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Analog Summing Boxes ?

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

  1. Gette

    Gette Active Member

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    Instead of fighting each other lets just have just an honest go at it. I would say, I am about 2 weeks out from completion (could be less depending on Honey do's). We would just have to use a mutual set of tracks to mix. Ether forum generated or what not.
     
  2. Gette

    Gette Active Member

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    Nah, that would be too easy
     
  3. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    1. sure
     
  4. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

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    A little arbitration...

    A mix-off isn't going to be fair to either one of you.

    There are far too many variables involved beyond just the gear. The first initial dilemma is, where are you going to get the tracks to mix? They would need to be professionally recorded, and I'm talking about truly professionally tracks.

    The second thing is that mix techniques vary from cooker to cooker, and vary widely. It's all too subjective. You could both come up with great mixes - yet, totally different mixes, and in turn, there might be a bias by some who like certain things in one mix, and others who like certain things in the other mix. That doesn't make ether mix better or worse than the other, just different.

    If one prefers a more tactile approach to mixing, and is willing to spend the money, then so be it. If the other can do just as good a job without a $35000 console, then so be it.

    I think that sometimes we tend to get lost in the technical side of our craft, and we forget the artistic side. Thousands of great sounding records have been mixed on consoles. Thousands of great sounding records have been mixed ITB.

    In the end, it's all about the music, and the music listening masses don't care about THD, .0002% crosstalk, phase coherency, or any of the other technical factors you are both debating. This is a bit like two brain surgeons arguing over their favorite type of scalpel. The patient doesn't care. LOL

    Let's all start to pay a little more attention as to why it is that we do this - which is ( or should be) to make great sounding music... and understand that there is more than just one way to accomplish that.

    For as much as I dig intelligent debate, I think it's time for you guys to simply agree to disagree, and to each (proudly) use what you use, with no excuses. Neither one of you is going to convince the other that your process is better than that of the other. Respect each others talent, knowledge, and dedication to the craft, and call this one a tie. ;)

    IMHO of course,

    d.
     
  5. pan60

    pan60 Active Member

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    plus one!
     
  6. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

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    My point exactly. ;)
     
  7. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    "We can make music on anything" including a DAW.

    One last thing and then I'm done here for a bit. :D

    It would benefit us ALL to hear all sorts of mixes that don't have to be creatively matched, but sonically close enough to tell us one thing, how a $40,000 copper desk compares to a DAW.

    Personally, once its ITB, I think its about the music and the guy behind the wheel directing the traffic.
    But, who knows... Few people ever post their work and discuss the "process" .

    This whole vintage gear thing is way over hyped. Like $6000 vintage EQ snake oil. Consoles aren't too far off on that one for me now too. So forgive me, I have an opinion. :)

    When it comes to mixing or mastering and Video, digital technology is taking us to Mars and beyond. Summing boxes are more often in that chain than an analog console with colour for a damn good reason.

    As Kurt points out many times, he misses the tactile approach and all the fuss on software upgrades. So, he too is looking at summing box solutions.

    There is no money left for most of us today so we can do pro audio smart. Thats what summing boxes are. "Smart". So, are we talking smart or stupid or what here? Last I looked, the OP was about summing boxes.

    Smart would really be to run away from this business as fast as you can! But if you are caught with the audio bug like most of us poor saps... , Summing boxes could be smart or just as lame as the rest of your work.
     
  8. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    Just for fun,

    Here is the last mix I did ITB. I wish Clark was around to share his thoughts, he's off on some journey right now but I'm sure he'll be back. He was so fun to work with me on this. What an ear he has (kudo's)
    I have the analog comparison somewhere which I WILL find and post both in a time line to hear for yourself. I never told Clark what I was doing but I was switching between ITB and OTB during the final last tweaks. It was pretty hard to tell the difference once I got everything emulated. The beauty of my rig, I can hard bypass everything in a chain with a switch. Build a system that you can do this and you will never regret it!
    I was able to recreate (emulate) $70,000 in gear ITB. When I did that, ITB was subtle better. I tried for days to beat ITB and couldn't. Since then I have been scrutinizing everything. The first to go were trannies. M/S processing clearly was the last standing gem and that can now be had ITB via AM-Munition.However, LA2A's are still special for a few things that I can't come close to emulating.

