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How to use summing mixers
Old 15th December 2009
  #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Faderjockey View Post
using your gear would be just fine for your test/playing around. OF course just like anything better gear would get better results.. But doesn't mean you can't use your stuff...And maybe even dig it better then what you get itb.. Then from there you may decide to beef stuff up. Or your not into and you stay itb and put the dough into other stuff.

Since it seems your new to it.. Don't just try it hate it and move on.. It is a little bit different way of working.. So try a few different mixes hitting the M80 at different levels finding sweet spots and what sounds best. In the end it may not be something your into.

But you can just go into the line in (the one that's used for the inserts) and you can even use the L+R Aux inputs that will give you 10ch input. Take the main L+R outputs and go back into the motu 1+2. If you create a audio track in Cubase to print to..Make sure you click solo default holding the alt key on that track plus the output ch of whatever your using for speakers. This way when you hit solo on a track it won't mute your input of your summed 2 track mix coming back into Cubase.

Remember if you are using the line inputs on the M80 (inserts in) to pull them out a little when you go to track or there will be no output of the micpre since your breaking the signal.. Just a tip so you don't freak thinking the pre no longer works or something.

play around with it..Your not needing to spend money just to try it and have fun.
Superb advice. Thank you so much. I will definitely try this out

Thanks!
Fred
Old 15th December 2009
  #32
Gear Head
 
chrislongwood's Avatar
 

Hey Fred,

Nice song by the way.
Old 15th December 2009
  #33
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Fhl's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrislongwood View Post
Hey Fred,

Nice song by the way.

Thanks for listening Glad you liked it!
Old 15th December 2009
  #34
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bitman's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishmed View Post
What 990 amp do you use?
They're on a summing makeup amp card out of a PR&E AMX Console.
I just wedged it in the 19" 1U rack enclosure that the summer was in as an afterthought. In retrospect I should have thought of that when I built it but that card was in a closet and out of sight and mind.
Old 15th December 2009
  #35
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djmukilteo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
most of the time, exactly as you write above. You then patch a spare pair of outputs to an external input on the desk, route the master track to these outputs, and then monitor it as if it was a dat machine.
One of the things that I've been struggling with using my current setup and why I've considered a second DAW/interface on a second computer.

I basically have two interfaces right now....
RME FF800
ZED16R
Single PC running Cubase 4
New copy of Sonar LE (not installed anywhere, came w/ZED)

What I've done is hooked up ADAT from the ZED to the RME.
When I track to Cubase via the RME FW I have 26 channels of input. (more than enough for anything I'm doing right now). I have mics going into both RME and ZED preamps....keyboards, drums, guitars, bass etc.
When I playback in Cubase I mix, pan, EQ, plugin...lots of options there ITB!
What I did on a recent project was route 16 tracks back out of Cubase to the ZED and so now I have more EQ, pan and level control OTB!
It's was much easier and more intuitive for me to mix and monitor on the ZED and I really liked doing it that way! It was actually a lot of fun!...and I have so much more monitor control with the ZED!
Now the sound I get out of the ZED is completely different than it is in Cubase. Sometimes in Cubase the mixes can get dull and sort of mellow sounding. The ZED seems much brighter but I also notice a harshness that will surface when I start working the EQ's, but I can easily remove that with the ZED and I seem to get better mixes spatially and I think a warmer sound! It's not completely clear to me why this is, analog versus digital...I don't know...but I do like it! What's not very friendly with doing this with the ZED OTB is nothing is automated...it requires old school markings and notes, labels etc....or....just print the master and let it go.....
This is where I think I get stuck...I feel like I need the second computer and DAW setup and have a Cubase/ZED FW recorder going for tracking/playback which would let me use a few more of the ZED's features in Cubase....and then an RME FF800 master track recorder setup for final master tracks...
Now I think I want to use the RME inputs as a recorder when I want or need to. So am I doing this all wrong? Is there a better that I should setup my studio or should I maintain a minimal system layout and just print back to the same project during playback....or is this separate idea more straightforward and worth pursuing??....
I'm sort of an old school analog person who's used to recording to multitrack tape and then bouncing final to a 2 track master deck....so that was my logic using this new digital gear I've got right now.
Maybe I have way too many options....LOL
Old 24th December 2009
  #36
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So the only way analog summing would be project independant would be to use a unit with stereo inputs and no other parameters?

