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Summing mixer or "real" mixer?
Old 21st January 2007
  #1
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Summing mixer or "real" mixer?

I've been lurking here for a while, but I could use some opinions, so here is my first post:

I'm more or less an "old timer" in this business at 50, and worked my way up in the NYC studio scene during the late 70's and 80's. As a television composer for the last 15 years, the total reset/recall of working in the box was too tempting to turn down, so about 5 years ago, I dumped my console and tape machines, and that really worked for my tv work. Lately, I've returned to making records, and would like to take more advantage of my front end gear (Neve, Cranesong, Calrec, Langevin, etc.) when I'm mixing.

I've been looking very hard at some of the summing options, with the Neve 8816 looking very good due to its cue send, real vu meters, monitoring facilities, and usb recall. With the total package price of this (and some of the other summing options like the Spider and Dangerous) closing in on five grand, I've been considering the option of buying a "real" console for the same or slightly more bread. I could probably get a used Trident 65 or 70, an MCI 636, Angela, etc. OR one of the newer consoles like a Toft, Trident, etc. I would only really need 16 inputs, so I've been looking at consoles I can get in a smaller frame size, and I still have all of the bantam bays from my old rig. Not looking forward to the wiring, recapping, and maintainence issues of a full bore console, though.

I could sure use any opinions or advice you all might have. I know that some of you swear by your summing boxes and others use a console. The appeal of a console for me would be the aux sends and eq channels, and the admittedly old fashioned appeal of good old faders. The summing box thing is kind of new to me, but I guess the appeal is pristine sound quality and compact size, and in the case of the Neve, the recall.

What say all of you, fellow Slutz??
Old 21st January 2007
  #2
Quote:
Originally Posted by beautyfish View Post

What say all of you, fellow Slutz??
In the nether region that you are asking about or that in between place it comes down to the "form" versus "function" thing.

If "form" is more important in terms of sound and vibe than a console will always win but in your price range there really isn't anything worthwhile IMO. Unless you want a project and if you are a busy guy it will just sap your energy in terms of effort and funds.

If you rely more on "function" in terms of recall and instant reset than its an easy answer...either stay ITB or make the attempt at a simple outboard summing unit like the Folcrom. The other more elaborate summing boxes that are a hybrid summing box with a few tasty "console features" thrown in will just leave you frustrated because once in you go in that direction you'll want to take it all the way.

And lastly there is always the Tonelux which ideally is the way that bridges the gap because you can build it as you go and add parts as needed. The only issue with the Tonelux is once you build a full fledged console your back to the lack of the function instant recall/instant reset thing but for 16 channels it maybe ok.
Old 21st January 2007
  #3
Yup!

Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor View Post
In the nether region that you are asking about or that in between place it comes down to the "form" versus "function" thing.

If "form" is more important in terms of sound and vibe than a console will always win but in your price range there really isn't anything worthwhile IMO. Unless you want a project and if you are a busy guy it will just sap your energy in terms of effort and funds.

If you rely more on "function" in terms of recall and instant reset than its an easy answer...either stay ITB or make the attempt at a simple outboard summing unit like the Folcrom. The other more elaborate summing boxes that are a hybrid summing box with a few tasty "console features" thrown in will just leave you frustrated because once in you go in that direction you'll want to take it all the way.

And lastly there is always the Tonelux which ideally is the way that bridges the gap because you can build it as you go and add parts as needed. The only issue with the Tonelux is once you build a full fledged console your back to the lack of the function instant recall/instant reset thing but for 16 channels it maybe ok.
What this bloke says exactly.
Old 21st January 2007
  #4
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I'm OTB but that's mostly due to the relative easiness of getting the 'sound' I want as opposed to mixing ITB which takes a longer time for me.

Another reason is my clients -- they want to see something - the console and its name, SSL, helps calm those clients' nerves....

But if I were to go ITB in the future, I'd just go all the way 100%. Summers just don't do it for me and the clients don't see any 'modular setup' as a console. So in other words, I'd go all the way digital, get an ICON and at least they'll be happy with all the lights and knobs of the ICON! heheheheh

Hmmmm.... If I had to redo it all, start from scratch, I'd go ITB now.
Old 21st January 2007
  #5
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I tried ITB for several years and was never happy with (1) the sound and (2) constantly updating plug-ins (at a cost). I went to a pair of Folcroms (with a pair of Origins for preamps) and I liked the sound, but it was quite limited functionally.

