The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
My Summing Adventure (chandler, tonelux, api, neve, nicerizer) Summing Mixers
Old 6th June 2006
  #1
Gear Head
 

My Summing Adventure (chandler, tonelux, api, neve, nicerizer)

I didn’t think I’d be doing a gearslutz post, but I seems summing is a hot topic ,so I thought it rude to not convey my experiences albeit in a somewhat garbled fashion.
For what it’s worth here’s my fairly recent summing adventure with a quick gearslutty introduction! I have two desks, a fairly basic 12 channel audix broadcast desk (late 70’s with a bus comp) and a simple 16 stereo channelled calrec ,late 80’s quite clean sounding (I AB’d it with an AMEK BC2 before buying and I felt that it was meatier but still relatively clean.) When pushed the Audix can crap out a bit, but it’s a lot of fun. This then goes into the calrec and then mixes to Digital or 1/4”. Reverb sends go to calrec as well as elements of the mix that don’t need the audix colour.
I normally choose whether to use digi or tape on a song by song basis in mastering. The 1/4” (OTARI MX55) normally wins because is more “musical” and kind of pulls you into the tune. Like wearing rose tinted glasses, the Digi mix can sometimes have more “pace” to it. I’ve got a bunch of comps, 1176 black face, trakker ,distressor, WSW , dbx160 original plus a bunch of eqs, cadac, helios, massive passive, mid freq manley pultecs.
This is my first gearslutz confessional, I feel like I’m purifying my soul by coming clean with admitting what I own and why. Is this site therapy for gear junkies ? It certainly feels like some kind of therapy.
So anyway it seems to make sense to mix outside the box using this gear . I felt the audix was a lot of fun but maybe I should upgrade the calrec to a top class summing box so I can choose between, the Audix grundge (sounds great pushed) or hitting one of my eq comp variations and going into a proper summing box with world class line amps etc. or just going straight into the summing box. Or even out of the direct outs of the Audix into the summer Etc. etc.
I checked out lyn fustons summing cd, and after listening a bit thought that there really wasn’t a whole bunch in it, some sounded weedy, but I thought many sounded similar, the one I liked best was a digi mix put through the pultecs. But you know some of the differences were so small that I was thinking, turn the cd off and get on with making music cos I knew I needed/wanted something so sum up my gear.
I found out neve were doing the 8816, gave the distributors a call, put down a deposit to make sure I got the first shipment. The sales guy said it was the input stages of an 88R and the output stages of an 8068! Great that’ll do nicely. On with the music, or so I thought.
It took so long for it too come and I heard a few rumours it was gonna be not a proper neve so I decided to try out the Chandler mini mixer. Then I thought f**k it and borrowed everything, if the neve wasn’t gonna be great, I’m about to spend £4000, and it better be perfect. So I ended up trying Chandler mini, tonelux, API summing, neve 8816 and the nicerizer.
OK, so I got the Chandler first, fantastic huge thick bottom and mid range. Everything took on a “classic” state. I could turn up any track I had lying around really loud without it being harsh. Super musical and super fat chocolate and goose fat low end with smooth musical highs. I did notice that playing back through the external input wasn’t true. When I hammered out solid vinyl records that I knew well the chandler coloured it, I guess that’s the nature of the beast, I would imagine if you put a cranesong avocet on the end of it everything would work out ok!
Next up came the tonelux, I got a demo unit with 4eqs and eight inputs. To be honest it was musical and presented the sound to me in an appealing way, but it didn’t click with how I was hitting it I guess. Now at this point I must stress that this is all super subjective and have the greatest respect for what tonelux is up to. I’ve heard chandler are making stuff to fit into the tonelux system. Which kind of changes everything. I have this thing when working on gear and music that is working well that when you throw faders up and down and when you turn the monitors up and down that you get more of the music. Is that something to do with the line amp I dunno. Do I need to know, probably not, but I like that feeling. How long was that sentence, very, anyway. the tonelux didn’t have that x factor in abundance.
There were a few days before getting the next summers(api and neve.) So I did a load of mixes and work on the chandler, great fun, but I started to realise it was colouring so much that sometimes I was losing pace, some might say transient smack maybe. A lot of the stuff that I’m doing currently is talking headsish percussive or even wanabee grace jones compass point. The chandler steered tracks away from this area and more towards a softer more beautiful frame. Sometimes I felt that pretty drastic eq settings being sent into it didn’t seem that drastic in the overall picture, I couldn’t get my cadacs to spit or the helios to be super grainy. However, everytime I popped back to check out the tonelux the chandler said to me “I’ve got a big fat arse touch me you pervert.”
