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the $80 analog summing wonderbox
Old 21st June 2005
  #1
Gear Guru
 
u b k's Avatar
 

the $80 analog summing wonderbox

i've been meaning to clue people in to this for a long time.

before i got a nicerizer, i used a little green passive summing box from niche called the 'audio control module'. it has 8 ins, 8 outs and a stereo mix. it does level automation on each input via midi (with zero zipper artifacts) and sonically beats the pants off of anything that doesn't cost 10x more.

it's almost completely transparent, although it does lighten the bottom octave by .5db or so. being passive, it also drops the level by 12db or somesuch, so running it out into a pair of pre's is advisable.

when i got mine from audiomidi.com a few years ago, they apparently had a warehouse full of them for around $80 a pop. don't forget to get the 9v adaptor as well.

so for those who've wanted to try analog summing, this is a no risk way of getting your feet wet. i preferred mixing into it a LOT more than itb, which, if it's not already clear, i never could make peace with.

enjoy!


gregoire
del ubik
Old 21st June 2005
  #2
Lives for gear
 
BradM's Avatar
For $45 I built an 8x2 passive summer into the end of my patchbay using the schematic on Fred Forssell's site. It doesn't look like much, but it does the trick. If you don't need the flexibility of something like a Folcrom and are handy with a soldering I highly recommend just building your own. I think it maybe took me about 2 hours to do while I was waiting on something else.

Brad
Old 21st June 2005
  #4
Lives for gear
 
shangoe's Avatar
 

very interesting, how you go out of this box? with the unbalanced stereo-out to a pre?
Old 21st June 2005
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by u b i k
i've been meaning to clue people in to this for a long time.

before i got a nicerizer, i used a little green passive summing box from niche called the 'audio control module'. it has 8 ins, 8 outs and a stereo mix. it does level automation on each input via midi (with zero zipper artifacts) and sonically beats the pants off of anything that doesn't cost 10x more.

it's almost completely transparent, although it does lighten the bottom octave by .5db or so. being passive, it also drops the level by 12db or somesuch, so running it out into a pair of pre's is advisable.

when i got mine from audiomidi.com a few years ago, they apparently had a warehouse full of them for around $80 a pop. don't forget to get the 9v adaptor as well.

so for those who've wanted to try analog summing, this is a no risk way of getting your feet wet. i preferred mixing into it a LOT more than itb, which, if it's not already clear, i never could make peace with.

enjoy!


gregoire
del ubik
I've reworked those for years. Poor man's plug in automation done cleanly with MDAC's. Replace the coupling caps with 220 uf 25 volt Panasonic FM caps and the low end won't go away. Replace the TLO84 quad opamps with LT1359's and the noise and grit will go away.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Old 21st June 2005
  #6
Gear Guru
 
lucey's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams
I've reworked those for years. Poor man's plug in automation done cleanly with MDAC's. Replace the coupling caps with 220 uf 25 volt Panasonic FM caps and the low end won't go away. Replace the TLO84 quad opamps with LT1359's and the noise and grit will go away.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Jim is that LT chip the one in the Mytek stuff, or similar?
Old 21st June 2005
  #7
Gear Nut
 
SoundChances's Avatar
 

What are the inputs and outputs on this thing?
1/4" balanced? Unbalanced? XLR?
Old 21st June 2005
  #8
Gear Guru
 
u b k's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams
I've reworked those for years. Poor man's plug in automation done cleanly with MDAC's.

not only that, but in a modern hybrid outboard+daw studio it has an invaluable role: daw-based automation of levels post-outboard.

this is critical for things like using an outboard compressor and eq on the lead vox, and being able to automate the levels post compression. currently, the only other way i know of to do this, with good results, is to have a badass analog desk.


Quote:
Replace the coupling caps with 220 uf 25 volt Panasonic FM caps and the low end won't go away.
that sounds like something i'd be into, but i'm not too keen on panasonic caps, i like my tone softer, even blurrier. any other options?


