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Summing with flavours
Old 27th April 2019
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Summing with flavours

Hey out there,

my first post here in the forum.
I run a studio in Germany. We work here in some kind of network and the most part of my job is mixing.

Till now I used a Phoenix Nicerizer for summing.
I like the sound of it a lot, and it is part of my workflow.
But from time to time i have to stay in the box, cause the nicerizer gives too much flavour to the source - even if not hit very hard.

Since Dangerous has released the 2-Bus Plus the price for the older units keeps dropping. One can get the older 2-Bus under 1000 bucks.
The older 2-Bus are clean sounding. They give a little separation and width, but the source stays fairly untouched.

I was thinking about selling the Nicerizer and get one of the 2-Bus in addition with some flavour boxes, to be able to stay clean and have color.

I am not a technical expert so i want to ask which options are there to add some color after the 2-Bus.

I know that I can buy a Nice DI to get my Phoenix sound partly back if I use it after the 2 Bus. Partly because all the active circuit in the Nicerizer will not be longer part of the chain. But i guess it is mostly the output transformer of the nicerizer that gives this box its sound.
I like it cause it has a "neveisch" sound.

Are there similar options out there? Perhaps a pair of heritage audio 73´s?
Old 28th April 2019
  #2
Gear Maniac
you could get a passive sum unit like the Rolls Folcrom, then use whatever pre you wanted to change the flavor. a compressor after the sum is another option for adding color and can use it in 'bypass' to just get the color of the transformer when you like.
Old 28th April 2019
  #3
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midmost's Avatar
Burl Vancouver - not as clean as Dangerous but maybe in the middle between that and your colorbox
Old 28th April 2019
  #4
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Did you try routing your color device(s) as auxes instead? That way you can keep their input - output in their sweet spots and dial in the amount of color with better control.
Old 2nd May 2019
  #5
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e-are's Avatar
That's funny...I have a 2 bus + and there are times I want more color, a thicker sonic footprint so to speak. There are good options on it and also inserts for external gear. That's part of the reason for going with the Dangerous. I can have a quote clean sound but can always add color with my outboard options.


Quote:
Originally Posted by DiodeBridge View Post
you could get a passive sum unit like the Rolls Folcrom, then use whatever pre you wanted to change the flavor. a compressor after the sum is another option for adding color and can use it in 'bypass' to just get the color of the transformer when you like.
I just received a vintagemaker 8 channel passive summer in the mail today. Plan on inputting that into my 2Bus+ and have 24 channels of summing. I have a vintech 473, capi 312's, and LTL Cromas for make up gain for the vintagemaker.
Old 3rd May 2019
  #6
IMHO if you want multiple summing flavors, this is best accomplished (and with FAR, FAR less headaches) ITB.

Using DrMS plus multiband saturation provides a ton of creative flexibility. For even more, add in one of the console emulation plugins. You can go in a variety of directions.
I sold my Neve summing box and haven't looked back. Analog summing boxes are a one trick pony in comparison and are time consuming and don't support my mobility needs.



Tastes vary, but here is one example of an ITB summing option:







Sometimes all of this is useful, sometimes NONE. It's great to have so much creative freedom.

The parallel compression aux bus concepts as per Andrew Scheps (see the current Q&A), while not directly related, are also extremely useful.
Old 3rd May 2019
  #7
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Vintage maker. No panning, but clean summing and decent price. Can use any preamps you have for make up gain. I went for 24 channels, the first 4 of each 8 can switch to mono.
Old 3rd May 2019
  #8
You could build out a 500-series lunchbox with different preamp flavors from Aurora, Neve, API, Electrodyne, etc. Patch in the one you like for the task or even several/all in series for some serious juice.
Old 3rd May 2019
  #9
Gear Addict
 

And don’t forget the B32 gives you options. Clean, +6dB switch and the BX5 transformer switch (there is an old and a current version with a different transformer)

Quote:
Originally Posted by midmost View Post
Burl Vancouver - not as clean as Dangerous but maybe in the middle between that and your colorbox
Old 4th May 2019
  #10
Here for the gear
 

Thanks for all the comments so far - been on the road the last couple of days.

I ordered in the meantime a Dangerous 2-bus lt and it was delivered while I was working abroad.

