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Tried summing NOT Impressed
Old 17th July 2005
  #61
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u b k's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by NathanEldred
...doing what you are talking about is just putting icing on a brussell sprout.

i've never had a sig, but i'm giving this one serious consideration. brilliant.


gregoire
del ubik
Old 17th July 2005
  #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ImJohn
I'm just wondering if its the mic pre that is really the component that is making the obvious difference and the analog summing box is more or less a smoke 'n mirrors middle man.
I'm wondering the exact same thing. I made my own 8-channel passive summing box and have been using my API 3124 for make-up gain. However I don't currently own any high end D/A. I only have 8 channels of MOTU. I did notice more depth and width to the mixes than what I was getting ITB even with the mediocre MOTU conversion. I have in the past also run mixes out of my Benchmark DAC1 and into my API. I haven't done a direct comparison on the same material yet, but I recall getting more depth and width doing that too...plus the low end probably was more defined.

It would be great if someone with some nice D/A could make some comparisons.

Brad
Old 17th July 2005
  #63
Gear Nut
 

Erm.... There's two concepts here:


ITB mixing + OTB summing;


..and


OTB *mixing*.


Some of you are talking about one in comparison to the other, and vice-versa - I think there should be some clarification.


While I tried summing, and I've listened to other's "great" summing examples, I've thought it actually worse sounding: blurrier, and NOT in an "analog" good way.


ON THE OTHER HAND......


It does occur to me that there could be a distinct advantage of running mulitp[le 24bit+ outputs and *mixing*.

The difference being, in the first example - using these summers - you're still letting the box do the math, as opposed to the later, saving the "math" for the analog world.


My suspicion is that on a high-track count mix, cumulative rounding off is to the detriment of sound ITB, versus mixing outside the box from discreet high-def outputs.

...The only problem being there is not way of readily defining an exact, empirical way of testing this in a 1:1 manner.

REGARDLESS, I wish these kind of threads could be more.... coherent when it comes to the philosophical procedure involved: ITB mixing>summing, vs. ITB playback>mixing.


I'm just a peon, but I think 24 digitally recorded tracks played directly out of 24 discreet outputs, then mixed outside the box, might sound distinctly better than 24 mixed ITB and subbed out to a summer.
Old 17th July 2005
  #64
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Ok...so this Atomic Sumthang may change my mind entirely on the summing boxes....anyone heard it? Something with a little tube warmth going on on the end of it all makes alot of sense to me!
I may be back in the summing boat if I ever to get to hear one!
Old 17th July 2005
  #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ImJohn
Sorry if this has been discussed already and I missed it but has anyone compared not only a mix done solely in-the-box and one done through a Folcum/Dangerous summer plus mic pre but also a mix done in-the-box and THEN run through a mic pre with no summing box inbetween?

I'm just wondering if its the mic pre that is really the component that is making the obvious difference and the analog summing box is more or less a smoke 'n mirrors middle man.
In the past I've tried running my mixes through various preamps with no summer in between and haven't liked anything i tried. I even tried the Phoenix DRS-2, which, as a preamp, has the same circuitry and sonic vibe as the Nicerizer, but the result was unsatisfactory. It sounded sort of distorted, low-fi, whatever. Subtle, but it definitely didn't enhance the track. But to my ears it was clear enough to not need to do any controlled tests to make up my mind.

Anybody can try that for themselves, right? If you do and you're beating yourself up wondering if you're really hearing a difference or improvement, then just put it down and move on. There are plenty of other things you can do to your recordings to make real, perceivable differences.

-R
Old 17th July 2005
  #66
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RoundBadge's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ImJohn
Sorry if this has been discussed already and I missed it but has anyone compared not only a mix done solely in-the-box and one done through a Folcum/Dangerous summer plus mic pre but also a mix done in-the-box and THEN run through a mic pre with no summing box inbetween?

I'm just wondering if its the mic pre that is really the component that is making the obvious difference and the analog summing box is more or less a smoke 'n mirrors middle man.

I've tried that as well..
no it's not at all the same..
Good summing.. be it a console[I've been API up until recently] or whatever,gives the stuff a more 3-d quality ..Kinda the same analogy with hearing OK converters[PT hd] vs' great converters[Lavry Gold]..
ITB/OTB... F*ck the math..F* the spec sheets..I like what good line amps and analog bussing with all it's beautiful imperfections does to music.
One man's 'Clean/clear/Hi fi" is another man's "Clinical/boring/predictable..
Who cares..It works for me and I'm not looking back.

Old 18th July 2005
  #67
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Yeah, once you hear something that you like then all the other rationalizements and philosphicalities just fall away.

