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Can someone explain summing to me?
Old 9th July 2009
  #151
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RKrizman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PDC View Post

So, who has the poop about the DAE of logic, the internal summing, etc?
Not sure what you mean by the DAE of logic, but if you're interested in Pro Tools architecture go here and download the white paper on the 48 bit mixer.

If you're running Logic with PT hardware it uses the PT engine for summing.

Digidesign Technical White Papers

-R
Old 9th July 2009
  #152
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once a roadie's Avatar
I did not hear G-J yesterday...of these four I like G the best. Seems clearest.
Old 9th July 2009
  #153
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Spindrift's Avatar
 

I visited Brad and his studio the other night and listened to the files first hand (no mp3s). I could not tell any difference between externally summed files and the ITB mixes. On the hotter pushed mixes, there were subtle subtle differences but nothing to make me go out and spend $$$ on a piece of gear.

Where I could definitely tell a difference was in listening to a mix coming off of his 8-track MCI tape deck --> desk --> Monitors and the same tracks from tape --> A/D conversion(DAW)--> desk --> Monitors. The tape sounds very nice where as the same tracks A/D converted sounded flat, they still sounded good but not as 3 dimensional. It is very hard to describe the difference but it is NOT subtle!

I'm now a believer.....tape just sounds good.

BTW, Brad...thanks for the hospitality!

Last edited by Spindrift; 10th July 2009 at 07:07 AM.. Reason: correct typos
Old 9th July 2009
  #154
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BradM's Avatar
Hey Keith!

No problem--it was a lot of fun to hang out and talk shop with a fellow Gearslut. I still can't get over how something un-cool happens to the tape tracks once they go through one pass of AD-DA before hitting the console. I really wish it were not so. You're right though...there's a definite loss of dimension and depth. It's so hard to wrap my brain around that reality and I really would love to understand what's happening exactly. We were listening at 96kHz too. At 44.1k it's really a lackluster reproduction of the tape tracks.

Brad

p.s. I have a standing open invitation for anyone that would like to drop by and visit and hear tape versus digital playback. Just send me an email or PM if interested.
Old 9th July 2009
  #155
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EliasGwinn's Avatar
 

What converters were you using?

atb,
e
Old 9th July 2009
  #156
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norman_nomad's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad McGowan View Post
Hey Keith!

No problem--it was a lot of fun to hang out and talk shop with a fellow Gearslut. I still can't get over how something un-cool happens to the tape tracks once they go through one pass of AD-DA before hitting the console. I really wish it were not so. You're right though...there's a definite loss of dimension and depth. It's so hard to wrap my brain around that reality and I really would love to understand what's happening exactly. We were listening at 96kHz too. At 44.1k it's really a lackluster reproduction of the tape tracks.

Brad

p.s. I have a standing open invitation for anyone that would like to drop by and visit and hear tape versus digital playback. Just send me an email or PM if interested.
Hey man, I want to stop by!

Actually I do kind of want to hear the dimension loss on first conversion... I've never really heard a controlled experiment in person like that...
Old 9th July 2009
  #157
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EliasGwinn View Post
What converters were you using?

atb,
e
Hi Elias,

Nothing too shabby...Mytek 8x192.

Brad
Old 9th July 2009
  #158
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BradM's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by norman_nomad View Post
Hey man, I want to stop by!

Actually I do kind of want to hear the dimension loss on first conversion... I've never really heard a controlled experiment in person like that...
Come on over...next weekend? If anyone else wants to join Damon and I get in touch and we'll make it a "thing".

Brad
Old 10th July 2009
  #159
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by EliasGwinn View Post
What converters were you using?

atb,
e
Hey there Elias...it's Swaff from, GA (Isaac's buddy). Thanks for the help over the phone the other day!

Rock on,

Swaff
Old 11th July 2009
  #160
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PabloP's Avatar
 

Informative !!

Thanks for taking the time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kittonian View Post
I've read through all the responses and so far no one has explained exactly what summing truly is. Let me give it a try.

Summing is the process of combining multiple, separate, audio tracks down to a single track. This can be a mono, stereo or surround track. That is the basic definition of summing.

