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Subgroups - Summing - OTB - ITB Summing Mixers
Old 21st March 2012
  #1
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Noise Commander's Avatar
 

Subgroups - Summing - OTB - ITB

Hey guys...

Because auf workflow reasons I have produced several years now in an ITB environement. Usually I record my vocals (Brauner VM1), my acoustic guitars (KM84) and my Bass (Stingray5) through a DW Fearn VT1 and a Great River MP-2NV Preamp, followed by soft compression (LA2A style) from time to time.

From then on I STAY totally ITB. All my eqing, FX, compression, limiting, drums, piano etc are ITB.

I send all my individually processed tracks to 6-8 logical subgroups (drum group, vocals group, guitars group etc)

I usually further reduce the amount of groups, to 4 final busses, a Drum and Bass Bus, a Music Bus, a Lead Vocal Bus and an FX Bus.

Those then go to the final mix bus of course.

THE PROBLEM: I have a Hammer EQ, an API Comp, a LilFreq EQ, a Vitalizer, a SPL Mixdream, lots of subD cables, a patchbay and don't know how to incorporate them in a intuitive way.
It is not very intuitive to insert outboard gear into this ITB setup, cause it messes with all my bussing going on.
Most of the time I put Limiting Plug-Ins at the end of the subgroups (limiting 1-4 dB)

What would you do? Does it make sense to send out the 8 subgroups to the SPL mixdream, and insert my hammer eq and maybe in the future other eqs to make subtle musical eqing on the groups?? And after it re-record the 8 groups with the mixdreams direct outs into the DAW? And THEN limit it if necessary?
I am afraid to push any frequency band in the analog domain, because this might produce new peaks? Peaks, that make it harder get a loud mix. (every dB counts)
I am so used to have digital saturation and above all limiting as the LAST step on the subgroups, that I am afraid to sacrifice the gained loudness just to eq a little in the analog domain! Or do you thing I won't lose much by just eqing 2-4 db?

Sometimes I feel like it is perfect to do EVERYTHING analog, with a great console (with good pres and eqs), great inserted comps and fx, because it is very intuitive. OR do EVERYTHING (except for preamping of course) ITB!

If you try to mix those worlds, you end up not having the best of both worlds, but the WORST of both worlds... (No recall, AD/DA inserting problems, latency, )

Does anyone have an intuitive hybrid setup?
Old 21st March 2012
  #2
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RKrizman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noise Commander View Post
THE PROBLEM: I have a Hammer EQ, an API Comp, a LilFreq EQ, a Vitalizer, a SPL Mixdream, lots of subD cables, a patchbay and don't know how to incorporate them in a intuitive way.
It is not very intuitive to insert outboard gear into this ITB setup, cause it messes with all my bussing going on.
Most of the time I put Limiting Plug-Ins at the end of the subgroups (limiting 1-4 dB)
The way I do it is I have all my analog gear and converter ins and outs on the patch bay. In Pro Tools I can choose any converter in/out as an insert, whether it be on a track, an aux bus, the mix bus or whatever. So whatever converter channel I choose as my insert, I just patch the desired piece of gear in at the patch bay. Very simple.

If you have enough channels to dedicate then you could even normal them so that each piece of gear is already patched into a converter in/out.

-R
Old 21st March 2012
  #3
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Thanks! That's perfect. Does pro tools calculate the latency under the hood?

And do you know if this can be done without latency problems in logic 9.1.5?
Old 21st March 2012
  #4
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No idea about Logic. I use PT HD and for whatever reason latency is not a problem. (I think it calculates converter delays and works it into the ADC).

-R
Old 21st March 2012
  #5
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Noise Commander's Avatar
 

Ok...

Let's say you insert an analog eq into your drum bus. When you playback your mix, the drum bus is monitored through the analog insert?
If you like the sound of your drum bus, do you then bounce it? So that you don't need the analog eq anymore?
Old 21st March 2012
  #6
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RKrizman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noise Commander View Post
Ok...