    So, here is the winner. I believe there were about 45 tracks. There were low end freq problems, SSS, and other issues that could never have been helped OTB. NEVER.

    http://jungleheartproductions.com/track/heavens-sounds
     
  9. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Distinguished Member

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    A before version could be nice, if possible ;)
     
  10. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    Which is why I posted this a few pages back. See 34:00 54:00

     
  11. pcrecord

    pcrecord Quality recording seeker ! Distinguished Member

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    I listened to Clark's song. It's a really good sound, it your face, clear but not harsh. A very good Job !

    This surely had nothing to do with you Chris but 2 things puzzled me with the song :
    • There is a fair amount of noise at the beginning of the song. I guess I can't stand noise since I often point that out when commenting songs..
    • the voice sound kind of autotuned. But I think Clark's voice sound a bit like that naturaly I'm just guessing here. ;)
    This thread reminds me of a debate we had about How gear vs training do mather. Some argued that it was more important to have good techniques that high gear. Also that on lower grade gear and great engineer could still make a good record.
    My point Chris is that I'm convinced you have all the knowledge and skills to produce the sound you want on any gear system.

    I think the best thing you could do to demonstrate how your new system is better than old ways is to go to a big board facility, master a song with their system and then master with yours while commenting and explaining why and what you do at each step.
    Then compare the two results.
    Listening to mixes and masters always bring up suggestive opinions. You sometime need to be point at what is important to realise it.

    Now finding a place that is willing to do that comparaison is the challenge.

    PS, how close are you to what Fab Dupond does and tools he choose ? I know he doesn't master with mixers and use dangerous products...
     
  12. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    Thanks,
    Thats a sample he liked.

    Thats Clarks sound :) It was all autotuned before I got it.

    Thanks, this is my point, I went from using the best analog gear available to ITB. The difference was astonishing. I always thought my analog system was impossible to beat, ITB. I proved myself wrong.

    That isn't the point. A console will never sound more in your face than this. It will sound more coloured, but not bigger, wider or in your face. The entire message I am sharing here is, the reason why the best mastering engineers use the same gear I have, is because its the best available. It doesn't degrade your sound like an analog console.
    We have a very similar hybrid system, which is what those guys are using in the video's I just posted too. Except, I'm fortunate to also use the Neos for stem mastering. Which is another part to the art of mixing and mastering. Which is the best of what hybrid audio brings to what summing boxes are all about.

    In a nut shell, the point is, those who don't think great mixes or masters can't be done ITB, I proved to myself that is can. And, for thousands less than a full scale facility. I already know what big consoles sound is like. If I wanted the spend $200 grand on the setup, I would have already. I choose what I choose, not because of cost, but because it sounds huge and is what is expected.
     
  13. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

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    Chris,

    aren't you printing your 2 mix to a second uncoupled daw/recorder?
     
  14. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    Absolutely.
     
  15. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

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    not trying to be argumentative but that's not "in the box" .... at least technically ...... :LOL:. i would say itb means all mixing and recording goes on in the computer.

    i don't doubt you are hearing what you are hearing. i know what i hear too. but i don't believe what i hear is what others hear too. everyone has a different experience. it's like when the cops question a crowd .... every one will say they saw something different.

    in my experience, anytime i mixed through the 2-bus in Cubase it sounded like crap. and i was printing to a CDR, uncoupled. it didn't matter or make a bit of difference if i printed to the daw, to a stand alone CDR or back to an ADAT machine .... through the 2-bus came pure crap.

    the second i began summing through a mixer the seas parted ... a difference of night and day anyone could hear. add to that the benefit of being able to use real processing instead of plugs. for me at this point, otb summing is the way.

    still, i am willing to reserve judgement until i can re assess with different daw's. i would not dismiss that the problem might lie in the daw software itself.

