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Questions regarding consoles, summing boxes and ITB mixing. Consoles
Old 24th March 2010
  #61
Gear Head
 

The chandler would be really cool. I think that coupled with some more 500 eqs would sound pretty darn good.
Old 24th March 2010
  #62
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James Lugo's Avatar
 

Honestly I'm not looking to change my work flow. For me I just want more dimension, muscle and tone. My heart is in making music from a musicians standpoint, I don't really hold any affection to the engineering process either way. As long as I know how to work my gear that's all that matters to me.
Old 24th March 2010
  #63
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mu6gr8's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by James 'LA' Lugo View Post
Yeah man. Thanks so much for helping me out last night. Michael took the whole night to show me his mixing setup and do a quick mix of one my songs through 8 channels of the Chandler and then bring it back to itb. It was the only way for me to hear it first hand for myself. He bounced me a disc and listened to it on the way home. For me the Chandler mix killed, Michael's itb mix was cool too but the Chandler mix had more everything and felt more like a record. I also loved the way it colored the heavies and sweetened the lead vocal. Thanks Michael you're a God send.

As was Tony Shepperd, I spent the afternoon at his place listening to my mixes and running things through the Pete's Place MarkVIII, that thing has endless possibilities; tracking or mixing. We stemmed out some of his work and mixed and matched the routing to use the various eqs and comps he had loaded in the MarkVIII, ridiculous! That thing is modular heaven and Tony's work is awesome.

Both you guys helped me out more then you will ever know and what makes gearslutz a great place. Thanks.

James
You're welcome, James. You are a man of Rock, the music was good, and the experience was a blast! I must point out that The Dangerous 2-Bus was also a big part of the sound: I created a big, open, transparent submix through the D2B and patched that into the Chandler for color.

Tonelux summing was also mentioned in this thread. It sounds great as well!!

Re: Tony Shepperd, yeah, his work is awesome. I may sound biased because we're both part of IndieProMix, but his work truly is top-tier, and he is a wonderful human being who's great at creating good karma! He knows that what goes around, comes around. Tony's one of the good guys.

Let me know which route you take with this OTB analog summing thing.
Old 24th March 2010
  #64
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad McGowan View Post
Exactly!A console is about workflow and ergonomics as much or more than it is about sound....IMHO.

Brad
Wow...

All you get for that level of malarky is this-



then one of these-



and in closing-

.


And even better-

You just made the claim that you would choose a board that sounded like ASS but had PERFECT workflow... OVER... a board that sounded INCREDIBLE but was a huge pain in the ass to work on.

HIRED!
Old 24th March 2010
  #65
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dbjp's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjblair View Post
A summing box will not give you that thing you are looking for. Not all consoles will, either.

You can get amazing results ITB. It just takes a lot more work than a console.

BTW, if you dig up a thread I made on PSW, I think I pretty much conclusively proved that summing OTB is not superior to ITB, if you gain stage properly.
I don't think the importance of this subject is whether one is more superior than the other.
If you're saying that pieces like the Chandler mixer DON'T impart character to an ITB mix, then I'd say you're wrong.
Old 24th March 2010
  #66
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jjblair's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oroz View Post
Hey J.J. what's the thread's name?

Thanks.
Here ya go.

PSW Recording Forums: Whatever Works => SUMMING OTB v. ITB SHOOTOUT. My conclusion: Overrated (answers on p. 4)
Old 24th March 2010
  #67
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mu6gr8's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjblair View Post
A summing box will not give you that thing you are looking for...

BTW, if you dig up a thread I made on PSW, I think I pretty much conclusively proved that summing OTB is not superior to ITB, if you gain stage properly.
Actually, it sounds like James did find what he's looking for. He heard the difference, as did his colleague and I, and we carefully made sure that the summing boxes were outputting unity gain, at reasonable "analog domain" levels with plenty of digital headroom. I come from a large format console (Neve & SSL) background, so I'm accustomed to proper gain staging. There were quite a few pieces of analog outboard gear inserted into the test mix we did, and not a single one was overdriven--as you know, they all sound best closer to +4 than +18.

