Analog Summing Boxes ?

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

  1. Gette

    Gette Active Member

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    Believe it or not i understood the idea and reasoning behind using 2 DAW's. I do not see any fault with mixing to Sequoia as a final mix destination (replacing the round trip or 1/4 final) Would be very easy to purpose build a PC just to operate the program. Buy/Build a good ADC/DAC. Great tools for mastering and output to various media/standards. makes sense. Although It would be further down the road before I would do something like that (Have other gear to get first).
     
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  2. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    I think a lot of us agree on this.
    It appears there is something wrong with how we either hear or how one DAW sums.

    I'm hopeful but have my doubts that this passive box will do much for you. You are missing 4 essential parts to what I need.
    1. Uncouple DAW's
    2. 2 channel high quality ADDA
    3. Independent monitor control system.
    4. Mastering Software with M/S processing.
    I'm thinking there is a correlation to do with "hearing" and one DAW won't allow me to monitor the 2-bus like two uncoupled DAW's do.

    The unanswered question I have:

    Is it the uncoupling between two DAW's or simply not being clocked to the first DAW? I don't know. I sure like uncoupling compressors apposed to locking transients together. I sure like keeping mono tracks tight.

    Maybe I prefer a converter that will uncouple the two DAW's because I don't have to bounce. I capture and export to MP3 or whatever the destination SR needs to be because it sounds tighter this way. MP3 sound better too. Is that an indication of something?

    Technically, my choice right now requires a DAD step between two DAW's but I'm not convinced I will be doing this forever.
    Contrary to what we've all been saying for the last 5 years, " that converters don't make that much difference", maybe they do.
    I don't know.
    For now AD > LINE IN > Prism converter DAW2 . This sounds the best. If I want to create a UA analog console, LA2A or 1176 in an analog M/S get it done.

    I'm not so certain I can get away without uncoupling something purposely somewhere. I'm questioning whats happening on the 2-bus of a DAW and I like what happens with M/S processing. There seems to be something good when we uncouple something.
     
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  3. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    Exactly. This is where we are all going to be looking Joel. Which leaves a bunch of questions as to why, and how a mastering grade summing box with M/S features begins to look like a pretty solid step. The Dangerous Master is what I use.
     
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  4. Gette

    Gette Active Member

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    OR… you could do it my "old school" way and use a console….:ROFLMAO: One DAW as a multi track the other as the mix down recorder…
     
  5. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    This is also why I am seeing the second DAW as a way to emulate that analog M/S process. The straighter wire sounds better. HOWEVER, I cannot get the same tube or wild tranny sound of UA gear ITb so far. I am wondering if an Apollo 16 might do it when it on the capture side after the console or simply between two DAW's.
     
  6. Gette

    Gette Active Member

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    You could also look at a DAC with a Trans on the output stage. Or you could modify one to have it
     
  7. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    As I have been saying all along, a console looses the edge when you mix through it. You are better off bypassing it and using a tranny in a M/S matrix of a mastering quality router ( summing box) while utilizing the tracking DAW automation and plug-ins at this point. The idea of replacing your DAW for a console is of no benefit. You might like the tackle approach but you aren't gaining sonics going back through it all over again! ADDA / ADA You are creating accumulative transient smearing and distortions.

    Mixing on a console is where you and I part.

    When you have your console running perfect, we can do a simple test.
     
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  8. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

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    the LittleOne is a solution for me. i am mixing to a second daw ... and i want better converters for that machine but i am not going to spend a years property tax on it .... it's gotta be affordable.

    the Little One eliminates my need for a mixer and allows me to get out of the computer without going through the 2-bus in the daw .... my own personal experience has proved to me that in my workflow, mix's sound better this way .... since i began recording on the computer this has been an issue for me.

    i am not the least interested in mastering solutions. i just want to record and mix. M/S does not interest me either or anything else excessively tweaky. just want to rock record and mix ... and have it make me smile at the end of the day instead of wanting to pull out my hair.
     
  9. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    Yes, I thought this too. Then realized the mastering engineers had it right all along. You are getting mastering confused. Its not the mastering, its the ability to keep the 2-bus transients from smearing it all up. Which is why you are doing this all in the first place.

    you need to read over why I keep mentioning uncoupling and how this is a direct correlation with M/S decoding. :)
     
  10. Gette

    Gette Active Member

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    well… open minded thought. The most important piece of gear in today's studio would be your AD/DA converters. after all, that is what actually captures the audio and ultimately allows you to hear what you do with it. The idea of using two DAW's, I believe has more to do with this step. DA then back to AD. By not linking them (Clock), you are actually capturing deferent images of the analog signal then what was originally used to create it.

    Ok, lets re explain that…. A digital picture in the daw, gets converted to an Analog signal from that image, then is re captured, out of sync from the original digital image… Make sense? I believe I could create a repeatable test to prove, this is why/how it sounds deferent.

    I know….
     
  11. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

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    ok i'll bite .... i don't get this .... why do i need to dick with M/S decoding if i never recorded anything in M/S?
     
  12. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    YES! now we are getting somewhere!
     
