Skip to main content
Community forums, blogs, song critique, press & more...

Is the AEA rpq 2 a good all around choice for hybrid workflow?

@audiokid @Boswell @everyone

Having spec'd most of the new system I'm down to the summing section. The rolls folcrum seems like a great no nonsense box, that allows for creativity with color or transparency, because it's completely passive and requires a pre amp / make up gain stage.

A gear seller brought this pre amp to my attaention and it seems to be pretty cool. Clean gain clean sound di for my guitar/eleven rack, and switchable line in/out for external processing or summing. The eq could be useful for subtle tuning and can be bypassed by a switch for capturing both processed an unprocessed signal.

Overall it seems like one of the best all around choices for di/pre and capture/summing makeup gain.

Just wondering about any thoughts in general.

One particular concern is that since the line ins (line mode) and outs bypass the pre amp stage, that leaves 'only' 19db on the output gain avaialable. Is this enough gain for use w the folcrum?

Tape op cited 'only' need about 32db of gain in their folcrum review.

Normally that wouldn't be an issue but with the pre amp gain unavailable it might be a concern...

The big thing I liked about this was being able to leave the Mics and capture plugged in permentaly to the back and just flipping a switch and turning the detented knobs, when switching duties. I'm looking to avoid patch bays and ideally not fussing with plugs at all.

This thing does a fair amount for the price but the gain issue, if it is an issue, may be a deal breaker, since its essentially making the line functionality useless to me.

Thoughts??

http://www.ribbonmics.com/preamps/rpq2

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/RPQ2

Comments

Profile picture for user kmetal

kmetal Wed, 11/09/2016 - 21:17

Thanks chris. My whole point of OTB is simply to bypass the artifacts of digital summing, which is something I've experienced audibly. Also the benefits of OB SRC seem clear on paper by those who do it. It's not a cheap fix, but IMHO it's worth it. Other than that I'm fine w itb, it's what I've been doing most of my time mixing. I enjoy recall, and push button a/b of settings. I think my multi PC system is gonna help with bottlenecking and computer artifacts. Similar to the effect of using digital OB connected digitallay. Time will tell if that hunch is correct or not.

What I don't like is my mix changing between multitrack and the 'bounced' version.

Do I hope to maybe be able to 'add' some mojo or creatively effect mixes ala mastering style, sure, but primaraly (for me) this whole thing is about reducing the artifacts. That's why my conversion is starting out on the mastering/transparency side of things. I need to know what's there, before I can alter it.

It took me one project w a Rosetta and a Calrec in an accurate room to identify 'that sound' that had evaded me for so long. I figured it out. So now that I know that it's time to move on. I'm not against color, I just want to explore a different side of things.

Anyway, I've gotta find out about the xformer situation on the MDxp. But I came across this box which is in the price range and kinda cool looking.

Dedicated 8 mono ch, 24 stereo, switchable custom xformer. Not sure how I feel about the dual gain knobs.

http://burlaudio.com/products/b32-vancouver

Profile picture for user audiokid

audiokid Wed, 11/09/2016 - 21:28

kmetal, post: 443256, member: 37533 wrote: My whole point of OTB is simply to bypass the artifacts of digital summing, which is something I've experienced audibly.

I don't hear this so I cannot comment.

kmetal, post: 443256, member: 37533 wrote: Also the benefits of OB SRC seem clear on paper by those who do it. It's not a cheap fix, but IMHO it's worth it.

Without question. Its a huge reason why I use two DAW's that are uncoupled. It is worth it.

kmetal, post: 443256, member: 37533 wrote: Do I hope to maybe be able to 'add' some mojo or creatively effect mixes ala mastering style, sure, but primaraly (for me) this whole thing is about reducing the artifacts. That's why my conversion is starting out on the mastering/transparency side of things. I need to know what's there, before I can alter it.

agree.

Profile picture for user audiokid

audiokid Wed, 11/09/2016 - 21:48

kmetal, post: 443256, member: 37533 wrote: My whole point of OTB is simply to bypass the artifacts of digital summing, which is something I've experienced audibly.

