Audio fidelity sanity check

OK so I have my prime 4 connected to my HK audio lucas nano and the audio has always sounded a little muddy. I switched to the RCA out (previously DMX) and now it sounds better -BUT- my audio also goes from the prime 4 TRS to my GO:mixer to my laptop for streamlabs recording. Fully acknowledge I was happy with this until I listened to one of my mixes that I recorded directly from my XDJ-XZ and I felt like the audio from the prime 4 by comparison sounded muddy almost as if there was an effect engaged or filter applied. I’ve checked my settings on both dj setups and I’m thinking maybe it’s the render from the set with video, but can I get a quick sanity check from you guys to tell me which of these sounds better? Maybe it’s just in my head and I’m obsessing over nothing.

Prime 4 set: /CHVRCH EP.4 [Best of August] progressive house live set - YouTube

XDJ-XZ set: Mixcloud

Is it just me? Thanks in advance.

No two devices will sound the same, especially if listened to again and again, in a way which, let’s face it, no-one else would listen to. Some devices produce better treble, but are generally lower quality across their entire spectrum. Indeed, the “pioneer sound” can be described as a little grainy, and that on bass, midrange and treble.

The primes have a very high end “roll off” at the upper top end of the treble. Many audio devices have either high end, low end or both roll off for various reasons.

As you say, you were happy with the sound output originally and nothing changed with the Prime since you felt that way.

Next step: get that cheap Go:Mixer out of the audio path. It’s Roland, but it’s not one of their best items.

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Your only as good as your weakest component

Why not just record internally in the Prime 4 on top of streaming if you are that worried about audio quality?

I had not considered recording the audio separately and recombining with the video for YouTube. :sweat_smile: I’ll try that and see if I get the sound I’m looking for. I also had not considered it might be the go mixer, my pioneer setup has a focusrite (I put both together during pandemic chip shortages so I got what was available).

Its also probably true that I’m the only one who will ever be listening closely enough back to back but I wanted to make sure each was on par with the other if I’m going to split my efforts between setups. (Which I do to differentiate sets between my weekly and my custom scripted lightshows).

There is a lot of fuzz in the business about DA/AD converters and preamps. Also in the mixer world. But in my experience they are the strongest link in the chain with the least effect on overall sound quality. It’s relatively cheap to build a nice DA converter, or a nice preamp. Take for example the lengthy debate between Behringer X32 preamps, and Midas M32 preamps. Few people actually hear the difference. But then some conclude that Midas preamps sound better when overdriven, while, well, you shouldn’t be overdriving a preamp anyway… I conclude the whole matter is pretty moot…

On the other hand, your sound system (ranging from cheap Omnitronic speakers up to an Adamson or D&B line array) has a much much much larger effect: Piezo tweeters do sound much harsher then a quality compression driver with a very stiff cone and a linear waveguide in front of it… Especially at high volumes: 100dB on Omnitronic gear will make you cringe, while 100dB on D&B gear is pretty easy on the ears. Or, in this case, I can suspect audio compression has something to do with it. The streaming compression, but also your music libraries compression will have a larger impact then any modern DA converter.

And if we start to think about DA/AD converters anyway, which converter would be better, the SC6000’s, or the GO:mixer’s. 1500 euro vs 149 euro… I’m sure we all agree that upgrading your GO:mixer to an UA Apollo twin, costing 1000 euro, is pretty much pointless for your application :wink:

Now, I don’t want to bash you, your gear, or anything else, but wanted to point out that there is a lot of psychologic issues regarding perceived sound quality, including brand badges. Last weekend we had a gig with the band, and the other guitarist complained about the sound of his guitar through the monitors. After a few tries, the FOH engineer decided to let him tweak the EQ of the monitor send bus. After he was done, he added 2 1dB boosts, with a Q so low, that he basically just added 1dB of gain. But he was happy with the sound. Had a good laugh about this afterwards :smiley:


I am an avid fan of the Yamaha AG03/06 usb-mixers. You can run your audio from your controller into it, have your main speakers hooked up to it AND get a 192/24 stream into your laptop/computer, where you can use it to record your set or use the input for streaming purposes.

It even let’s you hook up an aux input with mini jack (i.e. phone or tablet, no level control but you can do that on the device) and hook up a (phantom-powered) mic with fader control.

Mk2 has just been released. The 03 is really compact, the 06 - featuring extra channels, obviously a bit bigger but still packing a lot of high quality options into a relatively tiny box. And it’s usb-powered so the same wire putting the sound into your computer powers your mixer. Should you wish you can hook up any mains 5V usb-adapter or even use a power bank.

I don’t benefit from the sale of these Yamaha mixers, but they are truly one of the best items I bought in the last few years. Mine (a mk1 AG03) sits on my desk as my desktop soundcard hooked up to my KRK 7s when I am not out playing. When I play out, it comes with me for backup purposes. I typically hook up a “guest” microphone to it, giving me far greater control over it than I typically have hooking it up to the mic2 channel of my P4.

My 3 cents as usual


Thanks for the feedback everyone, I really appreciate it. Big venue to bedroom it’s awesome to see others as passionate about the ins and outs.

Just thought I’d chip in here.

There’s a huge mega thread regarding this and the Prime range with lots of very technical insights.

I have experienced this in the club. We have a DJM 850 running via balanced XLR out. I connected my Prime 4 via RCA out to a line in and it’s sounded great. When I took the DJM 850 out of the chain and connected the Prime 4 straight to the balanced XLRs, it sounded as you described (dull and almost as if there was a phasing effect on it).

I use the RCA outs now and I have no problems.

I had a good listen to both in the studio on my Focal monitors. The mix on Mixcloud is indeed much more open, like a studio mix. That said, the music is very different, the mixcloud mix is of very commercial material, Youtube - not so much. Later on in the Youtube video, the music becomes a little more commercial and the sound becomes more like the other. Perhaps, this might explain some of the perceived difference. And, don’t forget, that the platforms themselves EQ the music. Mixcloud does expect listeners to have access to good speakers / headphones, perhaps Youtube is more targeted at Laptops and tablets. Certainly, our music doesn’t sound as good on Tubetube as it does on other platforms.

When we record long-form mixes, we spend a long time preparing the tracks, levelling volumes and correcting EQ. We record from our SC6000 and RELOOP RMX 60 mixer (or SL12s & XONE-62) on to a PC with SoundForge and a RME Hammerfall PCIe Soundcard. You can listen to one of our live mixes here:

Finally, I found both mixes perfectly comfortable to listen to!


I’m no Audio expert but I’ve been using my Prime 2 on a variety of house and PA systems and I’ve found it to sound perfectly fine… my last gig I used a pair of 15m XLR cables and even then it sounded decent.

It’s not quite as nice as the Mastersounds into my Focal monitors at home (I haven’t plugged the Prime into them yet but will look at doing so to see what it sounds like) but then I wouldn’t expect it to be.

Thank you, that was what I was hoping, that while we can pick out the difference, that the experience wasn’t being too far altered. I know I’m just a guy in a couple of rooms, but it mattered to me. Listening to the live mix you posted now on my HiFi while I make dinner.

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Hope you enjoyed the mix XD. For comparison of the sound differences, this is a studio single release on Soundcloud

vs. Youtube YOLO, You Only Live Once (Nefarious Deep Mix) - YouTube

Considering they are from exactly the same master they do sound very different. is a vinyl session (from last year) that you may also enjoy!

Well, recording directly was a nice thought, till I realized that recording is disabled if you are playing tracks from one of the streaming services

It certainly is.