Let's say you insert an analog eq into your drum bus. When you playback your mix, the drum bus is monitored through the analog insert?
If you like the sound of your drum bus, do you then bounce it? So that you don't need the analog eq anymore?
Yeah, just print it to a track. If I do that I hide and deactivate the original bus but keep it in the session if I wish to revisit, documenting my settings in the notes section.

-R
Old 22nd March 2012
  #7
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I use the hybrid approach DAW + Summing Mixer. I actually think it is the best of both worlds they way I have my setup, but it is all in the workflow that is best for you.

I know this would take some getting use to but here is how I would configure your setup:

DreamMix:
Ch 1 (m): Lead Vox
Ch 2 (m): Bass
Ch 3-4: Misc for mono or stereo use
Ch 5 (m): Kick Drum
Ch 6 (m): Snare Drum
Ch 7-8: Toms
Ch 9-10: OH
Ch 11-12: Guitars
Ch 13-14: Keys/Synths/BG Vox
Ch 15-16: Effects

I would use your favorite compressor or EQ on the main insert and use whatever is left over for your chan inserts, but I don'e see you using them too often. I would use the patch bay for routing your inserts to your out board gear so you are not locked in to any one congfiguration, plus you never know when you would want to he outboard gear to be routed between your mic pre and A/D converters.

I would then route the output of the MixDream back into your computer.

All of your track, levels panning, EQ, effect sends, track effects remain recallable. the only real knob tweeking would be the main out vol of the Mixdream and any Outboard gear conected to its insert or the insert of an occational chan.

You might be supprised how more open your mixes will sound with a setup like this.
Old 22nd March 2012
  #8
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This video might help you out: Puremix_2-Bus Summing
He does mention how he chooses to assign his subgroups.
Old 23rd March 2012
  #9
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Fishmed's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by chavernac View Post
This video might help you out: Puremix_2-Bus Summing
He does mention how he chooses to assign his subgroups.
That is a great video and makes me feel better about my post above.
Old 23rd March 2012
  #10
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I try to like it, but I'm not happy with the typical summing unit approach.
Does anyone else have a problem with summing 8, 16 or 32 individual tracks to a final stereo bus in ONE step?
Some people have the kick drum on channel 1, snare on 2, bass 3, lead vocals channel 4, and all other tracks on the other channels of the summing unit.

But in my experience it is really important and necessary to break down all the individual drum guitar, synth, vocal, orchestra tracks to a reduced number of logical busses first.

So you get a Drum bus, guitar bus, background vocal bus.......
This gives you the option to musically eq, compress or limit groups of certain tracks at once.

For me mixing is not about melting together all the individual ingredients at once. (Which often results in not very elaborate, weak and overly dynamic mixes)

For me it's a philosophy. It's much better to reduce track count step by step! Giving you MUCH more control over the sound, faster workflow, more control over final loundness.
I'm talking about something like that: (I have template)

1. Treat each track individually.
(Removing rumble, ugly resonances etc, try to give the tracks the rough tone you want, basic levelling and transient shaping)
2. Organize the tracks in a logical way, and break them down to 6-8 busses. You can really give each bus its own dimension/place in the mix. Character EQing, glueing compression etc.
Besides, you can cope with cumulative built-up of peaks that occur when a few tracks and their specific energies are combined! You just have to saturate, soft clip, or limit the specific busses a little. Like this, the final limiter on the master bus does not have to do all the work at once!!
3. Those 6-8 busses can be reduced to 3-4 final busses in a last step. Drum and Bass Bus, Instruments Bus, Vocal Bus, Fx Bus. Like this you have even more control, and a faster work flow.
4. -->
Master Bus....

Does anyone else think this is important?

Where does the analog gear fit in?
I could send out the 6-8 stereo busses to analog gear, and
re-record those 6-8 "stems"
in a new song template. From then on I can proceed with steps 3 and 4...
Like this I can still put plug-in limiters at the end of the re-recorded busses.
And still use the great sounding analog eqs and comps to shape those busses.

