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The Right Summing Mixer? Summing Mixers
Old 20th April 2017
  #1
Gear Head
 

The Right Summing Mixer?

Okay so I have a budget of $2000-3000

Looking for 16 channels of stereo tracks in a summing mixer, but a summing mixer with vibe and body. So far ive been scratching my head on the Burl B32, Coleman RED48 and A Design Mix Factory even though it's 16 mono.

I don't really care for the transformers on the stereo outputs because I have some units that have transformers in them that can give me the desired glue I need and more. Just really looking for which box will has the most vibe and body without the transformers, but have a good overall sound in general of 3D.
Old 21st April 2017
  #2
Gear Head
 

Umm anyone?
Old 21st April 2017
  #3
Deleted User
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Sounds like you need a Folcrom!
Old 21st April 2017
  #4
Here for the gear
 

spl mix dream
Old 22nd April 2017
  #5
Gear Head
 

The Folcrom looks nice, is there any sound demos here on GS? The mix dream sounds nice heard a shootout on YouTube. I believe this is what you call transparent, they don't add no color but they just spread everything out and enhance the details of the instruments? That's pretty much what I'm looking for, but which ever one will sound the most clearest (In clarity)?
Old 22nd April 2017
  #6
Deleted User
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There are Folcrom demos floating around. You literally can't get cleaner and more spread out...then it just depends on your choice of makeup gain.
Old 22nd April 2017
  #7
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Mr.HOLMES's Avatar
Gives you what you are looking for without the hassle of summing seperate tracks, what counts.... the sonics are the same in the end of the process.
It feels and sounds like mixing on a console...

I dont use dr bills one I missuse an 1073 stero clone.
But I would use the silver bullet if the 1073 would not be already there.
Very clever layout by drbill....

https://store.louderthanliftoff.com/...tereo-tone-amp
Old 22nd April 2017
  #8
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.HOLMES View Post
Gives you what you are looking for without the hassle of summing seperate tracks, what counts.... the sonics are the same in the end of the process.
It feels and sounds like mixing on a console...

I dont use dr bills one I missuse an 1073 stero clone.
But I would use the silver bullet if the 1073 would not be already there.
Very clever layout by drbill....

https://store.louderthanliftoff.com/...tereo-tone-amp
Dude...That thing is nice! I just listened to all the audio clips and researched it, and found this "Mix: process the 2-bus, bounce digitally recorded tracks and stems, combine with a DAW controlled summing system, or use with a passive summing in Folcrom™ mode."

I might just get this and the Folcrom and call it a day! This thing alone is ridiculously amazing...Thanks alot guys
Old 22nd April 2017
  #9
Lives for gear
Go with a vintage maker. Great guy with fantastic sounding summing mixers at a very reasonable cost. You can get an many channels and options you want. You could get one larger or more featured than what I have posted for under $3k.

But here is the cool part. He builds each unit to order, you can layout the panel as you like, and get whatever options and channel counts you want. He asked if I wanted a red or blue power LED. I went blue.

I went for a 24 channel summer. The configuration I went for was:
24 in (3XDB25), 3 pairs (6 XLR) of the same out. Active passive switch w/ Neumann 475 make up gain when active. For each group of 8 in's the first four can switch to mono from stereo. I end up with either 12 mono and 6 stereo, or 12 stereo channels, or anywhere between. Any pair of channels can be switched off. In passive mode, you can use any of your other preamps as make up gain.

What makes this work is the summing matrix only has center, right, and left. The stereo imaging is fantastic.

You can have as many features you want at real low cost for ultimate quality, but no pan knobs.

Since stereo panning in digital is one only aspects of digital audio I prefer over analog, I don't mind the panning issues to be inside the DAW.

Vintage Summing Mixer Amplifier Neumann v475 Filtek Lawo Vintage Maker - Vintage Design
Attached Thumbnails
The Right Summing Mixer?-sum1.jpg   The Right Summing Mixer?-sum2.jpg   The Right Summing Mixer?-sum3.jpg   The Right Summing Mixer?-sum4.jpg  
Old 22nd April 2017
  #10
Lives for gear
Waste of money IMO. Just get a nice analog tape emulator, or better yet a real tape machine, like an ampex 440, for $1500 or less. The only reason to get an analog summer is if you have a bunch of analog outboard that you are sending tracks to. For vibe, real tape, or just your favorite color box on the stereo output from digital is just as good as summing all tracks. And I have a neve 8816 . It's a great mixer, but I use it with tape. For digital, just running the stereo signal through a couple of my neve clone pres is just as good.
Old 22nd April 2017
  #11
Of course everyone's experience is different.