What DAW are you using or were you using and what converters were in the loop when you noticed artifacts that were so noticeable? Maybe just having Samplitude will be enough of a wow to start.
Seems most of us who switch to Sam or Sequoia hear an instant improvement in sound.I noticed it instantly. Everything was clearer. Mixing was more fun. Editing and mastering tracks is so enjoyable. Plug-ins work and I really don't dream of much more.

When you say artifacts, what exactly are you thinking will improve in the new workflow?

Profile picture for user kmetal

kmetal Wed, 11/09/2016 - 22:27

audiokid, post: 443259, member: 1 wrote: What DAW are you using or were you using and what converters were in the loop when you noticed artifacts that were so noticeable? Maybe just having Samplitude will be enough of a wow to start.
Seems most of us who switch to Sam or Sequoia hear an instant improvement in sound.I noticed it instantly. Everything was clearer. Mixing was more fun. Editing and mastering tracks is so enjoyable. Plug-ins work and I really don't dream of much more.

When you say artifacts, what exactly are you thinking will improve in the new workflow?

I was in DP7 32bit, on a 2008ish Mac Pro, motu 2408 comverters @24/44.1, Meyer HD1 monitors

I was working on a death metal project that nearly killed me lol. There was thousands of edits at one point, and 24-30 tracks and maybe 8-10 busses, maybe 25 pluggins maybe 30. Just tons of mid range energy in the tunes lots of lows and high too, just a ton of harmonic distortions.

Anyway long story short, I would render the tracks via bouncing in DP. When I played back the stereo mix in any other player like the peak 2 Trk software or iTunes or whatever, gain matched thru the same montitoring section of the console, simple abc source select, the mixdown always sounded 'confined' or collapsed. Smaller and grainy-er. Like similar to what a good MP3 vs a wav does. Not that extreme but clearly noticeable to me.

Every single time i aB back to the multitrack it sounded fuller and bigger. Not drastically but enough to notice. An unacceptle amount. The multitrack sounded just more open or clear or hefty. The bounce shrunk. It sounded like cheap or something. Now keep in mind this wasn't a great mix or song or band, but my theory is either it was a glitch, which this project had many of (lost fades, settings getting lost) or it was a summing issue. Inbeilve it was a bounce/sum issue becuase it was pretty consistent through the process. I think the math had a hard time w all the complex harmonics.

This didn't happen on every project, but it was noticeable on that one. I don't remember ab ing other projects, so I'm not sure it was a consistent issue, but most of the other projects were not metal.

So that's what I heard.

I've also noticed a similar effect in protools after a certain number of pluggins were engaged. Even if CPU usage was low. There was a shrinking and a veil or fog to the sound that was a point of no return. The pluggin thing was consistent. That's when I really got into channel strip plugs, and group processing.

I'm sure Sam will be excellent. I didn't realize how well coded Adobe audition was till I used cubase and protools le. Audition has excellent built in processing.

I expect my experience w Sam to be similar to audition. Very clear, and reliable. Audition even had spectral editing mode in '05.

I kinda thought I was crazy. Same with the pluggin instansitaion thing in PT where a disabled eq made things worse just by instansiating it. Come to find out PTle had no delay compensation back then. LMAO, that may be part of it.

Anyway I hope for a good experience w Sam sonically. There's a reason ME's use sequoia. I also got an email back from them quoting a 1k discount for sequoia as Samplitude owner, so I'm excited about that. It makes it affordable for me if I go that route later this/next year.

I dunno I just have a hunch that switching programs, OB summing, and the master slave configuration is gonna step my work up. Along with excellent comverters.

I know my itb mixes got better when I started using instrument groups and busses so I'm hoping for a similar effect OTB perhaps less dramatic. There was just more room for things, as if they weren't competing as much.

All in all if the summing doesn't work right I'll sell the box and keep the comverters or maybe sell em. The computers I already have and intend on more for vsti dedication so those won't be wasted.

I'm not sure if it was dp or the conversion or both but there was always a tinge of ametuear to the Projects done on that system even by the ol hit mixer...

Basically I'm taking that 5-7 years over there and trying to weed out the suck one component at a time. Hence me starting from scratch. Everything up do current spec, better conversion, different daw.

There's a chance I could be imagining those artifacts but I truly don't think so.