I tried it yesterday and I like it very much. It really does what one can read very often here at GS. Open and wide sound stage, tight bass, a little warmer than the PT mix and the mix sits deeper back in the speakers - really good. I already like the sound as it is - without additional color. Very good unit. Got it for 800 € (ex. tax). A pair of clean good preamps + passive mixer would be more than 800 €.

The Phoenix Nicerizer has a good sound. I would describe the color as a mix between "neveish" and "tubelike". It also does a little more in the low mid area than the 2-bus.

The 2-bus seems more true to the source. You get what you feed in, but wider and deeper, better definition and tighter bass. A little warmer on the top end than PT but I am sure this is pretty normal as soon as cables, converters and iron is involved.

The Nicerizer does not sound as wide and deep, though wider and deeper than the PT mix. It sounds to me for the lack of better description a little more '"ballsier" and a little thicker with the more low mid frequencies.

I am really surprised that I like this Dangerous 2 Bus that much cause I really like the sound the Nicerizer gave me the last months.

If you mix into the units I am pretty sure that both do a fantastic job, though I am sure that the Phoenix will lead more to different mix decisions than the dangerous as it colors the overall sound more. (compared to an PT only mix)

I think that I am on the right track here with my plan. The dangerous is clean enough to use it on any source, is set and forget which is always a fantastic thing, and is at the same time an improvement for my in the box mixes.
I like it.
Now I need some nice 1073 and etc options to color the 2-bus if I want to add some box tone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DiodeBridge View Post
you could get a passive sum unit like the Rolls Folcrom, then use whatever pre you wanted to change the flavor. a compressor after the sum is another option for adding color and can use it in 'bypass' to just get the color of the transformer when you like.
I thought about passive summing, but it will always require a pair preamps. If I want a clean sound, I will need a pair of clean preamps.


Quote:
Originally Posted by midmost View Post
Burl Vancouver - not as clean as Dangerous but maybe in the middle between that and your colorbox
I believe that the burl will be as colored as the Nicerizer not driven hard. You can have the Nicerizer also "cleanish" but not clean enough for all applications. Dangerous is clean enough.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bassmankr View Post
Did you try routing your color device(s) as auxes instead? That way you can keep their input - output in their sweet spots and dial in the amount of color with better control.
Not sure if I understand correctly what you mean but the Nicerizer is a 16 channel Mixer as is the Dangerous. I route 8 Stereo Pro Tools Sub / Bus Tracks through them
e.g 1 Drums, 2 Bass, 3 GTRS, 4 VOX, 5 Keys, 6 Horns, 7 BG Vox, 8 Pads

And for sure the color the Nicerizer provides is dependent on the gain staging before its output transformer. The hotter you hit it the more color you get.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bambamboom View Post
IMHO if you want multiple summing flavors, this is best accomplished (and with FAR, FAR less headaches) ITB.

Using DrMS plus multiband saturation provides a ton of creative flexibility. For even more, add in one of the console emulation plugins. You can go in a variety of directions.
I sold my Neve summing box and haven't looked back. Analog summing boxes are a one trick pony in comparison and are time consuming and don't support my mobility needs.

Tastes vary, but here is one example of an ITB summing option:

Sometimes all of this is useful, sometimes NONE. It's great to have so much creative freedom.

The parallel compression aux bus concepts as per Andrew Scheps (see the current Q&A), while not directly related, are also extremely useful.
Sorry a plugin is not an option for me as there are different outboard pieces between the DA and the Summing mixer for processing tracks if needed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by e-are View Post
That's funny...I have a 2 bus + and there are times I want more color, a thicker sonic footprint so to speak. There are good options on it and also inserts for external gear. That's part of the reason for going with the Dangerous. I can have a quote clean sound but can always add color with my outboard options.




I just received a vintagemaker 8 channel passive summer in the mail today. Plan on inputting that into my 2Bus+ and have 24 channels of summing. I have a vintech 473, capi 312's, and LTL Cromas for make up gain for the vintagemaker.
The new 2bus? D Bus PLUS?

I thought about trying this one as an all in one solution...

I am sure that the 2 Bus (old version) alone will not be the solution for me for every job. I think about adding a 1073 style pre after it as my "main sound", to have anything comparable that I had now with the Nicerizer. I like it to have a certain color from the beginning cause I really got very good results this way.
The dangerous alone will be just an option for jobs that require a pretty clean signal chain. Clients with classical stuff for example.


