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Best summing mixer for a high end DAW?
Old 1st March 2007
  #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TEMAS View Post
Until someone designs an affordable and fully-automatable analogue console, there really is no other option for the semi-pro-musician-engineer-producer out there if he....

a) isn't satisfied with ITB mixes and wants to intergrate outboard.

b) can't stand the thought recalling whole mixes several times a day.

c) hasn't got the space in his studio for a decent console even if he could or afford one.
Well said.

My expectation is that the next generation of active summing units will add more "console-like features" but continue along the rack/fader pack design path with the home user as the target customer. A lot of features can be included in this design while offering (1) small physical space requirements and (2) minimal maintenance. A full console will continue to be an impractical option for most of us.

TheThrillFactor pointed out the current limitations in an earlier thread:

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/showthrea...utomation+8816

(1) Lack of channel EQ's for coloration/correction
(2) Multiple busses/sends
(3) Fader automation.

With more and more 500-rack EQ's becoming available, the first item can be addressed with limited use of rack space. I am using E27's as my all-purpose EQ for tracks. Shadow Hills will soon add to this growing list.

I have found direct outs with multiple 96TT patchbays work quite well for item 2. I know true console guys cringe at this, but it works. And once you have your basic setup chosen, you can half-normal your starting configuration with little patching required. (I've offered before to email anyone my patchbay arrangement, if it would be helpful.)

As The ThrillFactor has pointed out, Neve could have readily incorporated fader automation in their 8804, along with currently offered recall feature. I would hope this is the next addition.

Not perfect, but pretty darn good options for a home studio setup.
Old 23rd May 2008
  #62
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2 Great River mp-500nv behind Folcrom is it good?
Old 24th May 2008
  #63
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I use a Dangerous 2-bus into an API 5500 dual eq and a Focusrite Red3. Clean, punchy, and I love it!
Old 24th May 2008
  #64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marineville View Post
I use a Dangerous 2-bus into an API 5500 dual eq and a Focusrite Red3. Clean, punchy, and I love it!
Totally!

Dangerous 2Bus: Clarity, punch , huge Stereo Image, fidelity, open sound and full Freq range plus lots of Headroom.

And for color you can add a great Stereo EQ or 2 Bus comp !
Great results!
Old 24th May 2008
  #65
Quote:
Originally Posted by TEMAS View Post
Until someone designs an affordable and fully-automatable analogue console, there really is no other option for the semi-pro-musician-engineer-producer out there if he....

a) isn't satisfied with ITB mixes and wants to intergrate outboard.

b) can't stand the thought recalling whole mixes several times a day.

c) hasn't got the space in his studio for a decent console even if he could or afford one.
That mixing niche is what the major studios are there for.

If you take that away what else is left?

I mean the home project studio has pretty much taken away 85%-90% of their business.

You have to leave them something to seperate themselves besides the acoustics. Its bad enough the real estate owners want to take that away.

Soon the classic major studio will go the way of the dodo bird.
Old 24th May 2008
  #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor View Post
That mixing niche is what the major studios are there for.

If you take that away what else is left?

I mean the home project studio has pretty much taken away 85%-90% of their business.

You have to leave them something to seperate themselves besides the acoustics. Its bad enough the real estate owners want to take that away.

Soon the classic major studio will go the way of the dodo bird.
You're kidding right? The "Majors" aren't in the business of recording. Never have been. And anyone who thinks otherwise is either naive or dellusional.

They USED to sell us the idea that "that" niche is what they were for, but EVERY dime spent for that kind of recording cmae right back out of the artist's pockets... and artists wised up. (The "Majors" are nothing but a credit card... and if any good, distribution and marketing power, which also costs)

So, the ONLY thing the majors are good for now is to be your advertising agency (marketing and distribution arm, if you need that.

While I know it sucks for many of the people who made a good living off of "big money" major label boon-doggles, sorry.

That level of recording won't go away, but it will take time for the market to adjust to how it gets paid for, etc.