Bought a second hand Vintage Maker with the Lawo card after I got rid of a Burl B32 last year because I needed money and couldn't be happier with my Lawo.
If there's one thing I wouldn't want to mix without is a summing mixer. It just makes my life 10 times easier.
In fact except a Vintage Maker summing mixer and my trusty Burl B2 to capture the mix, all my processing is digital.

Tried the Silver Bullet and, although a good quality piece of gear, didn't cut it for me.

Tried sending mixes to some pres (neve 4081, brent Averill Neve 1272, Avedis MA5 and MD7) and I liked it better than the SB but still I was missing something.

Summing just does it for me. Probably because I'm used to it, I'm not sure. But it gives me that something I can't achieve when working completely ITB.

Cheers
Andy

Last edited by andyisdead; 22nd April 2017 at 10:18 AM.. Reason: typo
Old 22nd April 2017
  #12
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Speck electronics via Fader.

Cheers
Old 22nd April 2017
  #13
Deleted User
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unfiltered420 View Post
Waste of money IMO. Just get a nice analog tape emulator, or better yet a real tape machine, like an ampex 440, for $1500 or less. The only reason to get an analog summer is if you have a bunch of analog outboard that you are sending tracks to. For vibe, real tape, or just your favorite color box on the stereo output from digital is just as good as summing all tracks. And I have a neve 8816 . It's a great mixer, but I use it with tape. For digital, just running the stereo signal through a couple of my neve clone pres is just as good.
So wrong.
Old 22nd April 2017
  #14
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BradM's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.HOLMES View Post
I dont use dr bills one I missuse an 1073 stero clone.
But I would use the silver bullet if the 1073 would not be already there.
Very clever layout by drbill....
Hey, what about that other guy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by andyisdead View Post
Of course everyone's experience is different.

Tried the Silver Bullet and, although a good quality piece of gear, didn't cut it for me.
Hi Andy! Thanks again for giving the Silver Bullet an audition in your studio. I greatly appreciated all the excellent feedback you shared with me. I agree - we all have different needs, workflows, and aesthetic preferences. Sometimes we have a very specific sound in our head and we just have to keep after it until we nail it. Sometimes that means some decent gear just doesn't make the cut. I experience this in my own studio as well. I'm always trying to improve the gear I make so I welcome any and all constructive criticism, especially from cool folks willing to give my products a chance.

On a semi-related noted, I've got this Dangerous 2-Bus+ box sitting here that I've been meaning to shoot out with the Silver Bullet. At some point I'll find the time to do some comparisons and make some sound clips. I think a lot of what summing boxes bring to the party for people is not the summing, but the tasty analog gain blocks that sit at the front of back end of the combining circuits.

cheers,
Brad
Old 22nd April 2017
  #15
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Wiggy Neve Slut's Avatar
 

I've considered going down this route as an interim measure before diving into a big build and console purchase. Of those around the Tonelux is the one that meets my needs most and is pretty decently priced given its heritage.

Any users here?

Wiggy
Old 22nd April 2017
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted User View Post
So wrong.
Touche. Can't argue with such bulletproof logic.
Old 22nd April 2017
  #17
Deleted User
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unfiltered420 View Post
Touche. Can't argue with such bulletproof logic.
Summing via a 16 channel Folcrom mix with zero outboard on any channels sounds much better than the exact same mix summed ITB and spit out onto 2 Folcrom channels. Despite what Brad and Dr Bill tell their prospective customers.
Old 22nd April 2017
  #18
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Originally Posted by Deleted User View Post
Summing via a 16 channel Folcrom mix with zero outboard on any channels sounds much better than the exact same mix summed ITB and spit out onto 2 Folcrom channels. Despite what Brad and Dr Bill tell their prospective customers.

"Better", huh? On every mix? Perhaps by placebo effect. Which is nothing to scoff at, the placebo effect has known properties to actually heal people physically. But that's an expensive placebo box. Maybe just buy some spirit crystals for your cable connectors.
Old 22nd April 2017
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unfiltered420 View Post
"Better", huh? On every mix? Perhaps by placebo effect. Which is nothing to scoff at, the placebo effect has known properties to actually heal people physically. But that's an expensive placebo box. Maybe just buy some spirit crystals for your cable connectors.
Better on every mix if you desire the analog summing sound. If you don't desire it, and prefer a flat congested 2 dimensional sound that stays digital and cleaner and harder, then that's a valid artistic choice especially for some genres.

No placebo, easy to quickly A/B the two and pick them blind.
Old 22nd April 2017
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted User View Post
Better on every mix if you desire the analog summing sound. If you don't desire it, and prefer a flat congested 2 dimensional sound that stays digital and cleaner and harder, then that's a valid artistic choice especially for some genres.

No placebo, easy to quickly A/B the two and pick them blind.
Ah, the old "analog summing sound" we are all so familiar with, haha. I'm sure you listen to every piece of music and can tell exactly what is summed digitally or not.