Profile picture for user Kurt Foster

Kurt Foster Thu, 11/10/2016 - 05:02

i used to have the same thing happen to me with Cubase. while i mixed things sounded ok but when i rendered it would sound like ..... well like dog dew.

bringing out just a few stems from Cubase into a crap Mackie SR24 mixer with a little lexicon and eventide added in completely restored the mix to my ears. i figured that out 10 years ago. there's nothing new about the whole mixing otb thing.

actually printing the mix on a simple 2 track cd recorder at the destination rate sr is no different than using a second DAW. if you really need the processing of a DAW on the mix, import the 2 track CDR mix and put it back into the DAW and tweak it. the only thing you lose is the ability to tweak the 2 mix while you are recording it.

Profile picture for user Boswell

Boswell Thu, 11/10/2016 - 05:07

audiokid, post: 443255, member: 1 wrote: @Boswell , you don't say much when I am chatting. Please feel welcome to correct me, call me out on things if you feel like it. I'm opinionated but I'm not so stuck on ego that being schooled is a bad thing. I consider you the master in this field. I just happen to have a good line on some cool gear we don't all get to try out, then talk about.

Whoa! I switch on my computer this morning and find two pages of intense discussion! Talking in my sleep is easy, but the reading is a tad more difficult.

kmetal, post: 443218, member: 37533 wrote: Would alternative way to adjusting the gain on the converter itself be pulling the fader/gain down in the daw feeding the da converter and summing mixer?

Also isnt a passive summing box by nature very difficult to overdrive/distort. Wouldn't the DA be clipping long before you'd have to worry about levels into the summing box?

I'm trying to figure out exactly how imperative gain selection on a DA (AD) is in the decoupled capture scenario. Ie whether it's a deal breaker or not, or just something good to have. Ie essential or optional.

Also, does the adda actually have any amplification or is the gain selection just how much attenuation or not your doing??

I wouldn't get too hung up on gain adjustments around the D-A and A-D when used with a passive summing box.

The make-up gain in front of the A-D is important, but is very dependent on the type of passive box used, and then doesn't vary much from one mix to the next. The Folcrom, for example, needs an average of 35dB, but this may be 30dB on some loud, full mixes and 40dB on quieter ones with fewer tracks. In any case, you could set 30dB knowing that this is unlikely to overload the A-D converters and then push the levels up after the capture if you feel that's necessary. In my case, the analogue 2-bus may be paralleled off to one or more compressors so Box 2 can capture multiple stereo mixes with different levels of compression. For those, it's essential that I have a known reference level feeding them.

Gain adjustment on the D-A outputs feeding the passive mix is much less important. I like to have it (done by using a passive summer with faders), as that allows me to keep my D-A converters running at optimal levels, but, as Chris has mentioned, it does not allow storage of level settings so that a mix can be repeated with exactly the same levels.

kmetal, post: 443223, member: 37533 wrote: @Boswell would a preamp with digital gain control like the one from millennia for instance be comparable to something with switched gain for then make up gain section of a passive summing box.? As far as accuracy and recallability. Also out of curiosity what do you use regularly as far as summing boxes go?

I haven't checked, but I'm pretty sure the Millennia box is similar to other high-end gear and uses digitally-selected analogue gains. That means it's like having a manual rotary switch with discrete steps for the gain, but there's a big digital hand that comes out and rotates it to the required position.

As far as my own use goes, there are factors that pull in different directions. I like to choose a method that I believe best matches the material involved. However, you probably know that I'm a professional hardware designer, and to back that up, I choose to try out prototype designs on a variety of projects so that I can get an idea of what works well and what maybe not so well. This applies across the field from pre-amps through mixers to converters and interfaces. The result of all this is that I rarely use exactly the same setup from one project to the next.

Since I have to leave now, I'll post this and catch up with the rest later.

Profile picture for user kmetal

kmetal Thu, 11/10/2016 - 14:59

Thanks boz!!

----

I've been researching the Burl Vancouver, it seems to me that the +6 gain boost switch boost INTO the summing amplifier. I think one of the intended uses is to help hit transformers harder if they they are engaged and the mixncalls for it. Then you use the gain knobs to set the level properly for the capture side.

They are touting it as able to be clear and clean or statrated and 'tapey' depending on the settings.

This is intriguing to me. I know the Burl DA stuff is focaused on clarity.