-andrews
Old 24th May 2008
  #67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirty Halo View Post
You're kidding right? The "Majors" aren't in the business of recording. Never have been. And anyone who thinks otherwise is either naive or dellusional.


Are you referring to the studios or the record labels?

Because every major studio that i know has always had a main focus of giving the top artists the best situation to record and create. And sometimes to their fault and destruction.

I don't know anyone that got into doing it to make lots of money.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirty Halo View Post
They USED to sell us the idea that "that" niche is what they were for, but EVERY dime spent for that kind of recording cmae right back out of the artist's pockets... and artists wised up. (The "Majors" are nothing but a credit card... and if any good, distribution and marketing power, which also costs).




So, the ONLY thing the majors are good for now is to be your advertising agency (marketing and distribution arm, if you need that.
Yeah like i said above i am referring to studios not record labels which are a mess all to themselves.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirty Halo View Post
While I know it sucks for many of the people who made a good living off of "big money" major label boon-doggles, sorry.
As a specialist technician yeah it hurts alot. It also affects every other small area that relies on filling specialized needs.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirty Halo View Post
That level of recording won't go away, but it will take time for the market to adjust to how it gets paid for, etc.

-andrews
I guess we will see won't we.
Old 24th May 2008
  #68
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Whoops, yes... I was referring to the "Major" labels, not the studios themselves.

My mix up.

And yes, the major studios are being unfairly hit in the crossfire of the "Major" label's mistakes and the current chaos of the industry.

There will (and should be) a need for the major studio level of recording, but unfortunately at this moment, the industry has gotten itself into a downspiral and is flailing.

Until then, its Darwinism.

-andrews
Old 24th May 2008
  #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ulysses View Post
The better reason would be that you want to control the mix in the DAW to keep the automation and recall. That's why summing boxes exist. And as far as that goes, most of the boxes discussed in this thread aren't really what I would call dedicated summing devices - they're just small rackmount mixers with small rotary pots instead of faders. That's great for manufacturers who want to jump on the summing bandwagon and sell a product to people who are going to buy something before they've really thought about what they need.
When I reviewed the same options as the OP, I considered the Neve most seriously BECAUSE of those knobs. Those rotary faders actually become aux sends when the 8816 is combined with the 8804. I thought that would be great because I could use the Aux for the headphone que.

Pure summing boxes would still mean futzing around with a mouse for headphone adjustments after setting up a send for each track BS. So I see a point to the Neve and the Speck LiLo in this marketplace.

I ended up with a Wheatstone console. I saw 3 of them on eBay yesterday.
Old 24th May 2008
  #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kronos147 View Post
Those rotary faders actually become aux sends when the 8816 is combined with the 8804. I thought that would be great because I could use the Aux for the headphone que.
The Direct Outs from my two 8804's go back to my 96TT patchbays and are then patched to reverbs/delays/effects.

I do this post-fader at the 8804's, so the levels to the effects are also adjusted as I ride the faders during mixing.

The desk-top Faders and Direct Outs are big functional advantages to the 8816/8804 combination.

And, you have analog panning.

I am surprised more manufacturers haven't added these capabilities.
I wouldn't know what to do without them.

And, if you like the sound of the 8816's, which I do, then they really can't be beat for a home studio, IMHO.
Old 24th May 2008
  #71
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I wonder how much difference there is between Folcrom summed mix and ITB summed mix, stereo track going to the same mic-pre via pad. Anyone tested this? Any samples? (While some of you say that online samples are not helpful, I find them more helpful than just words. Esp. for people in other regions than the the US/Europe. )
Old 24th May 2008
  #72
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The one that George Massenburg uses ...
Old 24th May 2008
  #73
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A big thumbsup for the SSL X-Rack here!
Old 24th May 2008
  #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike H View Post
The Direct Outs from my two 8804's go back to my 96TT patchbays and are then patched to reverbs/delays/effects.

I do this post-fader at the 8804's, so the levels to the effects are also adjusted as I ride the faders during mixing.
So, just out of curiosity, do you just have a dedicated reverb/delay for every channel?