Quote:
Originally Posted by elegentdrum View Post
Vintage maker. No panning, but clean summing and decent price. Can use any preamps you have for make up gain. I went for 24 channels, the first 4 of each 8 can switch to mono.
As I said this would require always a pair of clean preamps, the 2-Bus alone is cheaper I believe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ripripstabstab View Post
You could build out a 500-series lunchbox with different preamp flavors from Aurora, Neve, API, Electrodyne, etc. Patch in the one you like for the task or even several/all in series for some serious juice.
That's the plan ;-)
Quote:
Originally Posted by StevenLMorgan View Post
And don’t forget the B32 gives you options. Clean, +6dB switch and the BX5 transformer switch (there is an old and a current version with a different transformer)
I believe it adds to much even if used in "clean mode". I would have tried it if the 2 bus would have not been that much of a positive surprise. I thought about trying this one next if I do not like the 2-bus - but I like the 2-Bus ;-)



Thanks to all for the kind answers.

Has anybody a good advice for an 1073 solution for the 2 bus? Lots of brands to choose from...
Old 5th May 2019
  #11
Lives for gear
The main thing desirable from the 1073 is the inductor EQ. For actual gain, tubes are better.

Use one of these.

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/det...ctor-equalizer
Old 5th May 2019
  #12
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by elegentdrum View Post
The main thing desirable from the 1073 is the inductor EQ. For actual gain, tubes are better.

Use one of these.

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/det...ctor-equalizer
I agree that inductor based Eq has its charme but it is not the first thing I think of when talking about coloration for the main bus.

For me it is the transformers. I do not want to shape the sound, just give it some character.
Old 5th May 2019
  #13
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e-are's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBaker View Post
I agree that inductor based Eq has its charme but it is not the first thing I think of when talking about coloration for the main bus.

For me it is the transformers. I do not want to shape the sound, just give it some character.
For some serious color using the Dangerous, I just inserted 2 channels of my vintech 473(neve flavor), into a Zulu and into a Burl B2 a/d. Pushed some gain with the 473 through the Zulu and the Burl with the input level at -18. Some nice low mid thickness.
Old 5th May 2019
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e-are View Post
For some serious color using the Dangerous, I just inserted 2 channels of my vintech 473(neve flavor), into a Zulu and into a Burl B2 a/d. Pushed some gain with the 473 through the Zulu and the Burl with the input level at -18. Some nice low mid thickness.
Do I understand correct that the 2 Bus PLUS alone with its transformer and saturation options does not give that much of color if desired?

The rest is pretty much the same as I plan to use the 2 Bus (old).

Summing in the 2 Bus -> Neve flavored pre´s - > Smart C1 -> A /D + Print.

Right know I am wrestling through the threads with BAE vs Heritage vs AMS vs AML vs God. ;-)
Old 6th May 2019
  #15
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I always route mono and stereo channels from Protools via outboard EQs and Compressors into the original Dangerous 2 Bus. I use different outboard EQs and Compressors on the main outputs to colour the sound. I don't route the outputs of the Dangerous into preamps.
Old 6th May 2019
  #16
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e-are's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBaker View Post
Do I understand correct that the 2 Bus PLUS alone with its transformer and saturation options does not give that much of color if desired?

The rest is pretty much the same as I plan to use the 2 Bus (old).

Summing in the 2 Bus -> Neve flavored pre´s - > Smart C1 -> A /D + Print.

Right know I am wrestling through the threads with BAE vs Heritage vs AMS vs AML vs God. ;-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by waldie wave View Post
I always route mono and stereo channels from Protools via outboard EQs and Compressors into the original Dangerous 2 Bus. I use different outboard EQs and Compressors on the main outputs to colour the sound. I don't route the outputs of the Dangerous into preamps.
The 2 bus+ has external inserts so I inserted the Vintech and Zulu into the 2 bus+.
Old 12th May 2019
  #17
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Oh yeah, I like it a lot...

Ordered a Heritage DMA 73 and an Elite Heritage HA73EQx2.

First played around with both preamps to see if there is a significant difference in sound between DMA and Elite.