Now, that being said, you can take it one step further, but this time it is more commonly referred to as "folding-down". Say for example you have a 5.1 surround track that has already been mixed but you need to output it to a 2-track stereo file. This would be the art of folding-down. Likewise, going from stereo to mono would be folding down.

Ok, so you're up to date on exactly what summing is but you're still a bit confused as to why everyone on this forum (and others) are talking about the latest and greatest ways to sum audio tracks. Well, there is a big difference in the resulting sound (both in quality and in audible form) with regards to how you decide to sum your tracks together (whether that's for stereo, mono or surround purposes). For the sake of this discussion, let's discuss stereo summing as it's the most common.

In a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation, i.e. a computer running audio software) you record a bunch of tracks and set each track's output to analog 1/2. Even though you have no groups setup you are summing all these individual tracks to a stereo output and therefore you have a 2-track stereo mix.

You can also create groups, aux tracks, route things any way you choose, etc. however the end result will be a 2-track stereo mix and therefore you are summing multiple tracks into separate groups and then summing those stereo or mono groups into the master output. Basically in this example you are summing multiple times. This can be beneficial depending on what you are summing and how you are choosing to sum. This can also prove detrimental to the end result. This is why mixing takes a lot of education, trial and error and is considered an art form.

Now let discuss this fairly new fascination with summing. It has little to do with summing internally in a DAW with the exception of all the people arguing the merits of ITB (in the box, i.e. computer) vs. OTB (out of the box, i.e. using outboard gear). Instead it has to do with combining multiple tracks and/or stereo/mono groups into the final stereo mix using analog outboard gear. There are two different product categories that make-up this type of scenario. You have summing boxes and summing mixers. They might sound alike but they are very different.

Summing boxes simply take existing tracks or groups that you have processed internally in your DAW (i.e. you have adjusted the fader, pan, placed your plug-ins, routing, etc.) and allow you to combine them together to make the stereo mix. Why is this good? Well, analog provides for more headroom than digital and the resulting mix is generally a bit wider, more 3-dimensional, etc. However, DAWs have become so advanced that I have personally found very little difference between mixing in ProTools HD with delay compensation enabled (and of course using high-end outboard gear along with top quality plug-ins and converters) and using a summing box. To me, the money you would spend to obtain a high-end summing box doesn't yield the massive difference most people are hoping to hear when choosing an analog summing solution. Again, this is just my opinion.

Summing mixers on the other hand provide the massive difference in the end result but are generally much more expensive to obtain. For example, SSL's X-Rack is a great example of a high-end summing mixer because you leave all your faders and pans at unity (i.e. 0) ITB and do your fader and pan adjustments on each individual X-Rack channel (or at least as many as you have available to you). You can also insert outboard gear without going through additional A/D and D/A conversion stages, but this has little to do with summing. In my experience, adjusting a fader down to -20db ITB vs. -20db on an analog fader yields a very different resulting sound. This is due to various forms of math being done internally by the DAW software you have chosen to use and the power of the computer with which you are working. Pans also seem to yield those same sonic differences. There are certainly other summing mixers besides the SSL X-Rack but for the sake of this discussion we'll leave things at this.

Whichever way you choose to sum is up to you but I will tell you that analog summing is not a magic bullet that will all of sudden make your mixes amazing. I generally consult people to learn/practice ITB mixing, gain-staging, etc. until they are fairly good at the art. Once you are at that point, yet still feel like your mixes need to be pushed that extra 10% to get bigger, wider and more 3-dimensional, only then should you be looking into purchasing a summing solution. For those of you reading this that are at that point, summing mixers like the X-Rack are an excellent addition to the pro digital studio environment.

Hope that explains things in a bit more detail for all of you. Good luck!
Old 15th July 2009
  #161
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EliasGwinn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by swaff View Post
Hey there Elias...it's Swaff from, GA (Isaac's buddy). Thanks for the help over the phone the other day!

Rock on,

Swaff
Hey man!!
Old 5th November 2009
  #162
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Results

stumbled upon this thread. what were the results of E-H??
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