Summing two stereo signals before monitors
Hippocratic Mastering
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#1
29th January 2013
Old 29th January 2013
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Summing two stereo signals before monitors

Hi all,

I am currently using ITB gain adjustments for level matched A/B comparisons. However, I would like to do this in the analogue domain if possible, to allow me to keep the mastered track at its exact volume rather than attenuating it. I have a spare DAC with an output level control (Benchmark DAC1) available, and I can easily handle switching between the two signals ITB, and both my monitor DACs have independant volume controls, so all I really need to do is sum the two signals before my monitors.

Is there a simple, off the shelf product that accomplishes this with minimum loss of fidelity? It's my understanding that a simple Y Split cable would be a very bad idea. I could always buy a Coleman monitor controller, but it seems overkill when I would only really be using it to sum two signals together - I would not need any of the other functions at all.

I don't want to go DIY - is there something cheaper than a Coleman that accomplishes what I want and maintains signal accuracy?
Greg Reierson
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30th January 2013
Old 30th January 2013
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Seems to me you want switching, not summing. A simple input selector with DAC A on input 1 and DAC B on input 2 should do what you're looking for.

You could use something like Coleman Audio LS3 | Sweetwater.com if you're running unbalanced.

For balanced, the balanced Coleman is a great option.
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30th January 2013
Old 30th January 2013
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Yes, the LS3 is a cool little tool... have several, they work great.
Hippocratic Mastering
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30th January 2013
Old 30th January 2013
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As I say, I would rather do the switching inside the DAW if possible. It's just easier for my workflow to press the "s" key on the keyboard than reach out and flick a little switch. I don't think any added noise should make too much difference, right?

That said, I think I might have a lead on a cheap Coleman PS1A so will likely go with that now. Does anyone know how the input selection switches work on these devices? If I select one input are the others automatically deselected? I don't really mind either way as the PS1A switches seem nice and robust, but would be good to know.
#5
30th January 2013
Old 30th January 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kingtoad View Post
As I say, I would rather do the switching inside the DAW if possible. It's just easier for my workflow to press the "s" key on the keyboard than reach out and flick a little switch. I don't think any added noise should make too much difference, right?

That said, I think I might have a lead on a cheap Coleman PS1A so will likely go with that now. Does anyone know how the input selection switches work on these devices? If I select one input are the others automatically deselected? I don't really mind either way as the PS1A switches seem nice and robust, but would be good to know.
Summing with 2 open "sources" is likely to change the signal far more than a switching box and ITB level adjustment, wouldn't you think?

Any form of analogue trim is going to need extra components in the chain...I guess a passive attenuator is about as close as you're going to get to transparent.
Hippocratic Mastering
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31st January 2013
Old 31st January 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
Summing with 2 open "sources" is likely to change the signal far more than a switching box and ITB level adjustment, wouldn't you think?

Any form of analogue trim is going to need extra components in the chain...I guess a passive attenuator is about as close as you're going to get to transparent.
Yeah, I guess you're right. I think I'm resigned to the Coleman/other switching box option, or I might just wait and get a Crookwood or similar, as that is the long term plan.
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