Believe me when I say that I'm not looking to pick a fight, but I must say that even if the PSW thread "conclusively proved that summing OTB is not superior to ITB, if you gain stage properly," we all heard the difference, and it was more euphonic and musical than the ITB mix, which BTW sounded good.
Old 24th March 2010
  #68
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jjblair's Avatar
James, you're not going to get more "muscle" from a summing box. All a summing box does is relieve the problem of the crappy headroom of the PT summing bus. If you gain stage properly, you eliminate that problem. I don't know what levels Michael is talking about, but I'm talking about setting your faders so that your master is peaking at maybe -15dB, with the master fader set at 0dB. I'm sure Michael knows what he's doing, but I don't know how you guys did the testing.

A summing box MIGHT give you coloration, but that's not "muscle" in my book.

Now, when it comes to electric guitars, a console might do something for you. Certain consoles have EQs that can make a guitar very aggressive. But a summing box will not give you muscle, as I think of that term. As well, that extra layer of digital conversion, always makes you lose something. I think I showed that even on the Apogees, there's some pre-ringing that robs you of transient response, even though they do a better job than most other converters.
Old 24th March 2010
  #69
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RKrizman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by haikusoftruth View Post


You just made the claim that you would choose a board that sounded like ASS but had PERFECT workflow... OVER... a board that sounded INCREDIBLE but was a huge pain in the ass to work on.

HIRED!
A little harsh, don't you think? I don't believe that is what he was saying.

Obviously, a board that sounds like ass can't have a perfect work flow, because doing good work means not having your result sound like ass.

-R
Old 24th March 2010
  #70
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James Lugo's Avatar
 

I just checked out the thread and track you started at PSW, so my thoughts on the thread and the concept is the track is so light in the loafers (which is not an insult it was the purpose of the track) it's perfect for an itb mix. Tracks like that are so simple in the midrange and that makes it perfect for 1 and zeros. To me the test proves nothing that relates to the music I make and proves that itb mixes are fine with tracks with no real guitars.

I know what I heard last night. Is it as good as an ssl mix? Probably not but I can't afford an ssl and it's better then I have now.

I have all the respect in the world for you JJ.

my 2 cents
Old 24th March 2010
  #71
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jjblair's Avatar
James, well, when it comes to heavy guitars, I don't think there's a substitute for a console, particularly because of the EQ, as I was saying. Forget an SSL. A Trident 80B is one of the all time great hard rock guitar consoles, and not that expensive. I don't care for ITB for heavy rock, personally, simply because there's not plug-in that creates the crunch that pushing an analog EQ or channel gives me.

But like I said, without knowing exactly how Michael was gain staging, I can't conclusively say that wasn't a factor in what you heard.

If I get some spare time, I'll take a track with heavy guitars and do the same test.
Old 24th March 2010
  #72
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tapehiss's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad McGowan View Post
Exactly! I was just about to point that out. So many folks get hung up on a console being some giant "tonal betterizer". I think Bill will agree with me here. A console is about workflow and ergonomics as much or more than it is about sound....IMHO.

Brad
if a console is all about workflow, you'd think the Speck LiLo would be the most popular piece around, given it's abilities and price points....

but damn, no one loves the LiLo around here.


i'd also agree with the above statement about getting a Trident 80B... i'm really thinking that PMI's rerelease of the 80B will push the used prices up a bit.... given that you can still find them for $20k, it's probably the best deal out there right now..... IMO
Old 24th March 2010
  #73
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dbjp's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tapehiss View Post
if i console is all about workflow, you'd think the Speck LiLo would be the most popular piece around, given it's abilities and price points....

but damn, no one loves the LiLo around here.


i'd also agree with the above statement about getting a Trident 80B... i'm really thinking that PMI's rerelease of the 80B will push the used prices up a bit.... given that you can still find them for $20k, it's probably the best deal out there right now..... IMO
Lilo's a line mixer, rather than a 'console'.
I think the functionality of consoles, such as built-in eq and sometimes dynamics is part of the appeal for a good workflow.
Old 24th March 2010
  #74
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tapehiss's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbjp View Post
Lilo's a line mixer, rather than a 'console'.
I think the functionality of consoles, such as built-in eq and sometimes dynamics is part of the appeal for a good workflow.
hey, i like your post count ..... were neck and neck!!!

