ULN8 > Dangerous 2 Bus - Worth It?
Old 29th December 2012
  #1
Gear nut
 
drcaron's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
ULN8 > Dangerous 2 Bus - Worth It?

Loving my ULN8... but the grass is always greener right?

Now, I've read all the analog summing threads, and listened to tons of shoot-outs. But I'm wondering if there are any ULN8 users who are summing OTB?

Of course, the MIO summing is awesome, but I can't help but wonder if there are guys out there going from a ULN8 to a Dangerous 2-Bus or 2-Bus LT?

I'd like to get my hands on a D2B to at least try it out... but then again, the ULN8 rocks - and so does Studio One 2.5. Thoughts?
Old 29th December 2012
  #2
Lives for gear
 
nomatic's Avatar
Don't bother.......

The Mio summing sounded good enough to sell my Equinox.
Old 29th December 2012
  #3
Gear nut
 
drcaron's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Thanks for the feedback!
Old 29th December 2012
  #4
3 + infractions, forum membership suspended.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drcaron View Post
Loving my ULN8... but the grass is always greener right?

Now, I've read all the analog summing threads, and listened to tons of shoot-outs. But I'm wondering if there are any ULN8 users who are summing OTB?

Of course, the MIO summing is awesome, but I can't help but wonder if there are guys out there going from a ULN8 to a Dangerous 2-Bus or 2-Bus LT?

I'd like to get my hands on a D2B to at least try it out... but then again, the ULN8 rocks - and so does Studio One 2.5. Thoughts?
lots of summing threads, but a lot of misinformation going around.

I would say that summing is only really going to make enough of a difference to overall quality of your music if your using it it in combination with a lot of outboard equipment which you know how to use properly and effectively already.

if you just plan to run your ITB stems out to a summing mixer and expect game changing results, you can expect to be disappointed. granted some summing devices out there that will colour your mix but 2 dangerous stuff it not one of them. need to spend a fair bit on a summer to get that effect.

i do analog summing for the following reasons.

(1) to integrate analog outboard gear where you are doing parallel processing and you don't want to have to worry about delay compensation and phasing issues that comes with using the equipment as a hardware insert in your DAW. When you stem out like this, the effected signal get phase distorted and even when they line up latency wise you can get some weird results. if your not doing parallel processing then hardware inserts usually works well for the most part.

(2) in situations where you like the tone the summing device brings to the table and your prepared to sacrifice some increased noise floor and headroom as compared to if you just stayed ITB totally to get access to that tone.

some things about the dangerous stuff to consider are;

if the summing mixer doesn't have volume, or an input trim, your going to rely on either your outboard gear and or your DAW to drive the levels of your mix going into the summing device. if your not using analog outboard gear then this is fine although i would question why go OTB then anyway. if you are using analog outboard if your not careful this can create a wealth of issues from the gain-stage and headroom perspectives.

your analog gear is designed to accept and operating level of -18dBFS /+4 dBU RMS. If you are setting your mix levels from the DAW with the hardware in between then this can really screw up the way your hit your analog outboard. the summing device is supposed to be used so that you fed it all your tracks at -18dBFS RMS out of the daw into it with the outboard in between. (just like a console) this lets you operate the outboard in its optimal levels and it lets you bypass your outboard gear with equal A/B comparison levels to you can regularly compare the effect of the outboard on your mix at equivalent levels.

if you mixer has faders or volume knobs you can then use that you set your mix levels, if it doesn't your reduced to using the output stage of your outboard gear to try to finalise your mix levels which not a great option. you loose automation and a whole bunch of basic functionality. if you try to drive your summer from the DAW by setting up your mix levels from inside the box then you will end up with much less headroom than if you used the summer properly and less than if you just stayed ITB. this is because your constrained to the level you need to hit your analog gear at ideally and the fact that you only have 18dB of headroom in your daw above this operating point before you start CLIPPING. you will be so scared to clip you will effectively constrain yourself to well below that. some people on this forum argue that you can simply reduce the levels out of your daw to well below -18dbFS to accommodate this, but if you do that you will need to amp that signal in the analog domain before hitting your analog gear which just increases your noise floor. even if you can manage to hit your analog gear at these low levels, as soon as you analog network is engaged by the track, when it comes back into the daw, that track will have a very average SNR because it was so low when you hit it from ITB.

bottom line is if you go outboard summing, you should have lots of outboard analog gear, and you should have a mixer with at least volume and an insert trim.

i honestly believe the basic summers are a bit of a gimmick if you don't have the outboard to justify it. some just on its own is not going to do very much.

there are some workarounds with the dangerous mixer. for example, i see most people record in their levels at -18dbFS, then sent the outputs from the daw at unity gain on the daw faders. they then use a whole bunch of analog goodies to balance their mix. works for some, but i don't like that way of working.

end rant.
Old 29th December 2012
  #5
3 + infractions, forum membership suspended.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drcaron View Post
Loving my ULN8... but the grass is always greener right?