-R
Old 18th July 2005
  #68
Quote:
Originally Posted by u b i k
i've never had a sig, but i'm giving this one serious consideration. brilliant.


gregoire
del ubik
Old 18th July 2005
  #69
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My best friend just followe dthe advice of Paul Frindle, when it came to in the box mixes: Trim every single fader by -15 db. He brought the exact same mixes to his ME after doing that and the ME couldn't believe it was the same stuff. Now, try summing in the box like that and then try your regular levels with a 2 buss summing device. I'm curious to hear what you discover.
Old 18th July 2005
  #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjblair
...Trim every single fader by -15 db. He brought the exact same mixes to his ME after doing that and the ME couldn't believe it was the same stuff. ...
I've had similar experiences when my clients simply dropped the Pro Tools master fader back 6 dB!
Old 18th July 2005
  #71
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Well I just got my folcrom up and running with 8 outs of my digi 001, and I'm really happy with the dimension and 3-d quality that's it has. It's also a great advantage to be able to use my fatso compression on 2 channels (or any track that I send to that output) in the mix. Everything sounds more "real" now. I hear the lack of depth in the ITB mixes (not lack of reverb room noise)... It's more like a picture on paper, whereas the folcrom provides bas releif. It's cool, though I quite don't get the hang of it yet, and though it would obviously be improved with better converters and more outboard gear.

I also compared a rough mix of a song run through a preamp and then mixed ITB, and I liked the preamp sound better. I had to turn the tracks in Pro Tools WAY down though. That also had more depth and dimension.
Old 18th July 2005
  #72
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Wallace,

Care to do a quick comparision of a mix made ITB run through a preamp vs. a mix summed out to the Folcrom (through that same preamp for make-up gain) and then give us your thoughts?

thanks,
Brad
Old 18th July 2005
  #73
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Yeah Brad... I'll make a few short MP3s and you guys can compare ITB vs. Folcrom vs. Preamp summed. I think there are still some phase issues though because I noticed that some tracks I've sent out to the folcrom are louder when switched back to the internal buss. So I'll have to change the mixes a little for each.
Old 18th July 2005
  #74
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Ok, here are a few different examples of a mix done ITB, with the folcrom, and through a preamp. I just put new Telefunken and GE 5 start tubes in the Universal Audio 2-610 that I used for this mix. I sent 8 channels out of the digi 001 DA converters. With the folcrom mix, I compressed the bass and guitars using the fatso. These were all quick mixes that I did on my lunch break, so there are some small level differences between the different mixes for various reasons, but I tried to balance the noticeable differences. The third mix is the same as the ITB mix, but ran out of the 001 into the line inputs of the UA. I also turned the tracks down in pro tools then cranked up the preamp. I could have maybe turned the volume down on the UA because it gets a little fuzzy in parts.

This is a song I wrote over the winter and I haven't really done much with it. It would be nice to get some production ideas on the song or to hear other people's opinion of the ITB, OTB thing, especially if you're listening on good monitors.
Attached Files

Bass_riff_folcrom.mp3 (3.52 MB, 447 views)

Bass_riff_ITB.mp3 (3.54 MB, 655 views)

Bass_riff_UA_mix.mp3 (3.53 MB, 347 views)

Old 18th July 2005
  #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson
I've had similar experiences when my clients simply dropped the Pro Tools master fader back 6 dB!
I'm convinced (through my own experiences) that this is the source of the 'radical' difference some users experience when switching to something like the Folcrom. Explains the folding up that some users report as they add tracks. I'm betting they've been slamming the mix bus and overloading the d/a. The Folcrom trims your mix back for you and the pre-amp on the back end becomes your master fader.

Not dissing the OTB concept though. Workflow and process is everything. If your mix comes together faster, who cares what you're doing to get there. I've just learned to turn my volume knob up and keep more conservative levels on the master. Stuff stays pretty open that way.
Old 18th July 2005
  #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsharp
I'm convinced (through my own experiences) that this is the source of the 'radical' difference some users experience when switching to something like the Folcrom. Explains the folding up that some users report as they add tracks. I'm betting they've been slamming the mix bus and overloading the d/a.
If you're mixing ITB there is no D/A.

-R
Old 18th July 2005
  #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RKrizman
If you're mixing ITB there is no D/A.

-R
Then how do you hear the mix? I think the d/a people are monitoring on could be folding up as much as the PT 2bus is allegedly folding up.
Old 18th July 2005
  #78
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Thanks Wallace! Much appreciated! I will listen to these as soon as I get home from work.