i understand what the LiLo is (line in line out), but since were talking consoles and summing, i think the LiLo gives you all the functionality of a console, with more features than a summing box, and creating the perfect enmeshing tool for everything in the studio..

anyway, i just think it would be a more popular piece if all people cared about is functionality.... but people are definitely after tone when checking out consoles, which IMO is a main reason for the lack of love for the LiLo.

honestly though, if i bought something now that was within my budget, i'd go for the LiLo..... the most unique and individual piece out there IMO.
Old 24th March 2010
  #75
Quote:
Originally Posted by tapehiss View Post
but damn, no one loves the LiLo around here.
WRONG
Old 24th March 2010
  #76
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spectacular g's Avatar
 

So many people in the same boat, I'm gonna do it too. But so many choices, after ALOT of thought and advise look's like for me it's gonna be a fairly stripped 1608 and add different modules to taste. No moving faders though.

good luck to us all,
it's only $$$
G
Old 24th March 2010
  #77
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mu6gr8's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjblair View Post
But like I said, without knowing exactly how Michael was gain staging, I can't conclusively say that wasn't a factor in what you heard.
0 dB on Chandler mixer was either -14 or -18 dBfs; I forget which one. Our mix was a one hour rough with a fairly hefty track count, and the VU meter was bouncing around between 0 and +2 dB. Plus, there was some multi-bus compression happening, and no sonic frequency logjams. Bass was big, but not muddy. Levels were all reasonable and controlled. Sure, it was a rough mix, but all the main elements were in place, and it sounded balanced and exciting. It's not like we simply threw together a cr*ppy amateur-sounding mess, and then hoped to get some meaningful insights.

Frankly, I was surprised by the results because when I first bought into going back to OTB summing several years ago, my tests were done with simpler sessions and less use of outboard gear on busses and inserts. I heard enough of a difference *to me* that it made sense to invest. Last night's rough mix of James' material had some advanced, esoteric signal flow, which seemed to enhance the perceived divide between ITB vs. OTB.

BTW JJ, I like the pics on your website. Very nice!
Old 24th March 2010
  #78
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jjblair's Avatar
Thanks, Michael. That's food for thought. I usually go to the console for rock, but you've made me want to retry the experiment with some harder stuff.
Old 24th March 2010
  #79
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BradM's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by haikusoftruth View Post
And even better-

You just made the claim that you would choose a board that sounded like ASS but had PERFECT workflow... OVER... a board that sounded INCREDIBLE but was a huge pain in the ass to work on.

HIRED!
And you just read a bunch of stuff into my post that I did not explicitly state. You're worse than my girlfriend!

Sound quality is always a factor in any gear buying decision. My point was that it's not always the factor that carries the most weight all the time. It should go without saying that we each have subjective standards on what we consider acceptable sound quality. Here's a personal example. I owned a Jim William's modified Soundcraft Delta 200 console (8x4x2). It sounded glorious. I honestly couldn't imagine a console sounding as detailed, deep, quiet, or transparent. I sold that console to finance a Toft ATB24. The Toft gave me much more flexible routing, a more capable equalizer, and more channels which I badly needed. In its stock form do I think it sounds as good as the Soundcraft? No. Does it sound acceptable to my ears? Yes. Can it be modded to sound better? Most definitely. Does it offer me other tangible improvements to my workflow? In spades.

Would I take a Mackie 8-buss over the Soundcraft Delta or the Toft? Never in a million years.

Like Thrillfactor stated earlier in this thread... buying a console is a very personal decision. I would advise anyone in that situation to make a list of all the things you would like a console to do for you (must have 8 busses, must be able to feed a Hearback system, must have 4-band EQ, etc.). Create a list of requirements and then shop available new and used options against that list. If it doesn't meet your requirements then cross it off. When you have a couple options that meet all the "musts" then go listen to them.