I think of a daw like a console. And a good console does also make use of elaborate bussing!
Old 24th March 2012
  #11
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Fishmed's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noise Commander View Post
I try to like it, but I'm not happy with the typical summing unit approach.
Does anyone else have a problem with summing 8, 16 or 32 individual tracks to a final stereo bus in ONE step?
Some people have the kick drum on channel 1, snare on 2, bass 3, lead vocals channel 4, and all other tracks on the other channels of the summing unit.

But in my experience it is really important and necessary to break down all the individual drum guitar, synth, vocal, orchestra tracks to a reduced number of logical busses first.

So you get a Drum bus, guitar bus, background vocal bus.......
This gives you the option to musically eq, compress or limit groups of certain tracks at once.

For me mixing is not about melting together all the individual ingredients at once. (Which often results in not very elaborate, weak and overly dynamic mixes)

For me it's a philosophy. It's much better to reduce track count step by step! Giving you MUCH more control over the sound, faster workflow, more control over final loundness.
I'm talking about something like that: (I have template)

1. Treat each track individually.
(Removing rumble, ugly resonances etc, try to give the tracks the rough tone you want, basic levelling and transient shaping)
2. Organize the tracks in a logical way, and break them down to 6-8 busses. You can really give each bus its own dimension/place in the mix. Character EQing, glueing compression etc.
Besides, you can cope with cumulative built-up of peaks that occur when a few tracks and their specific energies are combined! You just have to saturate, soft clip, or limit the specific busses a little. Like this, the final limiter on the master bus does not have to do all the work at once!!
3. Those 6-8 busses can be reduced to 3-4 final busses in a last step. Drum and Bass Bus, Instruments Bus, Vocal Bus, Fx Bus. Like this you have even more control, and a faster work flow.
4. -->
Master Bus....

Does anyone else think this is important?

Where does the analog gear fit in?
I could send out the 6-8 stereo busses to analog gear, and
re-record those 6-8 "stems"
in a new song template. From then on I can proceed with steps 3 and 4...
Like this I can still put plug-in limiters at the end of the re-recorded busses.
And still use the great sounding analog eqs and comps to shape those busses.

I think of a daw like a console. And a good console does also make use of elaborate bussing!
That is the beauty of summing, you can control the number of tracks in each stem; whether it is one, eight, or more. It all depends on what gets you the sound you are looking for the quickest. I do like your method above, I would love to get a nice 8 ch summing mixer for an analog drum mix routing the stereo mix through an analog compressor, and then into the main analog summing mixer with the other stems from the DAW.

Do you have any audio samples you can share that shows your method?
Old 3rd March 2016
  #12
i have the same problem as you atm...what i'm planning to do is split the mixing process to 2 different passes...the first
one uses the mixdream inserts with the direct outs as external hardware loops...record to daw

second step ist using these processsed tracks to make 1-8 groups which are getting treated with mixdream inserts and bus fx and summed back to daw
Old 20th September 2017
  #13
Here for the gear
 

Hello
may I ask some basic question here, because even after watching the tutorials on Puremix and reading many posts, I still don't get some of the things.
So, maybe you can help me along - I am using an RME FireFace UFX II, which only as 8 analog channels

- There's a lot of talk about "mono channels". But isn't any instrument panned in the stereo-panorama??? So I cannot just "sum" it to a mono-channel, it has to sit in the mix, right? And even, if this "mono channel" really sits in the center: a.) what about effects on that channel - these are stereo! b.) mono might apply to a singular instrument like a bass, but what about a kick-drum, that is part of a drum set, which is "stereo"?
- Usually, I create subgroups/Aux-channels for better handling of the mixing process - best example are drums, backing vocals, string sections, brass... If I route, let's say, 10 channels of a drum set to a subgroup, am I not ALREADY "mix to stereo INSIDE the DAW" with all the downsides, that the analog summing wants to overcome? Should I not do an analog summing for the drum set alone, printing it to a stereo-track, and use that stereo-track for a later, second summing step, when I have done so accordingly with all other "stereo subgroups"?
- what about aux-tracks, that hold stereo effects like reverb etc., that are used my multiple instruments. How are they treated? When I do an analog summing of "everything on one step", must I not assign each "effects aux track" its own stereo summing output? Or: when working like mentioned above with "step-by-step" summing by printing each "groups" to a stereo-track piece by piece (ending up with let's say 8 stereo tracks, that contain my groups), how will these "effects aux tracks" be treated during that "step by step" summing process?
- finally, thinking about this from the perspective of my channel limitation with the RME Fireface: since I only have 8 dedicated analog outputs - don't they seem too few to even thing about analog summing?

