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At Last: Nicerizer 16 vs. ITB (aif's & mp3's)
Old 26th September 2005
  #151
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It's been said before, but you really notice the difference when you sit down and actually use the box. Just like a mic or preamp. You may listen to a preamp comparison CD and either hear little difference, or feel that what you do hear doesn't matter so much. But when you actually use the gear you're listening through the filter of your own expectations, informed by your subjective idea of what you want. All of a sudden those differences become magnified and important.

Moreover, it's as much a feel thing as a conscious recognition.

-R
Old 26th September 2005
  #152
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Zooey's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by u b i k
for the record, this was 4 stereo stems->nicerizer->api2500. the ITB version still got the api, i used tones to match GR and output levels. [/url]
If you only used four stereo stems, you could have achieved the same result with the original Nicerizer for $1000 less, right? I can't access the files, but that's potentially good news, if true.
Old 26th September 2005
  #153
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You did not touch the Width control on this mix right?

Thanks!
Old 26th September 2005
  #154
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zooey
If you only used four stereo stems, you could have achieved the same result with the original Nicerizer for $1000 less, right? I can't access the files, but that's potentially good news, if true.
Ubik's tune was a very spare production. Is the original Nicer that much cheaper?

As for me, I make full use of the 16 inputs. You can send some of your tracks in mono to individual tracks, you can use other channels to submix external reverbs--many possibilities.

-R
Old 26th September 2005
  #155
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RKrizman
It's been said before, but you really notice the difference when you sit down and actually use the box. Just like a mic or preamp. You may listen to a preamp comparison CD and either hear little difference, or feel that what you do hear doesn't matter so much. But when you actually use the gear you're listening through the filter of your own expectations, informed by your subjective idea of what you want. All of a sudden those differences become magnified and important.

Moreover, it's as much a feel thing as a conscious recognition.

-R
Hmmm, well, I can appreciate that...I'm all for voodoo!

The thing with mics and pres, though, whatever you decide to use or get a thrill from, well you have to use something...whereas these summing boxes, I don't know, there seems to be a lot of hype going around, but are they really necessary in getting a great recording from a DAW?

(I realize this is high end, but, god, 4 thousand bucks for a feel? Too rich for my blood...)

I'd be curious to know if anyone who has used one sent it back, as they didn't feel the thrill?
Old 26th September 2005
  #156
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JP11
(I realize this is high end, but, god, 4 thousand bucks for a feel? Too rich for my blood...)

I'd be curious to know if anyone who has used one sent it back, as they didn't feel the thrill?
Feel is everything.

And to answer your question, I had another very popular summing box for awhile, which shall remain nameless, and I sent it back. I'm keeping the Nicerizer, and would probably only sell it if I were to step up to a full mixer.

YM and all....

-R
Old 27th September 2005
  #157
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheSweetener
I just listened to the AIFs for the first time. I downloaded them at the beginning of this thread so they should be the unmastered ones.

First I had the same impression as some of you, there was nor real difference.
But only until I came to the chorus and (even more spectacular) till the last part with the solo guitar left and the rhodes right.
There's such a huge difference in space. The ITB mix sounds like 80% panned left/right compared to the Nicerizer. I did not expect that.
Otherwise I did not hear much difference in tone or glue.

Perhaps this song is not the best to test the summing qualities. I think it becomes the more audible the more tracks you have and this mix is not very dense.

Good mix, nice song by the way!
I went back and listened again (this time on headphones, plus I didn't actually listen through all the way to the end the first time).

You're right, the panning at that later point is quite different, so much so, I can't believe that it's the summing box, the difference was so much more subtle up to that point.

Still, on headphones, I again felt a slight improvement in space, the ITB seeming somewhat smaller.

From reading around, though, it seems many are stating that these boxes have nothing at all to do with summing, but perhaps a pleasing distortion or EQing that happens with hardware, and thus could be added in many different ways without the need for a $4000 box.

What's most interesting about this thread, though, is the proof once again, how subjective "good" or "better" is.
Old 27th September 2005
  #158
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JP11
Still, on headphones, I again felt a slight improvement in space, the ITB seeming somewhat smaller.
That's it right there. Believe me, seemingly little things like that mean a lot more when it's your own mix and you're fighting for every inch.

You really have to try this stuff for yourself. Play with a Nicerizer for a few days then go back and listen to those mixes. You'll hear a huge difference.

I don't see how you can get the same effect from eq or adding distortion. The best plugin by far for this, IMO, is the Cranesong Phoenix, but even it doesn't flip you outside the box so dramatically like the Nicer does.