I.E., how would you send say your snare and backing vocals to the same reverb?



Also, where are the outputs of your effects patched? Back into the 8816/8804 or back into PT (or what ever DAW/recorder you use)?

I.E., do you have a way to automate your effects returns?
Old 24th May 2008
  #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benmrx View Post
So, just out of curiosity, do you just have a dedicated reverb/delay for every channel?

I.E., how would you send say your snare and backing vocals to the same reverb?

Also, where are the outputs of your effects patched? Back into the 8816/8804 or back into PT (or what ever DAW/recorder you use)?

I.E., do you have a way to automate your effects returns?
(1) I have lots of outboard reverbs, and I use a different reverb on each track.

I would have only two ways to send multiple tracks to the same reverb:
(a) Send one track into the left side of the reverb and the other track into the right side of the reverb. This is an option, for example, on the PCM96 when it is set up as Super Mono (each side is kept separate and sent thru a separate machine).
(b) Mult the output of one of my 8816's to a reverb. I have done this with the 8816 that sums drum tracks.

However, as I said, I much prefer to give each track its own reverb, to distinguish it in space and sound.

(2) The effect Outs are patched back to the 8816's and are then half-normalled into the 8816's (unless I patch it thru an EQ).

I make one trip out of Pro Tools with the tracks thru DAC's, then outboard process/sum, (often) go to tape, then make one trip back into the DAW with the stereo mix.

If effect automation is a big deal on a particular mix, I simply turn the knobs during mixdown..........just like I ride the 8804 faders during mixdown. Keeps me occupied. heh



As I mentioned in an earlier thread,

Neve 8816: Audio Sample

the weak points of summing versus a console are:
(1) No automation on individual tracks AFTER outboard processing
(2) No built-in way to merge tracks/subs, and then further process.

Thethrillfactor elaborated on this in that thread, and has pointed it out elsewhere.
I mentioned it earlier in this thread.
No argument.

Every setup involves tradeoffs.
For a home studio, I easily live with these tradeoffs to avoid the (much bigger, for me) downsides of a high-end console:
- Initial cost
- Maintenance cost/hassle
- Cooling requirements
- Floor space.

Mixing ITB is not an option for me.
I could never do it well, and getting a decent mix took forever.
I never got mixes like I get now.
Just chalk it up to lack of talent.
Not to mention, I much prefer turning knobs to squinting at a screen.

I have said elsewhere that, if I were super rich, I would expand my studio room and buy a large format console.
RoundBadge keeps tempting me.
But..............

I am getting better mixes now than I have ever gotten, so I'm not complaining.
Old 24th May 2008
  #76
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Right on. That's pretty much what I figured you were doing.

By chance, have you ever tried routing the outputs of your effects back into Pro Tools, then mixed to a stereo pair, and then brought back to the 8816 to be summed with the rest of the mix?

I know it means one more round of conversion for all the effects, but was just curious if you've ever tried that routing method.
Old 24th May 2008
  #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benmrx View Post
Right on. That's pretty much what I figured you were doing.

By chance, have you ever tried routing the outputs of your effects back into Pro Tools, then mixed to a stereo pair, and then brought back to the 8816 to be summed with the rest of the mix?

I know it means one more round of conversion for all the effects, but was just curious if you've ever tried that routing method.
No.

That is certainly an option, but I just set everything up to stay OTB once the tracks come out.

I only have one pair of Lavry Gold ADC's, for the stereo mix.
So, I am not really set up to test that, to see how much it would affect the sound of the mix.
Sorry.
Old 24th May 2008
  #78
I have been thinking seriously about adding a high end summing solution to our system but I'm not exactly sure the best way to go. Right now we have dedicated Apogee converters for every piece of gear in the studio so they all just show up as hardware inserts nicely labeled in PTs. To me this is ideal but it does man an extra set of conversions compared to using inserts on a summing mixer. How much of an issue is this do you think?

