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Analog Summing Boxes ?

Discussion in 'Summing / Mastering consoles' started by Tommy osuna, Nov 29, 2014.

  1. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    Start @ 34:00 Donny, you will especially enjoy this. What a wonderful interview.
    M & S on the Dangerous Master. Magix Amunition ;) Oh ya!


    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDDQ6tqdG84


    54:00

    Perfect comment on speakers, what works for you, do it. I do love my Opal Events and Avatones..

    Followed by an interesting comment on how he prefers an analog (Sontec) EQ to ITB. 1 db of Analog to 2 times the amount with digital. This used to be how I heard it until I started using an uncoupled capture process. I now hear I need less digital on everything. The changes are harder to hear but they are definitely changes. I've been thinking about a Sontec, they get the most praise.
    Right now I'm loving a Millennia NSEQ-4 . Its a wonderful new big rail EQ .
     
  2. Gette

    Gette Active Member

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    When i started this journey down the rabbit hole that this thread has become. I only wanted to bring out 2 points, 1) Analog Consoles are still valid (for all duties) 2) Analog has a tonality that digital has yet (in my opinion, will not ever) been able to recreate.

    Emotions have in moments run high, Partially my fault for not being concise and thorough in my responses, thus allowing for assumption and mis-interpitation. now that was a long sentence…. o_O

    I have been an audio engineer for well over 20 years, my experience runs many deferent disciplines. those years are what has forged my preferences and ultimately how I judge whether I feel a technique, a piece of hardware is something I may be interested in. This is not sign of rebellious refusal to learn or to gain further insight into any topic. I learn something new every day.

    Well………..

    Summing:

    There are 5 "notable" topologies for active summing, although there is one topology that is most prevalent, virtual earth summing. BUT just for bread and thought, the others are; Voltage Summing (also called passive), Balanced Summing, Ground-canceling Summing, Distributed summing (which may be a combination of any of the previously stated approaches). Noise sources in summing networks are derived of three major sources, Voltage noise (Vn) Current noise (In) and Johnson noise (Rs). Other noise producing sources come into the equation when dealing with the physical layout and the means of transporting the summed signals. Obviously, grounding is a major factor here and so is cross talk. Use of a ribbon cables to carry a sum bus (the choose of the majority of console & equipment manufacturers) for example introduces a greater risk of capacitive cross talk. In the case of my console, ribbon cables were not used. Graham used large PCB's with hard soldered cabling to connect each plane to each other. Arguably, the best approach you could use in a console design. (pain in in the ass to work on though…:sneaky:).

    My console uses virtual earth summing (allot of Name brand large money consoles used this topology and most likely the summing box most own) It is a happy medium between performance and cost. The best topology, is balanced summing, but comes at a high cost (due to component count). My desk was originally fitted with a quad bus type architecture (L front, R front, L rear, R rear), the space and needed traces are there to accommodate Balanced summing.. Hmmmmm… :unsure:

    I am not even scratching the surface of the topic of summing here, but why state all the above? So you can say , I am missing the point?
    Or, that I may need to learn more about summing? Or mastering? Or that i am just a repair guy, stuck in his ways and my opinions or thoughts are below you? The SPL reference was not meant derogatorily, I apologize if it translated that way. BUT what I can say, is it is not new technology. That is not to say, it is not a nice piece of gear or that it is not worthy of its asking price. You could also get "Big rail" consoles from Repurt Neve Designs… OHH but wait, waste of money…

    I mean no harm, no disrespect nor ill will. However, to say, because I disagree with a technique or do not follow the same path as the engineers of your example, does not in any way show that my experience or knowledge is invalid or inferior. It just means, I prefer a deferent approach.

    I agree to disagree.:D

    Thank you ;)
     
  3. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    Joel, you are the one that barged in here stating you knew all about these with underlying statements about a company that was a low blow. I asked you to quality your experiences with these, not paste some tech info that has little to do with your hands on experiences with the "processes and integrations". ? I look forward to next time when comparing real world comparisons.:love:

    Yes, we can make music on anything and I'm sure I speak for everyone, we are really thrilled for you. But the OP is about summing boxes. Check the videos out. The last one is really special.
     
  4. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

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    excelent!

    Joel; i read somewhere where you've said that passive summing had problems .... would you please elaborate on that? what are the drawbacks?
     
  5. Gette

    Gette Active Member

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    Again assumption...

    I have used a number of summing boxes from SPL, Tube Tech and dangerous. They all sounded fine, I did not much like the work flow. I found it to be more of a hindrance to the process then what benefits I was gaining.

    Barging in on a topic is what forums are for, are they not? To add to the conversation.

    Hell, I am sure the watchers of the thread at least got a laugh or two!
     
  6. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    +1
     
  7. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    Really? What did they sound like? And how did you demo these?