I now have an 8816/8804 and I like this much better:
(1) Individual input panning
(2) Faders
(3) Direct Outs for every input
(4) a pair of inputs to feed another summer directly to the mix bus (w/o going thru a pair of inputs).

It is certainly not a console. But for a home studio, a console just never seems to make sense to me. I don't have a lot of space, and more importantly I already have enough trouble making the time to concentrate on the creative side (song writing, composing, tracking, etc.). If I had to worry about a console and power cost, cooling, maintenance, etc., I'm afraid I'd end up like Thrill says............sapped of time and funds.

I do believe, though, that a passive summer will come up short functionally. So, you need to think thru how you will use it. I have A/B'ed panning ITB versus panning at the 8816, and the analogue panning clearly sounds better. Also, note that if you have a passive summer like the Folcrom and you want to pan ITB, you will have to send the track out stereo thru a pair of DAC's. This means more DAC's and more outboard gear for processing stereo versus mono.

I don't know how I got by w/o the faders. I now ride the faders during mixdown. Yes, alternatively I can automate ITB (and I do that where it is obviously needed), but using the faders during mixdown to impart the feel I want to the song is a huge plus...............and also great fun. Yes, I wish they were heavier faders and would gladly pay more for faders that feel more like a console.............but they do the job.

The Direct Outs are also very important to me. I take them to a patchbay and then patch to effects. Without the DO's, that becomes much more difficult if you are doing everything with outboard gear.

I'd really love to have a console. But I wouldn't want to buy a cheap one and live with the consequences, both in terms of sound quality and maintenance. And I just can't see buying and maintaining a really good console. Alas, such is life.

If someone is successfully using a good 16-channel console (custom or otherwise) in a home studio situation, please let us know what you are using. I'd love to find "the answer".

I would guess we'll soon see more summer/mixers with features like the 8816/8804. But right now, there is nothing available with these features at anything near this cost.

You should demo the 8816/8804 combination. It has some color and a sound and you may or may not like it. Since I have lots of color already with outboard gear, for my music I wouldn't mind it being a hair cleaner. But it has much less color than, say, the Chandler. You can get some cleaner summers............................but w/o the (essential for me) features.

BTW, I haven't worked up the cost for a Tonelux setup that will give you exactly the same features as the 8816/8804. That would be interesting to do. If you do that, let us know what you come up with.
Old 22nd January 2007
  #6
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Ken Lewis's Avatar
I've done alot of mixing (and still do) on big SSL's and whatnot, and i've done alot of mixing completely in the box. I really like mixing both ways, but find that the mindset and approach to what your trying to get and how you go about getting it is completely different between the two. I basically had to reteach myself how to mix when i started ITB and had to come up with my own brand new techniques and methods. I'm quite happy with alot of my ITB mixes, some not as much, but then the same can be said for my large console mixes as well i guess. Mixes definitely sound different ITB, but that doesnt mean for a moment that they cant sound great, i think they can.

Anyway, when the summing boxes came out, i got an SPL Mix Dream, which i LOVE. Sonically to my ears felt like i was back on a console, and the ability to use all my great analog outboard gear easily again was the big added sonic bonus. I like the summing box approach so much i also got an API 8200A (8 mono channels with fader and pan), which i take the stereo out of into the cascade inputs of the Mix Dream, effectively giving me 24 analog channels, 8 with pans, and the Mix Dream can sum any of the first 6 outs to center mono as well. If i had it to do over, i'd probably get the Neve box, for the recall, pans, and faders, but i'm definitely a fan of summing boxes, it sounds like analog again and you still have all the power of your plugins as well, and no upkeep costs so far. Also, just an FYI, the API stuff is modular, so if i decide to add another 8 or 16 later on, its a breeze. Its got rotary faders, but i find i do 99% of my levels and automation ITB and just use the summing boxes for their analog capabilities.
Old 22nd January 2007
  #7
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Cojo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor View Post
If "form" is more important in terms of sound and vibe than a console will always win but in your price range there really isn't anything worthwhile IMO. Unless you want a project and if you are a busy guy it will just sap your energy in terms of effort and funds.
I don't agree.

I think there are consoles in this (5 grand and slightly more bread) range that is good, reliable and usable. You don't have to have an api, ssl or neve to have a good console IMHO.

I was looking at some summing boxes and cosole options a year ago and my choice became a console. A Studer 962 and I don't regret it. It's reliable, sounds very good and have just enough chanels in a small footprint.

