Big vs small summing boxes
#31
21st July 2011
Old 21st July 2011
  #31
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Hi
Thanks , I was a bit suprised that it did not seem possible but these recording engineers are quite stuck in their own ways!
Anyone want a couple of 8 way 'summing mixers'?
Matt S
#32
21st July 2011
Old 21st July 2011
  #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Syson View Post
Hi
Thanks , I was a bit suprised that it did not seem possible but these recording engineers are quite stuck in their own ways!
Anyone want a couple of 8 way 'summing mixers'?
Matt S
Yeah - some people can be a bit "if I can't think how to do it then it isn't possible"....
#33
21st July 2011
Old 21st July 2011
  #33
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Well I just bought one of those $99 world's-smallest-summing-boxes.

It'll be worth it for the placebo effect alone!

-R
#34
21st July 2011
Old 21st July 2011
  #34
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There are amazing things you can do with a bunch of resistors (I think Rupert Neve said that once).
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Big vs small summing boxes-simp_mix.gif   Big vs small summing boxes-nm_willie_nelson_090203_ssh.jpg  
#35
11th February 2012
Old 11th February 2012
  #35
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Did anyone end up using this cable summer? I`m lusting over a folcrum/levr setup, and was wondering if I could use the cable summer and save some bux over the folcrum.
#36
11th February 2012
Old 11th February 2012
  #36
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Hi
The Folcrom is essentially the same as that cable 'thingy' except with the Folcrom you get the switches and a nice box.
Cost of parts, 18 resistors per 'unit' (8 channels), a 25 Dsub and 2 XLRs.
About an hour of soldering unless you learn to make loads of them when it will be quicker.
Matt S
#37
11th February 2012
Old 11th February 2012
  #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Syson View Post
Hi
The Folcrom is essentially the same as that cable 'thingy' except with the Folcrom you get the switches and a nice box.
Cost of parts, 18 resistors per 'unit' (8 channels), a 25 Dsub and 2 XLRs.
About an hour of soldering unless you learn to make loads of them when it will be quicker.
Matt S
agreed.. should be more then 18.. that would only be one per ch. There should be 2 per ch then the shunts..But still not much time.
#38
11th February 2012
Old 11th February 2012
  #38
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Hi
No
ONE D sub has 8 inputs, balanced so you need 16 resistors. Then 2 for 'shunts makes it 18.
Matt S
PS it would be interesting to KNOW what the time difference is between odd and even outputs on various interfaces, this depends on how the converters are configured and whether they are time aligned (they ought to be, but are they?).
#39
11th February 2012
Old 11th February 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Syson View Post
Hi
No
ONE D sub has 8 inputs, balanced so you need 16 resistors. Then 2 for 'shunts makes it 18.
Matt S
PS it would be interesting to KNOW what the time difference is between odd and even outputs on various interfaces, this depends on how the converters are configured and whether they are time aligned (they ought to be, but are they?).
You're right and I knew that wasn't thinking..
I thought double.. for balanced and forgot about 8ch whatever..haha

Yeah I made a smaller one into my TT bay just for sub mixing drums through my TG2 then into my Dangerous unit.
#40
12th February 2012
Old 12th February 2012
  #40
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So the impedance difference doesnt have anything to say for the Levr`s?
What your saying is that if I dont need the switches on the folcrom this is just as good?
#41
16th February 2012
Old 16th February 2012
  #41
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Ideally, the size of the box depends on what's in the box. Though I have seen a few absurdly overpriced products with an equally absurd amount of empty space inside, most of the smaller boxes are stripped down in terms of circuitry and features. That can be good or bad, depending on what you want and need.

1. Most important question. Knobs? Some people want to control their mix with their hands on faders. If the box has knobs or faders, I would call it a "mixer" as opposed to a "summing device" (which is a mixer without knobs). If you want to maintain the recall and automation ability of the DAW (which is the whole point of having a computer in your studio at all, IMHO) then you want a summing device that does not have knobs. Score one point for the small boxes. If not, then buy a mixing console.

2. Switches. Passive summing devices in particular depend on seeing a reliably low source impedance on every channel to maintain consistent insertion loss, crosstalk, and noise performance. If you're ever going to use a different number of inputs or assign them differently in the stereo spectrum, then you need some way of configuring each channel to feed the left or right busses (or both), and to terminate unused inputs. The most cost-effective way to do that is with switches. They take up some space, but in my opinion they're mandatory. I score one point for the not-quite-so-small.

3. Active circuitry. The small boxes are the passive ones. If you feel like you need buffer amps between your inputs and the summing node, then you'll have some extra circuitry in the signal path and you'll have a power supply and such. My design choice was to omit what was not needed, for a shorter, cleaner, more transparent signal path. Although this makes the summing box smaller, it also requires external makeup gain, so the total system isn't really any smaller than the active boxes. The big selling point for passive summing is that you get to choose the flavor of your makeup gain, as opposed to being stuck with one sound in the active box (though it may be a good one). My vote obviously is for the passive, but it's a matter of taste.

4. Flavor. Transformers and tubes and discrete op amps can be tossed into any circuit for flavor. The question is, do you want them on every channel all the time, or do you want to patch them in to channels or busses as you see fit? That's a question of preference and workflow, and there's no wrong answer. My personal feeling is that it's a waste of money to have a transformer-coupled tube amp permanently and irrevocably installed on a channel where you'd occasionally prefer the sound without it. Better to have a rack full of outboard gear (or plug-ins) where you can apply the flavors where and when you need them. Which makes the summing box smaller, but the system bigger (and more fun )

So you can see how different designers can arrive at different solutions for the same basic concept, and those solutions can have wildly different form factors. The solution I came up with left out pretty much everything except the switches. I don't think there's anything at all missing from the Folcrom, and I don't think there's anything that can be removed without crippling it.
#42
16th February 2012
Old 16th February 2012
  #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ulysses View Post
Ideally, the size of the box depends on what's in the box. Though I have seen a few absurdly overpriced products with an equally absurd amount of empty space inside, most of the smaller boxes are stripped down in terms of circuitry and features. That can be good or bad, depending on what you want and need.

