export mixdown faster-than-realtime, and lastly do an offline-plugin render of the file itself in the edit window. Then compare all in a project. I guess if any two null then they’re the same.

Thanks. I’ll run tests when I have the time. I was hoping for some one with a specific knowledge of whether Nuendo has a difference to simply answer the question. I appreciate you trying to be helpful though.

Sure. I have a UAD-2 so if I find the time I’ll try it too.

The only difference between online and offline processing is that during an offline process, the computer has all the time in the world to perform the task. It’s like running the 100 meter. During online process, there is a time limit, during offline, there is none.