I'd say, - If you want a console there are good ones out there and don't let the lack of total recall scare you off.

Old 22nd January 2007
  #8
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I'm in the same dilema right now that i sold my Sony Dmx R100 and truly when i think about it it was a very good option in my nowadays needs as it was a transparent board that gave me not only the advantage of total recall but also bypassed my needs for a patchbay as it's a fully modular board allowing you to assign anything everywhere: As soon as you have all your outboard connected to it, anything goes....
Now, that i'm ready for a change, i am looking for an alternative,and i'd tell you that if i'd like to go back analog, i also got spoiled having worked on digital boards all those years and what make my choice difficult is that there is no much options for an anaolg summing box or 16Ch analog board offering total recall possibilities...
The only attractive option that kept my attention seems to be the Neve 8816. and although i wouldn't doubt the quality of the signal path, i'm just not quiet convinced yet about the built quality of the mixer.
I think there is a big gap in the market that needs to be filled and it's time for major analog board companies who already develloped the Summing alternative to adapt the market's need to sit down with their research department to devellop a cost effective automation system that could integrate to their analog line of summing mixers. How difficult should it be to automate the reduced fonctions offered from a Summing box? If Neve was able to do it and kept the price of the 8816 so low, why don't anybody else do it?
Old 22nd January 2007
  #9
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In fact, i'm looking at this SSL X rack right now, it looks like i have now a second option for anaolg summing with Total recall....Has anybody tried it yet?
Old 22nd January 2007
  #10
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Koed's Avatar
 

I haven't actually used it on a project yet, but I had a feel of one at the dealers the other day.
It's absolutely on my shortlist as a summing/mixing/mastering console.
Especialy now the new 8 channel summing module has been announced.
Mind you, a fully loaded one with summing, pre-amps, eq and dynamics will set you back around $8000 I think.

But it's a jack of all traits. Use it for tracking.. use it for summing at mix down.. use it for mastering.
Old 22nd January 2007
  #11
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I've spend an hour reading the comments about it on G.S, i know, it's not cheap, but i like the fact that it's modular....I hope they won't do like Sony with the Dmx R100 and drop Support after a 4 years or so...and am sure they will come up with a fader pack at some point. Come on ! It's SSL! Built to last! ( I'm trying to convince myself here... heh )
Old 22nd January 2007
  #12
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foldback's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike H View Post
The Direct Outs are also very important to me. I take them to a patchbay and then patch to effects. Without the DO's, that becomes much more difficult if you are doing everything with outboard gear.
I have an 8804/8816 combination that I also like very much. Low noise, great sound, tons of headroom.

How did you wire up the direct outputs?

Mine did not come with any schematic. It did come with a connector to access the direct outputs but I don't have a schematic.

I'd rather buy a cable and be done with it but I'd be willing to make one if necessary.

Mark
Old 22nd January 2007
  #13
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Adebar's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexstringer View Post
I think there is a big gap in the market that needs to be filled and it's time for major analog board companies who already develloped the Summing alternative to adapt the market's need to sit down with their research department to devellop a cost effective automation system that could integrate to their analog line of summing mixers.
That is what I think either - for more than 5 years.

Now there is a Neve summing box or API summing box with faders, but no automation.
Tonelux could be a solution too.
An AWS900 without pres, only flying faders and only as much EQ / comp modules you want could be a solution.

What you said: There is a big gap in the market.
Old 22nd January 2007
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adebar View Post
What you said: There is a big gap in the market.
Its always been there. Understand that analog automation with recall and reset has always been expensive. The Digital world made it cheaper and possible for the masses to have access but it still something very expensive to implement in the analog world.

If people are willing to pay the bucks(which bottomn line is what it comes down to) i am sure someone will eventually put something together. I mean if you want to be really slutty you could add some Tonelux moving faders to an 8816( but then it would disable the direct outputs).
Old 23rd January 2007
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foldback View Post
I have an 8804/8816 combination that I also like very much. Low noise, great sound, tons of headroom.

How did you wire up the direct outputs?

Mine did not come with any schematic. It did come with a connector to access the direct outputs but I don't have a schematic.

I'd rather buy a cable and be done with it but I'd be willing to make one if necessary.

Mark

The pin-outs for the cables are shown on pages 14-15 of the 8804 User manual. You should have that on the DVD that came with the unit. If not, I think it is on the Neve website.If you don't find it, PM or email me.

