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Summing Shootout - Burl B32 vs I.C. MIX690 vs Tonelux OTB16 vs Rascal ToneBuss
Old 15th March 2016
  #121
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by thomas muller View Post
we would just pass everything thru our summing boxe while we are equalizing our channels , isn't ?
To some extent, yes. Yet then some of the summing boxes add non-linear distortion by having transformers and Class A circuitry in the signal-path, and for me, that's one of the exciting things of using analogue summing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thomas muller View Post
What bores me more , is the respect of the transient , and for sure here , between these different summing boxes , some are cutting the transient of the overhead and the voice ...
Yes, the trick is to find a summing box that does something interesting with the mix, but doesn't munch too much transients. Keeping track of the levels and sometimes back off the main output level, can help preserve transients, at the expense of a less saturated mix. The best is of course when you can get both out of a summing box.

The digital converters will also have an impact on the sound, especially the ADC that's suppose to capture the full glory of the analogue mix.

The only way to really know if analogue summing does something interesting with your music, is to try it out yourself.


Cheers
Fred
Sound On Sound contributor
Old 17th March 2016
  #122
IMO the OTB 16 is the b st value in summing mixers on the the market now. FWIW I have one for sale in the classifieds. Considering a medium sized console.
Old 10th September 2016
  #123
Gear Head
 
efernando's Avatar
 

Thank u very much trackworx for putting these samples up - amazingly helpful for people like me doing gear research. I personally found the differences a bit subtle, especially after downsizing files to /itunes & listening in real word environment - i.e headphones/car. a question on the burl32 - how hard were u pushing the unit? was it in the red or close to it? am looking to buy a box that would add a lot of color to my largely digital music & am interested in how well the b32 saturates. if the files put up for the b32 r already being pushed hard into the b32, then that would indicate the unit would probably be too subtle for me. thanks again!
Old 10th September 2016
  #124
Gear Maniac
 

I'v had this idea for a while of getting a simple 16-channel passive summing mixer and running 16 outputs from my converters into it. Firstly, I would process the material coming out in mono and in pairs ITB, with whatever plugins work best to glue and sculpt a ballpark mix. Then, as stage 2, I would further enhance each mono and stereo output with whatever outboard I needed to add some extra analogue vibe, saturation, definition to my ITB tracks and, ideally (costly exercise, but doable), finally run each D/A output through some Neve-ish line level device (an EQ, even if left flat, would impart some Carnhill coloration vibe - so, say, 16 AML EZ1073's for argument's sake - the DIY version I will have 8 channels of, hopefully soon) into the summing device. Add makeup gain on the passive summer with another pair of Neve clones, with EQ if available, and more Carnhill transformer vibe through a final stage of 2254 compressor clones. Now, if that's all gear I already had and used for tracking anyway, it's just a matter of re-patching. To me, that kind of summing should approximate the sound of a vintage Class A console to some degree with the only added expense of a 16-ch. passive summer, assuming one already had the rest of the gear handy and on a patchbay. Anyone care to chime in? That would be my dream summing solution, short of buying 8 Silver Bullets! But hey, this is GS, ya never know!
Old 10th September 2016
  #125
Quote:
Originally Posted by efernando View Post
Thank u very much trackworx for putting these samples up - amazingly helpful for people like me doing gear research. I personally found the differences a bit subtle, especially after downsizing files to /itunes & listening in real word environment - i.e headphones/car. a question on the burl32 - how hard were u pushing the unit? was it in the red or close to it? am looking to buy a box that would add a lot of color to my largely digital music & am interested in how well the b32 saturates. if the files put up for the b32 r already being pushed hard into the b32, then that would indicate the unit would probably be too subtle for me. thanks again!
You're welcome!

Yes it is fairly subtle. I think much of the effort we put in to make stellar recordings is lost on most listeners and generally only appreciated by audiophiles with great systems. Always has been that way, but more so in recent years. It's less subtle to the audiophiles...

