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ssl x-rack summing; 8 mono vs. 4 stereo modules
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sbackdoor
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13th March 2013
Old 13th March 2013
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ssl x-rack summing; 8 mono vs. 4 stereo modules

Hello Gearslutz!

I currently have an SSL x-rack on test in my room, equipped with both 1 x 4 mono inputs module, and 1 x 4 stereo inputs module.
The 4 mono inputs module has pans and level pots.
The 8 stereo has close to no controls.

I read comments here and there that mono inputs with level and pan would be the better sounding option. Why would that be?
I can hear zero difference between the modules really.

Am I missing something??
Now I'm not sure what to buy. If the monos are a better idea I may go for an x-desk instead.

Thanks everyone!
Steve
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13th March 2013
Old 13th March 2013
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sbackdoor
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13th March 2013
Old 13th March 2013
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Thanks...
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13th March 2013
Old 13th March 2013
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If you do a search, I've answered this same question a while back in quite some detail. However, the short answer is, the mono channels are the better sounding way to go, while using the stereo module as a "catch-all" for the additional channels in your mix that you don't have available mono channels and/or are less important (fx, group harms, etc.).
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sbackdoor
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13th March 2013
Old 13th March 2013
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Hi Kittonian,
I think it was actually a post from you that got me confused :-)
Nice of you to respond here.
I'm just wondering what you think makes the monos better sounding.
Is it cause of the variable amps? That allow us to drive the channels harder? Is it because of the pans?
Cause like I mentioned in the 1st post, I really can't hear a difference.
I'm totally willing to spend the extra money (basicaly double) for the monos if I only I knew why :-)
Thanks!
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13th March 2013
Old 13th March 2013
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I remember reading threads years back, and as I remember, people were saying that they sound the same. But as the same time (this is me here talking) the mono inputs, having levels, have an amplifier, so there is that sound to factor in. But at unity you shouldn't hear a difference....
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13th March 2013
Old 13th March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbackdoor View Post
Hi Kittonian,
I think it was actually a post from you that got me confused :-)
Nice of you to respond here.
I'm just wondering what you think makes the monos better sounding.
Is it cause of the variable amps? That allow us to drive the channels harder? Is it because of the pans?
Cause like I mentioned in the 1st post, I really can't hear a difference.
I'm totally willing to spend the extra money (basicaly double) for the monos if I only I knew why :-)
Thanks!
It has nothing do with "better sounding", and as a former SSL dealer who was fairly closely involved with the company, it has nothing to do with "thinking" that one scenario is better than the other.

When you group tracks (or send multiple one to the same stereo output) in a DAW there is digital summing taking place. Likewise, when you send a single track to a single output there is no digital summing taking place.

Beyond that, each mono module provides four independent inputs, each with separate level/pan/insert. You leave your faders/pans at unity ITB and do everything in analog on the X-Rack. If you can't hear a difference between -20db ITB and -20db on an X-Rack (or any high end analog console) you need to check your mixing situation.

This is why mixing on a big console with tons of channels is preferred by many over mixing ITB. That's the entire idea behind the X-Rack. It's a mini SSL 9000 console that you can build and daisy chain to your heart's content.

The best solution is for the initial X-Rack to contain 32 channels (6 mono modules and a single stereo module, along with the required master module). Then, you can add additional X-Racks full of 8 mono modules (up to four X-Racks total) for higher channels counts.
sbackdoor
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14th March 2013
Old 14th March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kittonian View Post
It has nothing do with "better sounding", ...
Oh, but you said better sounding, not me...

In any case, I think I'm going to go for the 8-input modules. I think it's too much hassle getting the ITB faders to unity and setting up my balance with the ittybitty tiny level pots on the SSL. And like I said, I can hear no difference anyway.
Thanks for the input guys!
Cheers,
Steve.
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14th March 2013
Old 14th March 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kittonian View Post
If you can't hear a difference between -20db ITB and -20db on an X-Rack (or any high end analog console) you need to check your mixing situation.
*..Going to check my mixing situation..*

Sometimes I think I'm deaf, when you guys describe what differences you're hearing all the time.

My 'mixing situation' is consisting of an AWS900, B&W N802 speakers in a well treated room.
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14th March 2013
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