I "believe" there is some, but I guess not more than from von DMA to another or one Elite to another. They both sound fantastic. Nice thick lows and low mids, but not muddy. Really good.

With enganging the EQ on the HA73EQx2 even more of that magic happens.

Will keep the Elite HA73EQx2.

1500 bucks (ex. TAX) is really really good for 2 vintage neve flavoured mic pres with 1073 EQ.

I like this setup way more than the Nicerizer.

800 bucks for the dangerous summing amp which i can use on any source + 1500 bucks for two 1073´s.

2300 bucks for 16 channels of summing with two flavours (engaging the eq with its inductors really does its thing) of neve on top + 2 1073´s for tracking is a really good deal for me.

This was a good day.
Old 17th May 2019
  #18
Here for the gear
 

Spent few days more with the boxes.

I came to the conclusion that nice gear does nice things to my ears.

But nothing from all the things I have tried in the last days was better or worse. Just different.

I used 16 Channels of Summing with the Nicerizer, the Dangerous 2 Bus. I used a Smart C1 as the final stage before A/D. I tried it with the UAD SSL G-Bus instead. I used the Heritage Pre and Heritage Pre and EQ in between.

A lot of combinations between Dangerous, Heritage, Smart, Phoenix and in the Box.

At the end of the day there were always differences. But nothing that was better or worse. Even the Pro Tools only Mix with the UAD SSL Bus Comp without any Hardware was good.

I would not want to live without my Smart C1, cause i liked it more than the only in the box mix. But apart from that I can easily live without any of the other 3 boxes - if we are talking just about summing and mixbus things. The Heritage is a very good preamp for tracking.

My conclusion to summing:
If it is an improvement for workflow - integrating hardware - then it is a good thing.

For sound alone - not needed for me.

I will sell all summing boxes, send the heritage back as I do more or less zero tracking in my home studio, invest the money in another good mixbus processor like my smart. Maybe an eq, something set and forget like my smart. ;-)
Old 17th May 2019
  #19
I think the thing about analog summing is, if you can’t hear it or appreciate it, it’s not for you. For those that do, they know why they want it as part of their mix structure. The key thing is the summing itself does not produce a sound or a flavour, so if your expecting that you will be disappointed. It’s more about feel; space, dimension, clarity and separation, and it’s always subtle. It’s almost like you have to tune your ears to hear it. Typically you then add the colour, or flavour after the sum. Either using the built amp in the summing mixer or, an external Pre amp of your choice.

I think that because the origin of what summing is, mostly ordinates from SSL desks, probably with the bus comp engaged, so what most people expect to hear is the colour and not the separation.

Obviously from my kit list it’s obvious I’m not ‘high end’, but I recently bought a Vintage Maker 8 channel Passive summing box, and even on my first test of routing out and back in via an Apollo, I can easily hear the improvement in imaging and separation on a mix I was working on. Very excited to run my other mixes through it.
Old 18th May 2019
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blayz2002 View Post
I think the thing about analog summing is, if you can’t hear it or appreciate it, it’s not for you. For those that do, they know why they want it as part of their mix structure. The key thing is the summing itself does not produce a sound or a flavour, so if your expecting that you will be disappointed. It’s more about feel; space, dimension, clarity and separation, and it’s always subtle. It’s almost like you have to tune your ears to hear it. Typically you then add the colour, or flavour after the sum. Either using the built amp in the summing mixer or, an external Pre amp of your choice.

I think that because the origin of what summing is, mostly ordinates from SSL desks, probably with the bus comp engaged, so what most people expect to hear is the colour and not the separation.

Obviously from my kit list it’s obvious I’m not ‘high end’, but I recently bought a Vintage Maker 8 channel Passive summing box, and even on my first test of routing out and back in via an Apollo, I can easily hear the improvement in imaging and separation on a mix I was working on. Very excited to run my other mixes through it.

I completely agree with that how you describe what analog summing does.

Separation, imaging, clarity. All key words.

I have been using the nicerizer for a long time.

The dangerous adds even more clarity and separation than the nicerizer. The nicerizer does a little more color and sheen.

But this things are really subtle and most important - one can archive a similar result without a summing box.

Mixing with a summing mixer helps with separation and imaging from the start. But that does not mean that you can not get that clarity and separation without a summing mixer.

