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Neve 8816 and Chandler Minimixer Itb/otb comparisons
Old 2nd June 2006
  #1
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Neve 8816 and Chandler Minimixer Itb/otb comparisons

I have just finished auditioning the Neve 8816 and the Chandler Mini mixer for consideration as OTB summing devices. Two duplicate sets of tracks coming from protools, a stereo pair ITB straight to the Avocet for monitoring and 16 individual tracks into the 8816 (Day One) and the Chandler mini mixer (Day Two) also monitored through the Avocet, neither myself or two of my production partners could hear any noticable difference.(and believe me we were trying real hard to hear a difference) this is not to say that any of the summing boxes were inferior as stand alone units, (although after reading threads about the 8816 i didnt expect much.)

The big surprise was the fact that the chandler didnt make a noticable difference!!
As soon as we opened the box and saw how massive the minimixer was I was certain that we would be blown out the water but for our ears, I swear we could not hear any difference between ITB and OTB.....
I still have the Chandler here at the studio and plan to do a few more comparisons all weekend. (btw..Chandler is an incredible company, I just brought 2 germaniums(Beautiful sounding) 2 Ltd1's(haven't heard them yet) and a TG1(Very Sweet!)

If any one has any questions or suggestions while I still have the minimixer here feel free to respond..
Old 2nd June 2006
  #2
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DAMN!!! Really? Shoot. I still haven't decided on my mixer/summing box indulgence yet. The mini mixer was right up there. I'm sure your tests were accurate, but was there enough gain going to the Chandler? I can't imagine ANYTHING from Chandler being unnoticable.
Old 2nd June 2006
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bump Music
DAMN!!! Really? Shoot. I still haven't decided on my mixer/summing box indulgence yet. The mini mixer was right up there. I'm sure your tests were accurate, but was there enough gain going to the Chandler? I can't imagine ANYTHING from Chandler being unnoticable.

I still cant believe it either, according to the documetation unity gain on the mixer is setting the channel volume to 10....
The mixer its self is cool for what it is, the bigger question for me was will it sound obviously better than the tracks summed in the box and so far the answer is no. Also the chandler has no direct outs, aux or inserts so it really is not flexible in terms of using it as a front end or back end mixer. It's a really well built product but just not well suited for what I need, and as I said before I love all of my other chandler gear.
Old 2nd June 2006
  #4
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Odd, I thought for sure the mini mixer needed make-up gain?
Old 2nd June 2006
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kats
Odd, I thought for sure the mini mixer needed make-up gain?
Like the Folcrom? No.
Old 2nd June 2006
  #6
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matt thomas's Avatar
I have used neither but.. don't both those mixers have transformers in them? Surely that alone would make a noticable difference?

how bout posting some files?

narco
Old 2nd June 2006
  #7
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Whow... this is interesting.

Even though I've got an SSL AWS990, there are times when I try to take a different perspective and see if ITB or other smallformat mixer/summers can also do the same job. I guess I keep hoping that there'll be that magic box that'll make my console obsolete so that I can sell it off and use that cash on something else! heh heh

Please do post more of your thoughts and observations on the 8816 vs Chandler issue.
Old 2nd June 2006
  #8
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I conisdered Minimixer as addition to my campus of summing boxes, but actually mixed opinions of people who had them and to whom I trust (unfortunatelly didn't use it by myself to share first-hand experience), put this purchase on hold, before I try it.
With Neve I had good opportunity to work on some materials and no desire to bring it home occured.
If Minimixer vs 8816 = no difference it's not positive opinion for Chandler.
If Chandler vs ITB = no difference, I strongly doubt everything was all right with test.
Old 2nd June 2006
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The MPCist
Whow... this is interesting.

Even though I've got an SSL AWS990, there are times when I try to take a different perspective and see if ITB or other smallformat mixer/summers can also do the same job. I guess I keep hoping that there'll be that magic box that'll make my console obsolete so that I can sell it off and use that cash on something else! heh heh

Please do post more of your thoughts and observations on the 8816 vs Chandler issue.
my intent was not a channdler vs neve test but rather summing out the box as opposed to in the box, I guess I was expecting to hear an obvious space and detail difference in the two but we didnt. at this point, my opinion is that if i track through my chandler, api,etc..pres and out board compressors/eq's that it will make a much bigger difference than whether I sum in or out the box....a console is probably the only thing that would make a real difference....Please tell me how you like the ssl aws990 sound wise..
Old 2nd June 2006
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GYang
I conisdered Minimixer as addition to my campus of summing boxes, but actually mixed opinions of people who had them and to whom I trust (unfortunatelly didn't use it by myself to share first-hand experience), put this purchase on hold, before I try it.
With Neve I had good opportunity to work on some materials and no desire to bring it home occured.
If Minimixer vs 8816 = no difference it's not positive opinion for Chandler.
If Chandler vs ITB = no difference, I strongly doubt everything was all right with test.

