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Best summing mixer for a high end DAW?
Old 29th May 2008
  #91
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Benmrx's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor View Post
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.
True, but to use in what console? I really can't say I'd want to put any money into upgrading this console. It's just not worth it IMHO. Maybe if it was an Elite or an Elan or something. This particular board is pretty limited on inputs and routing (although it does have 24 busses)......and it's just plain quirky in regards to how it all functions.

It works great for monitoring/making headphone mixes with the 2" machine, and for tracking in general, and the EQ's are pretty nice.......but for actual mixing.....? I'm just not feeling it......at least not enough to drop a bunch of time/money into it.

I think I'm through with the cheap (10K-15K) used mixing console market. It's just too much of a head ache, and I'm not a tech, nor do I want to be one. I just want a system that's dependable, that can give me a method of working that isn't too limited.

BTW, that list of summing boxes is just what I was thinking of at that particular moment..........if you gave me 10 minutes, that list would change.
Old 29th May 2008
  #92
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How much does it cost to rent a perfectly tuned room with a large format console and racks of dope outboard verses tighing up all the money as it slowly trickles in trying to piece it all together to duplicate and maintain and secure and air condition all that gear.I heard rates are more negotable these days.
Old 29th May 2008
  #93
this thread is great...we did not finish the appetizers and we are at the dessert.
Old 29th May 2008
  #94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Benmrx View Post
(although it does have 24 busses)......
That's still 22 more busses than what you are thinking about setting up.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Benmrx View Post
It works great for monitoring/making headphone mixes with the 2" machine, and for tracking in general, and the EQ's are pretty nice.......but for actual mixing.....? I'm just not feeling it......at least not enough to drop a bunch of time/money into it.
Is it a sound thing or a functions thing?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Benmrx View Post
I think I'm through with the cheap (10K-15K) used mixing console market. It's just too much of a head ache, and I'm not a tech, nor do I want to be one. I just want a system that's dependable, that can give me a method of working that isn't too limited.
Not too limited?

I can't see what's more limiting than working with 2 auxes and no busses in terms of mixing. Even working ITB you have more than this.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Benmrx View Post
BTW, that list of summing boxes is just what I was thinking of at that particular moment..........if you gave me 10 minutes, that list would change.
Well there aren't currently that many summing boxes that have auxes. Also none have group busses. The Tonelux system is the only one currently and its really more like a Lego mixer instead of a summing box.
Old 29th May 2008
  #95
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Tony Shepperd's Avatar
when i tried the tonelux last year, it was sonically really nice.
it's a great way to ease financially into a summer.

because everything is a la carte, you can build a system as you can afford it.
start with 2 channels (MX2) and then the stereo summing bus (SM2), then build from there.
totally affordable.
Old 29th May 2008
  #96
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor View Post
That's still 22 more busses than what you are thinking about setting up.
True, but remember, the main thing I'm using is just faders and pan. I'm not really using the console for serious mixing. It's only getting used like a summing box would.....partly thanks to my addiction to automation. So, why not try and shoot for something better (character, summing buss, recall, dependability) if all I'm using are faders and pan?



Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor View Post
Is it a sound thing or a functions thing?
Little of both, but mainly a functions thing. Could be that I haven't warmed up to it fully though. But, it's an early-mid 80's mid-level console. It just doesn't have the features that I would want/need if I were to actually, fully mix on it. Now, an Amek Einstein or Mozart......, I've still never used one....but every one I talk to (engineers, producers, even techs) tells me to stay away.....but it does have the functions I would want...,...so maybe it could be modded to hell.......but after you consider the time/money involved........is it worth it? Everytime I have this conversation, it ends with, "just get an SSL".


Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor View Post
Not too limited?

I can't see what's more limiting than working with 2 auxes and no busses in terms of mixing. Even working ITB you have more than this.
Yeah, but this isn't for mixing......just summing groups/busses with level and pan, with the ability to use a final drum buss compressor. It's all I'm using on the Neotek right now.


Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor View Post
Well there aren't currently that many summing boxes that have auxes. Also none have group busses. The Tonelux system is the only one currently and its really more like a Lego mixer instead of a summing box.
I think (or maybe just hope) there's gonna be some fairly interesting new products available in the next couple years. Aurora Audio is apparently coming out with some kind of 8 channel aux/buss router.