    Okay, how did you connect the "workflow"
    Details please? :)
     
  8. Gette

    Gette Active Member

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    Kurt

    Passive (Voltage) summing suffers from a few issues. Although sexy on paper, just using a few active components. Due the relatively high voltage sitting on the bus, allot of care has to be paid attention to the layout. Also with increased voltage comes increased capacitive cross talk. Another major factor is the ability for one channel to actually get into an adjacent channel causing distortion. It's also a hard to drive network from a design stand point. But if it sounds good to you, what am am I to say...
     
  9. Gette

    Gette Active Member

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    Spl, tube tech was used at my home . Same system used for ITB mixes. The dangerous was at a nice facility.

    All using PTHD. Everything is relative, you use what you are most comfortable with in order to assess how you feel about it. The mistake is to change the environment. You need to test gear where it will be used. As I said, the sound was fine (insert great, cool) I did not like the process. If a process hindered your own creativity, or takes away from listening to the music... It is simply not working...
     
  10. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

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    i for one am left on the fence as to this topic.

    do i think analog summing sounds better than itb? judging from my experiences, yes. but i would never assume that someone else might not arrive at the same findings. i would even venture to say that someone else listening to my work might not arrive at the same conclusion.

    in the best of situations, i would love to have a LFC regardless of all the arguments presented against. i just love a good console. but i can no longer generate the kind of business that warrants such a choice and i'll wager that a lot of us who used to be able to attract enough business to house and feed such a beast are in the same boat as me. so what i have to do is compromise and go itb ... which sucks .... so i am looking to passive summing as a way to increase quality while not winding up living in a van down by the river.
     
  11. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    https://www.gearslutz.com/board/so-much-gear-so-little-time/704253-passive-analog-summing-all-same.html
    http://sound.westhost.com/articles/audio-mixing.htm

    Neos Specs:

    • Input path with 100-mm faders from ALPS, panning, mono-, Cut, solo and To Monitor Only-switching functions, indicator LEDs
    • Master track with 100-mm faders from ALPS, inserts, bend function (limiting)
    • Complete monitoring unit with volume control, tape return (or DAW return) and Mute, Dim and Mono switches
    • Inputs: 3 x DB25 eight channels (balanced, TASCAM standard), XLR balanced: Slave, insert return, Tape Return
    • Outputs (XLR balanced): Recording Out, Monitor A and Monitor B
    • Outputs (XLR unbalanced): Alternative Out, insert send Metering
    Measurements
    Frequency Response (-3 dB): 10 Hz to> 200 kHz

    Phase transition 1kHz: 0 °; 10kHz: -4.5 °; 20kHz: -8.30 °

    Common Mode Rejection:> 60 dB
    (Rec. Out, insert send Monitor A / B)

    THD
    10Hz Rec Out. 0.0011%, Insert Send: 0.0011%, Monitor A / B: 0.0016%
    100Hz Rec Out. 0.00060% Insert Send: 0.0009%, Monitor A / B: 0.0016%
    1000Hz Rec Out. 0.00090% Insert Send: 0.0013%, Monitor A / B: 0.0020%
    5000Hz Rec Out. 0.0032%, Insert Send: 0.003%, Monitor A / B: 0.004%
    10kHz Rec Out. 0.0028%, Insert Send: 0.0018%, Monitor A / B: 0.0027%
    22kHz Rec Out. 0.00054% Insert Send: 0.00050%, Monitor A / B: 0.0005%
    (Generator output 24dBu, inputs with 40 dBu completed)

    Signal to noise ratio
    Rec Out. 92 dBu Insert Send: 92 dBu, monitor A / B: 88 dB
    (A-weighted, measurement bandwidth 22 Hz - 22 kHz, with 40 dBu inputs completed)

    Dynamic Range:> 122 dB
     
  12. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    All duties? And what duties are these?
    Neve, SSL, API, what? and which one or specs? And which is more ideal for extended business like mixing and mastering? Most of us choose summing boxes because we can choose when or what tracks we want more or less "character", with a better signal at a fraction of the costs.

    If you just left it as, you like the tactile approach for your own work, I might agree.

    Joel, I respect your personal workflow, I'm going to leave this alone but be sure, its because I don't want to continue the drama . I know you didn't even get off the ground with this technology. Had you, we wouldn't even be here right now. You'd be sharing A LOT more than excerpts off some front page manual. :cool:
    Take the time to watch the video's. Contrary to your 20 years experiences, I'm hearing you are on a different workflow than modern summing or mastering workflow. What you are talking about is is pretty far on the left side. Recording, mixing, summing and mastering.
     
  13. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

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    I don't really want to be a part of this megaphone discussion, but there are lots of things wrong with these statements that cannot be left unchallenged (the need for care in the layout excepted).

