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Has anyone tried the LittleOne 16 by Vintage Maker? Audio Interfaces
Old 6th January 2011
  #1
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OddBall Audio's Avatar
 

Has anyone tried the LittleOne 16 by Vintage Maker?

I know, I know, another low budget summing thread...

Here's a link to the unit in question:
LittleOne 16 - Passive Summing Mixer 16x2

It's about $300 on ebay (+plus $30 shipping from Hungary)

This is a small simple summing mixer with DB25 inputs and 1/4" outputs. It mentions "Selected 0,1% WISHAY DALE military metal-film resistors".

Other than that I'm just looking to see if anyone has experience with it. being that it doesn't have any switches like the Folcrom you are limited to sending 8 stereo stems to it instead of being able to choose to send certain mono things to it. I wonder if this is a down fall that makes the Folcrom worth twice as much.

Any opinions are appreciated.
Old 14th January 2011
  #2
Gear Head
 

Yeah, just saw this unit on ebay, anyone buy one?
Old 16th March 2011
  #3
Lives for gear
 
TornadoTed's Avatar
I ordered one last night. I fancied trying out passive summing and at 1/4 of the price of the Folcrom it seemed like a cheap way to try it out to see what it brings to the table. If I like it I may well get a Folcrom for the added flexibility of being able to use a mono compressor/EQ on kick, snare, bass, vox etc
Old 22nd March 2011
  #4
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TornadoTed's Avatar
I was shocked that it arrived within 4 days of buying it, especially as it said 22-30 days on the eBay auction! The build quality is really impressive and the case is very nicely engraved.

I wired it in today and it does what it says on the tin and I've thoroughly enjoyed my first mix with the LittleOne 16 and DIY Neve 1290 combo. I tried it with my API style Baby Animals and wasn't so keen but maybe it just didn't suit the song I was mixing. It is subtle compared to ITB but there does seem to be that extra bit of seperation and space around instruments that I get from running into my Soundcraft Sapphyre console without the power consumption and re-call notes!

All good so far and for the money a no brainer IMO.
Old 22nd March 2011
  #5
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Thanks for the update. I hate to ask, and feel free to refuse, but if you could do an A/B mixdown (ITB and summed analog) that would be sweet!
Old 22nd March 2011
  #6
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TornadoTed's Avatar
I will happily do that.

It could be tricky finding something that isn't scheduled for commercial release that I can get permission for but I'm sure I can find something. It won't be for at least a week as I have an album to mix and am behind due to a chest infection.
Old 4th April 2011
  #7
Lives for gear
I'd be interested in hearing how it compares to ITB.

Btw, they do a 24 channel version, that has 8 stereo TRS inputs and 8 mono, which would add some flexibility.

Anyone know what these are inside? I know this company uses Neumann, Telefunken and Lawo parts etc.
Old 4th April 2011
  #8
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TornadoTed View Post
I have an album to mix and am behind due to a chest infection.
That's really gotta suck. Hope you get better soon Ted.
Old 11th May 2011
  #9
Here for the gear
Anyone else try this?
Old 14th July 2011
  #10
Gear interested
Bought a Little One 16 TRS and tried it out over the last few days. I am very happy with the results so far on my drum mixes. I am using it with Harrison Mixbus, BLA modified MOTU interfaces, and BLA Auteur Preamp. This combo has really improved my mixes. I am another satisfied customer of Vintagemaker Paul! I'll be placing my order for a powered summing mixer from him in the future that is for sure!
Old 7th August 2011
  #11
Gear Maniac
 
orpheus_'s Avatar
I'd be interested in an objective test here to see whether the output straight from the DAC, vs. the output from the passive summing mixer actually has any difference.

Metal film resistors don't tend to impart colour to the audio, and the crosstalk is rated at -90dB. From the specs: "There are no amplifiers, ICs, transistors, capacitors, or transformers in the signal path!"

So the electronic theory of this unit suggests it doesn't colour the sound, other than probably increasing cross-talk over many pro DACs (i.e. worse stereo separation).

Can anyone disprove the theory with an actual A/B test?
Old 12th December 2011
  #12
Gear interested
 
Lovem's Avatar
 

Little One 16

Well, One thing im kinda thinking, is how can you judge a mix when it's a MP3 or other compressed format
That said, I received my box from Paul about a month ago, I am in the middle of remixing the entire album, because his box sweetens the sound that much. But after Jan, I "should be done" if I am, I will post a link to a flac so folks can get a clue of the genius Paul is building for pennies on the pound.

Lovem
Old 12th December 2011
  #13
113568
Guest
I have a 16 channel Neumann summing mixer from vintagemaker that i got him to include a passive mode on. If you contact the guy direct rather then buy via ebay he can customise a unit with things like mono switches etc for a really good price. Ive only just finished (well almost finished really) cabling up my mixer into my patchbay so i dont have much experience of using it.