1. Most important question. Knobs? Some people want to control their mix with their hands on faders. If the box has knobs or faders, I would call it a "mixer" as opposed to a "summing device" (which is a mixer without knobs). If you want to maintain the recall and automation ability of the DAW (which is the whole point of having a computer in your studio at all, IMHO) then you want a summing device that does not have knobs. Score one point for the small boxes. If not, then buy a mixing console.

2. Switches. Passive summing devices in particular depend on seeing a reliably low source impedance on every channel to maintain consistent insertion loss, crosstalk, and noise performance. If you're ever going to use a different number of inputs or assign them differently in the stereo spectrum, then you need some way of configuring each channel to feed the left or right busses (or both), and to terminate unused inputs. The most cost-effective way to do that is with switches. They take up some space, but in my opinion they're mandatory. I score one point for the not-quite-so-small.

3. Active circuitry. The small boxes are the passive ones. If you feel like you need buffer amps between your inputs and the summing node, then you'll have some extra circuitry in the signal path and you'll have a power supply and such. My design choice was to omit what was not needed, for a shorter, cleaner, more transparent signal path. Although this makes the summing box smaller, it also requires external makeup gain, so the total system isn't really any smaller than the active boxes. The big selling point for passive summing is that you get to choose the flavor of your makeup gain, as opposed to being stuck with one sound in the active box (though it may be a good one). My vote obviously is for the passive, but it's a matter of taste.

4. Flavor. Transformers and tubes and discrete op amps can be tossed into any circuit for flavor. The question is, do you want them on every channel all the time, or do you want to patch them in to channels or busses as you see fit? That's a question of preference and workflow, and there's no wrong answer. My personal feeling is that it's a waste of money to have a transformer-coupled tube amp permanently and irrevocably installed on a channel where you'd occasionally prefer the sound without it. Better to have a rack full of outboard gear (or plug-ins) where you can apply the flavors where and when you need them. Which makes the summing box smaller, but the system bigger (and more fun )

So you can see how different designers can arrive at different solutions for the same basic concept, and those solutions can have wildly different form factors. The solution I came up with left out pretty much everything except the switches. I don't think there's anything at all missing from the Folcrom, and I don't think there's anything that can be removed without crippling it.
There you have it - from the folks that basically invented the summing thing! I can only add that there will soon be an automated analog summing box available, and to this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by abechap024 View Post
One thing to remember when choosing these summing boxes is that the smaller resistors tend to be nosier.
If you're referring to the value of resistance, you have it backwards; and if you're referring to the physical size, you need to do a bit more research, as Dave Hill has done on SMT passives. Susumu brand actually spec's as good as 1% metal film through hole resistors.
#43
16th February 2012
Old 16th February 2012
  #43
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I'd hazard a guess that you could achieve the results you're hoping for ITB and save yourself a bundle of $... width etc. ?
IF you really want to sum, do it though a desk, not these overpriced boxes... the only reason I bother summing is to hit some channels hard, if I don't want coloration, it could pretty much stay ITB, the results aren't that mindblowing (to blow 2K±!!!!).
just an opinion of course.... but there are so many great mixes done ITB these days, there's no excuse!
As soon as I gave up the idea of gear, my work improved considerably.
#44
1st March 2012
Old 1st March 2012
  #44
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Great summing thread!
#45
1st March 2012
Old 1st March 2012
  #45
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The Folcrom is a great product. I didn't expect it to make such a big difference.
#46
2nd March 2012
Old 2nd March 2012
  #46
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I was skimming through this thread and was thinking about the 8 ch thingy and the comment "just grab 2 nice preamps for color and your good" .made me think.. wouldn't that screw with the phase coherency of the stereo field if they were not connected or linked?
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#47
2nd March 2012
Old 2nd March 2012
  #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ulysses View Post
Ideally, the size of the box depends on what's in the box.
Exactly. It's not the physical size of the box (I think that's what the OP was referring to...) - it's the circuit.


Quote:
Originally Posted by RightOnRome View Post
I was skimming through this thread and was thinking about the 8 ch thingy and the comment "just grab 2 nice preamps for color and your good" .made me think.. wouldn't that screw with the phase coherency of the stereo field if they were not connected or linked?
If they weren't the same preamp, then it's possible that you might wind up with some wierdness. If they are the same, and are both functioning to spec, then the answer to your Q is no.

Cheers.
#48
16th October 2012
Old 16th October 2012
  #48
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You may want to check this out

#49
5th December 2012
Old 5th December 2012
  #49
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BINGO

Quote:
Originally Posted by RightOnRome View Post
I was skimming through this thread and was thinking about the 8 ch thingy and the comment "just grab 2 nice preamps for color and your good" .made me think.. wouldn't that screw with the phase coherency of the stereo field if they were not connected or linked?
Bought a Little One 16.
Love it. Found this ^^ out about 3 days into mixing with it.

Same amps period...... M80, ISA 828, DIGITAL MPA (Telefunken tube), APHEX 320D. Had to invert the phase of one (1) side of the stereo out.
Lesson Learned
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