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implant
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#1
12th December 2013
Old 12th December 2013
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SSL Sigma

I'm thinking of investing into summing device. I need something fairly clean so I can add some colour with some nice hardware which I also plan to buy in the future. So, has anyone worked with Sigma? Or devices in that league, sound and price-wise?
I'd also like to hear your opinion on my plan in general - is it worth investing into this and is the difference from DAW summing big? And, is the summing compareable with real, big mixing desks?
#2
18th December 2013
Old 18th December 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by implant View Post
I'm thinking of investing into summing device. I need something fairly clean so I can add some colour with some nice hardware which I also plan to buy in the future. So, has anyone worked with Sigma? Or devices in that league, sound and price-wise?
I'd also like to hear your opinion on my plan in general - is it worth investing into this and is the difference from DAW summing big? And, is the summing compareable with real, big mixing desks?
Depending on what you're wanting to do with it, it could be a really good investment. What sorts of projects will you be doing, and will you be doing a lot of live work?

Best,
Geoffrey
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implant
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20th December 2013
Old 20th December 2013
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Hey Geoffrey,

I wouldn't be doing nothing too fancy. Just mix my tracks and use it as a summing device. On the other hand, since this is just an idea, I must admit that I haven't dived into Sigma's manual to see everything it can do. Do you have hands-on experience with it and how do you like it?
implant
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#4
20th December 2013
Old 20th December 2013
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Forgot to mention: I do mainly rock, electronica and pop for sport videos, commercials, trailers and similar stuff. Thanks,

Ivan.
#5
22nd December 2013
Old 22nd December 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by implant View Post
Hey Geoffrey,

I wouldn't be doing nothing too fancy. Just mix my tracks and use it as a summing device. On the other hand, since this is just an idea, I must admit that I haven't dived into Sigma's manual to see everything it can do. Do you have hands-on experience with it and how do you like it?
I love it! I only use it for mixing and adding a little "juice" to certain tracks in my mix and it makes them so good. I wouldn't trade it for any other plugin like it. I'd say do it!
implant
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#6
23rd December 2013
Old 23rd December 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geoffreyvernon View Post
I love it! I only use it for mixing and adding a little "juice" to certain tracks in my mix and it makes them so good. I wouldn't trade it for any other plugin like it. I'd say do it!
Cool! Are you using it for summing purposes, too? If you do, how does it compare to DAW summing?

Also, I find interesting that you are using it for juicing up some tracks, it should be fairly clean. I have worked on AWS 900 (from the same Super Analogue family) and it did not have too much colour. So, how do you achieve it, by cranking the outputs from your converters maybe? Thanks in advance,
Ivan.
#7
1st January 2014
Old 1st January 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by implant View Post
Cool! Are you using it for summing purposes, too? If you do, how does it compare to DAW summing?

Also, I find interesting that you are using it for juicing up some tracks, it should be fairly clean. I have worked on AWS 900 (from the same Super Analogue family) and it did not have too much colour. So, how do you achieve it, by cranking the outputs from your converters maybe? Thanks in advance,
Ivan.

It is so much better than DAW summing. I juice up my tracks by cranking the ouputs of converters! So yes you're right!
#8
2nd January 2014
Old 2nd January 2014
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Honestly, you're talking a very small difference with a summing device. What are you missing from your mixes that you're hoping to gain with this?
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2nd January 2014
Old 2nd January 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VitaEtMusica View Post
Honestly, you're talking a very small difference with a summing device. What are you missing from your mixes that you're hoping to gain with this?
I'm not hoping for some massive improvement, I know it doesen't work that way. What I like with mixing with hardware is that it's easy to achieve separation between instruments easier and quicker than with software. That was my experience with ssl, at least...

Frankly, I'd be satisfied with 5-10 percent improvement in punch, separation and headroom, if it's possible to measure those categories like that. Later, I plan to add master compressor and eq/comp for some channel treatment and if that brings another 5-10 percent, I'd say it's worth it. What do you think? Or is it better to go with VCC or Nebula?
#10
2nd January 2014
Old 2nd January 2014
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Demo VCC and Nebula First to see if they give what you are looking for then see if you can fins anyone with a sigma that you can play with for a couple of hours. I've summed using SSL AWS 900s and Dualitys and they sound freaking orgasmic. Now the VCC on 4k Brit sounds very much like when I sat in front of those boards but still didn't sound quite right. Maybe do both. Just remember that if you get the sigma you'll also need to spend around 4-6K on enough A/D-D/A Conversion to leave and come back. Plus in order to really make it worth it you'll really should get a buss compressor to put at the end of the summer right before going back in the box which will cost you another 3-5K depending on the format.
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3rd January 2014
Old 3rd January 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by will_gates00000 View Post
Demo VCC and Nebula First to see if they give what you are looking for then see if you can fins anyone with a sigma that you can play with for a couple of hours. I've summed using SSL AWS 900s and Dualitys and they sound freaking orgasmic. Now the VCC on 4k Brit sounds very much like when I sat in front of those boards but still didn't sound quite right. Maybe do both. Just remember that if you get the sigma you'll also need to spend around 4-6K on enough A/D-D/A Conversion to leave and come back. Plus in order to really make it worth it you'll really should get a buss compressor to put at the end of the summer right before going back in the box which will cost you another 3-5K depending on the format.
So, VCC is not there yet? I've listened to Nebula demos but haven't had a chance to work with it myself. Have you tried it's API, Neve and SSL emulations?