  13. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

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    also maybe some would have issues with phase and need M/S decoding but i subscribe to the theory of L/R - Mono panning. no 9 or 3 o'clock panning. i also check phase and mono compatibility every step of the way when recording.
     
  14. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    I'm going to get wordy.


    You are thinking like a recordist after the fact. Stop that.
    Once ITB, think like a sound engineer, sound designing or preserving/ improving the space the tracking guy gave you.. You are now trying to preserve and paint what the musicians and the recording was intending all along. The problem is, the 2-bus is all mashed together in a computer and you are now hating it. M/S processing is the best way to construct your M and Side information, BETTER. Up until now, you are thinking MS is about micing. forget that! NOW you are creating the room inside your box.

    Think like a mastering engineer who is trying to stop the transients from smearing all over the place. Once you get this summing box, Kurt, start mixing into the master section. Thats the goal.
    This is why I monitor off the second DAW. I am actually monitoring off the back end of the M/S matrix. I can hear how I am improving the space between the mid and sides better this way. True .

    We mix into the M/S matrix.

    • Mid and side processing on DAW 2.
    • DAW1 is for mixing and prepare what you are summing too. DAW1 is your mixing console, DAW 2 is where you separate the Mid and Side better.
    One might think we can do this all on one computer, but I can't. And this is why Bos and I use uncoupled DAW's. But, I take it a step further and mix into a M/S matrix. I will either us my analog M/S summing box or put it on the second DAW.


    Picture this now.
    The recordist gives us the tracks to paint a picture with. The summing mixer thinks like a mastering engineer going backwards. We use M/S processing to shade the sides while keeping the center clean and fat. We remove the freq that don't need to be on the sides. I roll off bass on the sides so the bass is more centered and fat. I add spacial texturing on the sides while keeping the center more focused. This is how you build more spacious mixes.

    I check in mono all the time while building the mid and sides. In the end, you are able to paint the finishing white drop on the eye with the sun or storm surrounding using side processing. Its a rush!

    M/S process will allow you to get bigger, clearer and louder mixes. Without this turning into a tutorial, I'm really sharing something special here. One step at a time. You get that box and see how it helps. If you can get a M/S processor loaded on the second DAW. We will share notes.
     
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  15. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    Again, that is exactly how I mix. But, I am able to hear the transients and where I need to HPF or LPF better this way. I don't mess with much other than filters.

    Before I learned this, I EQ's too much. Now, I filter and have better control where these filters need to be..
     
  16. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    I suppose a Harrison Mixbus would be something I might subscribe too. Filters! But, when you are using two DAW's like this, 2 DAW's are better than one because you are digging further into a mix where it counts. The idea is to keep the transients and avoid compressing. Very seldom do I even need a traditional compressor. ITB comps become essential tools for side chain processing, which are superior to analog. Most analog Comps are too slow for this.

    When we use filters and are able to isolate the Mid and Side information better. We do less damage to everything. A console will never out perform ITB processing when it comes to filtering like this. Its such a big topic and a really exciting one. And we haven't even touched on spectral editing. I can only imagine where this is going to take me.

    One might think we are getting too digital but I see it as superior ways to improve how we paint the picture using better spacial editing tools. As humans, we know when something is behind us or to the side with in 2 degree's. How do you create that on tape? If you don't care, you should. But we don't need to do that wth panning, we do it with filtering the M/S information and reverb. Digital technology is helping us capture a picture of the real world more possible. M/S processing rocks.
     
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  17. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    I'm not trying to demonstrate my skills, merely just letting you hear what a few UA trannies sound like in a M/S Matrix.

    Here is a mix I did using M/S with two LA2A's. Barely kissing the needles, they added beautiful grit but it also lost a bit of clarity. Had I adjusted the upper mids on DAW 1 a bit more in the mix to compensate for the character, I could have gotten it even better keeping the center clear and beefier. Using the comps increased the reverb's out come which I should have pulled back a bit more on the snare DAW stem. Live and learn.


    View: https://soundcloud.com/audiokid/betterbymorning-la2a-master
     
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  18. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    Here is the same mix without them, straighter wire to the capture DAW. Still using M/S

    The is a wave file so its not quite fare but still, an example.


    https://dl-web.dropbox.com/get/Public/better-by-morning-11-v-4.wav?_subject_uid=6883402&w=AACwSHxK3PwWcRu2nzjDXsgEP03vNMu54le9kZ90KDd_sg
     
  19. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

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    i fail to "get it". i don't understand why i need to jump through all these hoops. i don't want to mess with M/S decoding and "recreating spaces" ... in fact the very idea annoys me to no ends. the idea that something "virtual" or "synthesized" is better than something real ... i made tons of wonderful analog recordings with so much less. now i have to do all this sh*t to get something listenable? anybody else see the 2000 lb gorilla in the room? .....
     
  20. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    Did that seriously go over your head this much? What a waste of an hour I'll never get back :eek: hehe.
    I'm at a loss for words but i get it. I'm now thinking, WTH are you even using a summing box for. Seems like a lot of trouble with an added ADDA step. You crack me up.
    Never the less, I cannot wait to hear an example of whatever you are attempting to do or improve. I hope you share your mixes, Kurt. :)
     
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