Or how do you sum? It would break my work flow if I had to take a picture of all projects recalling the settings.

But I guess that's what you got to do!

Thanks for all the input!
Happy holidays!

Fred
Old 24th December 2009
  #37
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illacov's Avatar
 

Talking

If you've used a console with your computer before, then the summing buss itself is just the summing matrix itself (which is in every console) which receives all the signals and sum them together.


You'd need the DAW to control levels and panning etc..

If you get a summing mixer or mini mixer then you would have a solution that uses faders or pots for levels, possible panning, maybe even an aux buss or two, expandability, multiple transformer pairs for different color and saturation curves.

As well summing mixers allow you to interface your gear into your mix without having to deal with using a loopback to calculate latency and all that jazz, plus its less cumulative conversions since you'd only shoot the audio out the computer once and then do all the processing OTB versus patching everything into a loopback which is (out to in to out again) if you're mixing OTB.

I tend to prefer the convenience of mixing OTB, as well I like summing matrixes and mixers because they typically tend to be quieter than a similarly priced console.

Some consoles don't really cut the mustard until you go about upgrading their opamps or beefing up their power supplies etc...but for less money you can get a summing mixer/matrix that has much less noise. But some will be short of features like EQ and panning so you may miss those aspects but a work around for this is to use your preamp/eq channel strips as an inline sweetener between your DAW and your summing mixer. Since you can hand select what pres you put on the tail of your DA you have alot of flexibility when it comes to sounds and action.

Just the tip of the iceberg but worth mentioning. You don't have to use a summing mixer as its marketed you can definitely pimp it out.

Peace
Illumination
Old 24th December 2009
  #38
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Fhl's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by illacov View Post
If you've used a console with your computer before, then the summing buss itself is just the summing matrix itself (which is in every console) which receives all the signals and sum them together.


You'd need the DAW to control levels and panning etc..

If you get a summing mixer or mini mixer then you would have a solution that uses faders or pots for levels, possible panning, maybe even an aux buss or two, expandability, multiple transformer pairs for different color and saturation curves.

As well summing mixers allow you to interface your gear into your mix without having to deal with using a loopback to calculate latency and all that jazz, plus its less cumulative conversions since you'd only shoot the audio out the computer once and then do all the processing OTB versus patching everything into a loopback which is (out to in to out again) if you're mixing OTB.

I tend to prefer the convenience of mixing OTB, as well I like summing matrixes and mixers because they typically tend to be quieter than a similarly priced console.

Some consoles don't really cut the mustard until you go about upgrading their opamps or beefing up their power supplies etc...but for less money you can get a summing mixer/matrix that has much less noise. But some will be short of features like EQ and panning so you may miss those aspects but a work around for this is to use your preamp/eq channel strips as an inline sweetener between your DAW and your summing mixer. Since you can hand select what pres you put on the tail of your DA you have alot of flexibility when it comes to sounds and action.

Just the tip of the iceberg but worth mentioning. You don't have to use a summing mixer as its marketed you can definitely pimp it out.