I like the idea of having something very clear like the spl and something that has 'a sound' as well. Along w the high channel count this thing could be the best of both worlds. They don't seem to have published specs.

Profile picture for user kmetal

kmetal Thu, 11/10/2016 - 20:52

Boswell, post: 443274, member: 29034 wrote: I wouldn't get too hung up on gain adjustments around the D-A and A-D when used with a passive summing box.

Not to keep bogging you with questions, I'll be brief.

Does an active summing unit add any more importance to ADDA gains?

Mucho gracias.

Profile picture for user Boswell

Boswell Fri, 11/11/2016 - 05:30

audiokid, post: 443322, member: 1 wrote: Hi, This was a compliment and only generally speaking about all threads.

Thanks, and no worries. Sometimes my sense of humour does not travel well.

kmetal, post: 443321, member: 37533 wrote: I've been researching the Burl Vancouver, it seems to me that the +6 gain boost switch boost INTO the summing amplifier. I think one of the intended uses is to help hit transformers harder if they they are engaged and the mixncalls for it. Then you use the gain knobs to set the level properly for the capture side. They are touting it as able to be clear and clean or statrated and 'tapey' depending on the settings. This is intriguing to me. I know the Burl DA stuff is focaused on clarity.

I haven't ever heard a Burl Vancouver, but it certainly looks like a high-end performer.

One thing you have to take into account when products like this are developed is that within the company you have many different voices going into the decisions of what the product can do, how it looks and how it performs. If solely engineers were responsible for the whole product design, development and production, we would have a lot more new gear performing excellently but looking like an LA2A. Once your company has got beyond the man-in-a-shed stage, it's the marketing departments that hold sway for modern products, and one of the marketing key issues is product differentiation. What can you add to your product that separates it out from similar products made by other companies, appeals to purchasers who think they could use it, but does not compromise normal performance? I leave you to answer that question. To be clear, I'm in no way saying that the saturation mode on the Vancouver is purely for marketing purposes, but my guess is that the non-saturated mode is what will make up the majority of the usage.

Profile picture for user kmetal

kmetal Fri, 11/11/2016 - 15:13

Makes sense. Burl is all about transformers in the input. They put transformers on they're AD converter. By all accounts that transformer sounds good and is not a gimmick. A tech I know who's well reguarded said the comverters were a ten year development.

Whether or not that carries over to the summing mixer, I can't say, I haven't used either product yet.

I totally get where your coming from about product differentiation. I'm always wary of extra 'features' since they usually reduce quality or increase price.

Lol how much more can you do to a summing mixer to make it 'cool'?? It's essentially not even supposed to have a sound of its own, in general.

It seems like the flagship offerings from dangerous adds an optional transformer, and limiter, (which I didn't like in the quick sweewater review video) and spl adds a limiter.

It seems they're trying to make these things 'do something'. I wish they would omit those features and just drop the price, keeping the channel counts and specs the same in the flagship units.

It seems to me, anyone spending 3-4K on a summing box would have their own pet limiter, or even color gear, that they'd strap in, instead of using the onboard ones in the summing box. So I really question who these 'features' are marketed to.

With the folcrum only having one pair of stereo outs, it seems impractical. Is there an easy / lossless way to mult the outs on something like that?

I feel like the summing mixer is gonna be somewhat of a close your eyes and shoot purchase. First no stores carry them, second the likely hood of them having one set up remotely how I'm gonna use it is small, nevermind having the same two comverters.

The biggest thing I like about the Burl is the dedicated mono ins. It's also got 32 ins which is 2x more than the others.

The guy who designs for burl was the lead designer of the UA 192 mastering converter a while back. Apparently they work out of paradise recording in California, of Green Day Dookie fame.

Beyond that the dangerous seems 'safe' and the spl seems 'cool' cuz of its bypass switch on the gain.

To get started, I'm having a hard time finding a better bang for the buck than the lynx e44 pcie card based on quality, drivers, latency, and price.

The biggest choice is timing out either active of passive summing becuase that effects pre amp choice. Beyond that, none of the summing mixers above are likely to be less than very good performers. At least that's my best guess.