Quote:
Replace the TLO84 quad opamps with LT1359's and the noise and grit will go away.
i dont' usually like things squeaky clean, so i'm not sure about this one. do the lt's have a sound?


gregoire
del ubik
Old 21st June 2005
  #9
Gear Guru
 
u b k's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoundChances
What are the inputs and outputs on this thing?
1/4" balanced? Unbalanced? XLR?

1/4" unbalanced, like the rnc.


gregoire
del ubik
Old 22nd June 2005
  #10
Lives for gear
 
Faderjockey's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by u b i k
1/4" unbalanced, like the rnc.


gregoire
del ubik

Is it +4 like the RNC?
Old 22nd June 2005
  #11
Lives for gear
 
Unknown soldier's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by u b i k
i've been meaning to clue people in to this for a long time.

before i got a nicerizer, i used a little green passive summing box from niche called the 'audio control module'. it has 8 ins, 8 outs and a stereo mix. it does level automation on each input via midi (with zero zipper artifacts) and sonically beats the pants off of anything that doesn't cost 10x more.

it's almost completely transparent, although it does lighten the bottom octave by .5db or so. being passive, it also drops the level by 12db or somesuch, so running it out into a pair of pre's is advisable.

when i got mine from audiomidi.com a few years ago, they apparently had a warehouse full of them for around $80 a pop. don't forget to get the 9v adaptor as well.

so for those who've wanted to try analog summing, this is a no risk way of getting your feet wet. i preferred mixing into it a LOT more than itb, which, if it's not already clear, i never could make peace with.

enjoy!


gregoire
del ubik
Can you use it without MIDI? Do you need to set any midi commands or messages?
Old 22nd June 2005
  #12
Lives for gear
 
Bob Ross's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by u b i k
i used a little green passive summing box from niche called the 'audio control module'.


Oh, the irony: I sold my niche ACM when I got rid of my analog multitrack and got a DAW!
Old 22nd June 2005
  #13
Lives for gear
 
bongo's Avatar
I tossed mine in the trash!!!!
Old 22nd June 2005
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by u b i k
not only that, but in a modern hybrid outboard+daw studio it has an invaluable role: daw-based automation of levels post-outboard.

this is critical for things like using an outboard compressor and eq on the lead vox, and being able to automate the levels post compression. currently, the only other way i know of to do this, with good results, is to have a badass analog desk.




that sounds like something i'd be into, but i'm not too keen on panasonic caps, i like my tone softer, even blurrier. any other options?


You could buy the cheapest, crappyist Chi-com made electrolytics, but reliability problems may occur over time. Also consider the panasonic bipolar caps, nice and dark if you like capacitor filtering.

i dont' usually like things squeaky clean, so i'm not sure about this one. do the lt's have a sound?

All opamps have a sound, this one is much more neutral than the bifet TLO series which are zippy. Remember, the TLO's are the chip that drove up the price for vintage discrete consoles!


gregoire
del ubik
Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Old 22nd June 2005
  #15
Lives for gear
 

If I recall, they power on mode defaults to no gain reduction ie. you wouldn't need midi to use 'em as a summer.

I pulled mine out a while back.....hmmmm.......I'll have to listen again......what if someone has a pile to sell and needed to create a feeding frenzy???? heh heh heh

Just kidding, I'll try JW mod tip, it'll be a good no risk place to start becoming a hodrodder (so far it's been pedals and amps only)

Andy
Old 22nd June 2005
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Unknown soldier
Can you use it without MIDI? Do you need to set any midi commands or messages?