Well my tests are real world to me because I never try to get too technical with things like that... if i cant hear it, that means its probably not there.
for example: when i brought my avocet i had been using ramsa da7 digital mixers for my monitoring, as soon as i hooked up the avocet and compared what i was hearing through each it was a no brainer, i actually could not really believe how much better the avocet sounded....also we used to do quick bounce to disk mixes at the end of our sessions to take home, the first time we passed the rough mixes through the massive passive (flat, no bands engaged) and the vari-mu straight to an alesis masterlink, again.. tremendous difference to our ears, there was no going back..the first time i ever plugged a bass guitar into the api 512c /or the germanium mic pre, again, there was magic that was obvious, instant... also the great thing about monitoring through the avocet and my genelec 1031A's (that i have been using for over 5 years now) is that I know what i am hearing is a very accurate representation....it really helps me to evaluate any new gear purchases...
so like i said, I am a huge fan of Chandler now (and I've only owned thier stuff for about two or three weeks now) and I'm sure the minimixer is as good as any of thier other stuff but in this regard it made no difference to my ears...
the mixer is still here if you have any suggestions as to a different method of testing, If I'm missing something, i would like to know..... thanks for the input.
Old 2nd June 2006
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kats
Odd, I thought for sure the mini mixer needed make-up gain?
I'll look into it, but I dont think so, I just got the mixer in the studio so i am going to give a few days of evaluation....I will also call the guys at chandler for some input
Old 2nd June 2006
  #12
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I spent a few weeks last summer with the Chandler mixer. Ran comparison mixes thru it, the Dangerous, and ITB.
The differences between the 3 were negligible. From a pure *bang for buck* point of view, I couldn't justify keeping the Chandler.

Made me think though, that my ITB mixes must sound pretty good, as opposed to thinking that I had 'misused' the Chandler.

A
Old 2nd June 2006
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected]
.........a console is probably the only thing that would make a real difference....Please tell me how you like the ssl aws990 sound wise..
Actually I like it alot.... It gets the mix done the way I want and hear in my head. Just at times, I wish I didn't have a 'console' so that I could put my Fantom X8 controller in front and have an easier job arranging...... Now it's off to the side and I'm getting tired of programming with my right ear... heh heh heh
Old 2nd June 2006
  #14
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GYang's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by AAsa
I spent a few weeks last summer with the Chandler mixer. Ran comparison mixes thru it, the Dangerous, and ITB.
The differences between the 3 were negligible. From a pure *bang for buck* point of view, I couldn't justify keeping the Chandler.

Made me think though, that my ITB mixes must sound pretty good, as opposed to thinking that I had 'misused' the Chandler.