Profile picture for user audiokid

audiokid Mon, 11/07/2016 - 23:18

I can't tell you enough about my setup yet but I will once it's completed to the point I do critical comparisons. I also look forward to having more people around here doing some of the things I do. It gets a bit lonely lol. :D
I will say this,

To keep you thinking... If you are going to step OTB, make it worth while, otherwise, its a waste of money, Kyle. ITB and software kicks ass.

I've been saying this for about 3 years now. A Bricasti and two DAW's goes way further to improving a clients mix over all the analog hardware in the world. Meaning, if someone gives you a mix that sounds like ass, it will always sound like ass. So, what can you do to improve ass the best?

Expensive OTB summing can change the waves around a bit but its not imho enough to make it worth the fuss or investment. In fact, people with good hearing might not like their songs smeared either. Even the very best gear will degrade the tracks. This is why ME use the best, they they do it very carefully.

Those who claim OTB summing is making big differences, I beg to differ its due to their gear choices. ;) What we are hearing is smear and mud factor combined with subtle shifting of the waves. As if we can't do that better in other ways , ITB today.

Where the rubber meets the highway... It comes down to how much better you can improve their "space" without creating transient smear or phase shifting. How do you do that?

Less stacking of gear is the first observations you'll reach. It also comes down to really good analog gear. Cheap gear turns a mix into mud. The better the gear the closer to digital lol. Thats what is so ironic.

Before you step into the Folcrom or any type of summing amp... , I would get your basic rig happening first.

Are you going to be tracking people?
if so, I would get the best pre-amp you can buy and go from there. After that, its nothing to add a Folcrom and start testing other mic-pres until your find the one(s) that fit your pallet best.

That being said, I think Bos can help you a lot more than me when it comes to specs and headroom designs.
I've read the AEA rpq 2 is excellent. But I've also read something with big rails and a tube is more rewarding.

My way of thinking... if you are actually going to go for it. SS may only be marginal change, hardly worth the fuss.

I am pretty certain the pass between two DAW's will do what a SS will do just as well, if not better.

Words of experience. Once you start mixing peoples stuff, the better their mixes are, the more they are listening to everything you do. The analog assault isn't usually the best thing for a mix after tracking is done. The best time for all the gear is in the tracking stage.

The AEA rpq 2 looks excellent. I'm also thinking Hardy. Maybe even a used one. I've not completed my rig to even have a valid opinion yet.

I'm excited you are digging into all this and look forward to the day you get it all sorted , maybe we can even exchange tracks and so on.

Profile picture for user Boswell

Boswell Tue, 11/08/2016 - 09:03

Kurt Foster, post: 443124, member: 7836 wrote: i think you are supposed to drive the Folcrum with a pre amp stage not a line amp stage.

The Folcrom inputs can be driven by any balanced line-level outputs. The make-up gain (after the Folcrom) needs to be done by a microphone pre-amp or a line amplifier that has at least 35dB of gain.

The Folcrum is not an analogue mixer in the conventional sense, it's simply a passive summing network. You have to send it analogue signals that are already mixed, that is, all their amplitude levels are as you want them in the final 2-track result.

One advantage of using passive boxes of this sort is that you can choose the amplifier that performs the make-up gain to suit the character of the material you are mixing. However, fader-less units like the Folcrom have the disadvantage that you may be running some of the D-A converters that supply the inputs at below their "sweet spot" levels.

audiokid, post: 443126, member: 1 wrote: ... I think Bos can help you a lot more than me when it comes to specs and headroom designs.

Not a lot to add, really. You can't meaningfully overload the inputs of a resistive device (unless it built with SMT resistors - see posts passim), and talking about high-voltage rails is a red herring, as there are no rails involved. You need the best quality make-up amplifier you can afford, but beware that transformer-input pre-amps do not necessarily work well when fed with the output of a passive summing box as opposed to a microphone. As a make-up amplifier, my API 3124+ (transformer-input) does not give as good a result as my DAV BG1s (op-amp input). The BG1s also have switched-gain rather than the continuously-variable gain used on the API, and this makes balancing up the channels much easier.

One thing that has escaped mention so far is that external analogue summing allows you to use higher sampling rates for the captured tracks without needing to invoke digital sampling-rate conversion (SRC) to get the 2-track mix down to the CD standard.

Profile picture for user audiokid

audiokid Tue, 11/08/2016 - 10:04

Boswell, post: 443139, member: 29034 wrote: and talking about high-voltage rails is a red herring, as there are no rails involved.