If anyone wants to give me stems to run straight through it then Id be happy to. I can do 8 stereo pairs or 6 stereo pairs and 4 mono inputs and Im running a steinberg mr816x with the adat out going to a moto 2408 mk2 then back into the steinberg. also running cubase 6
Old 12th December 2011
  #14
113568
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lovem View Post
Well, One thing im kinda thinking, is how can you judge a mix when it's a MP3 or other compressed format
I would say if the difference is so small that you cant spot it on a 320kbps mp3 then its probably not worth worrying about
Old 25th December 2011
  #15
Gear interested
 
Lovem's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinvanda View Post
I would say if the difference is so small that you cant spot it on a 320kbps mp3 then its probably not worth worrying about
Wow, and a semitone flat is not as noticeable as a full tone flat. So go ahead and tell your clients that, lol what studio do you work in? I would like to know so I can keep people from your place like the plague!!!!! LOL thanks, I needed a laugh
Old 28th December 2011
  #16
Gear interested
 

For those already using a LittleOne 16:

Do you run a mixer between your converter and the summing amp? I'm wondering about controlling levels and balance ITB, isn't this problematic since you can't keep all levels coming from your DAW at 0db?

Also I would appreciate seeing what you're using for make-up gain after the summing amp and whether you print back to DAW or record with a master recorder. I'm not interested in arguments for argument's sake, just curious what people are running.

Hoping to upgrade to an Apogee Ensemble soon. My budget is tight and this could happen sooner if the LittleOne 16 will work for me.
Old 29th December 2011
  #17
Gear Head
 
akaidai's Avatar
 

Samples of mix done via 1814>ADA8000>Kik/Snare(drawmer comp) and Vox(Behringer1952 tubeComp) at insert patch thru Ramsa4412 mixer>back to little One 16ch sumbox) finally mark up gain M audio DMP3 > Apogee Duet n capture in logic express 7.no mastering done yet...this is lo end summing done just for try out..files in mp3 320 and 192..what do you guys think..thanx
Attached Files

AmuMata192.mp3 (4.03 MB, 6086 views)

AmuMata320.mp3 (6.72 MB, 6226 views)

Old 25th March 2012
  #18
F-2
Gear interested
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lovem View Post
Wow, and a semitone flat is not as noticeable as a full tone flat. So go ahead and tell your clients that, lol what studio do you work in? I would like to know so I can keep people from your place like the plague!!!!! LOL thanks, I needed a laugh
+1 Vinvanda
If I you can't experience from a decent quality mp3 if a track is clearer, has more depth or whatever improved sonic quality, the difference is at least not relevant to the one listening to the music.

Maybe we could ask the people at iTunes to give listeners some background info on with what gear the track is mixed, so the listener can enjoy it better, or decide it's crap.. (some people might not really dig blue-ish compressors..)https://static.gearslutz.com/board/im...ilies/wink.gif
Old 26th March 2012
  #19
Gear maniac
 
iacntspell's Avatar
 

Total noob question, but could someone give me the scoop on why one would use this if you've got, say, a 16 pre interface and DAW?
Old 1st April 2012
  #20
Gear interested
 
Lovem's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by F-2 View Post
+1 Vinvanda
If I you can't experience from a decent quality mp3 if a track is clearer, has more depth or whatever improved sonic quality, the difference is at least not relevant to the one listening to the music.

Maybe we could ask the people at iTunes to give listeners some background info on with what gear the track is mixed, so the listener can enjoy it better, or decide it's crap.. (some people might not really dig blue-ish compressors..)https://static.gearslutz.com/board/im...ilies/wink.gif
Ha ha ha, Mooo says the herd
Old 3rd April 2012
  #21
Gear interested
 

pleasant surprise.. i understood the language

Quote:
Originally Posted by akaidai View Post
Samples of mix done via 1814>ADA8000>Kik/Snare(drawmer comp) and Vox(Behringer1952 tubeComp) at insert patch thru Ramsa4412 mixer>back to little One 16ch sumbox) finally mark up gain M audio DMP3 > Apogee Duet n capture in logic express 7.no mastering done yet...this is lo end summing done just for try out..files in mp3 320 and 192..what do you guys think..thanx
Old 6th May 2012
  #22
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by iacntspell View Post
Total noob question, but could someone give me the scoop on why one would use this if you've got, say, a 16 pre interface and DAW?
1. Analog summing characteristics

2. Ability to integrate outboard all at once and have latency free monitoring - in some DAWs it's difficult to run several hardware inserts simultaneously. Reaper for instance.