The cable between the 8816 and the 8804 comes with the 8804, so I assume you have that already connected.

The Direct Out cable needs to be custom-made because it is a 50-pin connector. I had John Earl at HAVE, Inc. make one for me. However, I think Mike Nehra at Vintage King now has these already made up; give him a call.

If you have a problem, PM or email me and I'll help you.
Old 23rd January 2007
  #16
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foldback's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike H View Post
The pin-outs for the cables are shown on pages 14-15 of the 8804 User manual. You should have that on the DVD that came with the unit. If not, I think it is on the Neve website.If you don't find it, PM or email me.

The cable between the 8816 and the 8804 comes with the 8804, so I assume you have that already connected.

The Direct Out cable needs to be custom-made because it is a 50-pin connector. I had John Earl at HAVE, Inc. make one for me. However, I think Mike Nehra at Vintage King now has these already made up; give him a call.

If you have a problem, PM or email me and I'll help you.
Thanks very much. My 8804 came with only a single page photocopy of how to install the connector on the 8816, the cable that connects the fader pack to the mothership, and the raw connector for making your own direct-out cable. No DVD or manual. I got the manual off the web and you were exactly right about the cable pinouts on page 14. That is welcome news. The direct outputs will multiply the capabilites for effects usage at mixdown greatly.

I'll give the Vintage King route a try and see if I can just buy a done cable.

Thank you again for your tips and assistance.

Mark
Old 23rd January 2007
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foldback View Post
Thanks very much. My 8804 came with only a single page photocopy of how to install the connector on the 8816, the cable that connects the fader pack to the mothership, and the raw connector for making your own direct-out cable. No DVD or manual. I got the manual off the web and you were exactly right about the cable pinouts on page 14. That is welcome news. The direct outputs will multiply the capabilites for effects usage at mixdown greatly.

I'll give the Vintage King route a try and see if I can just buy a done cable.

Thank you again for your tips and assistance.

Mark
Vintage King should be the easiest. Try Mike Nehra at 248-591-9276, Ext 100, or Ryan at Ext. 111.

If they are out, PM me and I can put you in touch with John Earl at HAVE, Inc. and he can reproduce the cable he made for me.
Old 24th January 2007
  #18
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I certainly think there's a gap waiting to be filled here.

If like most slutz you have a great selection of outboard toys it would be great to use them inserted into summer when mixing. I think it is a traditional console without the channel pre and eq combination thats needed. Then you could insert your avalons, Neve focusrite etc channel strips on the summer channels and not have to do the constant AD/DA thing when inserting them mixing ITB.

Bung in a few Aux sends and perhaps a headphone send for zero latency tracking and a master bus insert for your 33609 and 8200 or wahtever, and we're done!

The thing about this is you could have different flavours to YOUR taste.

Not sure about how the recall thing would work and I guess the holy grail would some way of automating the channel levels? Did Tonelux do this?
Old 24th January 2007
  #19
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Bob Yordan's Avatar
Due to that I do not have the money for or space for eg a SSL mixer.

I have got a Vintage Design SU1J summing mixer in my recording room and it definitly improved the sound quality in my set up & according to mine and my music buddies ears.

Also just bought a Tube Tech SSA 2A for my mastering room, will use it to finish
some old mixes, due to that my old DAW is placed there. SSA add a lot of nice coloring on a mix. Might perhaps also include it into the mastering chain on a couple of projects?

Old 24th January 2007
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by SnakeCained View Post
I certainly think there's a gap waiting to be filled here.

If like most slutz you have a great selection of outboard toys it would be great to use them inserted into summer when mixing. I think it is a traditional console without the channel pre and eq combination thats needed. Then you could insert your avalons, Neve focusrite etc channel strips on the summer channels and not have to do the constant AD/DA thing when inserting them mixing ITB.

Bung in a few Aux sends and perhaps a headphone send for zero latency tracking and a master bus insert for your 33609 and 8200 or wahtever, and we're done!

The thing about this is you could have different flavours to YOUR taste.

Not sure about how the recall thing would work and I guess the holy grail would some way of automating the channel levels? Did Tonelux do this?
You just described the Speck Lilo mixer and Ruper Neve's new console.

I feel the 2 things most important that current summers lack are:

1) Lots of EQ's to run the tracks through for coloration and sonic correction

2) Lots of busses and sends to do splits,subs,mults and effect sends in the analog domain especially if you have alot of outboard gear.