A
Negligible difference means summing is clean. It's different, quite different, but percievable difference could be subtle in simple comparison, especially if other parts of the chain are not top notch.
That's what happened to me with Mixdream in the very beginning.
Almost no difference (although it was there).
Gradually I improved monitors, monitor controller (Avocet), acoustic treatment of the room, converters and carefully wired everything with shortest cables Mogami, Canare, Zaolla (not overly expensive), no patchbays and by each step differences became more apparent.
Finally it is clearly evident which mix is better sounding and no doubt by any listener in the room (who doesn't know what he listens).
Nicerizer 16 drastically changed polite, but effective summing of Mixdream. If I ever missed something more Nicerizer added it. After that I never heard summing that's subjectively better to me.
Those guys who expect summing box to change boring, flat mixes are on the wrong path initially. Also those who think that summing OTB is (sonically) equal to mixing on big console (to my ears good OTB summing with outboards is better sounding than most of the big consoles I heard)
I'm pretty sure that Minimixer does its job nicely, but to fully evaluate benefits of OTB mixing one should explore many things, invest lot of time and money to improve other parts of the chain, as well as, it's own skills.
But the biggest step in OTB summing is when dynamic and EQ processing is added where necessary.
Here we have night and day.
Old 2nd June 2006
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The MPCist
Actually I like it alot.... It gets the mix done the way I want and hear in my head. Just at times, I wish I didn't have a 'console' so that I could put my Fantom X8 controller in front and have an easier job arranging...... Now it's off to the side and I'm getting tired of programming with my right ear... heh heh heh
i put my motif 88 on a custom stand (custom meaning i made it myself but it looks good) so i can roll it into the sweet spot when programming, the same with my high end outboard that absolutely have to be in the sweet spot when i tweak, especially since the majority of it is new and i will have to learn them.....
i'm gonna try to post a shot so you can see what i mean in a couple of days
Old 2nd June 2006
  #16
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Interesting. I have owned the chandler for a few months now, and find it to be a very colorful mixer. It kinda has its own sound, and its a sound I find pleasant. I definetely wouldnt call the difference between the chandler and ITB subtle, but thats just me!
Old 3rd June 2006
  #17
11413
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected]
also the great thing about monitoring through the avocet and my genelec 1031A's (that i have been using for over 5 years now) is that I know what i am hearing is a very accurate representation....it really helps me to evaluate any new gear purchases...
genelec 1031As.. welp.. no mids on those and the bass/treble always sounds the same

worst speakers to evaluate anything on. sorry. try again.
Old 3rd June 2006
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 11413
genelec 1031As.. welp.. no mids on those and the bass/treble always sounds the same

worst speakers to evaluate anything on. sorry. try again.
This is what I was thinkng.
Anything through them sound just "gorgeous" to me.
Old 3rd June 2006
  #19
11413
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abit
This is what I was thinkng.
Anything through them sound just "gorgeous" to me.
well.. they sound kinda like hyped sheet metal to me.. but to each their own. i'd rather evaluate tone with a mono auratone... at least then there's no crossover to mess with you.

there's no way that chandler mixer is "transparent".. it has 22 transformers in it... either the guy is not pushing them hard enough or something is really broken with his methodology... the most common "complaint" i've heard about the chandler is that it's "too colored" and more suited for tracking than mixing... gotta push that gain some.

I mix with a digi 001 into a speck xtramix and the difference between ITB (even with the 001's converters) and the OTB speck mixes is night and day... especially with the drum transients... I get so much more punch out of the Speck its a ****ing joke.

so i'd say something is seriously broken with this "test"
Old 3rd June 2006
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 11413
well.. they sound kinda like hyped sheet metal to me.. but to each their own. i'd rather evaluate tone with a mono auratone... at least then there's no crossover to mess with you.

there's no way that chandler mixer is "transparent".. it has 22 transformers in it... either the guy is not pushing them hard enough or something is really broken with his methodology... the most common "complaint" i've heard about the chandler is that it's "too colored" and more suited for tracking than mixing... gotta push that gain some.

I mix with a digi 001 into a speck xtramix and the difference between ITB (even with the 001's converters) and the OTB speck mixes is night and day... especially with the drum transients... I get so much more punch out of the Speck its a ****ing joke.

so i'd say something is seriously broken with this "test"
In all honesty, I could have just taken the word of certain professionals in our industry,(George Massenberg for instance) just to name one, who feel that you can absolutely get quality summing with the pro tools 48 bit mix bus. But what I did not want to do is the same thing that too many others seem to be doing these days, just listening to hearsay and going completely on the opinions of others.

("It can't be transparent, it has 22 transformers in it") Is that opinion based on hearing it or hearing about it?

Thats why I went to the store and brought the unit to my studio to hear for myself under the circumstances that I am most familiar with. I have auditioned the Dangerous music 2 bus/ the 8816/ and the chandler/ and as far as summing, none of them made a big enough difference to me and my partners ears to use these units for summing as opposed to in the box. I will say it again....(I love the other chandler peices in my rack and the first time I plugged them up and ran a signal through them, i knew instantly they were keepers..)
I am going to check out the Manley 16x2 mixer next. I expect to keep the manley based on the fact that it is an actual mixer with mic pre's/ line in's/aux's/ direct outs etc... a mixer or summing box of any type should have these features (the 8816 have these as well). Chandler has already made thier commitment to intoducing new modules to meet this new standard, and I have no doubt that when they are ready that will be a mixer that I will want to have in my rack.