Just different mix decisions but a similar good result is possible.
Old 18th May 2019
  #21
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Jeff Hayat's Avatar
 

If I were you, I would seriously consider a LTL Silver Bullet:

Louder than Liftoff Silver Bullet first impressions

It's not a summing box, but if you are looking to add a bit of width, depth, and color in a subtle and not over-hyped manner, this dude WAA.

Cheers.
Old 18th May 2019
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Hayat View Post
If I were you, I would seriously consider a LTL Silver Bullet:

Louder than Liftoff Silver Bullet first impressions

It's not a summing box, but if you are looking to add a bit of width, depth, and color in a subtle and not over-hyped manner, this dude WAA.

Cheers.

Yes I know. On my "to try list" ;-) But not that easy to get an demo unit without much hassle here in Germany...

Also the ssl fusion, some RND stuff is worth a look.

Or a simple good quality Stereo Bus Eq.
Old 18th May 2019
  #23
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I think it important to remember with summing boxes one has to be careful with language and fact.

To my way of thinking it appears just plain bonkers to say one gets greater separation with an analogue summing box as it's impossible to get greater separation than the mathematically perfect streams of the channels in your DAW.

The channels in your DAW have ZERO cross talk therefore they cannot be more separate they are 100% separate.

The channels in an electrical analogue summing box suffer from some degree of cross talk and are therefore less "seperate" than the channels in your DAW.
.
I'm sure people enjoy summing boxes but using one for greater channel separation makes absolutely no physical or mathematical sense in the real world, well at least no sense in my world.

Perhaps it is the opposite that is the attraction and it's the fact there is cross talk blurring that makes analogue summing appealing to some people?

I get the impression from reading threads on GS about all forms of analogue summing that the attraction is the ease of adding outboard processing without latency and gain staging issues.

If it's just about adding some analogue vibe then a Silver bullet of SSL Fusion is going to tick that box and them some.

I think the Neve 8816 and SSL Sigma add very nice analogue vibe as well but I'm not sure I'd be buying those expensive boxes for the concept of greater channel separation, probably in my case the exact opposite - an antidote to the cold cynical 100% separation of channels in a DAW?

Is the analogue cross talk the glue and analogue blend?

Just thinking out aloud on this most interesting of subjects.

Last edited by thehightenor; 18th May 2019 at 08:52 AM..
Old 18th May 2019
  #24
Quote:
Originally Posted by thehightenor View Post
I think it important to remember with summing boxes one has to be careful with language and fact.

It is just plain bonkers to say one gets greater separation with an analogue summing box as it's impossible to get greater separation than the mathematically perfect streams of the channels in your DAW.

The channels in your DAW have ZERO cross talk therefore they cannot be more separate they are 100% separate.

The channels in an electrical analogue summing box suffer from some degree of cross talk and are therefore less "seperate" than the channels in your DAW.
.
I'm sure people enjoy summing boxes but using one for greater channel separation makes absolutely no physical or mathematical sense in the real world, well at least no sense in my world.

Perhaps it is the opposite that is the attraction and it's the fact there is cross talk blurring that makes analogue summing appealing to some people.

I get the impression from reading threads on GS about all forms of analogue summing that the attraction is the ease of adding outboard processing without latency and gain staging issues.

If it's just about adding somw analogue vibe then a Silver bullet of SSL Fusion is going to tick that box and them some.
You’re just adding to the problem by trying to take the descriptive words literally. We all know it’s virtually impossible to use words to describe sound in certain circumstances. E.g. Warm, harsh, sterile, transparent, thick, fat full, thin, coloured...... The list goes on.

All of these words (including separation) are trying to trying to describe perception, not mathematical formulas. Let’s not go down a rabbit hole with this argument and derail the thread.

My point simply trying to illustrate that some will pay thousands/tens of thousands to add summing into their setup, others say nope, just use the DAW and put all that money to something else. No one is right, we all ‘perceive’ differently.
Old 18th May 2019
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blayz2002 View Post
You’re just adding to the problem by trying to take the descriptive words literally. We all know it’s virtually impossible to use words to describe sound in certain circumstances. E.g. Warm, harsh, sterile, transparent, thick, fat full, thin, coloured...... The list goes on.