    Passive summing "just using a few active components" is a tautology. The capacitance of a net is a property of the layout, cabling etc and specifically is independent of voltage, so crosstalk measured in dB is therefore independent of signal voltage. Anything that may get coupled capacitatively from one channel to another is a linear effect and does not cause distortion. Resistive networks are the easiest to drive.

    Missing from this pot at passive summing is any mention of problems for a summing box designer having to deal with distortion due to the change of value of a resistor with terminal voltage (surface mount components are generally worse in this respect than axial-leaded parts). This is, incidentally, something that works against high-voltage summing systems. There is also the question of make-up gain and whether the designer should expect the following ADC to have enough available gain to perform this task or whether special make-up amplifiers should be part of the system.

    PS I'm a professional design engineer.
     
  14. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

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    Yea! What he said! :)

    LOL... someday Boswell's statement might make sense to me... after I get that degree in applied mathematics and electrical engineering, with a minor in physics and nuclear atomology. (is that even a word? LOL)
    At which point, I too will be able to understand how to connect the razz-ma-frazzle to the nymphomatic decapitating limp clutch in-line to the hoop-dee shmig-mometer with a vase-deference attenuating whomp-hog. ;)

    Sorry Bos... You know how much I respect your knowledge. I just thought this thread could do with some momentary levity. ;)
     
  15. Gette

    Gette Active Member

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    You caught me being lazy... When you increase voltage on a bus, you increase the likely hood of capacitive cross-talk. With this type of design as a result of the high voltage it requires careful layout and heavy screening of the bus. It is also susceptible to bleeding (via adjacent resistors on the bus). The less component approach (Mix resistors without buffers) does suffer gain loss. It could be made up in the summing amp, but at a cost of headroom and an increased noise floor.

    Thank you Boz, for also reminding me of some of the great books I have on my shelf!! Since admittedly, i do not work every day on this topology, I wanted to make sure my understanding was accurate, if not admit i was wrong. so reference for the above statement : "Small Signal Audio Design" Douglas Self, p446.

    I am not perfect nor have I ever stated so. I truly learn something new everyday, The field of electronic design (as it pertains to audio) is massive. There are a vast amount of approaches and justifications to accomplish a single task. Some of the most heated debates I have seen/been apart of, has been on topics surrounding the design of (insert what ever piece of gear). And they have been the most educational!

    I have always held a huge level of respect for anyone in the design field.

    SMD type of resistors have been a debate that I am sure we both do not want get into ;) Resistors are evil good guys.... :D

    Thank you for posting!

    Left field? most refer me to being in the right field, but ok ;) Tracking & Mixing. No one uses a recording console to master. thought that would be given.
    Front page of a manual? Really? .... Allot of people still use a console to track and mix.
     
  16. Gette

    Gette Active Member

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    I would agree with you, Drama sucks.
     
  17. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

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    I am really digging Am-Munition, and its ability to process in M/S or Stereo Modes.

    I love having the ability with M/S - to control the center "punch", yet have independent control of the sides for space, depth and width.

    However, after working with this for 2 months now, I can honestly admit that I've only been scratching the surface of what Am-Munition can do.

    It is not a compressor/limiter you want to just quickly reach for if you are a novice at using gain reduction, in the sense that it's fairly deep in function, you could end up doing more harm than good.

    I've been watching Kraznet's Am-munition videos on YouTube; I think he has something like 4 videos dedicated to Am-Munition alone, with each video running between 8 and 12 minutes; obviously am-munition is complex enough to warrant several chapters devoted to instruction on its use.

    I guess what I'm saying is that it's probably not a choice you would want to make in terms of a "quick, no muss, no fuss" simple gain reduction.

    To use it to its intended optimum, you really do have to know what you are doing with it.

    Here are some links for anyone who might be interested in learning more.

    Part 1:
    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LwM6_MxYiBw

    Part 2:
    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OgfOZTrIruI

    Part 3:
    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K5fSU8PkphA

    Part 4:
    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jLi802Ke1Sw


    ;)

    d.
     
  18. Gette

    Gette Active Member

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    audiokid, have you looked this over?

    http://rupertneve.com/products/analog-mixer/
     
  19. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    referring to the summing boxes you claim to have experience with.:rolleyes:

    A lot is an over statement. However, I'm talking about summing boxes and the reason why. For some reason you don't get that. Your digging a hole here. I'm not disputing a console < Nor am I in love with summing boxes but the clear facts are, a console has a lot of build that are in the way. Meaning, there are more options when it comes to value, sonics, choices and real estate.

    ya, if I wanted something like that, I would buy it. Joel, leave it. I have no interest in consoles like this for mixing or mastering. They are a dying technology imho.
     
  20. Gette

    Gette Active Member

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    Well what would a good thread be with out some dirty naughty pictures?

    The things of anti-transparency.... :ROFLMAO:

    You do realize this is in good fun?
    image.jpg image.jpg
     
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