The recall thing would be great but i won't hold my breath.
Old 24th January 2007
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor View Post

I feel the 2 things most important that current summers lack are:

1) Lots of EQ's to run the tracks through for coloration and sonic correction

2) Lots of busses and sends to do splits,subs,mults and effect sends in the analog domain especially if you have alot of outboard gear.

The recall thing would be great but i won't hold my breath.
Yes, right as always, Thrill, absolutely agree.

(1) I have lots of EQ's, particularly Avedis E27's, which I find are superb for keeping tracks natural while adding wonderful coloration and depth. The custom Jensen transformers are just the right balance for my ears.

(2) I looked at the LiLo and it is a great unit, but I concluded it didn't add much that I don't already have at my patchbays:
- 16 track Outs from the DAW
- In/Outs for all my outboard gear
- The 8816 Direct Outs, which are the tracks AFTER outboard processing. By half-normalling/multing, I automatically create 2 or 4 DO's for each processed track. These are patched to effects (which is what I normally want to send to effects, not the DAW Outs).

So, everything is right in front of me on my patchbays. And adding a mixer like the LiLo would not eliminate the need for the patchbays. What makes it all work is the 8804 which gives me:
(1) Direct Outs for patching to effects (I use lots of effects)
(2) faders on the 16 tracks
(3) the option to set the DO's after the faders, so the effect levels are changed as the track levels are changed.

I know this smacks of a workaround (yikes!) for console users, but I now find it very simple to do everything at the patchbays. With half normalling, I don't do nearly as much patching as one would expect.

Not ideal, not a console. I'd love to have a console, if I had unlimited resources and space. But what I have is easy to use, minimal maintenance, no limitations of built-in gear in a console, pristine sound quality, no space required for a console. I know it isn't acceptable for a real console user, but I'm just saying it works for me. Yes, I've got several patchbays.............but patchbays are about as simple and low maintenance as it gets.

Just another perspective.

I'm happy to email my patchbay layout to anybody who is using multiple patchbays, if it would be helpful.
Old 24th January 2007
  #22
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Tony Shepperd's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor View Post
You just described the Speck Lilo mixer and Ruper Neve's new console.

I feel the 2 things most important that current summers lack are:

1) Lots of EQ's to run the tracks through for coloration and sonic correction

2) Lots of busses and sends to do splits,subs,mults and effect sends in the analog domain especially if you have alot of outboard gear.

The recall thing would be great but i won't hold my breath.
One of the beauty's of the Tonelux is being able to add what you want at any time.
You could start with a rack of 16 inputs or EQ's or mix and match to your hearts desire.
I don't think I have seen one Tonelux rack that looks "the same".
It's also a great way to get in a system and to get up and running quickly.
Old 24th January 2007
  #23
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foldback's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor View Post
You just described the Speck Lilo mixer and Ruper Neve's new console.

I feel the 2 things most important that current summers lack are:

1) Lots of EQ's to run the tracks through for coloration and sonic correction

2) Lots of busses and sends to do splits,subs,mults and effect sends in the analog domain especially if you have alot of outboard gear.

The recall thing would be great but i won't hold my breath.
I've done equipment repairs for over 30 years, I hate broken crackly noisy electronics, what a great way to ruin a musical encounter.

I never knew the 8816 was a "summer" before reading Gearslutz. I thought of it as a "line-level mixer" from the first time I saw it and it seemed like an answer to a wish that I'd had for a very basic high-quality mixer. I already have an extremely comprehensive patchbay system and lots of outboard processing.

It is the lack of EQ circuits and preamp stages and inline transformers that had great appeal to me and caused me to order the system (8804/8816) based on reading a review by Barry Rudolf in Mix magazine. I had 14 days to play with it or return it so giving it a serious audition seemed like the best way to learn about it.

I've had it up and running since last fall and it has exceeded my expectations. The 8816 has many useful features packed into it besides the one that drew me to it in the first place, it's a mixer.

I did not choose the 8816 BECAUSE it is by the Neve company, I'm 53 and well aware that Mr. Neve has been out of the loop for years. I did choose it because I hoped it would have low residual noise, lots of headroom and good sound quality. It has all of that and more.

I've read posts on GS slamming the 8816 for distortion and other problems, I can only say that mine has been a wonderful addition to my studio and sounds fantastic. I seriously question someone who makes a purchase decision for something like this based on listening to an mp3 file.