I started going mad at this point thinking maybe that’s a good thing to be fighting against, and thought of how many great recordings would have been recorded and engineered with steering a sound into the gear. Like on old recordings when they kept boosting highs cos the tape would be shedding, supposedly elvis stuff is that, but that’s only hearsay from me. So I started hitting table legs with drum sticks really sharply through my cadac with 5.6 khz set at plus ****loads to get more fast type sounds in the mix. I guess it worked, and then thought I could work like this for this type of music.
So along came the api 7800/8200 and the neve 8816. They both use “d subs” so it was easy to AB. 4 out of the five summing units were great and had there own merits, plus I really believe the companys and designers are there for sound and helping people make better records under there own steam ,so hats off. But I’m sorry the neve 8816 was watery and uninvolving. Remember it was cheapest and I’d already payed for a chunk of it so I could have done with it sounding great. I certainly wanted it to for my wallets sake. I really didn’t spend much time with it because everything else sounded so much better in every way, plus I only wanted to find out what was right for my situation. Sorry neve but have you changed company philosophy/ policy? In fact my original small broadcast calrec mixer stood up favourably with everything a touch harsh but exciting nonetheless and well and truly stomped the neve IMHO. Come on my first abbreviation in slut town.
Anyway the api was fast,clear punchy (standard issue word used for describing api I do believe!) open and energetic, the monitor section was true to my favorite vinyl, plus I could throw faders around and turn it up a tonne and it kept me involved at all times. If you gave it bass it gave you it back, I was back to using my eqs as normal and stopped banging drum sticks on table legs. Which you could argue is a good thing.
So last up was the nicerizer. One of the things that I don’t get with this summing thing is the summing boxes without volume controls. It’s my guess that if you like analogue enough to go that route you’ll have some pieces of gear lying around that will be usefull at the mix stage. I always try to print the sound I want in the mix and normally have a strong picture of how the tune should be before I start the bulk of recording it. However, in my experience you can’t beat putting vocals or bass through an 1176 or having a great eq open up the harmonics of a stereo bus. A lot of the gear I have has seems to have a volume sweet spot, for example it seems to me an 1176 works best when hit at the right level and when you push the output a bit. Which means you need to turn it down a bit at the mix stage. So a nicerizer 16 wouldn’t be able to combine a bunch of analogue gear in this way. I spoke to the nicerizer people and they agreed if I liked the nicerizer 8 they would look into doing a 16 with volume controls.
The Nicerizer8 was fantastic you could really push it with the volume controls and get subtle breakup or back it off a bit and have it super clean, whatever you did it sounded like I was involved in making a record. Guess what! it had a neve type tone, to me a touch “softer” in a way than the api. Drums through the nicerizer had a cohesion that kept the energy but sat them in the speaker in a pleasing way.
OK, so for me, it’s sad to see a great british product like neve tarnish its reputation and put out a distinctly average product. I thought all the other products were great and it comes down to personal taste. The chandler was super coloured and for certain things was nothing short of beautiful, the tonelux looks to have the most versatile set up in the future (with the advent of chandler, daking, empirical labs etc.) The api was a super punchy powerhouse and the nicerizer was a super musical bit of kit that would growl if pushed. In fact you really would want two nicerizer 8’s before the 16!!!!! Just so you can turn the inputs up a tonne. In the end I decided with all my existing outboard the chandler was a touch too coloured for my current purposes, it came down to testing between the api vs nicerizer, with the occasional check back to tonelux. The api was ready to go with to two aux buses and a comprehensive control section, I felt in the end with throwing in all my gear together ( I’ve got some neve 3416 line amps too which was similar to the nicerizer bag.) that the api made the most sense of everything. When decisions get a bit complex I’ve found that sometimes it’s best to go on which has the most energy at a gut level. The api had it.
Apologies for not doing any sound files, I guess in retrospect it would have made sense. However, I hadn’t even thought of writing this rambling trainspotting ode to uber gear. Hope its of help to anyone thinking about summing as a mix option.
Old 6th June 2006
  #2
Gear Maniac
 
