Summing - What track sounds better to you?

Discussion in 'Summing / Mastering consoles' started by audiokid, Mar 8, 2012.

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Summing - Which Track Do You Prefer?

Poll closed Apr 7, 2012.
  1. Sum 1

    2 vote(s)
    18.2%
  2. Sum 2

    7 vote(s)
    63.6%
  3. They both sound the same

    2 vote(s)
    18.2%
  1. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    you mean to add ( some choice analog product(s) to your existing setup to help "juice" things up?
     
  2. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

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    Yes, with no OTB analog processing other than the ZED and it's EQ.....
    I suppose this was a pretty vague question and has nothing to do with this thread.
    I was trying to apply what I've learned in this thread to my friends ZED setup.
    There would be a myriad of analog outboard boxes that you could insert and add into the signal chain OTB...which may be the direction I will suggest to my friend....how choice they are remains to be seen.
    And yes I do understand better now your hybrid setup.
     
  3. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    Not sure how to help you there. Not sure what the ZED sounds like or the styles of music he is doing. You want things that are opposite, so you have variations in your mix but thats just a part of it.
    I look at it like this.

    ITB is like using one mic and one preamp. Even though we are using different mics and preamps and all those wonderful plug-ins, its still all ITB to me, less interesting (and less plug-ins the better). So IMHO, in order for things to stand out, I do things to help the tracks or groups to sound different from each other. Otherwise its all just way to clean ITB. Everything is in your face, either too loud or too soft. I hate that. Others may never find this but to me, ever since digital happened , its reacts like that to me.
    If you invest in just one thing, I would start with something that is ideal for something he does really well and then go from there. Slow and steady.

    I'm big on vocals and bass so I bought two LA2A's. But if I use a really fast compressor in front of it, to catch the peaks LA2A's over react from, before they hit the LA2A, I might find I can use them for other stems. After all, they are Leveling Amps. But I bought them for a specific purpose.

    Thank you for asking me but I feel like I'm just a pea in all the knowledge about gear.
    Look at the type of music he is doing and then build hardware around that. I'm pretty sure the clinical stuff is best left ITB and the vibe is where analog lives.
     
  4. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, no big deal....it was a strange question to begin with, because there are so many answers and variables.
    After going through this thread it made me start thinking more about my friends setup.
    I have the beneift to use it at his place and the main thing that jumped out at me was how much better the sound was after just bouncing tracks thru the ZED and mixing them analog OTB as opposed to my ITB. So that got me to thinking about outboard compressors, reverbs etc etc that could be attached to the ZED...but it was just me thinking out loud...
     
  5. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

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    OK...after some serious listening to this track I would like some "critical" ears to tell me which one of these two files sounds best or most pleasing overall to you. Sort of a final shootout to discover and validate my own findings and get some closure....LOL.
    No poll voting up front for this either.
    Not really looking for any mixing comments, EQ tweaks or flaws etc...just your actual preference between these two.
    If you want to comment with a critique that's perfectly alright.
    If you think they sound the same that's fine.
    I'll just tally up the replies....if there are any!
    Thanks for listening!
    Thanks Chris
    Cheers.

    Sum1
    (Expired Link Removed)

    Sum2
    (Expired Link Removed)

    P.S.
    This is also a test for me to see how well and easy DropBox works for me...so your welcome to add a comment about that as well!
     
  6. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    Oh boy, you know, I cannot tell any difference, not enough to make a call. The time it takes for me to switch between the two, I've already cost my audio memory. So that tells me they are so close it does not matter in this comparison.

    I'm not Nulling them and I also didn't import them, I'm only comparing them online. Are you looking for a technical opinion or a face value opinion?

    PS,
    I'm off to a music Festival, back in 36 hours.
     
  7. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

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    Nothing technical unless that's something you "hear" that's more pleasing or not.
    I'm really more interested in which one you prefer.
    and they won't null....but that might tell you something about the two??

    I will put down one vote for "same" though.
     
  8. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    I now notice my browser is loading the same url? You are messing with me :)
     
  9. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

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    Oh no....that was stupid, LOL
    I'll fix that there should be a JM1 and a JM2 file...I messed up

    See that was part of my DropBox test....LOL
    I failed miserably
     
  10. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    on this one:

    I choose Sum1, the piano right off the bat bites in better and overall everything appears wider. Which one do you prefer?
     
  11. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    After a night of experimenting with the LA-2A , ( NOTE: my example of your track was the very first time i used it) to now, wow! Definitely using a "fast limiter" /compression that grabs the transients in front of it, is amazing. Not applicable to your track because it is soft without any need for compression really, but doing this on a piano was unbelievable. There is definitely a trick to this, and wow, what a serious combo.
     
  12. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    My final words on all this, In my most humble opinion , It really isn't worth considering OTB unless you are investing in gear specialized for your stems and style of music. That's what I take home from this. early in this thread I established how NULLING an analog file a few times degrades the track to a point where you cannot tell the difference between ITB and OTB summing ( I'm not talking about additional hardware added). To my ears, digital summing changes analog with NULL processing. PLUS, By the time we smash the crap out of music, and it goes on MP3 ear-buds, who cares right. This is where most people are today. We are conditioning our hearing to appreciate high volume and the In-Your-Face sound. A sound that doesn't warrant investing in highe end converters and specialized analog gear.

    But if we are trying to be better than that, speed up our ability to mix faster and enjoy music like it used to be valued, there is no doubt hybrid is my choice by a long shot.