Got that Bos, I was speaking about the designs of the preamp, not the passive summing unit.

Boswell, post: 443139, member: 29034 wrote: One thing that has escaped mention so far is that external analogue summing allows you to use higher sampling rates for the captured tracks without needing to invoke digital sampling-rate conversion (SRC) to get the 2-track mix down to the CD standard.

Indeed. This may well be one of the best reasons for some people as well. This is added my my FAQ list now. Thanks for mentioning this.

Boswell, post: 443139, member: 29034 wrote: You need the best quality make-up amplifier you can afford, but beware that transformer-input pre-amps do not necessarily work well when fed with the output of a passive summing box as opposed to a microphone. As a make-up amplifier, my API 3124+ (transformer-input) does not give as good a result as my DAV BG1s (op-amp input). The BG1s also have switched-gain rather than the continuously-variable gain used on the API, and this makes balancing up the channels much easier.

Good you mentioned this, Bos! (y)

This may be the most important reason to choose go uncoupled and OTB! Take note Kyle. My entire hybrid system has many ways to adjust gain but what I've forgotten to mention over and over (good we have Bos here) is how important gain staging options are on your converters.

(@Boswell ) Have you noticed when tracking/processing our own music OTB, its less common to be needing to be changing converters DA gains.
But when mixing for people, their ITB levels level are all over the map and therefore its paramount to be able to dial in their DA outputs on our converters.

You really nailed the big one here!
I would have thought variable gain would be easier and more fluid in finding the sweet spot of the preamp.
@Boswell You've mentioned the DAV BG1 many times as being your choice. Do you think it has a lot to do with the switch gain, op-amp's or both and why?
My M-2b has switching input gains and variable output gains, not sure if it has op-amps though. But, what I also noticed with some switches, many products lack precision with switching attenuation. Top tier mastering switches can even be impossible to calibrate . Detent switches can be a real problem which is why I no longer prefer OTB mastering per-say. Not questioning this, just mentioning it for conversation as this is my POV now...
@kmetal you should look into the DAV as well.

What do op-amps do for sound, Bos?

Thinking back years ago... I had a very expensive sampler with op-amps that i noticed having a frying sound when they start to fail or are bad right from the get go.

Profile picture for user audiokid

audiokid Tue, 11/08/2016 - 10:25

Boswell, post: 443139, member: 29034 wrote: and talking about high-voltage rails is a red herring, as there are no rails involved.

Got that Bos, I was speaking about the designs of the preamp, not the passive summing unit.

Boswell, post: 443139, member: 29034 wrote: One thing that has escaped mention so far is that external analogue summing allows you to use higher sampling rates for the captured tracks without needing to invoke digital sampling-rate conversion (SRC) to get the 2-track mix down to the CD standard.

Indeed. This may well be one of the best reasons for some people as well. This is added my my FAQ list now. Thanks for mentioning this.

Boswell, post: 443139, member: 29034 wrote: You need the best quality make-up amplifier you can afford, but beware that transformer-input pre-amps do not necessarily work well when fed with the output of a passive summing box as opposed to a microphone. As a make-up amplifier, my API 3124+ (transformer-input) does not give as good a result as my DAV BG1s (op-amp input). The BG1s also have switched-gain rather than the continuously-variable gain used on the API, and this makes balancing up the channels much easier.

Good you mentioned this, Bos! (y)

This may be the most important reason to go uncoupled and OTB! Take note Kyle. My entire hybrid system has many ways to adjust gain but what I've forgotten to mention over and over (good we have Bos here) is how important gain staging options are on your converters.

(@Boswell ) Have you noticed when tracking/processing our own music OTB, its less common to be needing to be changing converters DA gains.
But when mixing for people, their ITB levels level are all over the map and therefore its paramount to be able to dial in their DA outputs on our converters.

You really nailed the big one here!
I would have thought variable gain would be easier and more fluid in finding the sweet spot of the preamp.
@Boswell You've mentioned the DAV BG1 many times as being your choice. Do you think it has a lot to do with the switch gain, op-amp's or both and why?
My M-2b has switching input gains and variable output gains, not sure if it has op-amps though. But, what I also noticed with some switches, many products lack precision with switching attenuation. Top tier mastering switches can even be impossible to calibrate . Detent switches can be a real problem which is why I no longer prefer OTB mastering per-say. Not questioning this, just mentioning it for conversation as this is my POV now...
@kmetal you should look into the DAV as well.