I did not get the internal A-D option since I have several good external units already.

With the 8816 driving my Meyer monitors there seems to be greater depth and dimension in the sound. A musician friend who has not been over since last March was here a couple of days ago and repeatedly remarked how good my main rig is sounding now.

I use a hybrid approach to mixing. The final stereo master IS coming out of the 8816 and heading to the 2192 converter for recording, most of the time at 96k.

Drums usually get 7 outputs from Protools, kick, snare, hat, stereo toms, stereo overheads. Some of the mixing is still in Protools, the toms are reduced to a stereo mix ITB and that feeds a pair of inputs on the 8816.

Vocals are broken out to their own inputs on the 8816. This seems to give them more obvious placement in a stereo field and it also allows me to add efx to each depending on what they need.

The bass guitar gets it's own hole on the 8816 and the bass instrument track is often a mix of a mic'd SVT amp and direct box from the bass players instrument cord or tracks we recorded remotely in the field.

I have several great preamps and mics so usually the tracks are recorded and sound like what I'm wanting right from the start, this reduces my need for eq on every track. Sometimes I insert eq between Protools and the 8816, sometimes I use a Waves EQ ITB.

I like the UA compressors, the real analog ones. Software compressors seem to kill the "dimension" that the 8816 helps me get so I've stopped using compressor-plugs except on radio ad productions where the client always wants it LOUD. I'm waiting on payment for some fall projects and intend on acquiring another LA-2 and 1176 for my outboard rack. I've never heard a plugin of the LA-2 that has the tone of the real thing. If you think a picture of one on your computer sounds good, more power too you. The 8816 gives me a convenient place to insert the LA-2 on the bass guitar track, it helps level it out and add beef to the sound. This lets me hear the bass in the mix better without it being too loud.

I built my studio to record me so I'm very particular about how things sound. The 8816 gives me a great place to insert the 1176 on my vocal track. I love that sound, it's what I've been looking for, for years.

I produce radio spots, sound tracks for video and film, efx for theme parks, remote recordings, albums for local artists and my own musical compositions. Sometimes the mixing is going on ITB but ever since the 8816 came to live here, everything is heading through it on the way to the 2192.

IMO the 8816 was designed from the start to do what I'm doing with it, mixing audio out of Protools. It is not a rehashed analog mixer posing as a "summer". Even the metering reflects consideration for high-level mixing with audio sourced from a DAW.

Before installing the 8816, my studio monitor controller was a custom built passive box which uses relays with gold bifurcated contacts for all the switching. Personally I feel that the 8816 is very natural and neutral sounding after comparing it to my passive controller. There are some who say the 8816 adds color and there are some people who are looking for some color from a mixer, personally I'm not. I wanted a mixer that doesn't hiss or distort easily when big signals come down the lines, the 8816 works for me.

Peace and all the best in your recording endeavors.

Mark
Old 24th January 2007
  #24
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Tonelux

I think if you get something like the sterling modular desk, and add some shadowmix faders, I don't really see the difference between a "console" and that besides mic pre's and eq's on every channel, which is still an option.
Old 24th January 2007
  #25
Quote:
Originally Posted by foldback View Post

I have several great preamps and mics so usually the tracks are recorded and sound like what I'm wanting right from the start, this reduces my need for eq on every track. Sometimes I insert eq between Protools and the 8816, sometimes I use a Waves EQ ITB.


Mark
With me its the opposite i get lots of tracks to mix that were recorded elsewhere. Especially through Digi 002 converters(which now i can recognize pretty easily) and i have to use a lot of the outboard to give the tracks depth and size. I don't really care for DAW EQ's except for the occassional HP and you can still hear sometimes how it can compromise the sound.

A mixer that has a real cool & exciting signature that can bring all the processing together is what i need. Also it needs to have lots of ways i can split a signal.