    More fun coming thumb , I have an Orpheus here now and a DSD recorder coming this spring.
     
  13. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

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    OK...I'll put you down for Sum1
    I liked Sum2
    So were tied...maybe more people will post and we'll get more of a preference sample.
    This wasn't meant to be a trick test...it was more about analyzing and comparing my own hearing to others and this whole process of different renderings and the techniques...if you know what I mean.
    I definitely learned something here! and it was a lot of fun!

    It's very interesting to me to listen to different techniques applied to the same pieces and learn something about what you can hear.
    It's too bad there weren't more people with similar equipment like yours (or even different) who could process the two different sets of tracks (or even their own tracks) and see how one picks out different approaches or equipment.

    I also want to say that I'm not in any position to own or use this sort of high end equipment.
    So for me it was a real treat to be able to transfer files around and actually listen to audio tracks.
    I think that is a real component that this new section of Track Talk should continue to do....not just talk about tracks but post and listen to real tracks and compare and discuss the equipment used in processing and recording them...
    I would hate to see this section turn into text only post or someones mix asking "how's my track sound" !!
     
  14. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    Now you've got me wondering, hehe... I suppose I should import them into my DAW.

    Track Talk should catch on, why wouldn't it eh?
    John Todd has been kind enough to share his tracks with me. Lots of tracks and a great song!
     
  15. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

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    You could if you like, but at this point I think were just beating a dead horse! Hehe.

    More tracks in a new thread here with John's examples would be great.
    If you plan on messing with more tracks I hope you post them if possible!
    I will surely tune in!
     
  16. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    Could be why we're having our own party here lol. New tracks will make a difference. But I really think we are learning all sorts of stuff here.

    Posting is up to John, their his song and I will happily share what I did if asked.

    Back to your tracks, I see what you did now, and I trusted my ears before I looked at the files. You did a marvelous job getting the levels close. Volume has the biggest effect on us doesn't it. If something is slightly louder, we generally think it sounds better, but, louder does not mean we will stay focused on it as long. Big topic.

    I see I chose the slightly compressed track, interesting. It does sound tighter and i like it because I know what you can do with tracks on there own like this. Makes mixing complexed music easier to say the least.

    Here is an angle you didn't think of. Sum1 has less peaks and a tighter bass. You may like Sum2 more because it is a gentle overall mix (duller ) and the way you intended it to sound. But, if you were in my studio and we were building the song, mixing OTB while we worked this song, we would mix that bass a bit lower like you want. The question is, how would it sound then. Most people who mix OTB claim that you really start hearing differences with more track counts.
    It will be fun to start experimenting with Johns tracks next.
     
  17. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

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    Well they are two completely different mixes....I think. Sum1 was your LA2A pass.
    But you are right about the way it sounded to me!
    To me I thought Sum2 was less harsh and yet more open and airy which was more of the "feel" of the tune to me.
    The second thing that was a big question were these warbled artifacts in Sum1 which I kept thinking I heard distracting me in an annoying way...I didn't like the feel, it sounded like little digital artifacts.
    I think you'll hear them in Sum1...the reverb tails...it sounds like a compressor pump...sort of a unk unk unk sound...very faint, but I hear it. I'm using headphones though.
    So then I found an older original mix of mine that didn't have that sound at all which is what Sum2 is.
    The reverb tails in Sum2 sort of ping pongs and they drift away, but for some reason they don't do that in the Sum1....they warble and make that sound...again very subtle.
    I kept hearing that and thought it was the summing action or something with my cans.
    It turned out that those 2 stereo tracks I sent you HAD the same warblely artifacts in them so it was there the whole time we were doing this.
    So now I'm trying to figure out if maybe this was something that I mixed out of in Sum2 when I was making a final version and whatever I did is lost now...I only have this stereo wav file as a result...
    I don't think I've ever over analyzed a piece of music this way...so that's why it was interesting...
    Like you've said before...I don't think it makes much difference to the kids out there these days for this kind of stuff...it's funny how the technology has changed everything....
    When I was young it was all about the sound and the speakers and the amplifiers and the technology was good but it's better now and yet the kids don't care about the sound....so it's weird how technology changed one thing to make things easier and better to create real high end sound but nobody's listening!
     
  18. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

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    The warble definitely isn't because of my summing or the LA2A, that's precisely was it doesn't do! Its a very slow leveling amp and will not react quickly like that warble. I'm very glad you pointed that out. Its part of the track beyond my control. I knew this but didn't want to focus on that for fear our trigger happy dude... IIRs would yet, derail another happy topic. I refrained from discussing it at all costs, even if it looked like it was caused by me. If you listen to that ending, I can hear the fader pulling out on that patch.
     
  19. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

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    No like I said it was in the original tracks I sent you!....had nothing to do with the LA2A or the Mixdream summing.
    It was there all along...that's why it bugged me and caused me to search my computer to see if there were any other versions of those tracks and I found this Sum2!. It was not in the same project folder as those 2 stereo tracks I had sent you, so I must have created this mix and for whatever reason I had mixed those particular anomalies out.
    That Sum2 that I posted was the mixdown I did many "Jupiter Moons" ago and I think it was what became the released MP3.
    So you see doing this caused me to find the actual original master 2 track for Jupiter Moons!!
    The only problem is whatever I did to it is lost probably forever...but oh well...no harm no foul!

    I would have thwarted any derailing by others over that...even though it would have been some interesting and heated dialog!...LOL
     
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