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Analog summing: bussed or individual tracks Summing Mixers
Old 12th July 2018
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Analog summing: bussed or individual tracks

I'm going to be using the Dangerous 2-Bus, and my understanding is that it takes 16 mono inputs (or 8 stereo ins) and sums them, through an analog process, to 2 tracks, which you then bring back into your DAW. That all makes sense to me. But I get a little confused about workflow.

In the DAW, I typically digitally sum a number of different things: the various drums into a stereo drum bus, the 2 bass tracks into a mono bass bus, the guitars into a stereo guitar bus, etc. Am I correct in understanding that there's no way to accomplish that type of summing (as opposed to the 2-bus summing that the Dangerous unit does) in an analog, rather than digital fashion, without using multiple summing boxes?

In other words, is it correct that if I wanted to analog sum, say, my drums to a drum bus, I would need a separate analog sum box for that?

Not that I'm going to go to that level of complexity or expense any time soon, but if that's true, would there be any meaningful benefit in having several summing boxes, for example one that sums the drums, one that sums the guitars, maybe another the sums the vocals, and then sending those summed stereo tracks, along with a few others straight from the daw, into another analog summer that then goes back into the DAW for the final print track?
Old 12th July 2018
  #2
Gear Nut
 

In this context it's best to sum your drum group in the box and then send that to say input 1/2 of the dangerous, your bass bus to input 3, guitars to 5/6 etc, if your going to parallel compress anything you could send that to another input also, for example, dry drums input 1/2 and compressed drums 3/4, or dry bass input 3 and compressed bass input 4. Then you mix those stems on the dangerous. With a full track you can easily eat up all 16 inputs of the dangerous, dry drum 1/2, compressed drum 3/4, bass 5, acoustic 7/8, electric 9/10, piano or keys 11/12, vocals 13/14, vocal efx 15/16, or something similar
Of course there are also mixing consoles which have multiple busses. For example a 24x8x2 desk will have 24 channels assignable to 8 buses or the the master bus, the 8 busses will also be assignable to the master bus. So in this scenario you would sum your drums to bus 1/2, your bass to 3, guitars to 5/6 etc, and then assign those buses to the master bus, IF this is how you want to mix (I'm a big fan, but I was taught on large format analog consoles and tape machines).
Old 12th July 2018
  #3
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Notanothersteve View Post
In this context it's best to sum your drum group in the box and then send that to say input 1/2 of the dangerous, your bass bus to input 3, guitars to 5/6 etc, if your going to parallel compress anything you could send that to another input also, for example, dry drums input 1/2 and compressed drums 3/4, or dry bass input 3 and compressed bass input 4.
Of course there are also mixing consoles which have multiple busses. For example a 24x8x2 desk will have 24 channels assignable to 8 buses or the the master bus, the 8 busses will also be assignable to the master bus. So in this scenario you would sum your drums to bus 1/2, your bass to 3, guitars to 5/6 etc, and then assign those buses to the master bus, IF this is how you want to mix (I'm a big fan, but I was taught on large format analog consoles and tape machines).
Probably a very stupid question, but when you say mixing console, you mean something like a big SSL desk or the like? Obviously it doesn’t have to be that large, but something big that’s not in a rack, but is a giant mixer, with faders and knobs etc?
Old 13th July 2018
  #4
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by franktree View Post
is it correct that if I wanted to analog sum, say, my drums to a drum bus, I would need a separate analog sum box for that?
Like Steve said, if you're going to use summing boxes then 'yes', you'd need one for each stereo-bus-sum, unless someone manufactures a summing box with more than a single sum.

Quote:
Originally Posted by franktree View Post
if that's true, would there be any meaningful benefit in having several summing boxes
Well, all a summing box is is a box that contains a circuit that sums a bunch of signals to stereo (or more). That's what a mixer does. So as Steve pointed out you could also get a mixer.

I guess the real fundamental question is what the sonic advantages are of summing analog (and by god are there threads on analog vs. digital.... just search). The way I see it at some point you're going to be spending quite a bit of money to make this all work, and at some point there are diminishing returns.

I mean, if it's analog you're after, rather than buying enough boxes to sum to say 8 sub mixes plus one master sum, why not just buy a mixer at that point?

And what about practicality? It's not necessarily all that convenient to run through analog all the time.

And lastly: Are you sure you can both hear a difference consistently and know that the analog-summed signal sounds better? (...and actually that analog sum of 16 or 32 channels sounds better than just 8)….
Old 13th July 2018
  #5
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by franktree View Post
Probably a very stupid question, but when you say mixing console, you mean something like a big SSL desk or the like? Obviously it doesn’t have to be that large, but something big that’s not in a rack, but is a giant mixer, with faders and knobs etc?
Not a stupid question at all. Yes I am talking about large AND MEDIUM format consoles!

Some of the mackie and allen & heath stuff is fairly small and light (think less than 1 meter by .5 meters, and under 40 or 50 pounds) and SOME are even rack mountable!

And if I could like mattias' post more than once I would, spot on information as always.

Last edited by Notanothersteve; 13th July 2018 at 01:45 AM.. Reason: Things and stuff
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