Thanks for bearing with me and my questions and helping me understand the matter!
Old 20th September 2017
  #14
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___GLM___'s Avatar
What about this: Use several folcroms for example for subgroup summing followed by eq/comp/limiting and these groups go into a big nice summing box like the tube-tech ssa2b, again followed by eq/comp. that would be my ideal setup and in fact I already work this way... more or less. I have one folcrom as my drumbus and everything else into the tube-tech (and the output of the folcrom too). "downside " : you need more gear. Best part: you can use different summing units to mix different flavors!
Old 3 weeks ago
  #15
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Greg Wurth shares some information on several different analog summing units that are found in professional and home studios today. He dives into a bit of history on each unit as well as their overall function and purpose. He also points out the units that are designed to be either transparent or colored. Go & take a look at this.
Captain Marvel Jacket
Old 3 weeks ago
  #16
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Fishmed's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexmercer View Post
Greg Wurth shares some information on several different analog summing units that are found in professional and home studios today. He dives into a bit of history on each unit as well as their overall function and purpose. He also points out the units that are designed to be either transparent or colored. Go & take a look at this.
Captain Marvel Jacket
I think you copied the wrong link to your post.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #17
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analog summing (vs digital summing) imo is highly overrated...

i'm mostly using audio subgroups (and/or dca's with dsp - yes, that exists) with different (digital) gear on inserts before hitting the 2mix and/or 6mix.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishmed View Post
I think you copied the wrong link to your post.
hahaha this post just made my day :D :D :D
Old 3 weeks ago
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by backfisch123 View Post
hahaha this post just made my day :D :D :D
He did have a Marvelous link though.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #20
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I have a burl b32 as my summing before mix bus converter and eq.

Regarding your question about summing subgroups in one step, I use additional summing mixers.

Particularly on drums. I use a modded vintage tascam mixer to sum drums so I can process individually and sneak stereo processing onto drum bus. Sounds super sweet, then goes back into burl with rest of tracks.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #21
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That’s a lot of tracks summed. Are you saying you sum 32 with the Burl and how ever many with the Tascam at the same time or are you recording you drums through the Tascam then summing through the Burl? I sum through a 2 bus +, 16 channels, then capture through a Burl a/d. I just ordered a VintageMaker passive summer for 24 channels of summing. Someone mentioned hardware inserts. IMO, that’s the ideal way to incorporate hardware now a days and record it once the mix is finished.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e-are View Post
That’s a lot of tracks summed. Are you saying you sum 32 with the Burl and how ever many with the Tascam at the same time or are you recording you drums through the Tascam then summing through the Burl? I sum through a 2 bus +, 16 channels, then capture through a Burl a/d. I just ordered a VintageMaker passive summer for 24 channels of summing. Someone mentioned hardware inserts. IMO, that’s the ideal way to incorporate hardware now a days and record it once the mix is finished.

I mix in the daw but use outboard eq/compressors and summing, prioritizing the most important tracks/pieces and using plugins for whatevers left i.e. I'm running drums out at same time as all other tracks but process each piece of kit separately, if needed, then sum the drums together, run through stereo compressor/eq and then into Vancouver with rest. Have a few pieces I quite like to hit drums with and process stereo vs doing ITB and just feeding tracks straight Into b32 if that makes sense.
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