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SSL Sigma vs Dangerous 2-Bus LT
Old 14th December 2014
  #1
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Brb's Avatar
 

SSL Sigma vs Dangerous 2-Bus LT

Your thoughts?
Old 14th December 2014
  #2
Gear Maniac
 
daddykev's Avatar
Very different animals, one costing about 3X more than the other.

I'm not sure how they compare sonically -- I've never heard the 2-Bus LT -- but the Sigma offers more features, automation among them. The Sigma also has two mixes buses, as well as direct outs on all of the channels.
Old 14th December 2014
  #3
Lives for gear
I have both and I like both. Also sonically.

I didn't compare them yet, but I could (if somebody told me how). It might be interesting to compare them sonically, I just wonder with what kind of material?

I bought the Sigma as my post processing automatisation.

I'm not yet sure in which sequence I should hook them up, just in case one should be the last summing box in my setup...

I use 2 more mixers that also feed into the Sigma. Getting creative with multiple sub mixed busses (rhythm, mid, high, vox, fx). 48 out channels on my converters, no large desk, only high end signal paths, hybrid style.
Old 16th December 2014
  #4
Here for the gear
 

I have been wondering the same thing as far as sonics is concerned. As far as extra features, SSL Sigma wins of coarse, my hat goes off to the engineers who worked so hard to get all that in there. Hope this helps though, I visited the Zenpro site and found their clipalator section and compared both of them. Mind you, Im not sure how these files were put together or if there were different mix fader levels but to my ears listening thru my Apogee symphony IOs DA, this is what I heard.

The Dangerous 2buss had a warmer and thicker sound to it on the lows with a little smoothness on the highs. Nice separation and the lead vocal in the center was a little bigger and more solid.

The SSL sigma was more on the bright side compared to the Dangerous, the Sigma's lows were thinner but the highs extended farther, made the guitar strumming on the cliplator mix more present but the center lead was a bit thinner. The separation was there as well. The brightness obviously made the reverbs more noticeable as well. I preferred the Dangerous 2 buss sound in this comparison. Just sounded more ballsy.

In my opinion, these files almost sound like 2 mixes that were balanced differently or different set ups were involved. But who am I to say when I was not the person who processed these files. It would be great to get a 2nd opinion from someone who has both of them and have also spread the same mix, same balance thru these units and hear their findings. If just summing alone sounds this different between 2 pieces of summing gear, then it could get pretty interesting.
Old 16th December 2014
  #5
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One is built in New York, the other in Oxford.
Old 16th December 2014
  #6
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stimmt View Post
One is built in New York, the other in Oxford.
Never thought about it from that perspective . Us New Yorkers do love our bottoms big
Old 17th December 2014
  #7
I tested and owned several summing boxes, Equinox, Dangerous 2 Bus, Nicerizer 16 MKII, SPL Mixdream, Never 8816 ....

to me the Dangerous is an amazing box, is clean but not sterile, is open and fat sounding and the low end sustains better the notes, the top end is open, plus is the most reliable of all the summing boxes I tried...always the calibration is spot on...and is a very flexible sounding box.... and if you want color you always can color yur mix to the degree you want with other gear in the 2 bus mix, so u are not slave of the same sound...
Old 17th December 2014
  #8
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Brb's Avatar
 

With the sigma do you have to use the midi control? Or can you just plug sigma in and drive the levels on your daw with out having to mess with the sigma?
Old 17th December 2014
  #9
Solid State Logic
 
Jim@SSL's Avatar
 

Midi, HUI, MCU and OSC control. Lots of choices :-)
Old 17th December 2014
  #10
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Analogue Mastering's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Midi, HUI, MCU and OSC control. Lots of choices :-)
2 things that would make the SIGMA crush the competion, both software / firmware:

1. A VST with all channel and panel settings in a simmilar gui as the webinterface or osc, so you can save project settings WITHIN a project rather than creating seperate xml files all the time manually
2. Update the monitor function to cycle Monitor A, monitor B, both (with both you can connect a subwoofer to B) or have an option to setup monitor B as sub so you can engage the sub when desired.
Old 17th December 2014
  #11
Lives for gear
Dangerous dbox owner. Let me say they are awesome boxed which in no doubt will take a great mix to another level (itb and stacked tracks -ie big session) on that note I would absolutely love to try other summing boxes that are 3x the price. But that's the .... In me
Old 17th December 2014
  #12
Lives for gear
The reason for Sigma is the automatisation, also post processing and submixing.. If you don't see the musical reason for automatisation yet, look at other boxes first. If you start to understand the emotional impact of automatisation, then look into the Sigma. You can also get multiple summing boxes and compare them in the mix..
Old 17th December 2014
  #13
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkyGoldstein View Post
The reason for Sigma is the automatisation, also post processing and submixing.. If you don't see the musical reason for automatisation yet, look at other boxes first. If you start to understand the emotional impact of automatisation, then look into the Sigma. You can also get multiple summing boxes and compare them in the mix..
I totally agree with you that the automation is where the magic happens. This is what's so exciting about the SSL sigma. Post processing. I was going for the AWS but it was over my current budget, then I thought Matrix, still a bit over the budget. Then Sigma comes out, hmmm , same sound as the AWS 948, automation and a small footprint. Leaving room to buy an SSL g comp. That's what's so exciting about it. Though I liked the sound of the Dangerous bus LT , Sigma packs a punch, giving us the opportunity to sonically have that industry standard sound and work flow within a budget. Just add a control surface if you like having faders. I do.
Old 17th December 2014
  #14
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Its cool the sigma has direct outs. How cool would it be to sum the outputs of a symphony i/o into a ssl sigma, then those outs into a neve genesis black?
Old 17th December 2014
  #15
Gear Addict
 