-R
Old 27th September 2005
  #159
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RoundBadge's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by JP11
From reading around, though, it seems many are stating that these boxes have nothing at all to do with summing, but perhaps a pleasing distortion or EQing that happens with hardware, and thus could be added in many different ways without the need for a $4000 box.
listening to one song mixed through it doesn't really do the box justice.
I assure you ,until you mix through it you won't fully appreciate what the N-16 does..
even without any other outboard EQ/compression,the thing makes it easier to acheive more dimension, separation ,width and yeah, if you want it... pleasing distortion...
I've tried about 6 of these hi end summing mixers in the last 6 months..and this is the best one i've heard so far.
I look at this summing stuff as a transitional phase, until a great small footprint[no I don't have a lot of space] 24-32 channel mixer w/ sends, busses ,etc comes along my way[VERY patiently waiting for a few demos]but as we all know ,some of this stuff takes FOREVER to design,build,troubleshoot..let alone get it to the hungry masses.
on occasion,i will still mix ITB when I know the client needs it in a hurry and wants a quick recall avialable for any speedy changes.
but given to choice, I'll take the sonics of the N-16 over ITB anyday.
it's actually one of the few items I haven't seen for resale here[aside from the one 8 channel unit Thermionic is selling directly from the company itself]
as far as I know, everyone who bought the first ten N-16 proto's are all thrilled.
Old 27th September 2005
  #160
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheSweetener
You did not touch the Width control on this mix right?

Thanks!

Bump!
Old 27th September 2005
  #161
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Quote:
If you only used four stereo stems, you could have achieved the same result with the original Nicerizer for $1000 less, right? I can't access the files, but that's potentially good news, if true.
I wouldn’t usually talk prices, but I have to correct this: the original Nicerizer-8 (still available btw) was / is definitely not $1,000 less!
The exchange-rate has fluctuated since release, and some dealers offer a discount, but I think you’ll find that, if anything, the Nizerizer-8 probably works out the same or even more expensive.

The N-8’s eight individual outs with their transformers ensure that it’s not a cheap device to construct, and the N-16 was designed for those who didn’t need the extra outs, and wanted more inputs for a similar outlay.

Justin
Old 27th September 2005
  #162
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheSweetener
You did not touch the Width control on this mix right?

Thanks!
I seem to recall Greg mentioning he did not use the Width control on that mix.
I'm waiting for a circuit upgrade on mine, as the width function sounds out of wack
on my unit..will look forward to hearing it when its swapped out.
Old 27th September 2005
  #163
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u b k's Avatar
 

okay, couple o'things:

first, there is no width control on my mix. i don't like or understand what it is, so it just sits there, attractive knob and all. second, i used 4 stems because at present i only have 8 converters. i will someday have 8 more, until then the extra inputs are used to track thru.

second, and i cannot overstate this point: i could not have built this mix itb. i think, looking back, the better comparison would have been to build the best mix i could itb and compare the two. the difference would be enormous. god knows, i tried for over a year to build mixes like this itb. it happened overnight.

this is hard to get across, because it has to be experienced to be understood, but i'll try: this box changes the way sounds get put together, it does it very differently than itb, so you make different choices about eq and panning and levels without even being conscious of it.

to then take that mix which the nicerizer was integral to, and sum it digitally, only demonstrates one thing: that the digital bus is capable of preserving most of what the analog bus created. but I WOULD NOT HAVE CREATED THAT MIX in the first place if i hadn't been mixing into the nicer.

being able to preserve qualities is a very very different thing than having the ability to generate that mojo in the first place. whatever it is that this box has --- summing, transformers, whatever --- it has something no other piece of kit delivers short of a large frame, vintage neve or quad 8 console. it may well be that the price is too steep for some, so be it; but as kriz said the magic here lays in the hands-on experience. it changes things, it inspires, it takes what you give it and makes it better, which pushes you to greater heights as an artist working the knobs... has anybody ever said things like that of itb? have you?


gregoire
del ubik
Old 27th September 2005
  #164
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Zooey's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thermionic
I wouldn’t usually talk prices, but I have to correct this: the original Nicerizer-8 (still available btw) was / is definitely not $1,000 less!
The exchange-rate has fluctuated since release, and some dealers offer a discount, but I think you’ll find that, if anything, the Nizerizer-8 probably works out the same or even more expensive.
I must be talking to the wrong resellers then, because the difference is definitely $1000+ in the United States. I wouldn't make this up!

Or maybe I'm talking to the right resellers, depending on how you look at it. It could be that the original nicerizers are just a tremendous value. Lowest street price I've found is $3200.
Old 27th September 2005
  #165
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Hi Zooey,

Not sure what to say about this one! I just spoke with Shaun, and the only guess we can make is that, when the Nicerizer-8 was released, the dollar-pound rate was better than it is now, and dealers who offer the N-8 are reluctant to put the price up (they say that increasing the price of something can be the worst business decision you make...).

The N-8 and N-16 have slightly different applications, so it's awkward to compare them really. If you want the direct-outs, get the N-8.

BTW, I'd like to state here that if anyone has a gripe with the width-control on the production-prototypes, please contact us for a replacement module. We made every effort to iron out the bugs, but one was missed on a handful of units... We're sorry for the inconvenience.