All of these words (including separation) are trying to trying to describe perception, not mathematical formulas. Let’s not go down a rabbit hole with this argument and derail the thread.

My point simply trying to illustrate that some will pay thousands/tens of thousands to add summing into their setup, others say nope, just use the DAW and put all that money to something else. No one is right, we all ‘perceive’ differently.
Lol .... i wasn't trying to add to the problem.

Just a bit of healthy debate.

I have a hardware bus compressor and a HEDD 192 with saturation FX on my mix bus that I think does add a 3rd sound compared to a plugin bus compressor - I can 100% ABX pick that.

I'm now toying between adding an SSL Fusion, Silver Bullet or Neve 8816.

At this point the SSL Fusion is the front runner.

If I could afford two then the 8816 and Fusion.
But the cost of 16 channels of conversion of the standard of the HEDD 192 is simply out of my current budget.
Old 19th May 2019
  #26
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i'd like to throw in for consideration the A designs Mix factory. its cool because it has a transformer that you can bypass if you so choose...so basically 2 different sounds plus it has 2 inserts...one for channels 1-8 and another for 9-16 so there are a lot of options for color.

we also have access to the overstayer mas, a designs em eq2, a designs hammer, dramastic obsidian, chandler tg2 and most recently the kahayan Solid 4000 mix bus saturator....all of which can add a color to the mix.

what was an absolute shocker is the old skool duy tape plugin. hands down my fave on the 2bus mix.

what I've discovered is that there is no one box or plugin that fixes everything...it usually a combination of subtle processes that gets you there...very subtle.
Old 19th May 2019
  #27
Quote:
Originally Posted by thehightenor View Post
I think it important to remember with summing boxes one has to be careful with language and fact.

To my way of thinking it appears just plain bonkers to say one gets greater separation with an analogue summing box as it's impossible to get greater separation than the mathematically perfect streams of the channels in your DAW.

The channels in your DAW have ZERO cross talk therefore they cannot be more separate they are 100% separate.

The channels in an electrical analogue summing box suffer from some degree of cross talk and are therefore less "seperate" than the channels in your DAW.
.
I'm sure people enjoy summing boxes but using one for greater channel separation makes absolutely no physical or mathematical sense in the real world, well at least no sense in my world.

Perhaps it is the opposite that is the attraction and it's the fact there is cross talk blurring that makes analogue summing appealing to some people?

I get the impression from reading threads on GS about all forms of analogue summing that the attraction is the ease of adding outboard processing without latency and gain staging issues.

If it's just about adding some analogue vibe then a Silver bullet of SSL Fusion is going to tick that box and them some.

I think the Neve 8816 and SSL Sigma add very nice analogue vibe as well but I'm not sure I'd be buying those expensive boxes for the concept of greater channel separation, probably in my case the exact opposite - an antidote to the cold cynical 100% separation of channels in a DAW?

Is the analogue cross talk the glue and analogue blend?

Just thinking out aloud on this most interesting of subjects.
So have you or have you not tried analog summing (be it with a console or summing box) yourself?
Old 19th May 2019
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ripripstabstab View Post
So have you or have you not tried analog summing (be it with a console or summing box) yourself?
LOL .... I'm 56 years old, when I was recording and producing as a younger man all we had was tape machines and LFAC's there was nothing else!

As for summing boxes I've demoed a couple and I thought they had a vibe but frustratingly I got the same effect if I summed just the stereo bus out of my DAW so I came to the conclusion that the vibe of the summing unit was simply having something analogue on the two bus (I've noticed Hugh Robjohns and Bob Katz coming to this same conclusion)

I'm not at all sold on the idea a summing box gives you "greater separation of instruments" per say - that makes absolutely no sense to me and to be honest I just don't hear them doing that.

I can see how an external mixer or summing unit can make adding outboard processing a much easier workflow - so I can see its advantages for those running hybrid mix rigs.

There is always an awful lot of summing units for sale on ebay and other classifieds and I think its because people buy them to use with nothing more than their DAW's with no external processing and are disappointed by the results.

I do like the sound of the Neve 8816 as some iron on my two bus, but I'm not going to invest in one unless I also decide to add some external processing to my mixes and that's a leap I've yet to make as I've only been using my outboard for tracking and then mixing ITB with a hardware bus comp and some saturation on my mix bus.