Brad
Old 19th July 2005
  #79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsharp
Then how do you hear the mix? I think the d/a people are monitoring on could be folding up as much as the PT 2bus is allegedly folding up.
You mean the mixes are just too loud and are overdriving the analog part of your D/A, or your CD player for that matter?

I guess you could send it to mastering to......make it softer!!!!!!! (doh...)

-R
Old 19th July 2005
  #80
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RoundBadge's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by gsharp
Then how do you hear the mix? I think the d/a people are monitoring on could be folding up as much as the PT 2bus is allegedly folding up.

D/A folding?what ..? UUhh ok.. you mean distorting?I think any Buss be it digi or analog ,is gonna bottleneck and sound like **** if you slam everything..
but basic gain staging isn't rocket science.
I guess if your a real idiot and you run everything in the red ..yeah..it'll sound pretty bad.
But I'm very mindful of levels throughout my sytsem wether it's ITB OR ITB and I still hear cool things happening when I'm mixing through a console that simply don't exist in the oh so accurate world of the digital domain..
this debate will probably range on forever..
doesn't matter ...I'm happy

Old 19th July 2005
  #81
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I realize you guys would never ever run the levels into the 2bus too hot.

I'm just seconding the comments from jjblair and Bob O about some mixes dramatically improving when pulling the levels back ITB which is 'coincidentally' so much of the benefit the OTB summers allegedly 'provide'.

I'm all for the tone you guys are getting from the N16 (if that's what you want), just trying to explain what might be happening to the PT Mixbus voodoo guys.
Old 19th July 2005
  #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsharp
I realize you guys would never ever run the levels into the 2bus too hot.

I'm just seconding the comments from jjblair and Bob O about some mixes dramatically improving when pulling the levels back ITB which is 'coincidentally' so much of the benefit the OTB summers allegedly 'provide'.

I'm all for the tone you guys are getting from the N16 (if that's what you want), just trying to explain what might be happening to the PT Mixbus voodoo guys.

Old 19th July 2005
  #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsharp
I realize you guys would never ever run the levels into the 2bus too hot.

I'm just seconding the comments from jjblair and Bob O about some mixes dramatically improving when pulling the levels back ITB which is 'coincidentally' so much of the benefit the OTB summers allegedly 'provide'.

I'm all for the tone you guys are getting from the N16 (if that's what you want), just trying to explain what might be happening to the PT Mixbus voodoo guys.
In the interest of clarity, I'd say you're talking about three or four different things. One is overdriving the analog stage of a D/A converter. Another is getting mellifluous tone from running into 16 nice sounding analog channels. Another is improving your mix by not stressing the math in a DAW with too much volume (too many bits? I don't get this one).

In my experience the effect of lowering your mix volume has nothing to do, sonically, with the effect of stemming out to a summer like a Nicerizer.

With summing boxes it gets back to that old question of choosing the console you want to mix on based on it's characteristic sound. What kind of tonality works for you? It used to be common to track on a Neve and mix on an SSL. Now I guess tracking on a DAW is sort of like tracking on an SSL, so we need to mix on something Nevelike. Or at least that's one theory.

-R
Old 19th July 2005
  #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RKrizman
In the interest of clarity, I'd say you're talking about three or four different things. One is overdriving the analog stage of a D/A converter. Another is getting mellifluous tone from running into 16 nice sounding analog channels. Another is improving your mix by not stressing the math in a DAW with too much volume (too many bits? I don't get this one).
Would not a slammed 2 bus in a daw tend to overdrive the d/a? The 2nd is a symptom of the 1st, not a different unrelated thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RKrizman
In my experience the effect of lowering your mix volume has nothing to do, sonically, with the effect of stemming out to a summer like a Nicerizer.

-R
I was basing it on my personal experience with the Folcrom where it, by virtue of its design, is doing pretty much exactly the same thing as trimming the faders down and making it up at the master.

JJBlair's friend and Bob O's client(s) had a reaction to trimming their mixes down that was awfully similar to a whole bunch of people here after getting their Folcroms.

Not arguing the tone thing with you. Simply putting forth a theory as to why some folks around here experienced such massive improvements OTB. And why at the same time this thread has the title it does.
Old 19th July 2005
  #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsharp
Simply putting forth a theory as to why some folks around here experienced such massive improvements OTB. And why at the same time this thread has the title it does.

i'll go with occam's razor here --- that is, the simplest explanation is usually the best.

i believe the reason some folks experience massive improvement with otb, and others are unimpressed, is that some people prefer the sound of otb and others don't. the ones who prefer it have the *experience* of improvement. but experience is not reality, it's simply one particular take on it.

i consider myself someone who experiences massive improvements with the nicerizer, and i'm not alone in that belief; but i am wide awake now to the fact that at least as many people here not only disagree, they feel the opposite is true.

who's right? what's the reality? were there massive improvements or not?


gregoire
del ubik
Old 19th July 2005
  #86
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hi wallace,
sounds extremely interesting to me. thx for the uploads!
btw I don't like the UA sound, but maybe its good for some rough rock style.
in your case the folcrom does much, though I am wondering how this goes in particular. the git and bass chains are obviously a good improvement by itself.
separation is better OTB. also smoother.
but how would it sound if you change nothing in the mix and just replug and record through the folcrom?