What do op-amps do for sound, Bos?

Thinking back years ago... I had a very expensive sampler with op-amps that i noticed having a frying sound when they start to fail or are bad right from the get go.

Profile picture for user kmetal

kmetal Tue, 11/08/2016 - 17:07

audiokid, post: 443126, member: 1 wrote: To keep you thinking... If you are going to step OTB, make it worth while, otherwise, its a waste of money, Kyle. ITB and software kicks ass.

Yeah the summing is the last part of the setup. I've finally nailed down all the other components short and long term. The pre amp and summing are last since they may or may not go hand hand depending on the summing box. I like the idea of passive for creative control, and so the pre amps get more use. It's sinful to see them sit there 90% of the time.

audiokid, post: 443126, member: 1 wrote: Before you step into the Folcrom or any type of summing amp... , I would get your basic rig happening first.

Yeah that's my plan. I just need to think ahead so that things all play nice. I won't be doing any real summing till I get the mytek next year. Anything before that is experimentation.

I've got the computers spec'd, the software, speakers, controller, and guitar and amp all picked w 3/4 of the money set aside.

I'm scooping things up all of 2017 so I've got time. I just don't want to have wasted gear sitting around due to bad planning.

audiokid, post: 443126, member: 1 wrote: Are you going to be tracking people?

Nope. Not at my mix suite. It's all about remote mixing, composition, and surround post, as well as studio design and system integration.

I busted my tail for 4 years building two well equipped commercial studios, perfect for tracking. My boss and I have a good arrangement as far as the finances go. It only makes sense to track at a comcerial place.

I prefer to mix at my own private spot.

audiokid, post: 443126, member: 1 wrote: I am pretty certain the pass between two DAW's will do what a SS will do just as well, if not better.

What do you mean SS? JW. I need to have this analog section right.

audiokid, post: 443126, member: 1 wrote: Words of experience. Once you start mixing peoples stuff, the better their mixes are, the more they are listening to everything you do. The analog assault isn't usually the best thing for a mix after tracking is done. The best time for all the gear is in the tracking stage.

That's why I'm learning to build gear, and planning on very little for the summing. Mainly colored, semi clear, transparent make up gain, and a mastering eq or two.

I'm far more concerned w recallablity and realtime remote workflow than having racks of gear for mixing, or tracking for that matter.

But what i do get has to be good.

audiokid, post: 443126, member: 1 wrote: The AEA rpq 2 looks excellent. I'm also thinking Hardy. Maybe even a used one. I've not completed my rig to even have a valid opinion yet.

My buddy likes his John hardy a lot.

I want a transparent pre, a neve 1073 the neve brand or Brent Avril, and something in the middle.

One or two eqs for tracking and sum, and a compressor or two mostly for tracking.

I'm way into the idea vsti and the re ampming and using real room ambinace these days. I've been doing rock bands for 18 years so I've started to get a hang of it, which means my creative drive wants to move into other areas for inspritation.

audiokid, post: 443126, member: 1 wrote: I'm excited you are digging into all this and look forward to the day you get it all sorted , maybe we can even exchange tracks and so on.

Sure thing man. In 2-3 years I'll have the full post room setup at whatever my new house is. By the end of 2017 I should have my basic rig and remote system well on its way in the house or an outbuilding. I'm in no way slowing down or moving away. Just trying to catch the next wave of tech and art so I can be current. I spent a long time getting to this point where I feel comfortable and well rounded.

I'm not a master, but a journeymen of decent quality...

Boswell, post: 443139, member: 29034 wrote: However, fader-less units like the Folcrom have the disadvantage that you may be running some of the D-A converters that supply the inputs at below their "sweet spot" levels.

I've seen the colmen summing box has a fader.

I'm kinda confused, isn't the makeup gain stage ie pre amp, supposed to provide enough level to hit the sweet spot of the converters.?

Right now it's looking like mytek next fall and Lynx in the meantime. The Lynx will handle capture duties when I get the mytek 8ch (or similar) for the daw 1.

