[SOLVED] First audio transient has quality loss in Render In Place

I posted last week about two major issues with rendering, confirmed by many other users.

That post was unfortunately closed by strict mods, and I would have used it to mention this issue as well, but oh well the mods closed it.

So, the issue is an audible degradation in the quality of the rendered result.

Loss of punch and quality. As if going from .wav to low grade mp3.

As I always do first, can anyone else report similar drops in audio quality after rendering in place and/or bounce operations?

EDIT: As discovered below, it’s just the first transient that is affected. But for rendering separate events ‘as separate’, every event is affected.

Nope, not here. And I tend to render a fair amount.

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Not here.

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Thank you. I was going to include the audio to prove my point, but I’ll just include the screenshot of the waveform which proves my point beyond any doubt.

Top: Post render
Bottom: Pre-render

Saying that, now I can see that it’s only the very FIRST audio transient that is lost (I’m assuming the rest are identical).

Any ideas why this might happen, some buffer setting or something?

There was plenty of buffer before the first audio content as displayed by the space from the left edge of the event to the first transient.

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Previous render was ‘as one event’. Now when I do ‘as separate events’ the quality loss seen on the first wave transient now affects EVERY new rendered event.

So there’s clearly an issue with where Cubase has to process (render) audio for the ‘first’ time each time.

It is not catching up?

Mac M2 Max
Sonoma 14.5
Cubase 13.0.40

Tested on a track without inserts and the render is fine.

So it’s likely the plugins causing processing degradation on the initial audio transient.

Is this normal? Just live with it? Is it how Cubase wants to aspire to be?

I’m not sure about other factors. I have a powerful machine.

And what plugins might that be?

Oh and you think I’m just going to give up that information for free?

Well you’re right. Acustica Gold + Sand.

Lol!
I have a vague recollection of something similar being talked about before—the very first transient being overly affected by compression. Sorry, that doesn’t help much.
I would experiment with other compression plugins with similar settings to see if you get similar results.

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I realised what the cause was. The events I was rendering were finely sliced snare hits, and so they contained only the audio information with no pre-roll or tail event space. Rendering does not like this because it doesn’t give the processing a chance to catch up where the first transient begins.

The screenshots I provided were actually post bouncing to make them fit into the cycle neatly. In reality there was just blank non-event space and since the render begins at the event left edge there was no lead-in. The render had to process audio too quickly and without warning.

The way to make it work is to make sure there is enough event space from the left edge to the first audio transient, so that rendering is processed prior to this transient and that first transient will be captured properly.

Saying that, the plugins probably don’t help the cause to this end.

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You have auto fade-in enabled

Good suggestion but it’s not enabled

Sure?

Everything you’ve said points to this -
Only happens to the first transient of an event.
Leaving enough space before the transient so that it remains intact.

Check both your individual track settings, and the project settings for auto-fades.

No auto fade enabled anywhere. Tracks are using project settings too, which has auto fade disabled.

I tried to render with the plugins bypassed and I got the same results! Transients not coming through post rendering.

Tried it on a new blank project and the post-render (bottom) is identical to the pre-render (top)… the issue I mentioned is not present.

I give up, I don’t know why it happened – I’ve noticed other strange behaviours in the ‘problem’ project so maybe it got corrupted.

Figured it out.

There was a Delay of -12ms set on the track that was producing attenuated transients on the first transient (where there was no event lead up to that transient).

That was the culprit.