Brad
Old 24th March 2010
  #80
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mu6gr8's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by James 'LA' Lugo View Post
I know what I heard last night. Is it as good as an ssl mix? Probably not but I can't afford an ssl and it's better then I have now.
FWIW I was seriously considering buying a used 4000 or a new 9000J before deciding to go with a hybrid setup. Several factors contributed to the decision--including workflow, ergonomics, maintenance and cost--but I actually prefer the sound of the minimal signal path in my room. Next time we hang, I'll play you some big budget SSL mixes that sound great, and you can decide for yourself whether you prefer the tight punch of the SSL or the sweet musicality of the Chandler/Dangerous combination.

Frankly, the only things I miss from the large format consoles are the comprehensive bussing possibilities and the ability to look at dozens of physical faders without scrolling. It goes without saying that I'm talking about *my* perspective, which is based on my needs, my workflow and my job requirements.
Old 24th March 2010
  #81
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by guy0012 View Post
Neotek? 24 channels for under 20k. I'm surprised no one has mentioned it yet.

Sytek Audio Systems - Neotek Élan II Table Top Console

Yeah, that and the Audient desks. Whilst people who don't know much about consoles complain about them, most people who are professionals in consoles think they're great, especially for the money.
Old 24th March 2010
  #82
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mu6gr8's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjblair View Post
Thanks, Michael. That's food for thought. I usually go to the console for rock, but you've made me want to retry the experiment with some harder stuff.
Yeah, JJ, it's probably worth experimenting. In my case, the huge benefit is that I can work very quickly this way, without second-guessing. James could tell you just how fast we threw together something that felt like it could be the record if we were out of time. Granted, it was done with very broad strokes: there were no automation rides or special effects that James had on his original mix, but the new test mix was exciting, the band sounded rocking, and the singer was a rock star instead of a demo singer. I couldn't have gotten there nearly as quickly with ITB. That was with only one hour of work. You can imagine what an improvement another hour or two of detailed adjustments would make.

At the end of the day, however, the gear doesn't matter as much as the song, the artist and the performance. Some of my favorite records are not the best sounding, but the team behind the music used whatever was available to create something that emotionally resonates with the listener. Whatever works, right?

I'll take a great song over great gear any day!
Old 25th March 2010
  #83
Gear Head
 

Looks like there is a used chandler on the bay right now in san diego too.

CHANDLER LIMITED MINI RACK MIXER - eBay (item 250591688675 end time Apr-04-10 14:37:33 PDT)

edit: oops. just saw that these sell brand new for not too much more. I was thinking that they retailed around $7k for some odd reason.
Old 25th March 2010
  #84
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tapehiss's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad McGowan View Post
And you just read a bunch of stuff into my post that I did not explicitly state. You're worse than my girlfriend!
i wouldn't worry much about kaiku's statement....

seriously, i went through and read lots (i mean a lot) of his posts and realized he is only on gearslutz to slam everyone..... seriously 3/4 of his posts are extremely sarcastic and sometimes even pretty hurtful....

IMO he's the ultimate gearslutz "tool"

i swear, if you check for yourselves, you will realize this man is only here for one thing, and thats making people feel like ****....
Old 25th March 2010
  #85
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jjblair's Avatar
Michael, song and performance trumps everything on any day of the week. Abso****inglutely.

BTW, one reason I end up mixing ITB, when I'm mixing for other people these days, is because people have come to expect endless recalls later on. I get all these calls about one instrument being a hair too loud or whatever, that you never used to get. People are no longer used to the time and expense of recalling mixes. That's why I tend to mix things ITB these days, because of the ease of recall.

However, as I indicated, mixing ITB takes several extra steps to get a result that makes me as happy as a console. On a console, I pull up a fader, twist a couple knobs, maybe patch a compressor, etc. ITB, you also have to deal with extra plug-ins like Phoenix, or whatever. The separation is a little better, but that 'mmmmph' doesn't happen. But hey, you can do the endless tweaking that indecisive artists have become accustomed to. (sigh)
Old 25th March 2010
  #86
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vince @ speck's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tapehiss View Post
hey, i like your post count ..... were neck and neck!!!

i understand what the LiLo is (line in line out), but since were talking consoles and summing, i think the LiLo gives you all the functionality of a console, with more features than a summing box, and creating the perfect enmeshing tool for everything in the studio..

anyway, i just think it would be a more popular piece if all people cared about is functionality.... but people are definitely after tone when checking out consoles, which IMO is a main reason for the lack of love for the LiLo.

honestly though, if i bought something now that was within my budget, i'd go for the LiLo..... the most unique and individual piece out there IMO.
With a little "tongue-in-cheek" I should say to folks looking for a bit of mojo on the LiLo... the insert I/O's are your best friend.