Now, I've read all the analog summing threads, and listened to tons of shoot-outs. But I'm wondering if there are any ULN8 users who are summing OTB?

Of course, the MIO summing is awesome, but I can't help but wonder if there are guys out there going from a ULN8 to a Dangerous 2-Bus or 2-Bus LT?

I'd like to get my hands on a D2B to at least try it out... but then again, the ULN8 rocks - and so does Studio One 2.5. Thoughts?
probably not worth your trouble.

summing is going to give you best results if you can successfully integrate analog outboard and you know how to use the outboard to your advantage over the plugins.

summing mixers on their own, especially a transparent one like the dangerous products, won't do much if anything at all.

They are more about being able to do parallel processing in the analog domain and not have to worry about your converter introducing phase distortion issues on tracks which you parallel that have not gone OTB. this happens when you go the hardware insert option. your parallel compression tracks will have phase issues with the original tracks unles you send both of them to do a pass through the same converter.

using a summing mixer with input trims and post insert faders or volume control, will allow you to maximise the headroom available to you when your integrating outboard gear and mixing with this gear. it won't be as much headroom than if you stayed ITB and just used the hardware as an insert, but it will be more headroom than if you just tried to drive your outboard gear and mix levels from the DAW with a basic analog summing unit slapped on the end, with no real thought about it. This in practice is quite bad practice and ive seen a lot of people get lured into this way of working when they buy a basic summer and comes across a couple of hardware pieces.

In short, if you don't have lots of outboard gear, and your purchasing a clean summing device with no faders or volume knobs, then you kind of have miss the opportunity to get any of advantages from analog summing. simply sending your stems out the summing unit will not do very much.

if you use a coloured summing device, it might give you some pleasurable results, but again with no outboard, i don't really see the point.
Old 29th December 2012
  #6
Gear Head
 
tobi-mobile's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drcaron View Post
Loving my ULN8... but the grass is always greener right?

Now, I've read all the analog summing threads, and listened to tons of shoot-outs. But I'm wondering if there are any ULN8 users who are summing OTB?

Of course, the MIO summing is awesome, but I can't help but wonder if there are guys out there going from a ULN8 to a Dangerous 2-Bus or 2-Bus LT?

I'd like to get my hands on a D2B to at least try it out... but then again, the ULN8 rocks - and so does Studio One 2.5. Thoughts?
I used the ULN-8 with a Neve 8816. Sold the Neve. Summing in MIO is stunning especially with the character presets. The only thing I do OTB is sending the master bus to some good pres. In my case its a pair of Avedis MA5 or Electrodyne 501. It gives some harmonics and glue.
Old 29th December 2012
  #7
Lives for gear
 
cinealta's Avatar
 

Analog summing is very overrated. Just use the ULN-8.
Old 30th December 2012
  #8
Gear nut
 
drcaron's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Thanks for the replies. The ULN8 is certainly a mighty piece of gear. And I can see why OTB summing would render minimal -if any- improvements to MIO summing. I know that most guys say it's just -different- when mixing analog.

I write and record mostly downtempo/electronic/rock. I have a Slate Dragon Comp which is great, but I'm not really using it much. Just trying to take my finished sound to the next level with some OTB polish. Perhaps an API 2500 would get more use across the 2-buss? Or a nice EQ?

Any dissenting opinions on summing OTB with the ULN8?
Old 30th December 2012
  #9
Lives for gear
 
CJ1973's Avatar
 

You are introducing a new set of variables into it, so it comes down to how much you are willing to work the new system to further things.

A friend has the Fat Bustard Thermionic Culture and I can say that it improved his sound slightly as it's tube/character based.

In anyevent, I've heard that 8 channels of summing is not worth it. Summing as a concept works better when there are 16 or more channels involved where the difference can be seen. However, great records are mixed and produced inside the box, so it's certainly not an essential to go that route.