..
I would propose an experiment similar to recording a reverb impule for the convolutor, as follows:
split the source impulse into 8 frequency bands, work on it so that they sum to a good pulse again. create a convolution of the residual error, of this splitting and re-summing, to take into account later.
then run thru the ITB and record. then sum thru the external device and record. use a special software to analyze the difference of the two. the question is, whether the convolutor can at least partially mimick the behaviour of the OTB system, when tested with real music.
...should be done with different bit depths and rates. try linear and exponential split frequencies.

my display makes me think there might be some dispersion going on in the freq domain, and this could yield a factor of decorrelation. further, the experiment would not detect this, I suppose. but it would find dispersion in the time domain and spectral influence.
Old 19th July 2005
  #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsharp
Would not a slammed 2 bus in a daw tend to overdrive the d/a? The 2nd is a symptom of the 1st, not a different unrelated thing.
Here's why they are two different things. You can slam your 2 bus in a DAW and bounce to disc the world's hottest mix--perhaps it will distort your D/A when monitoring. But none of that distortion is part of the bounce, it's just in the monitors. You can drag that mix file into Jam, for instance, and lower it's volume before printing a CD. You'll have a mix that does not overdrive your CD player D/A.

I believe that Bob O and others are making a claim about mix levels that has to do with the actual quality of the mix, not just how you hear it through your monitors.

It's like jitter. If you have a jittery system you can hear it when monitoring, but if you do a BTD then that jitter is not a factor because it only becomes part of the mix during D/A and A/D conversions.

-R
Old 19th July 2005
  #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by u b i k
i'll go with occam's razor here --- that is, the simplest explanation is usually the best.

i believe the reason some folks experience massive improvement with otb, and others are unimpressed, is that some people prefer the sound of otb and others don't. the ones who prefer it have the *experience* of improvement. but experience is not reality, it's simply one particular take on it.

i consider myself someone who experiences massive improvements with the nicerizer, and i'm not alone in that belief; but i am wide awake now to the fact that at least as many people here not only disagree, they feel the opposite is true.

who's right? what's the reality? were there massive improvements or not?


gregoire
del ubik
How do you keep coming up with these eloquent posts? Is that from the Nicerizer too?
Old 19th July 2005
  #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RKrizman
Here's why they are two different things. You can slam your 2 bus in a DAW and bounce to disc the world's hottest mix--perhaps it will distort your D/A when monitoring. But none of that distortion is part of the bounce, it's just in the monitors. You can drag that mix file into Jam, for instance, and lower it's volume before printing a CD. You'll have a mix that does not overdrive your CD player D/A.

-R
Have you tried this? I just did and the bounced file is clipped like a mo fo upon inspection. I don't have Jam on this system, but the resulting file is squared off anyway. Turning it down isn't going to retrieve those peaks. Now if you turn down the master before you bounce, then yes all the peaks will still be there.
Old 19th July 2005
  #90
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeoVXR
hi wallace,
btw I don't like the UA sound, but maybe its good for some rough rock style.
...but how would it sound if you change nothing in the mix and just replug and record through the folcrom?

Yeah, I want to try it with the GTQ2 when I get it back. For the most part those mixes were the same, it's just that I think the output levels of channels 3-8 on my 001 are lower than 1 and 2 so I had to compensate for that when mixing OTB.

..

Quote:
Originally Posted by NeoVXR
I would propose an experiment similar to recording a reverb impule for the convolutor, as follows:
split the source impulse into 8 frequency bands, work on it so that they sum to a good pulse again. create a convolution of the residual error, of this splitting and re-summing, to take into account later.
then run thru the ITB and record. then sum thru the external device and record. use a special software to analyze the difference of the two. the question is, whether the convolutor can at least partially mimick the behaviour of the OTB system, when tested with real music.
...should be done with different bit depths and rates. try linear and exponential split frequencies.

my display makes me think there might be some dispersion going on in the freq domain, and this could yield a factor of decorrelation. further, the experiment would not detect this, I suppose. but it would find dispersion in the time domain and spectral influence.
wow, that sounds over my head. I wish you could come over and go to town with some tests!
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