DAW to Summing mixer... Worth it or not ?

Discussion in 'Computing' started by lvchief, Apr 27, 2005.

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  1. lvchief

    lvchief Guest

    Im curious if any of you use a summing mixer from your DAW + UAD/TC plugs .

    And if so.. any comments towards a better "warm sound" in the mix ?

    Im in the process of updating my converters Apogee Rosetta 800 and was wondering if items such as Tube Tech SSA 2A or Dangerous Music products hold up to what they claim their products can do.

    I admit I am new to running the sound out of the box back in but would like any constructive feedback.

    Thanks for your input :D
  2. idiophone

    idiophone Guest

    I have a dangerous 2-bus (LT). I don't think I could go back to just ITB mixing.

    Basically, think "space" and "depth", not warmth. A summing mixer's basic job is not tone, but clarity and punch.

    By way of example, I'm finding that with all the sonic space the 2-bus affords me, I use about 1/3 of the plugins I did before. I don't have to squash things to hell and back, or tweak them beyond recognition for them to be heard in the clutter that is PTHD ITB mixing. Everything has its own little sonic world now that it can exist in peacefully. Basically, it saves sweat.

    The added bonus is that once I ran my 192 outs to a patchbay, then to the 2-bus, I was able to patch my analog gear back in. Suddenly, my distressors are getting used for something other than tracking. It's SO COOL to have that stuff usable again. Of course the downside to this is that I am eyeing new analog outboard gear like I never have before. Looks like I'm due for a 15th mortgage.

    By the way, I'd shoot for the full 16 D/A outs to get the best out of your summing box. I only had 8 at first, but 16 was even better. Naturally, 32 would be better, so would 64, etc, but 16 seems to be the minimum to get your money's worth.

    Hope that helps,
  3. iznogood

    iznogood Member

    Feb 9, 2004
    worth it!!!
  4. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    Whittier, California, USA
    some people swear by daw to summing mixer. Some other people swear that there is a difference between bouncing to disk and printing the tracks. I think that it is more likely that if you have a real good console, like an ssl, for example, and also a good DA converter (like a 16 c h apogee at the minimum) when you send the tracks out and run them through the console you will get the 'magic' of that console, the 'sweet' distortion of top of the line electronics that will modify your tracks in a positive way.
    on the other hand, if you are sending your tracks out of the box with a less than stellar DA and then run them through a cheap mixer, you more likely than not degrade those tracks and they won't sound as good as when they were in the box.
  5. lvchief

    lvchief Guest

    Thanks for your input.

    With having only 8 channels (rosetta) going out.
    would a summing mixer make a difference ? or would I be just as good to get a compact mixer such as an Allen/Heath until I had 16 going out of the box ?
    I truely understand that probably 16 channels at a minimum would be effective.

    Thanks again for your replies. :cool:
  6. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    Whittier, California, USA
    you have to have the 8 ch going out as stems but if you don't have a quality mixer to send them through and improve the mix I really don't see the point of sending them out at all.
  7. lvchief

    lvchief Guest

    Would any of these qualify as a good mixer/summing mixer in your opinion.....

    Boutique Audio
    Dangerous Music
    InnerTUBE Audio
    Nautilus Master Technology
    SPL's mix dream
    Tube-Tech SSA 2A

    These are the ones that I found in my research.
    They are all within my price range... however I understand totally
    that there are now shortcuts or magical little devices that can
    simulate a big board sound. Thats why if theses little jewels can make a noticeable difference for now and better than not having one.I would incorporate it in my set up. If not I would wait and save.(there is always a new piece calling me in my sleep) :D

    Thanks again
  8. Midlandmorgan

    Midlandmorgan Active Member

    Jul 21, 2002
    To further add to the confusion, don't forget the dedicated line mixers from a few years ago can really work some wonders...

    Ashly makes one (with a couple of decent pres as a bonus)...Rane is another...if all you are looking for is great summing, with perhaps an aux or two, that's one way to go...

    Also, there are some preamp units out there that feature stereo summed outputs....Presonus M80 I think...also don't rule out Cranesong's Spider....
  9. I cant stand mixing in the box for the music production type I do (electronic music).

    I find that outboard mixing in cheap mixer with cheap converters sounds warmer, punchier and more spacious than in the box mixing.

    I use Mackie CR1604 (not vlz, actually a very good sounding small mixer) and cheap RME converters (multiface) and I prefer the sound of analog mix.

    But, thats just me.
  10. lvchief

    lvchief Guest

    thanks again everyone. Some good stuff to think about. :cool:
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