Ganglion's Avatar
Thanks Rat Salad for the in depth tale of your experiences with these boxes!
Old 6th June 2006
  #3
LOL

GREAT first post, welcome to GS!

Old 6th June 2006
  #4
Gear Guru
 
u b k's Avatar
 

nice chunk of writing, very entertaining read. a lot of what you say resonates...

congrats on the api! i had very similar impressions, ended up getting the nicerizer for summing and the 2500 for the mix. that way i can run the nicer more conservatively and hit the api harder for big punch, or vice versa for creamy thickness, and get the best of both worlds.

api's stuff is so satisfying... the harder you spank it, the more it screams YES.


gregoire
del ubik
Old 6th June 2006
  #5
Lives for gear
 
Cojo's Avatar
 

Wow, thanks and welcome Rat Salad! Great reading this morning! Keep on posting so I have something to read during my breakfasts!
Old 6th June 2006
  #6
Lives for gear
 

great, informative post.

Thanks!
Old 6th June 2006
  #7
Lives for gear
 
dubrichie's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by u b i k
api's stuff is so satisfying... the harder you spank it, the more it screams YES.
classic!

rock and roll is all about sex after all!
Old 6th June 2006
  #8
11413
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rat Salad
OK, so I got the Chandler first, fantastic huge thick bottom and mid range. Everything took on a “classic” state. I could turn up any track I had lying around really loud without it being harsh. Super musical and super fat chocolate and goose fat low end with smooth musical highs.
love it... sounds perfect for what i wish to accomplish..

great read...
Old 9th June 2006
  #9
Gear Addict
 
rashadrm@hotmai's Avatar
 

OK , I'm pulling the Chandler back out of the box, I'm gonna give it another try implementing my outboard gear, there's got to be more to it than I thought . I'm gonna try some tracking through it and mixing.
Old 9th June 2006
  #10
11413
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected]
OK , I'm pulling the Chandler back out of the box, I'm gonna give it another try implementing my outboard gear, there's got to be more to it than I thought . I'm gonna try some tracking through it and mixing.
try some different monitors... or print mixes and listen somewhere else.. a hifi shop, boomboxes, etc... those 1031s tell lil white lies... they ruined my life for 2 years. they're like an old gf who gave me the clap.

i'll say it again.. one of my favorite references is a mono auratone... you'd be surprised how useful one is.

still dont believe? alan moulder said he did 75% of the mixing for NIN's "the fragile" on one mono auratone at low volume... and that's a pretty complicated "big SSL" cd.
Old 9th June 2006
  #11
Lives for gear
thanks for adventure no.1! great post.
Old 9th June 2006
  #12
Moderator
 
TonyBelmont's Avatar
 

Nice read!
Old 9th June 2006
  #13
Gear Head
 

Hi rashadrm,
To emphasise what the chandler does try hitting it really hard and pin the output bus in the red. That’ll be basically 16 transformer balanced EMI type line amps under duress summed up neve style. If its too much, then back it off to find the sweet spot for that tune. Still not convinced? Drive the bass through a vibey outboard comp into it, and then open up the high end on an eq (on a part of the mix that wants high end.) I really liked the way the chandler handled my outboard being pushed. Still not convinced the chandler has mojo? Compress the stereo bus a tonne, in comparison to other summers. I found the nature of the chandler to allow things to be played loud or be compressed. Maybe because of the character of sound its pleasing to the ears at volume (as opposed to a Mackie type thing.) When compressing the stereo bus, I find hidden distortions in the mix come towards the foreground more. Do all of that next to the neve 8816 and it’ll be my guess you’ll notice differences in the way the music is presented to you. None of these techniques are necessarily the right way of mixing, however, think of it like taking your car out on a race track to see what it can do when pushed to its limits. If you don’t like driving you could do a similar test to your body instead using alcohol, not necessarily the right thing to do either.
To me ,all line amps have there own thing just like mic pres’s after all at the end of the day isn’t it just gain? If there’s a tech out there please enlighten! I use some modded neve 3416 line amps as mic pre’s supposedly the same circuitry as 1081’s. I only get 40db but its normally enough with a comp afterwards. Anyway, I digress, we can all talk about difference in mic pres and how they sound when hit at different volumes. I’m guessing there are similar parallels when pushing a mixing desk/ summers.
Hope that’s of use, enjoy.
Old 9th June 2006
  #14
Gear Addict
 