Justin
Old 27th September 2005
  #166
Great post ubik, dare I say you summed it up nicely....

heh

Anyway yes I feel this is the case as well. That is to say until I mix into one I have no idea if I will like it. I will say that in every test I have heard I am about 50 50 on liking the ITB and the external mixes. I think it depends on the song and the person mixing. Some songs seem to work better ITB some externally for what ever reason, arrangement, style etc.

I have been on the fence for a bit and I think at some point I will just take the plunge and try out something for myself, that is the only way I will really know how I feel about it.

Again, nice post.
Old 27th September 2005
  #167
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SiliconAudioLab's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by u b i k
... and if you can release some of your need to control and dictate all the terms of your art, incredible things can and will happen.


gregoire
del ubik

Beauty! Best quote in a long ass time!

Oh and I'm late to this thread, so the links don't work again. Love to hear it.
Old 27th September 2005
  #168
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Quote:
Originally Posted by u b i k
it may well be that the price is too steep for some, so be it;


Yeah, the price s too steep for me, so what can I do? I really shouldn't be here in the high end...I was just curious about these boxes...

Quote:
but as kriz said the magic here lays in the hands-on experience. it changes things, it inspires, it takes what you give it and makes it better, which pushes you to greater heights as an artist working the knobs...
I think it's great that you guys are getting so much from this box...I do think, though, that people are making good music ITB.

Quote:
has anybody ever said things like that of itb? have you?
I personally would never say that, but I wouldn't say that no matter what I was doing...considering how relatively new ITB is, I'd say it's pretty amazing really...there are many people who spoke or speak very highly of mixing ITB with Paris...in fact, I believe some who have moved on from Paris still use it as a "summing box".

Thanks again for posting up files, always admire those who do over those who just talk a lot! thumbsup

Btw, what DAW are you using, Pro Tools?

Thanks.
Old 28th September 2005
  #169
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i'm a logic guy through and through. it can be insanely obtuse, and still it unleashed all the aspects of my creativity to a degree that cubase and dp never touched. dp is vastly better for editing audio, and i do miss that at times.

i have the intuition that pt would feed the engineer in me quite a bit more, at the expense of the composer in me. since it all comes down to the music, i'm inclined to lean towards the stronger compositional tool.

and i agree with you fully, people are doing wonderful things itb. i was just musing that the itb aspect itself doesn't seem to be a source of inspiration, it seems more like an obstacle to be overcome, whereas the nicer just plants a smile on my face every time. that's more about the process than the outcome. but i am doubtless projecting my own itb frustrations on the whole issue, so take my words with a hefty grain of salt .


gregoire
del ubik
Old 29th September 2005
  #170
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SiliconAudioLab's Avatar
 

Logic:

Absolutely - Fukin A Bubba!
Old 1st October 2005
  #171
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Quote:
Originally Posted by u b i k
i'm a logic guy through and through. it can be insanely obtuse, and still it unleashed all the aspects of my creativity to a degree that cubase and dp never touched. dp is vastly better for editing audio, and i do miss that at times.
gregoire
del ubik
Gregoire, just wanted to say that I really enjoyed and am still enjoying your song! thumbsup I appreciate you taking the time to do this.
I loaded it on my ipod and have been listening to it and evaluating my gear for the last 2 weeks or so and am wondering about your setup.
It's been awhile since I've read through this thread but would you mind filling us in on the gear/details of the song that wasn't already mentioned in the thread?
I have a pretty good setup with protools HD/002 but have been wondering about using logic, like what converters did you use and did you use only logic fx/processing other than the nicerizer of course.Oh yeah, how many tracks? Thanks for your time,
daniel
Old 1st October 2005
  #172
Rep
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gregoire;
Hey since this tread has keept going , dont you think that you should keep the song up ?
.... so we can hear what you are talking about... the links are dead.!
and to evaluate with out good gear, could you post a small tibit of it in WAV.
Old 1st October 2005
  #173
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u b k's Avatar
 

hey all,

i didn't realize the links had broken, i will get those repaired over the weekend. i'll also give more details of my setup when i've got a few moments.


gregoire
del ubik
Old 1st October 2005
  #174
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by JP11
are many people who spoke or speak very highly of mixing ITB with Paris...in fact, I believe some who have moved on from Paris still use it as a "summing box".
.
Hey I love the Paris Daw! I recorded at least 2000 songs in the thing, I have the basic card and 8 ins, I have been thinking about sending 4 stems out from my pr0tools into paris on another mac just to see what it sounds like.
I did a test a couple of years ago and the converters on that old paris stacked up pretty well to my 192, granted this was just stereo tracks.
I did one test where I had a mix going from my protools out into my paris ins on the same Mac and it worked fine. Paris is OS 9 only though so i would have to run 2 macs at once, which I'd like to try the stems sometime. This thread has made me re-examine my whole setup once again, just to get out of "the habit" of using the same gear and assuming about the sound of this mic or that pre, very refreshing heh
daniel
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