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A&H Zed 14 for summing mixer.

Discussion in 'Converters / Interfaces' started by kmetal, Sep 9, 2016.

  1. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Hey all,

    After tons of planning and meetings I've got my new setup pretty well defined both for the immediate and long term.

    I'm interested in an economical way to experiment w summing. The setup will be RME babyface pro for main tracking/monitoring adda, and capture ad, and the focusrite Scarlett 18i20 as the multi channel playback to feed the summing mixer , and any sort of surround speakers.

    After reading a good thread here recently about the Allen and Heath, I looked into the zed14. It's a great price and perfect channel count for my mini setup, just wondering if it would do the job, or is to good to be true.

    My goal obviously w this isn't ultimate fidelity, but rather to capture my ideas decently, and get experimenting with outboard summing mixers and techniques.

    This is in preparation for a larger Orion/isa828/roll music fulcrum based professional setup in a purpose built room.

    I'll be using this scaled down setup for about the next year day to day, and then either breaking it down into different things like a portable setup, one for my tool shed.

    I'll likely keep the RME as the capture conversion in the big setup or get another one.

    So basically this is the main setup for the interim and the a secondary/or broken down system when the new studio is finalized.

    The interim is for experimentation,
    File archiving/organization/demos, and some YouTube type things which will be posted as 'keeper'.

    Sorry to be long winded, just wanted to show the scope of what I'll be using the zed (or whatever) for. RANE has a line mixer that is at the same price point.
  2. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Why do you feel you need the faders, EQ, panning, etc?
  3. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    I don't. The zed 14 was the only 8-10+ in x 2 out mixer beside the RANE in the price range. That I was able to find, definatly could have missed some things.

    The pres and all that are bloat for my purposes. All I need is the line ins and the summing bus/2ch out.
  4. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Why not just look at the various summing options and avoid degrading your audio with budget consoles? Go used even.

    Mass try it and don't get past go so they sell their summing consoles.

    All a console l;ike this will do is create more ways to mess and degrade your sound. It would be fun though, but I seriously doubt it will remotely improve your audio after the capture ITB.
    Once ITB, stay ITB but if you are going to sum OTB, don't even consider this unless you are using high headroom gear and plan to include other excellent outboard products to play with. The benefit of analog headroom is a big reason why we do it.
  5. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    So are you saying that the typical 'render tracks' or 'bouncing' options in an ITB is in general a superior way to sum/SRC vs a typical mixer Ect?

    My sources are gonna be 192k then comverted to each different format on an as needed basis. I have a base version of a codec pluggin from sonnox that will let me preveiw the conversions before hand so I can mix into them if needed. Ie to MP3 iTunes Ect. If I find it useful I'll snag the full version which supports 192k. I got the regular one for like $20 on sale.

    Perhaps I'll have to reconfigure the budget for a proper summing mixer...

    The thing about the roll music summer is it requires an external pre amp which is cool creatively but destroys my budget otherwise since I can't use the pre amps in standalone while using the line outs as an 'interface' w the scarelett.
  6. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    I'm wondering if building one of these things would be out of the question for a novice like me.... Lol the link has an old Tascam brown line mixer. Close to my heart lol
  7. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    I hate to say this. A big reason is like to have a summing mixer is to make use of the outs for the focusrite. Since I'm using a 2 interface setup for a dedicated low latency virtual guitar rig, I need both interfaces. Just trying to kinda maximize the use of stuff.
  8. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Without question. But that being said, not until your summing gear exceeds the already stellar headroom ITB has, its going backwards using budget consoles like these for this.

    Others can disagree however, I have years of experience in this and would never recommend a summing amp with panning, faders, EQ. All you want is mono, left right on/off and ultra high headroom.

    That being said, there is a nice change that can happens (subject to the analog summing chain) when you pass digital stereo through an analog circuit but with that comes pro's and con's.

    I personally do not believe its good to " stereo stack" analog with all sorts of character hardware either (which includes a console with a tranny, EQ's panning faders etc). I am going with the Folcrom for the one analog pass, maybe 2 on the way to the capture DAW.
    I'm not saying I'm right but I am reporting I hear better results with less you put in an analog pass, the better. Especially for summing 2 buss duties.

    Too much analog in the sum is like adding multiple curves and cross-talk. It messes with the transients. = smearing and weaker sounding mixes.

    The best summing amps are simple and transparent. Then you pick and choose very well thought out 2 buss processing tools to do exactly what they are designed to do. Its starts getting expensive real fast. And I still say ITB is better.
  9. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Yeah it totally makes sense. The dangerous LT and spl mix dream Xp are the only ones I could afford and I love the simplicity of design.

    If I'm gonna be shopping in that range I'm gonna hold off until my studio and Orion/surround rig is ready. Simply becuase the focusrite only has 8 outs and is in a different league sonically. So I don't think I'd be taking full advantage of the summing unit w a budget interface.

    Plus I like the idea of everything all shiny and new at once. But that's just my nuerosis.

    As far as the folcrum, what pre amp are you planning on pairing it with?

    I'm thinking maybe a nice set of mastering plugins from fabfilter and/ozone might be the way to go for the interim. Or not since Sam
    Has excellent mastering pluggin potential. I'll have to use the outputs for surround (alesis elevate 5's) which is cool too cuz there's a dedicated steroe pair too so I can run surround and steroe without re connection.

    This would still be fun.

    I just don't wanna waste funds but want to maximize the capabilities of this limited setup. Lol I can always play w my portastudio for summing just for fun.