What I was thinking of doing is adding another DA16X dedicated to the summing mixer. My thinking is that I would still keep my outboard as inserts in PTs so I could still track/work with the outboard stuff inline without having to use the summing mixer until the end. this way I dont have to set all my outputs and groups as we are tracking and up until the final mix stage. Can anyone think of reasons why this is a bad idea (other than the large number of converters needed)?

Lastly, since I wouldnt need to have inserts on the unit, what would be the best unit? Possibly the Folcrom with a couple Chandler Pres?

Thanks!
Old 25th May 2008
  #79
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Pretty much everything i do is guitar based...mostly pop or rock (and hard rock)
I'm a very happy owner of a Chandler Mini Mixer..what it adds beyond great separation and a wonderful top end is huge bottoms (if you want it)

You can go easy on it a get a clean result and you can hit it hard and get warmth, punch, smooth high ends and huge bottoms....

Perfect for my needs!
Old 28th May 2008
  #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Full Clip Audio View Post
I have been thinking seriously about adding a high end summing solution to our system but I'm not exactly sure the best way to go. Right now we have dedicated Apogee converters for every piece of gear in the studio so they all just show up as hardware inserts nicely labeled in PTs. To me this is ideal but it does man an extra set of conversions compared to using inserts on a summing mixer. How much of an issue is this do you think?

What I was thinking of doing is adding another DA16X dedicated to the summing mixer. My thinking is that I would still keep my outboard as inserts in PTs so I could still track/work with the outboard stuff inline without having to use the summing mixer until the end. this way I dont have to set all my outputs and groups as we are tracking and up until the final mix stage. Can anyone think of reasons why this is a bad idea (other than the large number of converters needed)?

Lastly, since I wouldnt need to have inserts on the unit, what would be the best unit? Possibly the Folcrom with a couple Chandler Pres?
The biggest argument you'll hear against the method you're suggesting is that you're doubling the number of times your audio has to go through DA and AD conversions. With decent modern converters, I think this takes a back seat to workflow, but it still seems thoroughly unnecessary to me. Why not just have the converters and the outboard gear and the summing device available on your patchbay, so you can reroute things as you see fit? Normalling things to suit your "standard" setup can save a lot of hassle, but the ability to easily rearrange your signal routing to accommodate other ideas is, to me, absolutely essential to a studio that doesn't impede the creative process.

When it comes to the summing mixer, remember that the idea of "inserts" goes out the window. Inserts are for applying processing in-between stages of a mixer (like after the mike preamp). Since a summing box doesn't have multiple stages, channel inserts make no sense. The practical equivalent is your patch bay. You patch in your outboard gear on the way into the summing device. Channel inserts on a summing device would literally serve no purpose other than using up some extra cables and connectors.

Of course on some summing devices, it might make sense to have a stereo insert point between the output of the summing amp and the master fader, but that's very different from having inserts on the input channels. In the case of the Folcrom, your stereo buss "insert point" would be after the mike preamp you choose for makeup gain. Again, this would be in your patchbay as opposed to an arbitrary extra set of connectors on the unit itself.
Old 28th May 2008
  #81
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Only had a chance to hear the Dangerous LT in a friend's studio (fed with Aurora 16) and it sounded damn nice. Comparing with a straight master fader output there was a substantial difference. The Dangerous sounded much cleaner, wider and low end was much more funny. He's also using UA 2-610 in line mode to get the mix back into the DAW and that added some very nice color too.
Old 28th May 2008
  #82
Quote:
Originally Posted by ulysses View Post
The biggest argument you'll hear against the method you're suggesting is that you're doubling the number of times your audio has to go through DA and AD conversions. With decent modern converters, I think this takes a back seat to workflow, but it still seems thoroughly unnecessary to me. Why not just have the converters and the outboard gear and the summing device available on your patchbay, so you can reroute things as you see fit? Normalling things to suit your "standard" setup can save a lot of hassle, but the ability to easily rearrange your signal routing to accommodate other ideas is, to me, absolutely essential to a studio that doesn't impede the creative process.
Thanks for the reply! The main reaosn I really like everything normalled is that i can then label everything in Pro Tools and add outboard as I would add plug ins. Since there are a couple people who engineer here, multiple projects a day sometimes and tons of projects going on at once its fairly important to me. I can still break the nromals and repatch however I want if necessary but I dont have to much this way.

