Adding a passive summing box to a MixDream

Discussion in 'Analog Summing' started by audiokid, Oct 19, 2012.

  1. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Brain wave just started and I haven't even thought through it much so here's to thinking out loud:

    I'm electrically DIY challenged so any one here able to tell me the best way I could incorporate or Mod a passive summing box like this Unit Audio - Unit Audio Home with a MixDream? But more like a two channel insert for a few stems so I can use one of my favourite micpres for some tranny mojo. Like a stomp box in a guitar rig, get the idea? I don't want the entire mix effected. Only a few selected stems/channels.

    I know I could do a bus insert on the DAW before it reached the MixDream but I don't want to do it that way. I want to do this OTB with the MixDream somehow. Where and how would I patch this in?

    I know its a bit of home work but any help would be appreciated.

    Here is a link to the MD manual.

    Thanks for your help!
  2. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    one way i can think of is to use the Unit to sub mix more stems than you could with the Mix Dream alone. more channels like a sidecar.
    another app would be to employ it on an aux return. when i had my mci one problem was while it had 6 aux sends only had 4 aux returns and unless i wanted to use up inputs for returns i had to figure out some type of summing solution. i opted for a small smackie 24 / 4 bus mixer. while it wasn't really ideal for tracks it was fine for the returns of digital verbs and efx.
    i suppose another use would be as a way to do some parallel processing without eating up a lot of Mix Dream inputs. use your imagination ... i bet there are tons of uses for such a box. what's cool about them is they come in several different sizes / channels at different price points. it's hard to get hurt at less than 400 bucks and i bet it would be an easy sell used too.

    mmmmph ghaaaaa suicide ahhhh!
  3. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Thanks for chiming in Kurt. If that is possible, that would be the most appealing way for me. But, am I able to use a preamp in the MixDream insert like this? I'm afraid I could burn something?
  4. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    yes because you are just bumping everything back up to line level. you could try it sans mic pre but that seems to me to defeat at least part of the concept. really the only thing you could do to burn somthing out would be to connect the speaker outs of an amp to a mic /line input. just start with everything turned down and bring up the levels. if you hear distortion that may not be somthing you want to continue doing.

    mmmmph! gahhhhh!suicide ahaaaaa!
  5. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Okay, I was hoping that was the answer.

    So it would go like this:

    MixDream insert 1 & 2 out > Unit > Great River MP 2NV > 1176> MixDream 1 & 2 return ?
  6. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    no. it would go mix dream insert 1/2 out > unit > outs of unit mpnv2 (to bump the gain)> return to mix dream insert. in addition you can bring other inserts 3/4 5/6 7/8 et/al back in through the mpnv2 at the same time. if your not doing more than one set of inserts, the unit becomes moot / redundant.
  7. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Right, I keep thinking this Unit has an IO for the micpre.

    Okay, I need something different that will step down the insert and allow me to use a micpre like an effect. Can you think of a way?
  8. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    sure, just use the mic pre in line mode.
  9. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    To clarify,


    are we talking the Patch here?
  10. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    the "patch" jack on the mp2nv is really the insert. i don't know why Dan called it "patch". maybe it was to confuse everyone. i wish everyone would get the nomenclature the same.

    so the answer is no. you could come out of the insert on the Mix Dream into the hi z input on the front panel of the mpnv2. come out of the XLR on the rear into the UNIT and on to the Mix Dream. you could do the same sans the UNIT.

    but that's a lot of stuff to go through. i think it would be better to just use the mp2nv at the outs of the UNIT. you can drive it hard of soft by bringing up the input gain and attenuating to output level or visa versa. that way you are still adding the flavor of the mp2nv like an effect. it's just in a different place.

    actually i can think of a few more ways you could do this. you could use the inserts (patch) on the mp2nv into the UNIT while running the mp2nv through a insert /patch on the Mix Dream and run a bunch of stuff through the mp2nv at the same time.

    my mci had transformers wired to dedicated in outs on the patch field so you could do mults and iso patches. as i've described, one could do the same things with the UNIT. it's a great piece of toolbox gear.

    mmphhhh! arggggh! suicide ahhhhhh!
  11. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Thanks for chatting with me on this.

    Can I not just bypass the Unit altogether and simply use the 2NV Patch inserts > MixDream inserts? Then run additional gear in series through the 2NV Patch as well if desired?
  12. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    yes, my pleasure Chris. anytime
  13. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    cool, and just to clarify two more things,

    Can I burn anything, or how can I burn something?
    Will I get the 2NV mojo from this chain?

    any other suggestions on doing this without the Unit?
  14. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    well you can do this with all kinds of gear. you don't ned a summing mixer to do any of this although having a summing mixer like the UNIT opens the possibilities for a lot of tricks like parallel processing and processing more than one stem at a time.

    i'm not sure what you mean by "burn something", if you mean can you do any harm to you equipment, as long as you keep your gain low when connecting and then bring it up slowly listening for distortion, i don't think you can do any harm. as i said before the only thing you don't want to do is come out of a speaker output back into a mic or line input. other than that with a little caution you can get away with most anything. i do think what you are considering may get to be a bit noisy.

    the "mojo" with the great river comes from the transformers more than anything else. i can't recall if the mp2nv uses the transformers on the line / hi Z inputs. the insert / patch on the mp2nv is post transformers on the ins and pre transformers on the outs so you don't want to go that route. use the hi z or mic ins and the balanced outs.

    just have some fun trying different things. use your imagination. that's the creative part of recording. it's not all by the book, the rules were made to be broken.

    mphhhhh! suicide ghaaaaa! ahhhh!
  15. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Thanks a bunch! I'll keep you posted when I get to it.


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