hawaii82's Avatar
 

Great post m8

Bravo
Old 9th June 2006
  #15
Lives for gear
 

Hi Rat Salad
Sorry,not slutty enough as there are no pics of your desks.
Exactly which Audix model do you have and which Calrec?
I worked at Audix about 78 - 81 then Calrec from 81-84 (test and installation engineer).
Matt S
Old 11th June 2006
  #16
I think in the end, he liked them all and they all sounded great. So at least we know that we don't suck, which is more important than being the "only one that sucked".

Whew...
Old 12th June 2006
  #17
Gear Addict
 
rashadrm@hotmai's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 11413
try some different monitors... or print mixes and listen somewhere else.. a hifi shop, boomboxes, etc... those 1031s tell lil white lies... they ruined my life for 2 years. they're like an old gf who gave me the clap.

i'll say it again.. one of my favorite references is a mono auratone... you'd be surprised how useful one is.

still dont believe? alan moulder said he did 75% of the mixing for NIN's "the fragile" on one mono auratone at low volume... and that's a pretty complicated "big SSL" cd.

I'm gonna take your advice, and listen on different systems..
(but I still like my Genelecs!!)
Old 19th June 2006
  #18
Gear Head
 

matt syson is a slut

There you go matt, i'm sure you know a tonne about these two, I'll be selling the 10 stereo (20) channel calrec fairly soon if anyones interested. Comes with a monster seperate power supply. Each channel has a stereo width control. Err.. what else, sounded better than the neve. I'd go on but i realise i might be breaking gearslut rules!! The audix (not for sale ) has a stereo compressor limiter which can be patched in anywhere. Hope that satisfies your sluttiness Matt. Cheers.
Attached Thumbnails
My Summing Adventure (chandler, tonelux, api, neve, nicerizer)-audix12channel.jpg  
Old 19th June 2006
  #19
Gear Head
 

Matt syson is a slut

Here comes the calrec. Upside down.
Attached Thumbnails
My Summing Adventure (chandler, tonelux, api, neve, nicerizer)-calrecminimixer.jpg  
Old 20th June 2006
  #20
Lives for gear
 

Hi Rat Salad
The Audix is a MXT1200. I did some work on the prototype/early ones to stop them picking up RF from handheld comms units. Unfortunately I don't have a manual for these although they are not wildly exotic they do have transformers in and out. This was the first Audix to use 5534 / 5532 in a big way although they had appeared in some versions of the 3510* pre/eq module.
The Calrec is a 'minimixer' and looks to have been part of a bigger installation as it has no metering (in your picture). Who stole the paint? I was involved in the large frame desks rather than the minis.
I got onto the Pro diy forum and there is a thread about archived BBC stuff. It brought back memories of my activities from the Audix 'community radio' desks through to the Glasgow big desk and a load in between.
Matt S
Old 20th June 2006
  #21
Gear Head
 

Thanks

The Audix was ex BBC Radio Kent, i got it for £600, from a guy who was taking more interest in fishing, fair enough. The Calrec was bought from funky junk is was assured it was the BBC who stole the paint, buy now things like that make me feel three times better! looks great surely! Distressed look! Good luck with your equipment sir. Cheers.
Old 20th June 2006
  #22
Gear Maniac
 

Hello rat salad and Matt!