I know people will argue that the extra conversion is bad but I wonder how bad it really is. In other words, will the extra conversion through the Apogee D/A16X really negate any gains made from summing in the analog realm? I cant see that it would but I would love to hear other opinions.
Old 28th May 2008
  #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Full Clip Audio View Post
Thanks for the reply! The main reaosn I really like everything normalled is that i can then label everything in Pro Tools and add outboard as I would add plug ins. Since there are a couple people who engineer here, multiple projects a day sometimes and tons of projects going on at once its fairly important to me. I can still break the nromals and repatch however I want if necessary but I dont have to much this way.

I know people will argue that the extra conversion is bad but I wonder how bad it really is. In other words, will the extra conversion through the Apogee D/A16X really negate any gains made from summing in the analog realm? I cant see that it would but I would love to hear other opinions.
Sounds like you are familiar with the setup you have, so it is easier not to change it. I can understand that.

But, IMHO, you really need to be using patchbays to handle your outboard gear, if you are using a summing unit.

You usually won't have a single outboard unit on a track. You'll probably have both a compressor and an EQ on many tracks. You certainly don't want to go out-and-back through converters for the compressor, then go out-and-back again for the EQ. There is definitely some degradation each time you make a conversion pass.

The best arrangement is to send your tracks out to the patchbays through the DAC's (you only need to have enough DAC's to match the max number of tracks you use), then patch to outboard gear. The outboard gear would be connected back to the patchbays, where they are half-normalled (or patched) to the summing unit(s).

You also have to consider how you will send to reverbs/delays/effects.
The advantage of the 8816/8804 combination is that the Direct Outs from the 8804 can be connected back to the patchbays and then patched to reverbs/delays/effects. This puts the effects downstream of the processing units. Without Direct Outs, you would need to (a) half-normal from outboard gear to summing unit and (b) mult to effects at the patchbays. Direct Outs are simpler, and don't interfere with patching through the outboard gear.

I'll be happy to email you a copy of my patchbay layout, if that would help. My patchbay setup is pretty large because I have lots of outboard gear, but it demonstrates the basic concepts. PM me.

I go through DAC's only once, outboard process, sum, go to tape (usually), then go through ADC's only once with the stereo mix. I have 32 DAC's and one pair of ADC's. Having only one pair of ADC's enables me to afford a high quality pair of ADC's (Lavry Gold) so I maintain the quality of the mix I hear on the monitors.

If I used the DAW for "patching" and had no patchbays at all, I'd need probably three times as many DAC's and the same number of ADC's...........completely out of the question.

I understand life is simpler using the DAW if you aren't accustomed to using patchbays. But patchbays are pretty easy to use. And if you are going to/from most outboard gear in analog (rather than digital), using your DAW as your console/patchbay will mean a lot of conversion steps for a complex setup. But yes, it can be done.
Old 28th May 2008
  #84
I should have been more specific. I didnt mean to imply that we are not using patch bays. When I said all of our converters are normalled in and out of gear I meant through patch bays. We have two Audio Access bays. The top row of the top bay is all of our DACs and the bottom row is all the ins of our outboard. The top row of the bottom patch bay is all the outs of our gear and the bottom row is the ADCs. This way every piece of gear shows up in PTs easily. When I pull up a session I know exactly what piece of gear is on each insert and all I have to do is recall the hardware settings. If I want to use multiple pieces of gear on the same channel I simply patch it at the patch bay.

My hesitation with using outboard directly infront of a summing mixer is that I lose the ability to do certain things. First of all I cant set delay compensation for the outboard the way I can now. Also, I hate the idea of not being able to do a quick "bounce to disk" with hardware. If I'm just doing scratch stuff for instance I dont want to have to set up all my groups and outputs to the summing mixer and my inserts. I also lose the ability to print things as easily as I can now. Ideally I would like to have my mix and processing done before I even set my outputs to stem out to the summing mixer and simply use it for summing and off to my two track processing.