3. Less noise than using a mixer to sum.
Old 24th May 2012
  #23
Gear interested
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by iacntspell View Post
Total noob question, but could someone give me the scoop on why one would use this if you've got, say, a 16 pre interface and DAW?
IMHO this is largely a question of personal preference, most of us will not have analog gear that justifies its usage, or the other way around it only makes sense with the right gear.
Traditionally digital summing has the problem of the decrease of bit depth, which means if your signal uses 16bit to mask full volume, you will only have 12bits left at 70% of the volume. Since most instruments will not be at full volume in the mix you are loosing quality in the more silent parts. I said "traditionally" since usually modern audio engines will work at 64bit or at least 32bit internally, which leaves at least 24bit at 70% Volume. This should be enough since the (most likely) target format will be either CD or MP3 and their bit depth is lower than that, so you got to dither the output anyway (your DAW will do automatically). So the problem remains, but it isn't that problematic anymore. But still its a reason to think about.
So here comes analog summing, the old way, sound quality is a question of the parts in your signal path. The better the parts, the lesser their hum. Or you like their "errors" and say its "colouration", than its "vintage". But this is no joke, or a religious thing, it has good reasons of which some are just a "listening tradition". My points towards analog summing would be.
1.) All the music of my youth was mixed analog, and the ears is the finest sensor in the human body, my ears are conditioned to the analog mix. But this depends on what music you listened to. Most classic music is recorded digital since mid-eighties, so younger classic fans (who don't own vinyls) are very accustomed to the digital "cristal" sound. There is no good or evil in the answer.
2.) IF you got GOOD analog gear, you SHOULD USE IT. That's all for that point.
3.) Get around the bit depth decrease

For passive summing there are points to be mentioned, usually it is done if you don't want the analog gear colouration (since most of those boxes don't even have EQ's to colour the path a less as possible), but only to get around the bit depth thing, logically if you go directly out of your DAW and do all volume changes and panning (nothing but a change of volume!) "In-the-box" you will loose the afore mentioned bit-decrease salvation because this will happen anyway before you go out. If you understand the technical background you will understand that you need the change the volumes analog and not digital so you will have to put Pre-Amps before the summing box (between your outs and the ins of the box) or at least some kind of volume control, like the "Niche ACM".
In the first case it is not really passive summing, the second version is to be preferred because its more silent and won't colour your signal IMHO, but forget about that if you love the sound of your preamps. Again if you got good gear, use it

And a last point. If this box colours the sound in any way, i would be astounded since there shouldn't be anything in the signal path that allows that. I will try to get one on Ebay, i need it anyway, then i will hear for myself. I will state my experience afterwards.
Old 13th June 2012
  #24
Lives for gear
 
smoovemode's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Swen View Post
IMHO this is largely a question of personal preference, most of us will not have analog gear that justifies its usage, or the other way around it only makes sense with the right gear.
Traditionally digital summing has the problem of the decrease of bit depth, which means if your signal uses 16bit to mask full volume, you will only have 12bits left at 70% of the volume. Since most instruments will not be at full volume in the mix you are loosing quality in the more silent parts. I said "traditionally" since usually modern audio engines will work at 64bit or at least 32bit internally, which leaves at least 24bit at 70% Volume. This should be enough since the (most likely) target format will be either CD or MP3 and their bit depth is lower than that, so you got to dither the output anyway (your DAW will do automatically). So the problem remains, but it isn't that problematic anymore. But still its a reason to think about.
So here comes analog summing, the old way, sound quality is a question of the parts in your signal path. The better the parts, the lesser their hum. Or you like their "errors" and say its "colouration", than its "vintage". But this is no joke, or a religious thing, it has good reasons of which some are just a "listening tradition". My points towards analog summing would be.
1.) All the music of my youth was mixed analog, and the ears is the finest sensor in the human body, my ears are conditioned to the analog mix. But this depends on what music you listened to. Most classic music is recorded digital since mid-eighties, so younger classic fans (who don't own vinyls) are very accustomed to the digital "cristal" sound. There is no good or evil in the answer.
2.) IF you got GOOD analog gear, you SHOULD USE IT. That's all for that point.
3.) Get around the bit depth decrease

For passive summing there are points to be mentioned, usually it is done if you don't want the analog gear colouration (since most of those boxes don't even have EQ's to colour the path a less as possible), but only to get around the bit depth thing, logically if you go directly out of your DAW and do all volume changes and panning (nothing but a change of volume!) "In-the-box" you will loose the afore mentioned bit-decrease salvation because this will happen anyway before you go out. If you understand the technical background you will understand that you need the change the volumes analog and not digital so you will have to put Pre-Amps before the summing box (between your outs and the ins of the box) or at least some kind of volume control, like the "Niche ACM".
In the first case it is not really passive summing, the second version is to be preferred because its more silent and won't colour your signal IMHO, but forget about that if you love the sound of your preamps. Again if you got good gear, use it

And a last point. If this box colours the sound in any way, i would be astounded since there shouldn't be anything in the signal path that allows that. I will try to get one on Ebay, i need it anyway, then i will hear for myself. I will state my experience afterwards.
Swen, Did you get a chance to try the 'little one" out?
Old 22nd October 2012
  #25
Gear Maniac
 

Hello
I'm interested in this product. any other experience to share?

thank you
Old 6th January 2013
  #26
Gear Addict
 

Sorry for the newbie questions, but I just came across this too, Little One 16.