Is there a general range where I should be looking as far as levels?

Boswell, post: 443139, member: 29034 wrote: You need the best quality make-up amplifier you can afford, but beware that transformer-input pre-amps do not necessarily work well when fed with the output of a passive summing box as opposed to a microphone.

Well thank goodness. I was gonna just use the isa I had in mind for both tracking and makeup gain, but now I'll have to re think. I'll probably go isa two for instead of 428 just to have something decent to track my voice and di thru.

The whole reason i brought up the aea becuase I figured clean high headroom made most sense for summing.

Boswell, post: 443139, member: 29034 wrote: The BG1s also have switched-gain rather than the continuously-variable gain used on the API, and this makes balancing up the channels much easier.

Yeah the aea has switched gain knobs, seemed essential given the role. I want to have an easy 'standard' setting. To recall when I bounce between using the ore amp for tracking and sum.

My goal is as set and forget as possible. I want this setup in 'always on' mode as much as possible. I have had my fill of patch bays and running between rooms for a while.

Gonna check out the BG1 im not familiar with them. Thanks!!!!

Do you have any other pres I should investigate particularly for the summing make up?

I've looked into millennia and grace so far besides aea. Also true systems as well.

I'm pretty deceived on the isa for a starter tracking due to low price and good sound. And then a neve 1073. Cuz I love neve sound for tracking.

It's the unclothed sounding pieces I need to research...

Boswell, post: 443139, member: 29034 wrote: One thing that has escaped mention so far is that external analogue summing allows you to use higher sampling rates for the captured tracks without needing to invoke digital sampling-rate conversion (SRC) to get the 2-track mix down to the CD standard.

Lol if you know me I've been blathering about 192k and 384k. It took substantial effort to get quality stuff that was 192 capable software and hardware wise.

audiokid, post: 443141, member: 1 wrote: This may be the most important reason to choose go uncoupled and OTB! Take note Kyle. My entire hybrid system has many ways to adjust gain but what I've forgotten to mention over and over (good we have Bos here) is how important gain staging options are on your converters.

I'm totally lost here. The Lynx have a trim knob for input but it's set and forget.

Not sure what your talking about here Chris...

Looking forward to hearing about it, I may be missing something.

That said, I'm gonna spend substantial time calibrating everything so there's no discrepancy between gear and meters and ears.

But still unclear about gain staging for the converters?

Profile picture for user audiokid

audiokid Tue, 11/08/2016 - 17:45

kmetal, post: 443151, member: 37533 wrote: I've seen the colmen summing box has a fader.

The sole reason I invested in the Neos was to have faders. Others will surely disagree but OTB faders are a total waste of money and time. I used my fader because they were there but I would never invest in a summing system with faders again. (n)Its old school, fun to use them but they do not do what they are claimed to do better which is to let the analog push your level up more. You can't recall them and in today DAW, why would we ever need them. I get why people think they are useful or essential but if you have high headroom, I push from the DAW anyway.
Pretty certain those days are done for me but who knows...

kmetal, post: 443151, member: 37533 wrote: I'm totally lost here. The Lynx have a trim knob for input but it's set and forget.

For me, having the best converter and interface that could switch SR between sessions without needing to reboot is essential. That is another area we have not really discussed. Some might think, why would I do that. Well, When you are working between two DAW'sm comparing tracks and various clients work, sound designing and soon, I am constantly switching between SR and my converters change and lock almost instantly. The date, from my experiencing and what I hear from others with similar goals, PCIe AES EBU or MADI interfacing does this better.

Not sure what your talking about here Chris...

Related to the above workflow, being able to switch from +4 to -20 on both the AD and DA sides of your converter GAIN is essential for me. This enables use of DAW gains better, including automation and total recall. You have more options in finding the sweet spots of all your gain stages. It helps find the best spots for all your analog gear as well. They are very important. I think most good converters have this. I personally like having buttons on the converters as well as being able to change those via a control panel of the converter software.

As an example: RME ADI 8 as example have the best gain controls I've used.
You can adjust them manually or via a mouse. When you are working in the zone, its useful having the ability to push a button while your mouse it on DAW faders and you have an outboard compressor sounding better with less gain coming from the converter. When working with clients stems and tracks, I used them all the time.

x