If I only have 16 inputs on a summing mixer I dont see how I could have processing on individual channels. If I sent the kick to a 160VU and then to the summing mixer I have no way of grouping it with any other outs from the DAW going to that summing channel. I would quickly run out of channels. What am I missing?

Thanks!
Old 28th May 2008
  #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Full Clip Audio View Post
I should have been more specific. I didnt mean to imply that we are not using patch bays. When I said all of our converters are normalled in and out of gear I meant through patch bays. We have two Audio Access bays. The top row of the top bay is all of our DACs and the bottom row is all the ins of our outboard. The top row of the bottom patch bay is all the outs of our gear and the bottom row is the ADCs. This way every piece of gear shows up in PTs easily. When I pull up a session I know exactly what piece of gear is on each insert and all I have to do is recall the hardware settings. If I want to use multiple pieces of gear on the same channel I simply patch it at the patch bay.

My hesitation with using outboard directly infront of a summing mixer is that I lose the ability to do certain things. First of all I cant set delay compensation for the outboard the way I can now. Also, I hate the idea of not being able to do a quick "bounce to disk" with hardware. If I'm just doing scratch stuff for instance I dont want to have to set up all my groups and outputs to the summing mixer and my inserts. I also lose the ability to print things as easily as I can now. Ideally I would like to have my mix and processing done before I even set my outputs to stem out to the summing mixer and simply use it for summing and off to my two track processing.

If I only have 16 inputs on a summing mixer I dont see how I could have processing on individual channels. If I sent the kick to a 160VU and then to the summing mixer I have no way of grouping it with any other outs from the DAW going to that summing channel. I would quickly run out of channels. What am I missing?

Thanks!
Sorry, I didn't understand your setup.

I don't really understand your issues about not wanting to go directly from outboard gear to the summing unit. It just may be a matter of you being accustomed to your setup, and me being accustomed to my setup.

I only process with outboard gear, and I don't normally use delay compensation. The difference in delays aren't significant.

I don't really understand the problem of not being able to quickly bounce to disk. On my patchbays, I have the last unit on the "mix bus" (normally a pair of Pultecs) patched to my monitors. If I want to print the mix, I just patch the Pultecs to the pair of Gold ADC's and print to a stereo track in Pro Tools HD. I can listen to this stereo track (as I print it and afterward), and I can bounce it, if needed..................although I don't normally have a need for bouncing until I complete the mix. I only bounce if I am going to have to SRC to 16-bits, and I want to hear the effect before I complete the final mix.

Regarding processing before you go to summing:
I wouldn't want to do any mixing without the tracks going to the summing units, and the mix going through the outboard mix processing. As I'm mixing, I want to hear the effect of the summing units and the mix processing. Otherwise, if you switch into these units after you mix, it definitely won't sound the same.

Also, I use analog panning at the summing units, which is a considerable improvement over DAW panning, IMHO.

Regarding number of summing channels, I agree with you.
As I mentioned earlier, a limitation of summing units is not being able to combine tracks post processing. I have 32 DAC's, which set my upper limit on tracks. I have 48 summing channels (three 8816's), with one of the 8816's dedicated to reverbs/delays/effects. It is easy to combine 8816's.

Having said all that, if you are talking only one additional DAC-ADC pass to allow you to do this the way you want, that is not the end of the world if you have reasonably good converters.

However, I think it is a "must" to be going through your summing unit(s) and mix processing units while you mix. Mix into the gear, rather than adding it later. Otherwise, you are guessing what the effect will be on the final mix.................just too risky, IMHO. (And you get the added benefit of analog panning as an extra bonus.)