I have an ex BBC 24 channel MXT1200. The channelstrips look a bit different from
yours.....Mine has EDAC´s on all channels. For me it´s the perfect summing machine.
I have all the manuals if you need some info.......

cheers/

Truls
Old 23rd June 2006
  #23
Lives for gear
 
abit's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rat Salad
Is this site therapy for gear junkies ? It certainly feels like some kind of therapy.
heh
Old 23rd June 2006
  #24
Gear Maniac
 
RUSCO's Avatar
Quote:
When decisions get a bit complex I’ve found that sometimes it’s best to go on which has the most energy at a gut level. The api had it.
That sums it up pretty well for me . All decisions on a gut level.
Old 23rd June 2006
  #25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rat Salad
Next up came the tonelux, I got a demo unit with 4eqs and eight inputs. To be honest it was musical and presented the sound to me in an appealing way, but it didn’t click with how I was hitting it I guess. Now at this point I must stress that this is all super subjective and have the greatest respect for what tonelux is up to. I’ve heard chandler are making stuff to fit into the tonelux system. Which kind of changes everything. I have this thing when working on gear and music that is working well that when you throw faders up and down and when you turn the monitors up and down that you get more of the music. Is that something to do with the line amp I dunno. Do I need to know, probably not, but I like that feeling. How long was that sentence, very, anyway. the tonelux didn’t have that x factor in abundance.
I would be courious as to what this means, I haven't heard this before. I do know that the TX stuff appears to have less gain than others, though it is actually calibrated for +4 nominal levels, many of the others seem to be calibrated for maybe -2 nominal, which would give the appearance of more punch. A few others have commented that the TX didn't have the gain, so let me know.

Being fat and punchy has usually been somewhere in everyone's description...

At least it didn't sound bad... That's the biggest fear with new equipment, when someone says "it just didn't do anything for me" or "it sounds like sh*t"...

Paul
Old 11th September 2008
  #26
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rat Salad View Post
Here comes the calrec. Upside down.
Oh.. Whats the score with this cute little thing?

Mic or Line pres?

Module wtih bunch of swtiches on the Left (or right if its upside down...)

I'm guessing its late 70's/early 80s, all op-amp, but still reasonably servicable, right?

Bloke in Glasgow was trying to flog one a few weeks ago.. Maybe I should give him a shout? Hot or Not?
Old 23rd September 2008
  #27
Quote:
Originally Posted by ToneLux View Post
I would be courious as to what this means, I haven't heard this before. I do know that the TX stuff appears to have less gain than others, though it is actually calibrated for +4 nominal levels, many of the others seem to be calibrated for maybe -2 nominal, which would give the appearance of more punch. A few others have commented that the TX didn't have the gain, so let me know.

Being fat and punchy has usually been somewhere in everyone's description...

At least it didn't sound bad... That's the biggest fear with new equipment, when someone says "it just didn't do anything for me" or "it sounds like sh*t"...

Paul
I wish TX gear sucks!! but they don't!! ..all the TX gear I heard sounds wonderful.....so here I am with a TX gear on my wish list!!
Old 23rd September 2008
  #28
Gear Addict
 
Ianneve's Avatar
 

Hey guys I also tried the Chandler and the Tonelux and own a Dangerous 2 bus LT and have used it since it came out. I ended up buying the Innertube Audio Sum Thang and Sum Thang more. The Chandler is great but too much iron. The Sum Thang has a top end I haven't heard on anything else. Really nice. It's doing things to my mixes that I like. So I'm done with the summing hunt.
Old 23rd September 2008
  #29
Gear Maniac
 
malgfunk's Avatar
 

I love my Neve 8816. It's more on the smooth side, but when used with an API 2500 the results are great. It's kinda rounds out the PUNCH of the API IMO. heh
Old 23rd September 2008
  #30
Gear Addict
 

great post!
I have a folcrom and it's great, actually i sum only 8 input (because i have just 1 rosetta 800) but i'm sure with 16 input it's better!
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
RoundBadge / High end
329
Krubbadoo / Gearslutz Secondhand Gear Classifieds
0

Forum Jump
Forum Jump