As far as speakers go, it doesnt matter what you use as long as you know what they sound like and you have listened to enough music through them to be able to evaluate your mixes properly.

and as far as the digi001,I think pretty much anything would make that sound better .....
oops I must be in the wrong place or have the wrong methodology....because I thought this was the High End forum..excuse me..
Old 3rd June 2006
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected]
..excuse me..
Rash,
it was discussed here a lot, that summz can't change your life forever with
the color they have just by itself, coz it's not a .5mil board deal, witch is not affordable to majority and I guess you can't spend that too and that's why you checking for summing. And it's fine.

But the idea behind summing, that it will let your put your feet back to analog domain, let you use more personal time and creativity, and with right outboard(ofcause) and skils you can collect more faze play, harmonics and get wider, deeper and much more analog pleasant sound, then just having flat colorless ITB junk.

Witch of them is good for you - your personal earz decision.

Think about, it's not just summing, do not expect from summing box what it doesn't have in it.Uknow?!
Good luck and peace..
Old 3rd June 2006
  #22
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Dangerous 2 Buss is SUMMING!!!

I kind of have to disagree, I went through the same process and auditioned a few and found that while the Dangerous 2 buss was the most transperent (maybe more like an SSL), it had "that" elusive big console buss section sound, the depth, etc.

It had that feel, depth and dimension I don't get ITB... some of the others added their respective character, but it was more just that... a sound and not the real function of summing, depth, width and clarity.

dangerous gave me large console sound.

Kind of funny, but while the Dangerous 2 Buss was the most transperant, I found it to be the only one really doing the job of the whole SUMMING concept.

Our first alsum was mixed on an SSL 9000j, it had "that" sound, the second ITB, the thrid with the Dangerous 2 Buss and I hate to admit it, it's the best sounding album of the three...wish I hadn't spent all that money on the SSL 9000J!

With that siaid, I feel in love with what it (SUMMING) gave and then went on to actuallyu get a custom SSL made by Desk Doctor

Can ya say SLUT?

-a

DIRTY HALO www.dirtyhalo.com
Old 3rd June 2006
  #23
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u b k's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected]
But what I did not want to do is the same thing that too many others seem to be doing these days, just listening to hearsay and going completely on the opinions of others.

yet this is all you offer this forum... your opinion. what are we supposed to do with this information?

personally, i'd be very grateful if you took the time to post the itb bounce and the chandler 2mix, i have server space and bandwidth aplenty which i'd be happy to donate.

i also encourage you to be open to the idea that, while you may know your monitors extremely well, they do not reveal everything there is to be revealed. i now mix on truth audio's, and while they make it abundantly clear when there's too little or too much of any given freq. or element, they are far less graceful when it comes to revealing the actual tonal character of the freqs. contrast this with my old mains, the jbl lsr28p's, which are brutal about revealing what a freq sounds like, but very forgiving on whether there is too much or too little.

ime, genelecs have a signature sound which they layer over everything, a hi-fi response curve that masks the actual timbre of recordings. but there truly is no need to debate all of this, a simple post with your results would enable everyone to form their own conclusions.

thanks for listening.


gregoire
del ubik
Old 3rd June 2006
  #24
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rashadrm@hotmai's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by abit
Rash,
it was discussed here a lot, that summz can't change your life forever with
the color they have just by itself, coz it's not a .5mil board deal, witch is not affordable to majority and I guess you can't spend that too and that's why you checking for summing. And it's fine.

But the idea behind summing, that it will let your put your feet back to analog domain, let you use more personal time and creativity, and with right outboard(ofcause) and skils you can collect more faze play, harmonics and get wider, deeper and much more analog pleasant sound, then just having flat colorless ITB junk.

Witch of them is good for you - your personal earz decision.