In my case, after researching and based on budgets and my requirements, I went for an SSL X-desk (for me, its a great monitor control, reference, talk-back and 'if needed' I can sum but don't need to) and it's been a great investment.
Old 30th December 2012
  #10
3 + infractions, forum membership suspended.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drcaron View Post
Thanks for the replies. The ULN8 is certainly a mighty piece of gear. And I can see why OTB summing would render minimal -if any- improvements to MIO summing. I know that most guys say it's just -different- when mixing analog.

I write and record mostly downtempo/electronic/rock. I have a Slate Dragon Comp which is great, but I'm not really using it much. Or a nice EQ? Just trying to take my finished sound to the next level with some OTB polish. Perhaps an API 2500 would get more use across the 2-buss?

Any dissenting opinions on summing OTB with the ULN8?
if you just want to buy a select number of pieces of outboard gear to improve your mix then you dont have to go OTB summing for an elegant solution. there are other options. In my last post i talked about the advantages of analog summing when you have large amounts of analog gear to work with.

however you could still get something like the Dangerous Liaison. Its like a matrix patching device with a few parallel processing loops. you can integrate it to your ITB solution very well.

basically you stay ITB but your use it as a hardware insert. Then you attach your hardware into it. creating some signal chains and parallel loops in the analog domain.

it has 2 busses, so you can have 1 bus for parallel drums say with your analog compressor, as well as inline effects on that bus.

then you can use the 2nd buss as your 2 buss insert point. so you can slap hardware on your 2 bus using the liaison as the insert point.

it lets you connect up to 6 analog processors to it, and its perfect for someone just starting out with outboard, but still staying ITB and sticking with all the advantages of ITB. it solves the phasing issue with parallel processing using hardware in the box.

if one day you find you have more than 6 pieces of analog gear, you can just get another one and still work ITB and kick a lot of ass.

its been a big topic of discussion in the analog summing threads.

Old 31st December 2012
  #11
Lives for gear
 
rhizomeman's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by tobi-mobile View Post
The only thing I do OTB is sending the master bus to some good pres. In my case its a pair of Avedis MA5 or Electrodyne 501. It gives some harmonics and glue.
Tobi-mobile - does running the master through some MA5s work well? I also have a ULN8 and mix through the MIO (which is amazing) and was thinking of getting some outboard to run my masters through. Any advice would be appreciated.
Old 31st December 2012
  #12
3 + infractions, forum membership suspended.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drcaron View Post
Thanks for the replies. The ULN8 is certainly a mighty piece of gear. And I can see why OTB summing would render minimal -if any- improvements to MIO summing. I know that most guys say it's just -different- when mixing analog.

I write and record mostly downtempo/electronic/rock. I have a Slate Dragon Comp which is great, but I'm not really using it much. Just trying to take my finished sound to the next level with some OTB polish. Perhaps an API 2500 would get more use across the 2-buss? Or a nice EQ?

Any dissenting opinions on summing OTB with the ULN8?
man it sounds like you would be much better off going with the dangerous Liaison rather than the summing bus. it lets you stay in the box, but has 2 busses so you can insert up to 6 pieces of gear and do flawless analog parallel processing from within the box. when you get say to 20 or so outboard pieces, then it would be time to look at a nice summing solution with faders and input trim.
Old 31st December 2012
  #13
Gear nut
 
drcaron's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by Focalpress View Post
man it sounds like you would be much better off going with the dangerous Liaison rather than the summing bus. it lets you stay in the box, but has 2 busses so you can insert up to 6 pieces of gear and do flawless analog parallel processing from within the box. when you get say to 20 or so outboard pieces, then it would be time to look at a nice summing solution with faders and input trim.
That's a great recommendation. I wasn't aware of that product. Looks quite useful! Thanks for the suggestion.
Old 1st January 2013
  #14
3 + infractions, forum membership suspended.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drcaron View Post
That's a great recommendation. I wasn't aware of that product. Looks quite useful! Thanks for the suggestion.
that way you still keep your ITB headroom, and your not stuck trying to drive your summing box from your daw faders, then cornering yourself by trying to set appropriate levels to your outboard gear at the same time.

personally i would avoid any summing device without volume or insert trim like the plague if your actually trying to use outboard analog equipment. i would also avoid doing analog summing for analog summing's sake.
Old 6th April 2013
  #15
Gear interested
 