Peace
Illumination
Thanks for the info

Happy holidays!
Fred
Old 18th February 2014
  #39
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ears2thesky View Post
When I first started recording on computers I mixed everything ITB. I felt that signal degradation from multiple conversions was best to avoid. For the most part I was happy with the results. One thing I noticed though, was that when I would play back a song that had not been mixed down yet on the DAW it sounded very different than the stereo mixes I would then generate from the session files. So I would print a mix listen to it and then go back and make changes that would get me as close as possible to the unmixed playback.
I read in magazine a few years later about the ITB vs. OTB debate and decided to give it a try. I felt like the mixes I created OTB sounded just like the multitrack playback. I perceived the separation between instruments was clearer and the overall result was far superior to what I had been getting from ITB mixing.
I decided to build a passive summing solution so I could use various 2-channel outboard devices to impart their flavor to the mix when used to make up gain. My current home setup features a Focusrite LS56 firewire interface. I run the output of the summer into the Liquid Pre inputs of the LS56 and that gives me that ability to select what mixdown coloration I want on the interface on the way back into the DAW. I can print as many versions with different flavors as I want in the session file and select between them for client approval prior to mastering.
One other technique I am going to try on the next mix is to sum the individual elements of a submix OTB as well as the final mixdown. This way I can sum all of the drum tracks with a different color than say guitars or vocals and then combine them with yet another different flavor if need be.

Whatever the science is behind the difference between ITB and OTB matters not to me. The sound made me a believer.
I'll never go back to ITB.

What summing mixer are you using ?
Old 12th September 2019
  #40
Gear Head
Does this mean that I do not need need a summer with plenty channels?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ears2thesky View Post
When I first started recording on computers I mixed everything ITB. I felt that signal degradation from multiple conversions was best to avoid. For the most part I was happy with the results. One thing I noticed though, was that when I would play back a song that had not been mixed down yet on the DAW it sounded very different than the stereo mixes I would then generate from the session files. So I would print a mix listen to it and then go back and make changes that would get me as close as possible to the unmixed playback.
I read in magazine a few years later about the ITB vs. OTB debate and decided to give it a try. I felt like the mixes I created OTB sounded just like the multitrack playback. I perceived the separation between instruments was clearer and the overall result was far superior to what I had been getting from ITB mixing.
I decided to build a passive summing solution so I could use various 2-channel outboard devices to impart their flavor to the mix when used to make up gain. My current home setup features a Focusrite LS56 firewire interface. I run the output of the summer into the Liquid Pre inputs of the LS56 and that gives me that ability to select what mixdown coloration I want on the interface on the way back into the DAW. I can print as many versions with different flavors as I want in the session file and select between them for client approval prior to mastering.
One other technique I am going to try on the next mix is to sum the individual elements of a submix OTB as well as the final mixdown. This way I can sum all of the drum tracks with a different color than say guitars or vocals and then combine them with yet another different flavor if need be.

Whatever the science is behind the difference between ITB and OTB matters not to me. The sound made me a believer.
I'll never go back to ITB.
Does this mean that an eight channel mixer is ok and can be used to flavor individual instruments, one at a time? pardon my ignorance but this summing thing is a bit tricky. Am in the market and seriously considering VintageMaker summers
Old 4 weeks ago
  #41
Gear Maniac
 

people believe that when the digital tracks get summed together into the stereo two-track in the daw, they become sonically smaller. it is believed that if you send each track out to analog, the tracks don't get smaller. and if the summing box has some vibe to it, the tracks get bigger. also, if you have a great analog stereo compressor, you can apply that to the analog stereo mix.

you need high quality d-a for every track you send out.

i offer no opinion here... only a concise street-level explanation.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #42
Gear Nut
 
MindMemories's Avatar
 

HCL Summing Unit

Hello,

I am using the Handcrafted Labs tube summing unit. My setup is the Mackie 8 Bus and DAW buses, for comparison purpose. The summing unit has the best sound, by far, big and beautiful with proper transients from drums and warmth for other line-level devices. I am going to ditch the Mackie and buy another HCL unit. The Mackie sounds thin compared to the HCL.

All line-level gear like the synths and samplers are connected to the summing unit. So far I am very happy with the result. But by ditching the Mackie and go full analog tube summing I will get better results I think.

My summing unit is around €1950. But worth it.

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