And there are no 3d digital mixes of course, all just flat and congested. Dude, you are in a profound cloud of mythology. That cloud may make you a better engineer, who knows, but that doesn't negate the myths.
Old 22nd April 2017
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unfiltered420 View Post
Ah, the old "analog summing sound" we are all so familiar with, haha. I'm sure you listen to every piece of music and can tell exactly what is summed digitally or not.

And there are no 3d digital mixes of course, all just flat and congested. Dude, you are in a profound cloud of mythology. That cloud may make you a better engineer, who knows, but that doesn't negate the myths.
Thanks for your contribution to this thread and Gearslutz.
Old 22nd April 2017
  #22
otb
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by unfiltered420 View Post
"Better", huh? On every mix? Perhaps by placebo effect. Which is nothing to scoff at, the placebo effect has known properties to actually heal people physically. But that's an expensive placebo box. Maybe just buy some spirit crystals for your cable connectors.
summing is really all about non-linear summing. Try the waves demo. Consoles have a 'space', (sort of like a how a reverb has a space), I refer to this effect as a 'sound stage', and waves plugin captures this space, - much like how as good IR of a plate gets a plate sound. And IR's are usable to me, but not quite the real thing. Best for demos.

But where the waves plugin really fails is the distortion. Digital overdrive is great for extra heavy overdrive (rock/leads), but its terrible for "clean, with a slight kiss of , uh ...spankiness?". This is why analog summing is the way to go. Think of it like a fender amp set to clean, but when you crank it it gets a magic very slightly overdriving thing happening. Guitarists try tons of different amps looking for the exact way this mild overdrive happens. Why should recording engineers ever be less discerning? And it makes sense analog would be better for this nuanced sound: this is a very mild distortion we are looking for, plugins just aren't there. Think about how many samples it would take to recreate all those harmonics? I personally don't think there's enough samples per waveform to fake it.

Other thing is with analog you are monitoring through the summing mixer while you record and mix. Always listening through those two independent analog channels, with transformers, being pushed just below the threshold of distortion. Until you put too much into the mix and it starts to mud up, you back off the gain and get some clean sound back. But you can solo a mono track and it will still have that stereo non-linear goodness happening. This means each track, even if mono, is actually stereo, as a result of how hard you are driving the summing bus. Imagine two fender amps side by side, playing the same sound, then cranking them into to slight overdrive. Yes its THAT GOOD.
Old 22nd April 2017
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by otb View Post
summing is really all about non-linear summing. Try the waves demo. Consoles have a 'space', (sort of like a how a reverb has a space), I refer to this effect as a 'sound stage', and waves plugin captures this space, - much like how as good IR of a plate gets a plate sound. And IR's are usable to me, but not quite the real thing. Best for demos.

But where the waves plugin really fails is the distortion. Digital overdrive is great for extra heavy overdrive (rock/leads), but its terrible for "clean, with a slight kiss of , uh ...spankiness?". This is why analog summing is the way to go. Think of it like a fender amp set to clean, but when you crank it it gets a magic very slightly overdriving thing happening. Guitarists try tons of different amps looking for the exact way this mild overdrive happens. Why should recording engineers ever be less discerning? And it makes sense analog would be better for this nuanced sound: this is a very mild distortion we are looking for, plugins just aren't there. Think about how many samples it would take to recreate all those harmonics? I personally don't think there's enough samples per waveform to fake it.

Other thing is with analog you are monitoring through the summing mixer while you record and mix. Always listening through those two independent analog channels, with transformers, being pushed just below the threshold of distortion. Until you put too much into the mix and it starts to mud up, you back off the gain and get some clean sound back. But you can solo a mono track and it will still have that stereo non-linear goodness happening. This means each track, even if mono, is actually stereo, as a result of how hard you are driving the summing bus. Imagine two fender amps side by side, playing the same sound, then cranking them into to slight overdrive. Yes its THAT GOOD.
I have a Neve 8816 summing box, and have heard many others. Of course it sounds good, but using a stereo channel of your favorite analog boxes does the exact same thing. There is nothing magical about summing itself. It's just a tool, but this is gearslutz where every benign part of the signal chain is fetishized to the nth degree. Why not just put some non-linear transformers on each cable connector as well? You don't want that boring flat congested sound of the clean cable connectors, do you?

" I personally don't think there's enough samples per waveform to fake it." It doesn't matter what you personally believe or experience when we are talking about scientific claims, that's all subject to bias. My bias is in the direction of analog. My studio is all analog from start to finish, I even have an analog reverb. But unfortunately for me, digital has been proven to be indistinguishable in blind tests, whic h is all that matters. You think i want to accept that a plug in is just as good as my hardware massive passive? But I am forced to, because i care about what's true. But, like I mentioned earlier, placebo effect is much stronger and much more influential than almost anyone knows, particularly when it comes to things involving sound or taste, or anything subjective. So if it's your belief that 192 thousand samples a second is not enough, and that only analog will do the job, and it inspires you, go for it. But the science proves otherwise.