Alas, nothing is ever simple.
Old 28th May 2008
  #86
Cool. Thank you so much for taking the time to reply. I have much to think aout now in terms of the best way to transition to summing OTB.
Old 28th May 2008
  #87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Full Clip Audio View Post
Thanks for the reply! The main reaosn I really like everything normalled is that i can then label everything in Pro Tools and add outboard as I would add plug ins. Since there are a couple people who engineer here, multiple projects a day sometimes and tons of projects going on at once its fairly important to me. I can still break the nromals and repatch however I want if necessary but I dont have to much this way .
First you have to decide if an analog summing mixer will give you any benefits period which is always up for debate.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Full Clip Audio View Post
I know people will argue that the extra conversion is bad but I wonder how bad it really is. In other words, will the extra conversion through the Apogee D/A16X really negate any gains made from summing in the analog realm? I cant see that it would but I would love to hear other opinions.
Its called the law of diminishing returns. For every conversion to and back you are attenuating the hi's in your digital recordings. One conversion is usually ok its the second and forward where it really affects the audio.

My advice is if you are real anal about your audio than commit to one or the other. Some guys side on the digital side and others on the analog. If you use alot of outboard gear to my ears it sounds better to stay analog all the way through till mastering. That elusive "depth" that people cry about lacking ITB is better retained when you stay analog all the way through. If you've found your way in the digital domain than work the plug ins and use some real nice outboard connected digital reverb for depth. Keep it this way all the way through mastering.

The people that have the most problems are the ones that try to straddle the fence. They are neither satisfied one way or the other. But its because there are compromises you must make in order to work this way.

In the end everyone will end up back where they started...staring at pictures of the big consoles and wondering how the hell will i ever be able to afford it?heh
Old 28th May 2008
  #88
Interesting perspective. I was working mostly in the digital realm for a long time and tbh, the increase in the quality of everything we do has been astounding since we added a lot of outboard. I really feel as though mixing with a controller in HD but having lots of great analog gear as inserts is the best of both worlds for what I need and how I work. I guess I just dont know if summing OTB is really going to make a significant difference for me.
Old 29th May 2008
  #89
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I feel that if you're trying to use healthy stack of outboard gear, that an analog summing device of some kind can really help out. If nothing else than to keep conversions down.

If I want to put an outboard eq/comp on the kick, then put a comp across the drum buss, then use a final 2buss compressor, I've done 3 round trip A/D/A conversions just for the mix process.

I've come to this conclusion (at least for now), for the way I like to work:

Use H/W inserts in PT for single tracks (kick, snare, bass, lead vocal, etc.), and use outboard + summing on groups (drum buss, guitars, vocals, etc.).

This means a couple key things:

-No post processing automation on your busses. I don't mind this so much, as I tend to mostly automate individual elements of a mix, and not so much on the groups. Plus, concerning mults + parallel processing, I'm usually only using mute automation.

-2 conversion loops on your most important tracks (kick, snare, etc.), if you're printing your stereo mix back to digital. Maybe use a different brand of converter for your H/W inserts vs. your buss/summing outs. Might help?

Right now I'm doing all my summing on a Neotek, but since I'm really only using it for faders and pan, I might as well try and get something better.

This is the system I'm kicking around in my head:

API 8200A: For Drum Buss, Drum Squash buss, kick and snare mults
Innertube Sumthang: St. EFX, Elop mult, EQ mult + Vox Mult
Neve 8816: Main summing unit + master section



This way, I could have mute automation on all the outboard summed "mults" + full automation on all my individual tracks. I could also send the St. out from the API to a main drum buss compressor before going into the 8816. Both the API and the Innertube unit would just be patched into ch. 1-4 on the Neve, which would give me 12 more channels to bring out the rythm instruments, vocals, bass, etc.

Although I'm real curious to see what new summing/routing boxes might be available in the next 2 years.......plus I change my mind on my mixing approach ALOT....so....everything is subject to change!
Old 29th May 2008
  #90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Benmrx View Post

API 8200A: For Drum Buss, Drum Squash buss, kick and snare mults
Innertube Sumthang: St. EFX, Elop mult, EQ mult + Vox Mult
Neve 8816: Main summing unit + master section
This is like what? $10K total for summing busses?

You can get a used 48 channel Uptown automation system for that much.

Also you can look into the Tonelux automation as well.
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