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anyone considering mastering going out via summing mixer
Old 12th December 2005
  #1
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anyone considering mastering going out via summing mixer

i am tracking/producing a project in which i may invest in a summing mixer (eg., a nicerizer or...) when it's time to do the final mixes. my major hesitation with getting into the whole summing arena is the extra conversions. and the fact that likely in mastering there will be yet 2 more conversions with analog elements in the mastering chain. which has me thinking... does it have to be this way? what about taking the DAW and Nicerizer to the mastering house and mastering off that. 2 less conversions, no? curious... anyone doing this as a matter of course?
Old 12th December 2005
  #2
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Jose Mrochek's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by spherop
i am tracking/producing a project in which i may invest in a summing mixer (eg., a nicerizer or...) when it's time to do the final mixes. my major hesitation with getting into the whole summing arena is the extra conversions. and the fact that likely in mastering there will be yet 2 more conversions with analog elements in the mastering chain. which has me thinking... does it have to be this way? what about taking the DAW and Nicerizer to the mastering house and mastering off that. 2 less conversions, no? curious... anyone doing this as a matter of course?
I also thought about this. Wondered if Mastering engineers will eventually have a daw to sum. But.... as I understand, when going through a summing device vs. the in the box sum.. levels could change. So you would theoretically be mixing on the mastering engineers time?? Please correct me if I´m wrong ??
Old 12th December 2005
  #3
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Verified Member
Occasionally a client will bring in a stand alone like a VS-1880 or Yamaha box ... so the notion of a DAW and a summing box is not that much more complicated.
Old 12th December 2005
  #4
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Certainly each summing box seems to have its subtle character which would make the mix different. Was it Greg Calbi at Sterling who has a summing box installed?

One thing that would be overlooked by bringing your own DAW + summer to the mastering session would be that you would not be using the mastering engineers extremely fine D-A convertor to get into the analog realm. IMHO its the super high-end D-As that allow the trip into analog and back to be really worth it. I know some MEs have 8 channel D-As but most only have stereo...

Best,
Silas
Old 12th December 2005
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Legacy
Certainly each summing box seems to have its subtle character which would make the mix different. Was it Greg Calbi at Sterling who has a summing box installed?
I have one here ... and it makes little sense to use as it will effect a mix dramaically (that's the point after all!) A mixer using external summing is mixing for his box, not just any box, or not just to add something. It's like mixing through a compressor.

Quote:
One thing that would be overlooked by bringing your own DAW + summer to the mastering session would be that you would not be using the mastering engineers extremely fine D-A convertor to get into the analog realm. IMHO its the super high-end D-As that allow the trip into analog and back to be really worth it. I know some MEs have 8 channel D-As but most only have stereo...
Yet to not have to use the DA is better than 2 additional passes of conversion (AD at mixing, DA at mastering) ... that's the point in bringing it in. You go to mastering for everything except the DA ... that's just a necessity to start the process.
Old 12th December 2005
  #6
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Quote:
Yet to not have to use the DA is better than 2 additional passes of conversion (AD at mixing, DA at mastering) ... that's the point in bringing it in.

Thanks Brian,

Not sure why I didn't catch that when I first read Spherop's post...

-S
Old 12th December 2005
  #7
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yeah, to clarify, i am only thinking of this concept wherein the DAW and summing mixer are brought in by the client - ie., not the ME having the summing mixer.

and like any summing scenario it would depend on using very high quality DA - eg., apogee 16x.

just seems to me - if i am going to mix the "summing" way - i am doing a useless A/D - if I am bringing mixes in as files, to then be D/A'd back to analog, and then be A/D'd yet again for duplication. the rig would not be too hard to lug in (daw/da/summer).
Old 12th December 2005
  #8
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GYang's Avatar
My formula is clearly DAD.
Digital tracking (almost no digital processing), anlaogue summing and processing, digital mastering.

Despite many opinions on importance of mastering stage, I try hard to master my skills to reach maximum during pre-mastering phase almost without digital processing (except reverbs and speciall effects of course), so mastering is merely very slight EQ-ing, even slighter compression and level matching betwen songs.
And all of that done subtly in digital domain (no conversions), just couple of Weiss processors and M 6000 mastering version.
Due to heavy use of analogue processing before mastering, I found that fully digital mastering (at top level equipment) is far better solution and no lost of 3D and resolution occurs.
Old 12th December 2005
  #9
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jayfrigo's Avatar
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by spherop
yeah, to clarify, i am only thinking of this concept wherein the DAW and summing mixer are brought in by the client - ie., not the ME having the summing mixer.
I've had a few sessions where the client brings their DAW (and summing mixer if they wish). It offers them a chance to fine tune things if they want, and does get us one step closer to the original mix. It does take a little extra time at the beginning to set up, and of course you should make sure the mastering engineer knows you are bringing it in.

I wouldn't want to rely on mastering engineers to have a DAW and summing mixer because at that point you have to worry about having the same DAW, the same version, the same plug-ins etc, and it's never as easy as the "plug-and-play" advertising would have you believe. And if you haven't heard your mix through the summing mixer yet, you may have tweaks to make, and you'll essentially be mixing at the mastering studio while on the clock. Not efficient or cost effective, and interrupts the session flow. I think you should get the mixing done before you get to mastering, but if you want the DAW there to save a generation and facilitate emergency changes, that's fine. It should be your DAW, in my opinion, as anything else would add too much unpredictability.
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