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what's the purpose of a summing mixer Summing Mixers
Old 1st March 2018
  #31
Quote:
Originally Posted by drainyoo View Post
You think it's absurd that someone might not have $5k laying around to drop on a unit just to test it, and they have to rely on their research to make a decision?
Yea, i do. If you don't try gear out for yourself , your homework is very incomplete.
Old 1st March 2018
  #32
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Harmonic's of tracks blend together better in the analog world than the digital word for the most part. The one quality were I like digital better is stereo positions, panning is more precise in the digital world. But every other quality like volume curves, detail, headroom, clarity. speed of dynamics, etc, I like analog mixing better.

The other advantage of summing is that you can use analog gear on the way in.
Old 1st March 2018
  #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mofat View Post
Could someone explain it to me on why I should have one?
the sole purpose of a summing mixer is to mess up an otherwise perfectly crafted stereo mix - and maybe to lure some folks into a strange cult...
Old 1st March 2018
  #34
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
the sole purpose of a summing mixer is to mess up an otherwise perfectly crafted stereo mix - and maybe to lure some folks into a strange cult...
Sorta like the "It makes no difference" Cult...
Old 1st March 2018
  #35
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digitalog's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by slut_slut View Post
transfering money from you to the seller
That doesn’t make any sense.
Old 1st March 2018
  #36
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i didn't say that - anyway: besides blue oyster cult, there a few more, some of them being quite popular as it seems...
Old 1st March 2018
  #37
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PdotDdot's Avatar
And if you have more than 8 stems or tracks to mix, they sort of are not usable. I am more on the side of the summing mixer being another thing to spend money on. That said, I am sure there are those that love what they offer so I am not slamming them - only stating that for me they would serve no purpose.
Old 1st March 2018
  #38
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PdotDdot View Post
And if you have more than 8 stems or tracks to mix, they sort of are not usable. I am more on the side of the summing mixer being another thing to spend money on. That said, I am sure there are those that love what they offer so I am not slamming them - only stating that for me they would serve no purpose.
This is also something I don’t understand about summing mixers. How many folks have songs that are 8 tracks or less? Not many I’d guess. Sometimes my drum buss alone has more than 8. What do you do then? Get another summing mixer which just doubles the already insane price? Run 8 tracks at a time? That seems annoying. Send tracks to DAW busses so you can get down to 8? That seems to defeat the purpose.
Old 2nd March 2018
  #39
Quote:
Originally Posted by drainyoo View Post
This is also something I don’t understand about summing mixers. How many folks have songs that are 8 tracks or less? Not many I’d guess. Sometimes my drum buss alone has more than 8. What do you do then? Get another summing mixer which just doubles the already insane price? Run 8 tracks at a time? That seems annoying. Send tracks to DAW busses so you can get down to 8? That seems to defeat the purpose.
People use summing mixers for the same reason that guitar players use tube amplifiers. Even running 8 tracks through a mixer will give you different results than not using a summing mixer. Plugging a guitar directly into a preamp will give you very different results than through an amp. Not bad, just different.

For me, I wanted more. My summer has 16. Perfect for what I do. The difference is clear to my ears.
Old 2nd March 2018
  #40
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Chris
Old 2nd March 2018
  #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drainyoo View Post
You think it's absurd that someone might not have $5k laying around to drop on a unit just to test it, and they have to rely on their research to make a decision?
Doc prolly has one you can try with no obligation to buy. If he doesn't, then I don't know how seriously I would take his comments on research.
Old 2nd March 2018
  #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baskervils View Post
People use summing mixers for the same reason that guitar players use tube amplifiers. Even running 8 tracks through a mixer will give you different results than not using a summing mixer. Plugging a guitar directly into a preamp will give you very different results than through an amp. Not bad, just different.

For me, I wanted more. My summer has 16. Perfect for what I do. The difference is clear to my ears.
Fair enough. Which one has 16?
Old 2nd March 2018
  #43
Quote:
Originally Posted by drainyoo View Post
Fair enough. Which one has 16?
Neve 5059
Old 2nd March 2018
  #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baskervils View Post
Neve 5059
Damn, my GAS just went to 11.
Old 2nd March 2018
  #45
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur Stone View Post
What other outboard (hardware) gear do you have?
Im just a hobbyist, singing karaoke but I want to sound professional with gear manipulation.
I'm using Apollo twin with a few plugins I bought but I do have some hardware LA2A and 1176 knockoffs and la610mk2 and vintech x73i preamps. Some eqp-kt and a patchbay.
Old 2nd March 2018
  #46
Quote:
Originally Posted by mofat View Post
Im just a hobbyist, singing karaoke but I want to sound professional with gear manipulation.
I'm using Apollo twin with a few plugins I bought but I do have some hardware LA2A and 1176 knockoffs and la610mk2 and vintech x73i preamps. Some eqp-kt and a patchbay.
This thread has a good overview of current summing mixers and their pros and cons. My experience is that OTB summing (even a few stems) will add a few % more in terms of soundstage, dynamics and separation but it requires some investment in extra gear - at least: multi-channel D/A and 2-channel A/D converter; cabling, some mixdown toys.
Sending a 2-mix OTB and through your Vintech and back into the Apollo will get you a lot of the 'summing mixer effect' so it's worth experimenting if you're interested.
Old 2nd March 2018
  #47
Gear Maniac
 

