Sound Quality Differences in standalone vs. DAW

Good afternoon peeps!

I notice that when I use any version in standalone and compare to what I am hearing when using through my DAW (Cubase) as a plugin, the standalone version sounds much better and much more “full”.

Am I missing something or a certain setting that may be causing the sound quality differences? I have the sampling on high for using without and within the DAW. All settings are the same within the standalone version as they are in Cubase when I add as a plug-in as well.

Share your thoughts! :slight_smile:

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Yes…same here…the stereo delay bounces between my speakers in standalone…but in the DAW it all comes out mono sounding, no matter the track type. I was just looking about this issue. I have an Apollo Twin into Cubase Pro…I don’t know why, but I also don’t know enough to know what I’m missing.

Hello guys. In the Standalone version, the signal comes out as stereo by default (that’s why you hear the ping-pong delay). Within a DAW, it will depend on the channel mode of the track in which the Plug-In is inserted. In some DAWs you need to make a stereo bus to insert the Plug-In and set the output of your mono track to go through the bus track, in other DAWs you only need to hit a button/switch to change the channel mode. There could also be slight changes in volume between the channel modes of the track depending on the DAW, that could explain the sound differences you’re hearing.

If you think the differences are too drastic, please send us an audio example to

I second this post. Can’t figure out why. Thought it was just me until I saw it wasn’t. Opened my neural plugins, played some stuff. Closed them. Opened a blank Abelton session with one stereo audio track and no processing. Opened the same neural plugins with the same patches and played the same stuff without moving from the chair. Sounds muddier…just not as crisp and good. Absolutely a noticeable difference. It has to be my settings somewhere since this makes no sense. Can you recommend anything to check in Abelton? I’ve tried every setting I can think of.

have you checked you are using the same samplerate and bitdepth in your daw as well as in your standalone version
and also check the output routings, perhaps your daw outputs to different channels on your interface than the standalone version

also, your DAW might react differently, when you run a Mono Signal (Guitar DI = Mono) into a stereo channel, than as if you are using the same approach within the Neural DSP standlone, which result i a different volume level = different tone
you can easily check this, by having a look at the input level meter at the neural dsp plugin, play the same riff in standalone and in the DAW, and the meter should be in the exact same range, if the meter shows a different level, you now know where you need to tweak

All settings are identical, including I/Os. Levels are nearly the same. Even after adjusting, there is still a difference in sound quality, not volume. What i’m hearing can’t be explained by volume or gain (I’ve tried tweaking both). I’m really not sure ho to describe it other than the DAW version is just muddier and less full.

thanks for confirming you did already thought about these,
thats than really weird
have you tried a different DAW or different DAW version, just to pinpoint it down a bit more

Has anybody been able to resolve this? I am experiencing the same issue

Hi @patricioblaquier. Which plugins are you using and how much of a difference you’re getting? As explained above, any difference between the standalone and plugin formats will come from the channel mode on the DAW and possible differences between the audio settings.

Hi Gonzalo, thanks or the reply. It is the Plini plugin and it is running in mono on both instances. The sound is exactly as they described it previously, not full or as bright. The different isn’t huge but it is definitely noticeable when I do an A/B comparison

@patricioblaquier When you’re using it as a plugin, you need to make sure to insert it on a mono-to-stereo track to match the sound of the standalone (do not confuse it with the mono/stereo switch). The output of the standalone will always be stereo, so if you insert the plugin on a mono track, there will be a difference caused by the channel mode of the audio track.