If you want a Neve or API sound, insert Neve or API preamps at the mix or group inserts I/O's. If you want that old-timey warm tube sound, then insert your favorite tube preamps. And when you want the neutral, uncolored, "au natural" LiLo sound then just pull all the inserts.
Attached Thumbnails
Questions regarding consoles, summing boxes and ITB mixing.-lilo_rear_enlarged.jpg  
Old 25th March 2010
  #87
Moderator
 
James Lugo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tapehiss View Post
i wouldn't worry much about kaiku's statement....

seriously, i went through and read lots (i mean a lot) of his posts and realized he is only on gearslutz to slam everyone..... seriously 3/4 of his posts are extremely sarcastic and sometimes even pretty hurtful....

IMO he's the ultimate gearslutz "tool"

i swear, if you check for yourselves, you will realize this man is only here for one thing, and thats making people feel like ****....
Brad's a good dude and does a lot of great things around here.
Old 25th March 2010
  #88
Quote:
Originally Posted by James 'LA' Lugo View Post
Honestly I'm not looking to change my work flow. For me I just want more dimension, muscle and tone. My heart is in making music from a musicians standpoint, I don't really hold any affection to the engineering process either way. As long as I know how to work my gear that's all that matters to me.
When i tried the Chandler i was really impressed with the difference in tone it made.The trannies are subtle but pleasant sounding. I remember coming on to the forum and just talking up its sonic virtues.I considered picking one up just to run drum & guitar tracks recorded outside my studio when mixing but the biggest drawback for me was the lack of routing. The fact that the designer wasn't keen or open on modifiying the unit for more flexible routing turned me off as well(i am talking about 2 auxes for parallel compression or reverb sends). Lastly as cool looking as the knobs may be not being able to mix with faders is a serious drawback and a true mood killer when mixing(especially when mixing drums). Its actually one of the biggest advantages of mixing on a large format console.

As i said if i were looking for something today i would seriously consider Geoff T's Aurora mixer system. Its not only built well, sounds really good, but its fully expandable. The basic unit itself has all the basic routing you would need to start out with. When you add the 8 mic pres and 8 EQ's you get iron in the channels. You can add the fader pack later plus the aux/bussing system. When done you'll have a full high end mixer with the routing and a sound unlike all of the other offerings that are more on the clean side. You can both track and mix through it if you choose.
Old 25th March 2010
  #89
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tapehiss's Avatar
i found this picture in my gearpics folder......

made me lust for LiLo

its not mine though, but one day,,,,,,, she will be mine!!!!!!
Attached Thumbnails
Questions regarding consoles, summing boxes and ITB mixing.-lilo-pic.jpg  
Old 25th March 2010
  #90
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tapehiss's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor View Post
When i tried the Chandler i was really impressed with the difference in tone it made.The trannies are subtle but pleasant sounding. I remember coming on to the forum and just talking up its sonic virtues.I considered picking one up just to run drum & guitar tracks recorded outside my studio when mixing but the biggest drawback for me was the lack of routing. The fact that the designer wasn't keen or open on modifiying the unit for more flexible routing turned me off as well(i am talking about 2 auxes for parallel compression or reverb sends). Lastly as cool looking as the knobs may be not being able to mix with faders is a serious drawback and a true mood killer when mixing(especially when mixing drums). Its actually one of the biggest advantages of mixing on a large format console.
well, this may come true for you some time soon...

chandler will be releasing the MiniMixer II which will have fader options and also multiple aux's...... basically a mini-console with all the tone of the minimixer, but with a ****-ton of more options......
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