$50 - 16 channel summing mixer
Read the reviews from peple that have used it
SB2 Passive Summing Mixer Kit – DIY Recording Equipment
Old 3rd March 2018
  #48
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There is no way on this earth that something like that could sound as good as a cheap but in good condition old analogue mixer. Plus you can have a mess with the channel eq and think o ' yeah I like being able to do that...and it dose sound better to me anyway with my mixer and I could not care less if it's the added harmomic distortion it puts on the end .

But yeah you can just do that and put a couple of nice hardware units on the 2 bus
Old 3rd March 2018
  #49
yep
Gear Head
 

Lynn Fuston did a terrific test of different summing some years ago, back when the debate was not just analog vs digital, but also whether different DAWs sounded different. He basically set up a test protocol that took a big Pro Tools project, rendered it to individual wav files per track, and then summed them all through various DAWs and also through some big studio mixing consoles, set to unity.

The whole project (which was called Awesome DAW-sum) was sold as set of the rendered files, all in hi-res, 24/96, I think. The idea was that people could compare an identical mix, with the only difference being how it was summed (and in the analog cases, an extra stage of DA/AD through some high-end converters). The files were out there for some time, and weighed in on by some big names in audio, before Lynn released which file was which. You might still be able to buy them and listen/judge for yourself.

The short version is that, based on the blind-listening results that came in before the files were named, all digital summing engines sounded the same, but analog summing did sound different. Whether "different" meant "better", and especially whether it was significantly better, was a matter of some dispute.

That is to say, the people who were debating the results before they knew which file came from which summing process, were split on whether they liked the analog summing better or worse, and a lot of people could hear a difference, but had no clear preference.

A sensible man might come away from all that thinking that test pretty well proves that summing probably doesn't matter very much. But we here are not sensible men, we are sluts, and if there is a detectable difference between two pieces of gear, then of course one of them must be better, and anyone who disagrees with our choice must either be jealous, or stupid, or a sucker easily parted from his money, or have terrible ears, right? Right.

And so the great double-blind listening test that was supposed to lay all of this to rest instead launched a thousand flame-wars. People who had picked "incorrectly" the first time suddenly heard new details after adding some room-treatment or upgrading their speaker-cables. Exciting new theories emerged that you can't just test summing by summing, you also have to gain-stage things way up and then down and then back up and down again, just like the pros do. And so it goes.

Personal Disclosure: I usually mix on a big old analog console, but that has more to do with a preference for things like knobs and faders and patch-cables, than any strong feelings about the sound of the summing bus. I have heard some killer mixes that were done on a laptop...
Old 3rd March 2018
  #50
Gear Maniac
 

I’ve done no analog summing yet, but as someone who spent the better part of the last 20 years completely in the box, my recent experiences with outboard compression has been eye-opening. I’ve never been able to get depth in my mixes before. Analog processing does something that I couldn’t achieve otherwise.
Old 3rd March 2018
  #51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc Mixwell View Post
Sorta like the "It makes no difference" Cult...
Right? It's so strange that some folks are so viscerally anti OTB that they start belittling others. You're in a "cult" now for preferring one method, or piece of gear, over another? Jeez! Interestingly you don't ever see anyone trolling forums to tell other people they're stupid for not having a mixer.
Old 3rd March 2018
  #52
Quote:
Originally Posted by chinesewhiteman View Post
Right? It's so strange that some folks are so viscerally anti OTB that they start belittling others. You're in a "cult" now for preferring one method, or piece of gear, over another? Jeez! Interestingly you don't ever see anyone trolling forums to tell other people they're stupid for not having a mixer.
Its pure nonsense....but par for the coarse on this forum now.
...& We shouldnt even address the other half of that guys post. Because ruining a perfectly good mix is soley on the propreiter of said "mixing".
Old 3rd March 2018
  #53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Terryrocks View Post
$50 - 16 channel summing mixer
Read the reviews from peple that have used it
SB2 Passive Summing Mixer Kit – DIY Recording Equipment
I recently got this. I had a Black Lion mixer for a few years. I sold it when I got this. I definitely miss having level and pan, but it's a steep cost to justify when the SB2 is otherwise on par sonically.

IMO summing stems OTB on a passive mixer like this is pretty benign for the most part. Subjective "gains" come from what goes after(and before) the mixer. For me that's a bunch of DIYRE Colour modules before it and a pair of Lola's and passive EQ after it. Even just a nice pair of pre amps to follow it might surprise you.