I also worked with AWS 900, some older SSLs, Amec 9098 and various consoles that are not so high-end (but not low-end, either). They all had better separation and summing than DAW. It seemed that, once you left the PC behind and spread your mix on console, mixing just got easier because everything had it's own sonic place. Channels were just separated better, not to mention headroom and color you get from some of those beasts...

Now, I know summing is just a part of equation and that mixer is more than it's master buss. Also, I'm aware that it's very expensive route - I'd add Api 500 rack (or two) for some channel treatment, Culture Vulture, Api 2500 and maybe SSL- type 2 buss compressor, and that's without converters. But, it would be very powerful, flexible hybrid setup, don't you think?
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3rd January 2014
Old 3rd January 2014
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To be perfectly honest. If doing music for TV and film, spending the money on a summing box is overkill and/or a waste of money, a lot of times you need to submit stems along with the mixes and the stems get used in the shows a lot... which won't have your summing mixer on it anyway...

We did a shootout a while ago between different types of summing. In a completely blind test with all the levels matched, there was actually a slight preference for the ITB mix.

For me, what makes mixing through a console sound better isn't actually the console but using the console's controls instead of a keyboard and a mouse. I've been mixing on control surfaces for a few years now, and within the last year got an ICON for the studio I run and am very happy. To me anyway, moving faders while using your ears makes much better mixes than moving your mouse while using your eyes.

And most films and TV shows today are mixed ITB (protools) or through a digital console (Euphonix or Harrison). For example the TV show Lost was mixed ITB using an ICON. Game of Thrones is mixed on a Euphonix. Both of which have won awards for Sound.

Food for thought anyway.
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#13
3rd January 2014
Old 3rd January 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Etch-A-Sketch View Post
To be perfectly honest. If doing music for TV and film, spending the money on a summing box is overkill and/or a waste of money, a lot of times you need to submit stems along with the mixes and the stems get used in the shows a lot... which won't have your summing mixer on it anyway...

We did a shootout a while ago between different types of summing. In a completely blind test with all the levels matched, there was actually a slight preference for the ITB mix.

For me, what makes mixing through a console sound better isn't actually the console but using the console's controls instead of a keyboard and a mouse. I've been mixing on control surfaces for a few years now, and within the last year got an ICON for the studio I run and am very happy. To me anyway, moving faders while using your ears makes much better mixes than moving your mouse while using your eyes.

And most films and TV shows today are mixed ITB (protools) or through a digital console (Euphonix or Harrison). For example the TV show Lost was mixed ITB using an ICON. Game of Thrones is mixed on a Euphonix. Both of which have won awards for Sound.

Food for thought anyway.
+1, I think its a waste of money too. Get the artist series fader pack from Euphonix and start automating using faders.. or if you have the cash you get a D command for a decent price theses days.
#14
3rd January 2014
Old 3rd January 2014
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Quote:
So, VCC is not there yet? I've listened to Nebula demos but haven't had a chance to work with it myself. Have you tried it's API, Neve and SSL emulations?
Don't get me wrong, they sound awesome and I use them myself now that when I'm not in front of those. What I meant is that they don't sound exactly the same as the consoles that I was in front of which was also affected by the master buss compressor as well as the master buss Massive Passive that would be inserted into it. Honestlry I would say stay in the box for price reasons and spend the extra money on better VI's or better monitors.
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3rd January 2014
Old 3rd January 2014
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Ok guys, thanks for all the advices. I'll definitely try Nebula when I upgrade my PC, since it's very resource hungry. What are your thoughts on investing in high-end 2-buss compressor and/or coloring device, like Culture Vulture or Fatso? Is there a point in using them on master buss via insert points in DAW, but without hardware summer?
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3rd January 2014
Old 3rd January 2014
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Everytime I hear things like this, it just sounds to me like it's been made louder and that's it.

Reminds me the amount of times I've sent a client an MP3 with the gain turned up on the stereo out and they've said it sounds so much better and bigger and 'phat'.

Reminds me of the time everyone was raving on about Liquid Mix.
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#17
4th January 2014
Old 4th January 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amber View Post
Everytime I hear things like this, it just sounds to me like it's been made louder and that's it.

Reminds me the amount of times I've sent a client an MP3 with the gain turned up on the stereo out and they've said it sounds so much better and bigger and 'phat'.

Reminds me of the time everyone was raving on about Liquid Mix.
I disagree, but thanks for chiming in.
#18
13th March 2014
Old 13th March 2014
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I've listened to the example from ssl site of sigma and a/b'ed many times. Maybe my ears are not so good, but honestly the difference is negligible for me. I use a tc konnekt 24d soundcard and dynaudio bm6a's in a treated room. Go on and listen the sample for yourself. I really doubt most of the end users will have a better setup for listening. Also I noticed they don't tell which converter is used.

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