    I don't mind spending money I just want to be wise with it.

    I'd surely welcome a $500 summing mixer price point. Wish they made the mix dream
    Or 2bus LT in 8 channel versions for half price....
  10. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    To help clarify what I think.

    There are a few kinds of consoles I would choose.

    High quality tracking console for "tracking only". low med high end, does not matter although wouldn't it be nice to have a Neve, API etc... to take full advantage of getting your sound just right before it is captured. This includes racks of all your toys.

    High headroom transparent summing console that is a broader version of a mastering console build specifically for summing and inserting gear. This could be a SPL MixDream, Dangerous 2 Bus, Folcrom + (your choice pre's), maybe even the Dangerous Liaison, etc ...
    Very high quality mastering console for dedicated stereo processing. Manely, Dangerous Master... to name a few.

    A monitoring system that will connect all three of these independently.
    16 + channel ADDA
    2 channel ADDA
    2 channel DA

    If I couldn't do this, I would drop the entire thought of gear and keep your 2 DAW system real simple which is why the Folcrom makes so much sense.

    I hope I'm not confusing you. I just don't see any benefit in using budget consoles to mix or sum OTB.:notworthy:
  11. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

  12. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Looks like you agree... Lol. Perhaps I'll just have to be patient.
  13. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Millennia Media M-2b. Both are here. I haven't had a moment to connect my new rig up. Plus, I am updating converters and the monitor controller.

    You can get these used for cheap! Mass who step into OTB summing do not know what they are in for. And from what I read over at GS, are pretty naive as what its all about, including how to even connect things. They read the hype and dive in.
  14. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Ahhh the milenia's... MmmmHmmmm.

    In all honesty I'm super weary of used gear. Bad experiences from the past from things breaking quickly and other BS. I use the 33% you lose from a new gear purchase as part of my accounting as loss/depreciation.

    Just thinking aloud, perhaps I could use the pre amps in the babyface since it's going through the conversion anyway. Using the RME for makeup gain wouldn't be best, but also not the worst either. Any thoughts?

    My concern is the interface was designed around bus power so I suspect the pres don't have gobs of that big rail headroom that makes summing Magic. From what I gather they met the power requirements/compromises in the headphone amp sections. But still...

    Using the makeup gain in the RME brings the folcrum into the budget I'd be willing to commit for the this interim summing. Albeit the Max end of it. But I hate talking money when talking quality.

    Basically it seems that makeup gain stage costs 800+ either for transparent pre amps for the folcrum or the built in gain stage in the others.

    Would using the RME be too much of a compromise? Ie make the folcrum not worth it yet. Jw your thoughts.

    Thanks for your replies on this topic!
  15. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I think its a poor pre for this application, but I am only guessing. RME Pre's are not the best in the first place. Very one dimensional and brittle in comparison to a stand alone. Again, I don't think there is a budget way around this that will truly make it all worth your time and investment.
    Imagine if I was giving you tracks that used good pre's and mics and you ran all my music through an RME pre after. I don't think I would be too happy with the results. I do think you could remix my music though, and produce better mixes. But I do not think my mixes would come back sounding better simply by passing my music through an RME pre or Zen alone. You may be able to mix my music better, but I hardly doubt it would sound a pristine. Make sense?
    I do believe improving your ITB skills would not degrade my tracks but unless your are going to use some serious outboard gear, keep your ears on how to improve your ability to hear and mix better without all this fuss. That's my advise.


    Again, summing consoles like these are so simple, there really isn't much tp be wary about. Look for one from someone you clearly know understands nothing about it all. There are hundreds of these people on GS. Or, ask Vintage King to contact you when they find a used one in on trade.
    Or, save and buy new. But be aware that you also need the required cabling, conversion, a monitor controller too.
  16. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    As is the way with most things audio. I'll probably just wait, get some surround Roughs, and compile new material and old stuff and mix it all in my new studio/big rig. Too many times I've rushed purchases based on dollar amounts, trying to excersize my wisdom this time. Surround mixing is super exciting to me so I'm sure the year will fly by!

    I'll keep my mind, and eyes open. Fair enough.
  17. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Good plan!
    kmetal likes this.
  18. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Yeah. It's PT or the summing box, so I gotta get my computer crap taken care of first. And some refernce monitors (Yamaha hs5's/alsesis elevate)

    One of The Coleman monitor controllers does 7.1 and doubles as a summing mixer for around 2k. It might be a good compromise between price performance and features for me at this stage. Lol it's gonna kill me to get that first before the ISA 828, but it's more practical... Shooting for feb/marchish.

    I'm doing the first purchase now, then next summer I'm starting the big 'ol cinema system and winter will have me half - 2/3 of the way there. I made the rough purchase schedule today. It's 27k roughly total broken down into 4-5 major buys. It gives me time to build the studio/shed thing too.

    I decided tonight to house the interim gear in my tool shed instead of the living room of my parents house so I'm gonna have a tiny little writing studio in the back yard. Looking forward to burning wood outside there this winter with an acoustic / sm57 beta, running PTHD and Sam from my tablet.!!!

    It will be absolutely tiny but the mode calc wasn't gross. But either way it's private and 'my own'. It's the first dedicated music room I'll have for myself after 10 years of building for other people. It's a good start and I'm proud that money I earned from music is paying for it.

    Raman for the foreseeable future.
  19. Sean G

    Sean G Well-Known Member

    As us of the Pastafarian faith like to say...R-amen.
    kmetal likes this.
  20. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

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