BTW, not really apples to apples comparing this to something like the 5059, or the mix690.

Last edited by chinesewhiteman; 3rd March 2018 at 03:40 PM..
Old 3rd March 2018
  #54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc Mixwell View Post
Its pure nonsense....but par for the coarse on this forum now.
...& We shouldnt even address the other half of that guys post. Because ruining a perfectly good mix is soley on the propreiter of said "mixing".
Right just showing his cards on both his own biases and adherence to ideological reasoning based on nothing more than blind faith(and what he read)... buuuuut, you're in a cult.
Old 3rd March 2018
  #55
One of the big challenges of cheaper vs expensive summing mixers is that the former usually lack useful mix features: send-auxes; inserts; pan; channel-linking; etc.

I chose a DAV Passive Summing Mixer: I didn't want to compromise on audio quality but as the DAV is stereo channels only with no controls (just 4x8xDSub in and 2xXLR out) I cannot, for example, send a mono track from the DAW into a mono on the DAV - I have to make a stereo sum ITB and use up a valuable D/A channel (of the 16 available).

My plan is to make a small analogue 8-channel sub-mixer prior to the DAV.

It is true that the simple circuit inside many summing mixers is easy to build and the electronic components are relatively inexpensive but that is true of a lot of gear. Start adding in auxes, pan, level, etc. and then costs start to get into full mixer territory.

IME the important thing, regardless of cost, is the design, skill, and building ethos of the maker.
Old 3rd March 2018
  #56
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Hi
You can buy 16 resistors and a piece of 30 Amp 'terminal block' (choc block). Stuff one end of 8 of the resistors into 1 terminal, and the other 8 into a second terminal. You have built a passive summing mixer.
This would 'SOUND' exactly the same as the summing resistors in a SSL/Neve/whatever.
Of course you need to hook your inputs onto it (a mechanical exercise) and take the output pair to an amplifier of some sort but that is essentially it, NOTHING fancy.The amplifier that ought to follow this could be 'any' mic amp set to around 25dB gain, or a 'virtual earth' design amplifier where it's feedback resistor is the same value as your summing resistors. Any 'flavour' comes from the amplifier following and any amplifier you might have 'before' the summing resistors.
There might be some differences between ITB/OTB but a fair amount of the difference will be in your perception rather than actual technical differences, in the way that one chair might be more comfortable as the cushion is a tad softer/firmer to your (derriere's) taste.
Matt S
Old 3rd March 2018
  #57
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UnderTow's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur Stone View Post
I chose a DAV Passive Summing Mixer: I didn't want to compromise on audio quality but as the DAV is stereo channels only with no controls (just 4x8xDSub in and 2xXLR out) I cannot, for example, send a mono track from the DAW into a mono on the DAV - I have to make a stereo sum ITB and use up a valuable D/A channel (of the 16 available).
Can't you send two mono signals panned hard L/R to a stereo channel on the DAV? This is obviously less flexible than true mono channels but at least you don't sacrifice half a stereo channel this way.

Alistair
Old 3rd March 2018
  #58
Gear Head
 
TEEspresso's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Syson View Post
This would 'SOUND' exactly the same as the summing resistors in a SSL/Neve/whatever.

Matt S
Just to be clear, are you saying that X imaginary resistor summing unit will "SOUND exactly the same as..." an SSL which will also "SOUND exactly the same as..." a NEVE which will also "SOUND exactly the same as..." whatever?

Because SSL and Neve summing units do not "SOUND exactly the same" to my ears, and I'd wager I'm not alone in the set of people who can hear a difference.

Not that I think there isn't a set of folks who can't hear the differences between equipment, there are after all a shedload of crap recordings in the world that someone thought sounded wonderful.

Surely, just because they think everything sounds exactly the same, it does not mean everything sounds exactly the same as everything else.

The original poster is advised to listen for themselves to a variety of summing units of all types to see if it's a change or improvement or worse or maybe; they will all sound the same.
Old 3rd March 2018
  #59
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All these topics on "A vs B" started when sound engineers lose their "engineer" part. Jeez, a lot of us need a looot of education. And we definitely need to send all sales/marketing guys to hell for messing thing up more then they were.
Old 3rd March 2018
  #60
Gear Guru
 
UnderTow's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by TEEspresso View Post
Just to be clear, are you saying that X imaginary resistor summing unit will "SOUND exactly the same as..." an SSL which will also "SOUND exactly the same as..." a NEVE which will also "SOUND exactly the same as..." whatever?

Because SSL and Neve summing units do not "SOUND exactly the same" to my ears, and I'd wager I'm not alone in the set of people who can hear a difference.
I think the point that Matt is making is that the difference in sound is not in the summing. It is in all the other components in the signal path.

Alistair
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