    Chris, is this the version of Sampletude you use?
     
  16. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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  17. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    This is what I'm getting at, which I will share next, Wich is also what mastering engineers are doing for years now.
    There is something that I cannot duplicate 100% ITB. I still need two DAW and to uncouple them. But, other than the converters, no gear. :whistle:
     
  18. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    (keep in mind, you are hearing an MP3 as well) I don't hate MP3's as much. Another topic :)

    Uncoupling and M/S processing.

    I love distortion. I'm from the 70's, I'm a guitarist that grew up listening and emulating my sound to all the classics including, clean pickers. I think like a guitarist. I use summing box's like a stomp box on steroids. Thats what summing boxes are to me.

    How many amps do you put together before it all sounds like crap. Distortion accumulates and its easy to turn a big mix to small without even knowing its happening.

    No matter what genre, to my ears, everything sounds bigger when the tracking is a straighter wire. I love the option to be able to mix character after everything is mixed together.

    Thinking like a guitarist mixing music: I love tubes and trannies and they do sound different at different places in a mix. Summing with Trannies via stems or in a well designed M/S matrix sounds pretty good.

    If I want to mash it up using character gear, I personally prefer UA products over most because they really have a sound. I insert them in the M/S matrix. Its all it takes to create the sound of a vintage UA console. You don't loose the size of a mix but get that character throughout the whole mix like it was vintage tracked on a UA console, in the 21 century. Granted , you're not going to have all the cross talk, but it will have tube and tranny in a way that is undeniably big and grainy.

    All you have to do is turn up the gain on either M or S with a the flavour of choice and it starts to glow. I find its better to pick one colour over numerous products (less is more) especially on the 2-bus. I love how tubes or trannies sound in the master section "closer to the capture side of two daws" in comparison to early on in a mix, via round trip "where the glow gets lost".
    No matter how expensive your gear is, trannies smear something when you are linking stereo fields together. The analog circuits tend to smear the transients so its crucial where I put the distortion and how i sum all the time. Listening, Summing and uncoupling is the magic mojo here.

    So, this is the contradiction to my ITB or OTB:

    I'm also pretty stoked on a straight wire from one uncoupled DAW to the another. If I want colour, without disturbing the "in your face" sound, I can either get this by using a tranny in an analog M/S process ($$$) or (save e big $) using Sequoia to emulate all or everything. I as keep improving my skills, and software continues to improve, I'm certain it won't be long where it all can be done better ITB.

    So, in the mean time, no matter which way I go, keeping the sides and center transients in tack all the way to the finish line is the goal. There are pro's and cons to the gear we use. It would be cool to have some big neve for the guys that (seeing is believing) and/or want smear and cross talk galore but to my ears, , what I just shared is the best way around the block at a fraction of the cost. Thats the best part of summing boxes.

    WE can take a transparent mix and distort the hell out of it with a turn of a knob and still keep the transients in the lane. We can crush them to nothing, but they are still firing straighter.

    This is the idea of hybrid and summing boxes. One DAW, Two DAW's, Consoles and DAW, its up to you.
     
  19. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

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    Sequoia looks more like a broadcast / video editing and audio mastering platform rather than a daw production program. at 3k a pop, it is obviously aimed at the pro market.

    would I use it if they gave me a copy? sure ... but no way could / would i pop for 3 large on anything, let alone something that will be have to be updated in 16 months. i'm not saying the intellectual property should not be recognized but i can't ever see it being something i could justify. i don't spend for fun. it has to make sense. i have been that way since i was kid.
     
  20. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    For the most part, yes. But Samplitude Pro X Suite has the majority.

    This is where I would say, "pay attention to what mastering engineers are doing here". I don't believe other DAW's will do it as well but Ozone would be another choice. I suggest the second DAW be loaded with a mastering Suite that has well coded M/S .
     

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