Last edited by unfiltered420; 22nd April 2017 at 08:42 PM..
Old 22nd April 2017
  #24
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Originally Posted by Deleted User View Post
Thanks for your contribution to this thread and Gearslutz.
No problem. Always happy to debunk myths and misconceptions.
Old 22nd April 2017
  #25
otb
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by unfiltered420 View Post
I have a Neve 8816 summing box, and have heard many others. Of course it sounds good, but using a stereo channel of your favorite analog boxes does the exact same thing. There is nothing magical about summing itself. It's just a tool, but this is gearslutz where every benign part of the signal chain is fetishized to the nth degree. Why not just put some non-linear transformers on each cable connector as well? You don't want that boring flat congested sound of the clean cable connectors, do you?
Glad you point this out, I can only truly speak to using a console, and as someone who is considering selling the console and using a summing box. So it interests me and I've thought about what I want in summing mixer. Its not placebo or imagination, its overdrive and mild forms of it that I want. As well as the sonic fingerprint, which for example I do believe (at least older) SSL has that certain unique sound-space thing going on, as its easily audible in the plugins out there. I'm sure the new SSL stuff has it too, and why they can charge $200k. Anyone out there who doubts can try the plugins and compare to their favorite hits. Its pretty obvious there's truth to the sound, lol.

Where 'mixing while summing' is really handy, in my console's instance, is that you can push individual tracks into soft clipping depending on how hard you drive the inputs, then back off the faders, buss that over and always monitor what the final summing sounds like.

What I wish these summing boxes really had (not sure if they do) was multiple summing paths,.. on a console its sub groups. Mixing analog you push these steero subgoups into non-linear overdrive they light up in their own 3D stereo way, but you still have control over how each stereo group gets blended into the master summing. So you can bus instruments to subgroups, push and drive different instruments both at the channel and with faders into the groups. So you can decide some things are cleaner, others are dirtier. Also with subgroups you can do parallel compression, which is a huge 'can't live without it' IMO.

So well yeah I agree some of these jackfield only "patch and sum" boxes don't really do anything super special that a simple mastering chain couldn't do. Those boxes you'd really need an external chain for each channel's inserts to get what a console does.
Old 23rd April 2017
  #26
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Mr.HOLMES's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by JaeKelz24 View Post
Dude...That thing is nice! I just listened to all the audio clips and researched it, and found this "Mix: process the 2-bus, bounce digitally recorded tracks and stems, combine with a DAW controlled summing system, or use with a passive summing in Folcrom™ mode."

I might just get this and the Folcrom and call it a day! This thing alone is ridiculously amazing...Thanks alot guys
Why the folcorm?

Some Outboard a patch bay an I/O plug in and the silver bullet makes sense to me. When drbill taught me that its not the summing but the artifacts of real gear what makes us hear a deeper and wider mix I was in doubt, but I remembered misusing my 1073 for this 8 years ago. I try again and he is right.

I now cut out the console and I mix into the 1073 and it was even deeper and wider as with the console. I love that setup.

In other words all what those active summing devices add is some coloration harmonics etc. and they do that in much better way than the most plug ins. Watch the layout of the silver bullet you just get the idea... its maybe simple but no one did such a product before... so I like the idea and maybe I ditch my 1073 one day for a silver bullet.

A nice plus with the SB is you can use it as mic preamp as well....in other words you buy nice summing artifacts + a world class mic pre.
Old 23rd April 2017
  #27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggy Neve Slut View Post
I've considered going down this route as an interim measure before diving into a big build and console purchase. Of those around the Tonelux is the one that meets my needs most and is pretty decently priced given its heritage.

Any users here?

Wiggy
Do you mean the OTB?

I thought the same thing but the heritage left the building with PW. I got the DAV Passive 32 (£300) and stuck a couple of Shadow Hills Gama's on it as my back up out the box mixer, that's if the other 2 fail.

I'd like that Mix 690 on Ebay though.

Then I wonder if hardware inserts would just be better for set and forget recall etc.
Old 23rd April 2017
  #28
P.S. I'd have Silver Bullet on every channel if I could. They sound brilliant. Don't take no for an answer.
Old 23rd April 2017
  #29
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BradM's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul_G View Post
P.S. I'd have Silver Bullet on every channel if I could. They sound brilliant. Don't take no for an answer.
How many channels we talking about?

Brad
Old 23rd April 2017
  #30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad McGowan View Post
How many channels we talking about?

Brad
Well I'd start with 256.
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