Incidentally,
Has anyone tried the Maselec stm-822....?
Old 18th December 2014
  #16
Lives for gear
Yes, and I suggest you use high quality cables and gear - mixers can feed into processors and processors back into automatable mixers and from there you can go into another color mixer, etc. (keep the noise floor low and the gain staging nice). And keep it simple for yourself to understand what's happening - there are no rules and you are free to explore all options ;-)
Old 17th May 2019
  #17
Here for the gear
 

Reviving this aging thread. @ Hansolo , I found this thread this morning as a result of searching for "2 Bus LT vs Sigma". I searched for that comparison because last night I did blind comparison of the summing box tracks in the Clipilator and low and behold ended up picking the Sigma and 2 Bus LT as my favorites after a rigorous blind comparison process.
To your point, we have no idea how the recordings were produced, but for now, I'm going to assume what we're hearing is each boxes inherent summing capability w/o addition of dynamics features (ie., stereo width, drive etc..) or different routing configs (except where alternate mixes provided by clipilator).

A brief-ish summary follows:

To me, these summing units fit into two categories;

1. Modern (loud, in your face/ears, hyped, less separation, less depth)
2. Classic (separation between listener and the sounds (ie., 'depth'), separation btwn instruments, seemingly quieter, "classy").

(If someone doesn't agree with the above, obviously and utterly thorough definitions, just pretend you're me for a minute and the rest will make sense )

Initially, I was turned off by the "modern" sounding mixes, which was most of them, and i really gravitated to one of the "classic" mixes. That one turned out later to be the 2 Bus LT (Bass was punchy, and the relatively subdued mid-highs afforded great depth and width). Others that did a similar thing but not as well for me were the Roll and OTB.

That said, somewhere in the middle of the listening process, I realized that while i wasn't crazy about the modern mixes' emphasis on mid-high frequencies (brightness) or loudness of guitars in side channels, some of these mixes did seem to have a more 'finished record' sound to them. Call it glued together or whatever. They also pushed subtle details like a picked guitar into the foreground. Of all the modern mixes, the one that seemed to have this beautiful energy around it turned out to be the Sigma. It was bright, but not harsh, filled up the space and just grooved. Others that did this but not so well in my opinion were the Burl and Nicerizer. (dare I accidentally offend someone by saying the Burl was "too bright" for my tastes).

After realizing this, I went back and listened to the "classic" mixes again and they seemed a little dull and boring in comparison. But after my sensibilities adjusted back to the shape created by the classic mixes, i found their 3D quality, punch in the right places and subtlety in the right places very alluring.

So my takeaway is that the Sigma may be more appropriate for genres like rock or dance, where the listener is rewarded by the physical intensity and immediacy, (lust), whereas the 2 Bus LT may be more appropriate for sparser arrangements, folk or classical etc., where the listener is tickled by listening "into" the song and discovering subtle nuances. Yes we're talking about romance here. That said, I really love them both! just for very different reasons.

If you've made it this far, just a little more torture ...

My methodology for the Clipilator listening comparison was:

1. Pull files into ProTools and level match (they were pretty well matched already) and number each track.
2. Zoom out in the edit window so i can't see each clip's name
3. shuffle the tracks until I had no clue which was which
4. Listen to beginning of each track to just get visceral impression...record notes
5. Listen to the first verse and for each track and focus on just the Mid to Side relationship
6. Record notes for each track
7. Repeat the mid-side listening test until I could rank all the tracks on their mid-side relationship
8. Now move on to the Bass. Repeat steps 5-7, then same with the Vocals and then mid-high frequencies.
7. Finally, compare rankings between each criteria (mid/side, bass, vocals, mid-high freq's)
8. create master ranking (#1 had the highest marks across most categories).
9. Zoom into the clips to finally see the names of the summing boxes on each clip
10. Compare notes with preconceived notions I may have had from reading too many GS threads
11. Celebrate having a real opinion about something that's pretty close to bullet proof (dare you to prove my wrong)

Last edited by smakdaady; 18th May 2019 at 05:46 PM..
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