Yes, I once used a Lexicon MRC controller with faders to move the levels around manually.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Old 28th June 2005
  #17
Lives for gear
 
Unknown soldier's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by u b i k
i've been meaning to clue people in to this for a long time.

before i got a nicerizer, i used a little green passive summing box from niche called the 'audio control module'. it has 8 ins, 8 outs and a stereo mix. it does level automation on each input via midi (with zero zipper artifacts) and sonically beats the pants off of anything that doesn't cost 10x more.

it's almost completely transparent, although it does lighten the bottom octave by .5db or so. being passive, it also drops the level by 12db or somesuch, so running it out into a pair of pre's is advisable.

when i got mine from audiomidi.com a few years ago, they apparently had a warehouse full of them for around $80 a pop. don't forget to get the 9v adaptor as well.

so for those who've wanted to try analog summing, this is a no risk way of getting your feet wet. i preferred mixing into it a LOT more than itb, which, if it's not already clear, i never could make peace with.

enjoy!


gregoire
del ubik
On this advice, I decided to pick one of these up. Using it for a mixer to combine a PT mix, keyboards, and samplers. Definitely a step up in clarity over your standard cheapo line mixers. The level drop is an issue, but you can compensate with a mic pre, or turn your monitors up if they have level control...

Probably the best $60 I spent (got it from a private party) in a long while!
Old 9th March 2006
  #18
Lives for gear
 
gainreduction's Avatar
 

I'm getting a couple of these tomorrow for post-outboard level riding. I'll try the Jim Williams mod aswell.

Thanx ubik, just what my studio needs ! Post-compressor automation, yeah !
Old 9th March 2006
  #19
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Is it +4 like the RNC?
As it is a passive box, I guess it is whatever level you want...
Old 27th April 2006
  #20
Gear Nut
 

I've got one of these coming tomorrow, and I'm thinking about trying the mod. What's the dificulty of it? I don't suppose those chips are socketed...

Anyone done a before & after comparison?
Old 27th April 2006
  #21
No sockets. I recommend the Den-on SC7000Z desoldering tool. These are double-sided circuit boards so care must be exersized. Do install 14 pin machine sockets so other quads can be auditioned.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Old 3rd May 2006
  #22
Here for the gear
 

ACM Problems

Hello !

I just shot one on ebay, very pricy, but unfortunately it came without the powersupply, can anybody - please - tell me what kind of supply i need ?

Thanks in advance ...

Michael
Old 3rd May 2006
  #23
Gear Addict
 
bit mangler's Avatar
 

drelectrik,

check this linky
Old 3rd May 2006
  #24
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bit mangler
drelectrik,

check this linky

No, sorry, i do think that this is for a controller called "Niche Automation Station", some kind of faderbox - any other suggestions ?

Michael
Old 3rd May 2006
  #25
Gear Addict
 
bit mangler's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by u b i k
. don't forget to get the 9v adaptor as well.

ubik
sorry because I thought it was the same power supply which ubik had advised to purchase
Old 5th May 2006
  #26
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bit mangler
sorry because I thought it was the same power supply which ubik had advised to purchase
Yes, it is + it works...

Thank you !

Michael
Old 28th December 2006
  #27
Gear Addict
 
Stargazer's Avatar
 

Found this old thread and bringing it back to life!
I had one of those a long time ago for automation.
Now I'm thinking of getting two of them to try them as a summing-solution.
How are the channels routed to the stereo outputs?
Mono or in pairs -L/-R?
Can you pan those channels via midi or something?

Thanks,
Hakan
Old 28th December 2006
  #28
Gear Nut
 

It's in pairs, so panning automation would have to involve volume changes on two channels, probably a bit tricky to do over two channels. I'd probably suggest automating pans ITB.
Old 28th December 2006
  #29
Gear Nut
 
matt_l's Avatar
 

thanks for the bump, just picked up one off the 'bay.

Matt
Old 29th December 2006
  #30
Gear Addict
 
Stargazer's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by darjama View Post
It's in pairs, so panning automation would have to involve volume changes on two channels, probably a bit tricky to do over two channels. I'd probably suggest automating pans ITB.
Thanks.
But how to deal with a mono source that you want to process in the analog domain (and stay there)?
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