EDIT: It's not like I'm buying these summing boxes tomorrow. I'm perfectly fine with the Neotek right now. It's leaps and bounds better than the SC Ghost that it replaced, and there's much bigger bottlenecks in my system to deal with right now. Plus, I do enjoy the bling factor of having a big analog console.....and, bookings have gone up since it's been here. Although there've been so many upgrades (console, mics, outboard, painting, drywall, art, new couch, acoustic treatments, monitors, headphone system, etc......plus my mixing chops have improved alot......couple of recent, personal break-throughs) lately it's hard to attribute more business with any one specific thing.
Old 1st June 2008
  #97
I can't say the Shadow Hills Equinox is the "best" summing mixer available as I don't have enough experience with other units, however I feel like I'm in Studio 1 at Cherokee (Hollywood, CA) when monitoring through an Equinox.
Old 1st June 2008
  #98
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I have used the API and the Neve and loved both of them. The API sounded a little clearer and bigger then the neve but the neve was easier to use, had meters, and a recall capability. I think i would pick the API if forced to choose. I really think that you should try to try a couple if its possible. Mixdream seems to win a lot of shootouts around here.
Old 1st June 2008
  #99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FatStudio View Post
I like the API 8200,but on the 7800 I bypass the fader as it chokes the sound.

I just use the pre fader send and plug it in to the 2track heh ,sounds much better to me.
agreed.
Old 1st June 2008
  #100
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Well, I borrowed a folcrom for the week just to see what is up and it's not leaving. Just the fact that my vintech and api pres saturate a mix and "glue" it together so well after the fact that the folcrom adds the clarity and focus that was missing is enough for me. Not to mention the part about it being easier to mix with outboard compressors and eq's much better.


Cool

Neil
Old 3rd June 2008
  #101
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Quote:
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.
I'm not sure about that...what if you have, say, a vocal track in your mix and you want to run it through your nice analog compressor, but there are a lot of fader moves? Typically you'd want the compressor before the fader because you've set the threshold, etc at a certain level, but if the compressor comes after your DAW output how do you handle that without a DAW insert?
Old 3rd June 2008
  #102
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duardo View Post
I'm not sure about that...what if you have, say, a vocal track in your mix and you want to run it through your nice analog compressor, but there are a lot of fader moves? Typically you'd want the compressor before the fader because you've set the threshold, etc at a certain level, but if the compressor comes after your DAW output how do you handle that without a DAW insert?
Yes, you want the faders post-outboard processing, for the reason you mentioned.
That is why it is a problem to use the DAW faders prior to outputting the tracks to outboard gear.

For the 8816/8804 summers I have, you simply use the faders on the 8804's, which are on the individual tracks, after outboard processing and pre-summing bus.

You also set the Direct Outs from the 8804 to operate post-fader, so if the DO's go to reverbs/delays/effects, these effect levels are adjusted simultaneously.

For summing units w/o faders, you use the individual level knobs on the summing unit. Not as easy as faders for riding faders during the mixdown, but doable.
Old 4th June 2008
  #103
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ulysses's Avatar
A summing device doesn't have faders or knobs. If it did, it would be called a mixer. In any case, if you wanted to "insert" a processor (such as a compressor or EQ) ahead of whatever's in the summing box, you'd patch it in BEFORE the signal ever reached the summing box. That's what patchbays are for. My point was that it would be silly to go into a box just to come right out again if there's no circuitry you need to hit.

But we're talking about two different things here. You seem to be talking about the separate issue of whether the fader should be before or after the compressor. A lot of people lose sleep over this, but I really think it's a non-issue. I mean, the reason you're doing all those little fader moves are presumably to correct for variances in the loudness of the recorded track. And the reason you're using a compressor is primarily to correct for variances in the loudness of the recorded track. By taking care of the "broad strokes" with the fader automation first, then the compressor sees a more consistent level coming in, and you get a more consistent response coming out of it. Your fader moves are sort of like super-intelligent compression (assuming the person controlling the faders is super-intelligent). This allows you to use less actual compression, or to dial it in more exactly to get the tonal impact you want (the other reason you might be using a compressor).
Old 4th June 2008
  #104
Quote:
Originally Posted by ulysses View Post
And the reason you're using a compressor is primarily to correct for variances in the loudness of the recorded track.
Some of us use compressors during the mixdown for the change in tone they impart and less for the control of the level. Lots of times they set at low ratio and high thresholds anyway.
Old 4th June 2008
  #105
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Mastering101's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by over-man View Post
I understand what you're saying here, its not some magical box that will make a mix come alive. How would you describe the difference, and have you tried the Speck x.sum?
thethrillfactor does not like summing period so why even ask him. i don't know why he jumps in on these threads..he will base an opinion on a piece of gear
after spending a day with it...I just bought a Roll unit hope to mix with it soon..I like the idea of having the control with any Mic pre you want...
Old 4th June 2008
  #106
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirty Halo View Post
No, it's not an 80c, but then the Neve summer isn't a "Neve" per se either or the SSL a 4000, 9000 or otherwise... we'd all love that kind of miracle, but it just isn't so. Sorry.