I think the SSL Fusion sounds fantastic, and for many I suspect in combination with something like Slates VCC 2.0 it may be all they need to get huge sounding mixes.
Old 19th May 2019
  #29
Quote:
Originally Posted by thehightenor View Post
LOL .... I'm 56 years old, when I was recording and producing as a younger man all we had was tape machines and LFAC's there was nothing else!

As for summing boxes I've demoed a couple and I thought they had a vibe but frustratingly I got the same effect if I summed just the stereo bus out of my DAW so I came to the conclusion that the vibe of the summing unit was simply having something analogue on the two bus (I've noticed Hugh Robjohns and Bob Katz coming to this same conclusion)

I'm not at all sold on the idea a summing box gives you "greater separation of instruments" per say - that makes absolutely no sense to me and to be honest I just don't hear them doing that.

I can see how an external mixer or summing unit can make adding outboard processing a much easier workflow - so I can see its advantages for those running hybrid mix rigs.

There is always an awful lot of summing units for sale on ebay and other classifieds and I think its because people buy them to use with nothing more than their DAW's with no external processing and are disappointed by the results.

I do like the sound of the Neve 8816 as some iron on my two bus, but I'm not going to invest in one unless I also decide to add some external processing to my mixes and that's a leap I've yet to make as I've only been using my outboard for tracking and then mixing ITB with a hardware bus comp and some saturation on my mix bus.

I think the SSL Fusion sounds fantastic, and for many I suspect in combination with something like Slates VCC 2.0 it may be all they need to get huge sounding mixes.
Haha, fair enough!

I ask because I was super skeptical about summing boxes before eventually rolling the dice on one and actually using it for myself. I had serious questions and doubts about whether or not there was really a ~$2,000 (or even higher) improvement in the sound or if I should just be content with a single pair of INs and OUTs with my existing hardware chain.

The answer was immediately apparent once I got the Burl B32 in here. 16 tracks mixed ITB do sound different from the same 16 tracks pushed through the summing box. The DA must play a role in this but - here it comes - that 'separation' was there. Not separated as in every channel sounding alone in a vacuum, but separated as in finally having room to breathe. If ITB is economy seating then summed is first class with extra leg and elbow room and a hot towel. They'll both get you where you're going but summed is just easier on all of your parts in the long run. I can't go back.

That breathing room coupled with a solid hardware chain is really something else for overall body, space and dimension. ****, I'm starting to sound like some kind of new age healer
Old 20th May 2019
  #30
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thehightenor View Post
LOL .... I'm 56 years old, when I was recording and producing as a younger man all we had was tape machines and LFAC's there was nothing else!

As for summing boxes I've demoed a couple and I thought they had a vibe but frustratingly I got the same effect if I summed just the stereo bus out of my DAW so I came to the conclusion that the vibe of the summing unit was simply having something analogue on the two bus (I've noticed Hugh Robjohns and Bob Katz coming to this same conclusion)

I'm not at all sold on the idea a summing box gives you "greater separation of instruments" per say - that makes absolutely no sense to me and to be honest I just don't hear them doing that.

I can see how an external mixer or summing unit can make adding outboard processing a much easier workflow - so I can see its advantages for those running hybrid mix rigs.

There is always an awful lot of summing units for sale on ebay and other classifieds and I think its because people buy them to use with nothing more than their DAW's with no external processing and are disappointed by the results.

I do like the sound of the Neve 8816 as some iron on my two bus, but I'm not going to invest in one unless I also decide to add some external processing to my mixes and that's a leap I've yet to make as I've only been using my outboard for tracking and then mixing ITB with a hardware bus comp and some saturation on my mix bus.

I think the SSL Fusion sounds fantastic, and for many I suspect in combination with something like Slates VCC 2.0 it may be all they need to get huge sounding mixes.
There is a width and depth that I can get with the a designs mix factory that I can’t get itb. I for sure have tried and I have just about every plugin you can imagine. Now I don’t use it on every mix out of laziness and for some clients adding analog trannies is good enough. Adding the solid 4000 plus the mix factory gives an even wider depth of field and more “Separation”. I don’t know why. I just know that summing gets me closer to my reference commercially released mixes than otherwise. It can’t get there by itb alone. Maybe it’s just me...
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