I wasn't pushing the B32 into the red, just amber when the +6dB button was engaged. It saturates very nicely when pushed hotter if that's what you're after. I can't say whether it's the sound you have in your head, but I can say that it's capable of a lot more saturation than what's presented here. I'm not aware of another summing mixer with the flexibility of the B32 when it comes to saturation - you can switch from clean to dirty at the touch of a button. IDK, maybe the Dangerous 2-Bus+ is another option for you - I haven't heard that one - very different design, and half as many channels.

Good luck with your search!
Old 10th September 2016
  #126
Quote:
Originally Posted by formusic View Post
I'v had this idea for a while of getting a simple 16-channel passive summing mixer and running 16 outputs from my converters into it. Firstly, I would process the material coming out in mono and in pairs ITB, with whatever plugins work best to glue and sculpt a ballpark mix. Then, as stage 2, I would further enhance each mono and stereo output with whatever outboard I needed to add some extra analogue vibe, saturation, definition to my ITB tracks and, ideally (costly exercise, but doable), finally run each D/A output through some Neve-ish line level device (an EQ, even if left flat, would impart some Carnhill coloration vibe - so, say, 16 AML EZ1073's for argument's sake - the DIY version I will have 8 channels of, hopefully soon) into the summing device. Add makeup gain on the passive summer with another pair of Neve clones, with EQ if available, and more Carnhill transformer vibe through a final stage of 2254 compressor clones. Now, if that's all gear I already had and used for tracking anyway, it's just a matter of re-patching. To me, that kind of summing should approximate the sound of a vintage Class A console to some degree with the only added expense of a 16-ch. passive summer, assuming one already had the rest of the gear handy and on a patchbay. Anyone care to chime in? That would be my dream summing solution, short of buying 8 Silver Bullets! But hey, this is GS, ya never know!
Sounds like a lot of fun if quick/easy mix recall isn't required...
Old 10th September 2016
  #127
Gear Head
 
efernando's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trakworx View Post
You're welcome!

Yes it is fairly subtle. I think much of the effort we put in to make stellar recordings is lost on most listeners and generally only appreciated by audiophiles with great systems. Always has been that way, but more so in recent years. It's less subtle to the audiophiles...

I wasn't pushing the B32 into the red, just amber when the +6dB button was engaged. It saturates very nicely when pushed hotter if that's what you're after. I can't say whether it's the sound you have in your head, but I can say that it's capable of a lot more saturation than what's presented here. I'm not aware of another summing mixer with the flexibility of the B32 when it comes to saturation - you can switch from clean to dirty at the touch of a button. IDK, maybe the Dangerous 2-Bus+ is another option for you - I haven't heard that one - very different design, and half as many channels.

Good luck with your search!
very cool thanks for getting back! will put it on my list to demo
Old 9th August 2017
  #128
Gear Head
 

Two times I tried this blind.

Both times I picked the ITB mix.

I think when you monitor off the summed mix before AD you are getting that more "real" or "punchy" or whatever descriptor of your choosing. Ultimately however unless you are mixing to tape, your signal ends up going through converters anyway, and outside of some subtle (extremely subtle) differences in harmonic content, that perceived depth/width/punch ends up mostly being the result of an analog monitoring path. JMO for those who may be thinking of investing in a summing box just for the sake of summing.
Old 5th February 2018
  #129
Gear Head
 

Redid this test, totally blind, in a proper monitoring environment.

Each time the 690 won. Did it about 5 times on separate days.
Old 6th February 2018
  #130
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMegaMan View Post
Redid this test, totally blind, in a proper monitoring environment.

Each time the 690 won. Did it about 5 times on separate days.
I came to the same conclusion when I was looking for a summing box with flavour.

Eventually I bought a MIX690 and love it to bits.

Sounds like you're hearing what I'm hearing, so if you get the chance to buy one, you should go for it.


Thank me later! ;-)


Fred
Sound On Sound contributor
Old 6th February 2018
  #131
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
I also preferred the 690 in my listenings here. I probably said that a long time ago.
Old 31st May 2019
  #132
Here for the gear
 

Hi Trakworx, would you mind reposting the comparison files? The Google Drive link in the OP said no files exist. I'm considering picking up the Burl and would love to hear your tracks. Thanks!
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