For that reason, I still suggest the Dangerous 2-Buss, which, in my opinion is the purist path and most "big console center-section" out there and then apply various 2-buss comps for your flavor.

A Dangerous-2buss with a vintage SSL G384 would sound killer... or a Pendulum 6386 or Neve 33609... you catch my drift.

-a

DIRTY HALO www.dirtyhalo.com
Perfectly said.
Old 4th June 2008
  #107
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
All depends on the "flavour" you're after...

"colour" and "clarity" are often 2 different things.

I choose not to blatently plug my own product here tutt
OK, so I'll do it for you.
AWS900

SCNR!-)
Old 4th June 2008
  #108
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The MPCist's Avatar
 

+1 Equinox thumbsup
Old 4th June 2008
  #109
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ulysses View Post
A summing device doesn't have faders or knobs. If it did, it would be called a mixer.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ulysses View Post
But we're talking about two different things here. You seem to be talking about the separate issue of whether the fader should be before or after the compressor. A lot of people lose sleep over this, but I really think it's a non-issue. I mean, the reason you're doing all those little fader moves are presumably to correct for variances in the loudness of the recorded track. And the reason you're using a compressor is primarily to correct for variances in the loudness of the recorded track.
Well, personally I find I need the "summer mixer" to provide (1) level faders/knobs and (2) panning.
I tried it the other way for some time, and found this works much better for my setup.

I ride the faders during mixdown for various reasons, most often to change the feel of the song at different points.

Making significant changes in the DAW pre-outboard processing can definitely create problems with your processing setup.
And, if you want to ride the faders in real time during the mixdown, doing so with DAW faders on a screen is a major pain, to say the least.

I probably use compressors as much for the tone/sound as for level control.

It just boils down to what works the best for each of us during mixdown.
Your approach to mixdown is obviously different than mine.
Anyone considering a "summer mixer" should be aware of the different techniques and find what works best for him/her.

Just one view, FWIW.
Old 4th June 2008
  #110
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike H View Post
Yes, you want the faders post-outboard processing, for the reason you mentioned.
That is why it is a problem to use the DAW faders prior to outputting the tracks to outboard gear.

For the 8816/8804 summers I have, you simply use the faders on the 8804's, which are on the individual tracks, after outboard processing and pre-summing bus.

You also set the Direct Outs from the 8804 to operate post-fader, so if the DO's go to reverbs/delays/effects, these effect levels are adjusted simultaneously.

For summing units w/o faders, you use the individual level knobs on the summing unit. Not as easy as faders for riding faders during the mixdown, but doable.
Eh, no thanks. I cant see trading automation for the arguably minute difference that summing makes. Even if it makes a BIG difference it probably still isnt worth it to me. Also I NEED to be able to treat individual channels which means they need individual channels on the summing unit which means pretty quickly we are building something more like a mixing board than a summing unit in terms of channels (sending lots of individuals rather than stems).

The only way its going to work for me is if I can use hardware inserts for individual channels and then send my grouped outputs to the summing mixer for simple summing and and group processing. I realize that I am adding more conversions but that is the only way I am going to see it as worthwhile with my workflow so if those conversions are going to negate any benefit of analog summing I guess its ITB summing for me.
Old 4th June 2008
  #111
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Full Clip Audio View Post
I realize that I am adding more conversions but that is the only way I am going to see it as worthwhile with my workflow so if those conversions are going to negate any benefit of analog summing I guess its ITB summing for me.
Like thethrillfactor posted earlier, if you are basically an ITB guy who gets good results there, then maybe some hardware digital-I/O reverbs will add that "extra" you are looking for.
Lots of good options today (PCM96, etc.)
No question hardware reverbs/delays/effects offer a big plus for ITB mixers, IMHO.

For me ITB just didn't work, and OTB throughout until I print the mix gives me much better results.

Different strokes..........

The wonder is that we have so many choices today.
Old 4th June 2008
  #112
Totally! I personally feel like I am getting the best of both worlds with a controller, ITB and lots of outboard as inserts (I do lots of automation and parallel/creative processing). The best of both worlds that is except for summing and having extra conversions. Oh well, I will find the solution to bring the two together somehow.
Old 4th June 2008
  #113
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ulysses's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike H View Post
Well, personally I find I need the "summer mixer" to provide (1) level faders/knobs and (2) panning.
I tried it the other way for some time, and found this works much better for my setup.