By the way i liked the sound of the 8816 when i heard it at the VK shootout. It compared very favorably to the modified VR there but the VR just had that extra something. I was trying to figure out why and i realized that the returns were running through the channels first on the VR and that extra trip gave the sound a certain weight and size that was lacking on the 8816.
Old 24th January 2007
  #26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Shepperd View Post
One of the beauty's of the Tonelux is being able to add what you want at any time.
You could start with a rack of 16 inputs or EQ's or mix and match to your hearts desire.
I don't think I have seen one Tonelux rack that looks "the same".
It's also a great way to get in a system and to get up and running quickly.
You also have to like the sound of the Tonelux itself which maybe i need to spend more time with it but what i heard i wasn't bowled over.
And to cobble together a basic rig with 48 inputs and 48 EQ's with 8 auxes and 24 busses can get incredibly expensive.
Old 24th January 2007
  #27
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor View Post
By the way i liked the sound of the 8816 when i hear it at the VK shootout. It compared very favorably to the modified VR there but the VR just had that extra something. I was trying to figure out why and i realized that the returns were running through the channels first on the VR and that extra trip gave the sound a certain weight and size that was lacking on the 8816.
Thrill, you should hear it with 1084's on the kick and bass and E27's on drum sub, toms, overheads, rhythm guitars. Not saying it would be the same as the console, but the EQ transformers make a noticeable difference in weight versus w/o.

I know, you are a console guy thru and thru, and for good reason.

I'm just saying optimizing the 8816 has a BIG impact on the finished product (..................and yes, you are right, I'm moving it more toward console depth/weight with other great gear).
Old 24th January 2007
  #28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike H View Post
Thrill, you should hear it with 1084's on the kick and bass and E27's on drum sub, toms, overheads, rhythm guitars. Not saying it would be the same as the console, but the EQ transformers make a noticeable difference in weight versus w/o.

I know, you are a console guy thru and thru, and for good reason.

I'm just saying optimizing the 8816 has a BIG impact on the finished product (..................and yes, you are right, I'm moving it more toward console depth/weight with other great gear).
Totally understood.

I know i would run out of inputs in a nanosecond though.

The 2 knocks i have is there is no way to group the sends out of the 8816, so if you wanted to group a couple of the drums on the returns and buss it over to comp and mix that in you can't unless its mono and there goes your aux. Also why provide faders if you can't even automate them? They missed the boat on that one. They could have done something basic that follows a DAW/sequencer since most of the people that will buy this thing are computer guys.
Old 25th January 2007
  #29
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor View Post
Totally understood.

I know i would run out of inputs in a nanosecond though.

The 2 knocks i have is there is no way to group the sends out of the 8816, so if you wanted to group a couple of the drums on the returns and buss it over to comp and mix that in you can't unless its mono and there goes your aux. Also why provide faders if you can't even automate them? They missed the boat on that one. They could have done something basic that follows a DAW/sequencer since most of the people that will buy this thing are computer guys.
On inputs, I have two linked Chandler Mini Mixers that feed into the 8816 mix bus, normally dedicated to effect Outs. (I belong to the Thrill School of ultimate effect utilization. ) So, 48 total inputs. If I need another input for tracks, I just patch it into a Chandler and use a reverb in mono rather than stereo. I'll do that with tracks that could use the extra color. So, not a problem.

On combining the Direct Outs, agree. If it became a big deal, I'd need a small mixer of some sort patched into the patchbay. It hasn't been important enough to me so far to worry about it. But yes, a limitation.

On automation, yes, that would be nice. Maybe on the next version since, as you say, very doable.
Old 25th January 2007
  #30
Lives for gear
 
Tony Shepperd's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor View Post
You also have to like the sound of the Tonelux itself which maybe i need to spend more time with it but what i heard i wasn't bowled over.
And to cobble together a basic rig with 48 inputs and 48 EQ's with 8 auxes and 24 busses can get incredibly expensive.

Ya, but the Tonelux was not meant to be a large frame 24/48 buss console.
If you are into consoles, then a large frame will probably work best for you.

I have been mixing ITB for 7 years now and have developed my sound around that.
Over the last two weeks I've been using the Tonelux demo rack and it's everything that I want in a summer.
The great thing about using a box to sum is finding the color and taste you like to have on your mixes.
Because I have 1073's and a variety of pres that I track through, the Neve summing box really doesn't interest me.
However, the sonic characteristics of the Tonelux really caught my ear.
For instance on rock tunes, it adds a really nice sonic quality to my ITB mixes.

My current plan is (in time), I will build an entire console with the Tonelux.
Because I mix ITB I can start with a small and relatively inexpensive Tonelux rack and let it grow from there.

Ultimately, it comes down to finding what works for you.
I don't think I could ever go back to mixing on a conventional console.
Stopping my sessions to swap out a module, always having a tech around to fix a broken pot.
The cost of a large monthly electrical bill. Also sonically, it's not appealing to me.

I believe I can craft my mixes much better ITB.
And having the Tonelux to sum the mix out to is very nice indeed.
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