Sorry but you guys are crazy, the Dangerous 2-bus LT summing all my mixes made a HUGE difference even with just plugins, Just mixing down to a summing rack and pushing your faders some gives you a ton more headroom and a clearer, wider mix with better "glue" due to the added headroom. It up'ed the quality of my huge track count mixes considerably. With every penny and way better than ITB which, I will never do again.
Old 6th April 2013
  #16
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by neuroticartist View Post
Sorry but you guys are crazy, the Dangerous 2-bus LT summing all my mixes made a HUGE difference even with just plugins, Just mixing down to a summing rack and pushing your fakers some gives you a ton more headroom and a clearer, wider mix. It up'ed the quality of my huge track count mixes considerably. With every penny and way better than ITB which, I will never do again,
You sound like someone who doesn't have a ULN8 - if Im wrong then I apologise.

To the original poster the ULN8 sounds great but I still occasional go OTB into a compressor\ EQ.
Increasingly it doesnt help.
Old 7th April 2013
  #17
Lives for gear
 
ben_allison's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by neuroticartist View Post
Sorry but you guys are crazy, the Dangerous 2-bus LT summing all my mixes made a HUGE difference even with just plugins, Just mixing down to a summing rack and pushing your faders some gives you a ton more headroom and a clearer, wider mix with better "glue" due to the added headroom. It up'ed the quality of my huge track count mixes considerably. With every penny and way better than ITB which, I will never do again.
Yeah summing inside a ULN8/LIO8 is not exactly like summing inside a DAW.

It's got something like 60bits of resolution, so tons of headroom.

Many people who sum with it and also own fancy-pants summing boxes have ended up ditching the summing boxes.
Old 7th April 2013
  #18
Gear nut
 
drcaron's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by neuroticartist View Post
Sorry but you guys are crazy, the Dangerous 2-bus LT summing all my mixes made a HUGE difference even with just plugins, Just mixing down to a summing rack and pushing your faders some gives you a ton more headroom and a clearer, wider mix with better "glue" due to the added headroom. It up'ed the quality of my huge track count mixes considerably. With every penny and way better than ITB which, I will never do again.
What kind of gear are you using before the Dangerous LT?
Old 7th April 2013
  #19
Lives for gear
 
Magucci's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ben_allison View Post
Yeah summing inside a ULN8/LIO8 is not exactly like summing inside a DAW.

It's got something like 60bits of resolution, so tons of headroom.

Many people who sum with it and also own fancy-pants summing boxes have ended up ditching the summing boxes.
It even has 80bit summing.

Summing in the DAW is awful in comparison with summing in Mio mixer which is awesome for digital summing.
Old 7th April 2013
  #20
cme
Gear Head
 

Cool thread. While I don't have a ULN-8. Wish I did. I do have a 2882 and had contemplated a summing mixer. I already sum in the mio mixer. Guess I'll keep doing that for now.
Old 7th April 2013
  #21
Lives for gear
 
ben_allison's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Magucci View Post
It even has 80bit summing.
That's right. My bad!
Old 7th April 2013
  #22
Gear addict
 

I am (still) using my equinox ...with uln8 and 2 x2882
I love it....but I am using some outboard ..
The summing might not be it but I love the transformers
the dangerous didn't do it for me...
@nomatic
you really sold the equinox?
could you tell us your workflow now?
I would love to hear more stories of
people that went back to itb
Old 7th April 2013
  #23
Thought I would chime in:

Summing in the ULN-8 is stunning. I had NO IDEA it was any different until I did a tracking session. During tracking I was listening to the mix being summed inside of the ULN8. When I would play back the audio prom a native pro tools system it didn't sound nearly as good. I went crazy adjusting the levels to be EXACTLY the same, and didn't use any plugs. The difference was night and day; I couldn't believe it. Everyone who experienced it agreed.

So did I go and sell my Manley 16x2? No, how my mixing has evolved is that the 16x2 ends up being a parallel analog mixer. All of the tracks that I send out of the ULN8s for compression or EQ don't go back to the ULNs, they go to the Manley. The master out of the ULN goes into the EXT input of the Manley straight to the 2Bus. I then use the knobs on the Manley to mix in my parallel compression busses. Works awesome. The other plus is the Manley has 8 amazing mic pres.

So, if I only had the ULNs would I invest in an analog summer now? No, I'd spend that money on a compressor, or some other toy.
Topic:
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
Paul Wolff Designs / High end
32
CShorte / Music Computers
0
skip100 / So much gear, so little time!
15
Brad McGowan / So much gear, so little time!
35

Forum Jump
 
Register FAQ Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.