Quality Reduction...

I’ve been converting some older XM tunes into fresh RNS songs. A lot of the time I’ve been taking melody from 2-3-4 channels and merging them into one channel - these used to be just one instrument line and it had to be done that way in FT2 because of lack of NNAs. Now you can get it all in one channel (say a chord sequence, or poly melody) and treat it with one VST chain, NNAs and all.

But then, as I was converting stuff, I noticed that when the sounds were merged into one channel from many the sound quality of the merged sound was worse. A very subtle worse, but less smooth and and more mashed sounding. It seems that the samples love to have their own special channel to sound out in, yet if you use merged multi-lines within one channel the sound is less defined.

Can anyone explain what is going on here? Is this something to do with the way Renoise’s sound engine processes multi-note-lines as opposed to whole channels? I feel like I’m mashing up my sound here.

I don’t know if I understand correctly.
I had some troubles with samples I used on the amiga,
but I always thought it was because of using 8 bit and 16 bit samples together.
when I put chords of one sample into one track I did notice a loss of briliance in the sound, did you mean that?

Sort of, but nothing to do with bit rates. These are all 16.

Imagine this: You open up an old 8 Channel XM to play with. The first four of those channels have an organ appregio going through them, originally so that you can get a little note-ring with each note release. Now because you can pick the NNA of ‘NoteOff’ for that instrument you put all those organ note tracks into one channel. You can now put a vst on the whole melody.

But for some reason it sounds worse than if you left each note track to it’s own unique channel. It’s bugging me.

Should I post an rns example file?

Thanks Bantai for doing those tests…! I’m a little unsure how to read your second post, as the first seems to suggest there is a difference.

I’ve not done any similar tests, but my ears tell me it sounds worse. And I’ve been doing loads of track colapses in the last few weeks. What do your ears tell you?

Yeah sure… At work now, some maybe tonight or tomorrow…

Here is a rns:

darkest hour test

The first half is using the collapsed sub-channels within the one channel, while the second half is four melody lines in four seperate channels.

I think the second sounds better, but only just. The note decays are more fluid, and the whole thing flows more dynamically. It’s a fairly old sample, but indicative of what I’m working with the restoration project.

Have a listen, or post your own test.

Thanks again Bantai for your attention to this, I will keep an eye on this throughout future releases. My ears certainly tell me there is a difference, but I suppose nothing too crazy to call ‘a fault’. I’m keen to see if anyone else has noticed it.

I did do a render of that rns and tested it in Audition. I found it very hard to tell them appart, but the FFT showed a difference… So now I don’t know what to think… I’ll test some more and post anything if I find it signigicant. Such a tricky area trying to determine if it is psychological or not.

And of course once you listen to the same phrase over and over it sounds very samey.