Think about, it's not just summing, do not expect from summing box what it doesn't have in it.Uknow?!
Good luck and peace..
I agree with you.....Its a matter of tracking with the right outboard, and using summing in conjuction....i've been researching this only for about three months now and about 3 weeks on gearslutz. the info solely found on this website has led to my chandler, empirical labs, tc6000, API purchases etc... I have never been a big outboard guy, mainly midi over the years. I cant wait to start turning these new knobs... the only decision now is whether to begin building a modular console (Tonelux etc..) or purchase a really good medium format console (Daking etc..)
Thanx.....
Old 3rd June 2006
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by u b i k
yet this is all you offer this forum... your opinion. what are we supposed to do with this information?

personally, i'd be very grateful if you took the time to post the itb bounce and the chandler 2mix, i have server space and bandwidth aplenty which i'd be happy to donate.

i also encourage you to be open to the idea that, while you may know your monitors extremely well, they do not reveal everything there is to be revealed. i now mix on truth audio's, and while they make it abundantly clear when there's too little or too much of any given freq. or element, they are far less graceful when it comes to revealing the actual tonal character of the freqs. contrast this with my old mains, the jbl lsr28p's, which are brutal about revealing what a freq sounds like, but very forgiving on whether there is too much or too little.

ime, genelecs have a signature sound which they layer over everything, a hi-fi response curve that masks the actual timbre of recordings. but there truly is no need to debate all of this, a simple post with your results would enable everyone to form their own conclusions.

thanks for listening.


gregoire
del ubik
Your point is well taken, and I am only taking steps to improve my ability to make records, (baby steps...) , this is why I have joined the forum, to learn. At the end of the day we all want to make the best recording we can no matter what we have or dont have access too..
( i'm old enough to remember the days of using two double cassette decks, bouncing between the two as multi tracks.....feel me).
The difference in the music biz today is that you really have to make it sound like a record, as the business continues to rebuild on the backs of the Indies...etc....
I see you're in manhattan, I'm in Jersey, maybe I can drop you some files through i-chat or something and you can post them.
Old 7th June 2006
  #26
Gear Head
 

If you still got the chandler try hitting it hard, until it almost blows up the sound, peg the stereo bus into the red, then back it off a touch. If you've got outboard put that between the DAW and the chandler, crank that too, if you've got some eq open it up stupidly on a mix element that makes sense too. I thought the chandler was great with this, its not the cleverest way of getting a mix but it should highlight the differences between the neve, ITB and chandler. If you got some rough mix bus limiting bit of kit, even do it ITB that should highlight the differences even more. Again i found the chandler behaved brilliantly with this. If anything i was mixing too loud with with the chandler cos it was too much fun.
Anyway, at the risk of getting on the anti genelec bandwagon (lots of great studios seem to have them so what do i know.) I find, it's like "who put the boom and the tizz in the mix. I think it was the 1031's sort of same size as BM15's. I did some terrible terrible mixes on those that i'll never forgive myself for! I'm not blaming the genelecs totally of course, you've got to be checking in every way you can. In fact i'll take full responsibility for those mixes! i was an idiot.
Hope thats of use.
Old 12th June 2006
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rat Salad
If you still got the chandler try hitting it hard, until it almost blows up the sound, peg the stereo bus into the red, then back it off a touch. If you've got outboard put that between the DAW and the chandler, crank that too, if you've got some eq open it up stupidly on a mix element that makes sense too. I thought the chandler was great with this, its not the cleverest way of getting a mix but it should highlight the differences between the neve, ITB and chandler. If you got some rough mix bus limiting bit of kit, even do it ITB that should highlight the differences even more. Again i found the chandler behaved brilliantly with this. If anything i was mixing too loud with with the chandler cos it was too much fun.
Anyway, at the risk of getting on the anti genelec bandwagon (lots of great studios seem to have them so what do i know.) I find, it's like "who put the boom and the tizz in the mix. I think it was the 1031's sort of same size as BM15's. I did some terrible terrible mixes on those that i'll never forgive myself for! I'm not blaming the genelecs totally of course, you've got to be checking in every way you can. In fact i'll take full responsibility for those mixes! i was an idiot.
Hope thats of use.
OK I'm checking it out , it does make a difference hitting it extremely hard, but like you said, it is a little strange having to pin it in the red to hear a noticable difference.
I've setup up my i/o's in protools to send to all of my outboard gear, since i am out of time and have to begin mixing, I'm gonna go that route. Summing OTB? maybe next album.......thanks for the info
Old 12th June 2006
  #28
11413
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected]
OK I'm checking it out , it does make a difference hitting it extremely hard, but like you said, it is a little strange having to pin it in the red to hear a noticable difference.
maybe wade goeke can walk us thru recalibrating the meters... it shouldn't be a big deal to have the sweet spot in the meter wherever you want... probably just 2 screws inside.
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