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Summing
Old 1st March 2009
  #1
Lives for gear
 
DirkB's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
analoge summing and protools automation

Hi Tony,

Great to have you hear.
From one of your other posts it seems you are mixing in a "hybrid" way - doing some mixing in ProTools and then summing analog.

A couple of questions:
- do you insert analog compressors just before the analog summing? And if so, how do you deal with automation. E.g. if you put a distressor on the vocal and still want to automate, how do you do that?
- how many AD/DA cycles could their be on a typical track? Is there only one DA and then the summing or (as an answer to the question above) do you go DA/AD for processing and then again DA for the summing?

Greetings,
Dirk
Old 1st March 2009
  #2
Gear interested
 

Summing

Hi Tony

You mentioned Summing do you use several summing mixers at the same time?

do you go back from summing mixer into the box and put a comp and limiter on the master bus or do you use outboard comp and limiter straight from the summing mixer

your mixing make me cry by the way and while the tears stream down my face in between the saliva dripping from my mouth I say "How does Tony do it!" then i get on my knees look to the sky and scream "Whhhhyyyyy!!!!"

Ryan
Old 1st March 2009
  #3
Gear Nut
 

Bottom End + Summing

Hi Tony,

Glad that you could be here and share some of your knowledge with us!

I think your ITB/OTB hyrbid setup is something we are all probably interested in.

You mentioned summing your mixes with Chandler, Neve, and Dangerous. Could you explain a bit of the process in which you use and choose these and why? Do usually use them all together to achieve some different colors?

And when your running into the different units that you're using for summing are you trying to saturate or kind of push the ceilings on anything? for color or for level?

And after that just back to the a/d? or tape?

Would love to know more, your stuff sounds great man!

thanks
cheers,
dan
Old 1st March 2009
  #4
Gear Nut
 

Summing

Hi Tony,

Glad that you could be here and share some of your knowledge with us!

I think your ITB/OTB hyrbid setup is something we are all probably interested in.

You mentioned summing your mixes with Chandler, Neve, and Dangerous. Could you explain a bit of the process in which you use and choose these and why? Do usually use them all together to achieve some different colors?

And when your running into the different units that you're using for summing are you trying to saturate or kind of push the ceilings on anything? for color or for level?

And after that just back to the a/d? or tape?

Would love to know more, your stuff sounds great man!

thanks
cheers,
dan
Old 3rd March 2009
  #5
Lives for gear
 
h4nc0's Avatar
What's your opinion on digital summing?

Hey Tony,

Thanks for sharing great information with us. I've been reading some of your comments and saw this:

I had a teacher back at Berklee; Robyn Cox Yeldham, who was adamant about us learning subtractive eq'ing. It took me many years to grasp the concept, but it works on so many levels... especially in our finite-headroom-digital world.

Do you believe that there is a problem with digital summing? I have always understood that the difference between analog and digital summing is that the inaccuracy of analog gears gives harmonic distortion that sounds more "pleasant" to our ears, and that there is no problem with digital summing. (as long as it's floating-point based but I also wonder if Protools summing suffers because it's fixed-point) But lately, I have been hearing that some professionals believe otherwise.

Thanks.
Old 5th March 2009
  #6
Here is a bunch of summing questions - summed together for ya
Old 6th March 2009
  #7
Gear Head
 
Tony Maserati's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DirkB View Post
Hi Tony,

Great to have you hear.
From one of your other posts it seems you are mixing in a "hybrid" way - doing some mixing in ProTools and then summing analog.

A couple of questions:
- do you insert analog compressors just before the analog summing? And if so, how do you deal with automation. E.g. if you put a distressor on the vocal and still want to automate, how do you do that?
- how many AD/DA cycles could their be on a typical track? Is there only one DA and then the summing or (as an answer to the question above) do you go DA/AD for processing and then again DA for the summing?

Greetings,
Dirk

Hey Dirk,
Lets start with summing analog and where it goes from there...
1. I take 'blended' outputs from Tools into the Chandler.

out1/2>Drums, out 3>kik, out 4>snr, out 5/6>Pno/rhodes/wurli, out 7/8>Guitars, out 9>Bass, out 11>LeadVox, out 12>Lead Adlib, out 13/14>BGVs, out 17/18>MoreBGVs, out 19/20>Synths or more Keys, out 21/22>Strings, out 23/24>Extra, out 29/30>Internal FX,

I have a bunch of channels of Hardware Inserts which are patched permanently, so I can select an outboard comp or eq and it'll show up Pre-Fader in Tools. So there is an extra step of D/A-A/D happening only on Pro-Tools tracks I choose to put a plug-in on.

On my Neve console (outputs 41-48 from Tools) I have inserts (including the board eq) patched permanently. This way I can choose the summing based on the Sonic Quality of the outboard insert.

Everything from the Neve and Dangerous 2Bus gets brought into the Chandler inputs 15/16.

The Chandler output goes straight to my Pendulum ES8 for mild compression and then into the Lavry 4496 and digitally back into Tools.

Everything is locked via the Big Ben clock.

I'll get back to this tomorrow night if that's okay...

Thanks,
t
Old 6th March 2009
  #8
Gear Head
 
Tony Maserati's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by h4nc0 View Post
Hey Tony,

Thanks for sharing great information with us. I've been reading some of your comments and saw this:

I had a teacher back at Berklee; Robyn Cox Yeldham, who was adamant about us learning subtractive eq'ing. It took me many years to grasp the concept, but it works on so many levels... especially in our finite-headroom-digital world.

Do you believe that there is a problem with digital summing? I have always understood that the difference between analog and digital summing is that the inaccuracy of analog gears gives harmonic distortion that sounds more "pleasant" to our ears, and that there is no problem with digital summing. (as long as it's floating-point based but I also wonder if Protools summing suffers because it's fixed-point) But lately, I have been hearing that some professionals believe otherwise.

Thanks.

I don't acually feel there's a problem with digital summing. My set-up is Hybrid because it works for me and where I'm from historically and creatively. My ears like and allow me to do my job better when I use analog summing. So I do. I haven't spent a bunch of time doing all digital summing, but when I've got a ton of tracks my mind can organize it based on the analog summing concepts I've learned. In the digital domain, I have less experience. And because time isn't something I have a lot of, I chose to teach myself the Hybrid method because it coalesced easily with my previous Big Board method of mixing.

All that being said, I did a bunch of a/b tests with different summing boxes as well as an SSL J9k. We included in the test a straight internal bounce of the same mix. What we found was; if you pay attention to gain structure, the best mixers all perform great and do what they were designed to do. The ones that sucked aren't worth dealing with. But among the best, Chandler, Dangerous, Neve, SSL, AND internal bounce, all sounded similar (only subtle differences based on electronic designs ect... But the key seemed to be payiing close attention to internal gain structure as well as outboard (analog) gain structure. This allowed the equipment (digital or analog) to work at it's best, giving the mix fullness, depth and width.

Regarding the floating point verses 64bit double percision... hum.. prob the same differences I heard when I plugged in my Apogee converters. Yep, there's a difference, can you make it work to your benefit and is it worth the price of hardware, or of learning a new way of working... that's up to the individual.

see ya later,
t
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