I use a DAW and a MOTU 828mk2 so have 8 analog outs if I need..

Can I run 8 analog outs from the MOTU into the Little One 16, and 2-Chn back into the DAW?

Would this give some analog warmth and seperation?

I'm also not sure how the headroom and extra gain works without any knobs on the unit itself?

The only other hardware I have apart from the MOTU is a standard 2 chn compressor which I sometimes put on the master for some glue.

Would this benefit me for a analog sound from my DAW?

Hope Ivr understood this unit correctly?
Old 7th January 2013
  #27
Gear Maniac
 
orpheus_'s Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yummerz View Post
1. Analog summing characteristics

2. Ability to integrate outboard all at once and have latency free monitoring - in some DAWs it's difficult to run several hardware inserts simultaneously. Reaper for instance.

3. Less noise than using a mixer to sum.
From a convenience and flexibility point of view it offers more routing options.

From a sound point of view, as the manufacturer says "The LittleOne has an extremely simple, Discrete, pure, and transparent signal path" ... It does nothing to the sound, at -90 dB I would argue it's imperceptible with any signal playing. As the manufacturer says.

The advantage or disadvantage (because you have to do it) is you must use a preamp on the main out.
Old 19th January 2013
  #28
Here for the gear
 
robstrobe's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by OddBall Audio View Post
I know, I know, another low budget summing thread...

Here's a link to the unit in question:
LittleOne 16 - Passive Summing Mixer 16x2

It's about $300 on ebay (+plus $30 shipping from Hungary)

This is a small simple summing mixer with DB25 inputs and 1/4" outputs. It mentions "Selected 0,1% WISHAY DALE military metal-film resistors".

Other than that I'm just looking to see if anyone has experience with it. being that it doesn't have any switches like the Folcrom you are limited to sending 8 stereo stems to it instead of being able to choose to send certain mono things to it. I wonder if this is a down fall that makes the Folcrom worth twice as much.

Any opinions are appreciated.
Hey mates,

while searching a warm analogue summing device, a neighbour from the studio facility where my control room is located at, advised me to check "vintage maker" on ebay...was like..."rob, didn't you search like an affordable & intense warm sounding summing device?" and showed me the pictures & models.

Cool, retro design combined with a super low rate for a full handcrafted device with handpicked parts.

Paul, the master of desaster, had some items on ebay for direct buy, so i decided to give those little ones a try and picked the
"little one- 16x2/4 Mono/Balanced".

After having trouble & drama with the payment on ebay, i sent paul the cash directly on his bankaccount and after 3 days (including the weekend) of waiting my paket arrived, carefully and safe packed.

After hooking up the device to my RME fireface 800, i was really impressed by the warmth of the lower frequencies and how separated and touchable warm the full roughmix got. I didn´t touch anything, just send them out!!!

I recorded this testrun as stereofile and bounced it out of the daw & compared it on some different systems. Another mix is done in the meanwhile on 2 Mono-Outs and 2 Stereo-Outs, the transpareny of the sound goes now even deeper into soundspectre & the stereo panorama is more defined.
Compared to the ITB-Mix, I get the impression it gets more audible stereo positions. Especially when you think of full pan positions or just right out of the middle. They are now represented clearly defined, not just somewhere...

If anyone likes, i can upload some soundfiles to give you an idea...if you have any questions, please feel free to ask...

Cheers Rob

...ps...the make up gain is done in my case with an old joe meek compressor...which sounds awesome wide, warm & open...

Last edited by robstrobe; 19th January 2013 at 12:04 PM.. Reason: ...getting old...forgot a sentence...
Old 19th January 2013
  #29
Gear Maniac
 
heyokay's Avatar
I was interested in one a while ago for some transformer saturation, but then I read how it's a really discrete box, and wouldn't colour your signal too much.

It'd be great to hear an a/b of before and after, would it be too much of a pain in the bum for you to upload an example of two, robstrobe?
Old 19th January 2013
  #30
Hobbs_Won
Guest
for 2 channels???

Why not just buy a pair of inline pads or DI box for attenuation??? for like 1/8 of the price.
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