I ride the faders during mixdown for various reasons, most often to change the feel of the song at different points.
It sounds like a summing device isn't for you then. What you need is a mixer. Boxes like the Folcrom were invented for people who can't give up the automation and recall ability of the DAW. As I've said before, I think this issue is probably more important than the analog signal path. So I see mixing consoles and summing devices at the opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of which approaches to mixing they each accommodate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor View Post
Some of us use compressors during the mixdown for the change in tone they impart and less for the control of the level. Lots of times they set at low ratio and high thresholds anyway.
Right. I alluded to that in the post you quoted. The fader moves you do in the DAW before your signal reaches the compressor can improve the consistency of the signal hitting the compressor, so the tonal effects of the compressor will also be more consistent. Take a vocal into an optical compressor, for example. If you rely on the compressor to correct for major variations in the loudness of the vocal (due to, for example, typical amateur vocalist moving their head around in front of a directional microphone), then you'll have moments of over-compression that sound pillowy and muffled, and other moment that sound thinner due to less compression. These variations are based on the singer's arbitrary head-bobbing, not your aesthetic choice. Fader automation in the DAW, ahead of the compressor, can correct the "big chunks" before you get into the compressor, thereby allowing the compressor to work more effectively.
Old 4th June 2008
  #114
Someone mentioned that fader rides before the compressors are enough...

They aren't. What about when there's a crescendo in the music and your highly compressed vocal gets swamped out at that point? Or the bus compression kicks in a tiny bit extra on the downbeat of the chorus and you need to "get over the hump" with a quick fader hit for overheads or vocals?

What if you want to only "half compress" the vocal b/c the tonality is too different when it's squashed, but then need to do rides to fit the track?

With a summer with no faders you realize the limitations quickly. The only solutions are inserts before stemming, tonelux faders, and full automation. Or if you're old school just nudging real faders a bit here and there and keeping it organic sounding.
Old 5th June 2008
  #115
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ulysses's Avatar
Or you can just use the output knob on the compressor. It's not recallable like the DAW automation, but it gets the job done.
Old 5th June 2008
  #116
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ulysses View Post
Or you can just use the output knob on the compressor. It's not recallable like the DAW automation, but it gets the job done.
Yes, but not really practical if you are riding multiple faders.
You need them all close at hand.
Old 5th June 2008
  #117
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RoundBadge's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by yeloocproducer View Post
Someone mentioned that fader rides before the compressors are enough...

They aren't. What about when there's a crescendo in the music and your highly compressed vocal gets swamped out at that point? Or the bus compression kicks in a tiny bit extra on the downbeat of the chorus and you need to "get over the hump" with a quick fader hit for overheads or vocals?

What if you want to only "half compress" the vocal b/c the tonality is too different when it's squashed, but then need to do rides to fit the track?

With a summer with no faders you realize the limitations quickly. The only solutare inserts before stemming, tonelux faders, and full automation. Or if you're old school just nudging real faders a bit here and there and keeping it organic sounding.
thumbsup

Quote:
Originally Posted by ulysses View Post
Or you can just use the output knob on the compressor. It's not recallable like the DAW automation, but it gets the job done.
doesn't work if you have multiple things to ride and your comps are spread out in the room aside from some having little pots[SSL,etc[

.
Old 5th June 2008
  #118
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u b k's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by yeloocproducer View Post
The only solutions are inserts before stemming, tonelux faders, and full automation. Or if you're old school just nudging real faders a bit here and there and keeping it organic sounding.

those aren't the only solutions, though.

what comes to mind primarily is multing the vocal and having an uncompressed or differently compressed signal coming in on another channel and riding that up when you need to get up and over the limits of the main vocal comp without getting clamped. even a vocal processed with a plug is fine, because you're not stepping on it too much and just a little bit of that second channel can give a lot of lift to the primary.

i use parallel compression all the time for that kind of extra juice, especially on vocal and snare.


gregoire
del
ubk
.
Old 5th June 2008
  #119
Actually UBK...




That is a very good idea. Going to give that a whirl in a couple of places.
Old 5th June 2008
  #120
_rd
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_rd's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimmySX View Post
Nothing but good words for the Neve 8816. I own one and I love it!!! It's very expandable and has an excellent tone!
I love my Neve 8816. The big but is: "Total recall" should be "Total recall", not "manual recall".
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