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 Summing amps????
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stainless Offline
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 6:53 pm    Post subject: Summing amps???? Reply with quote

any thoughts on these- I'm looking at the 8/16 channel units , as opposed to a stereo summing amp used mainly (I think) for mastering)?

I'm considering changing my mixing strategy to stems and using a summing amp to get a stereo mix to send out for mastering

and as they're pricey, i want to have as much research/opinions/suggestions as I can get before taking the plunge

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Lt. Bob Offline
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 8:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't even know what a summing amp is.


I wouldn't get that one though.

Smile

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skulpter Offline
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 8:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I've never had a good grip on where one would fit into my signal flow. Educate us, oh unstained one.
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stainless Offline
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 8:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

from what I've been told/my weak grasp of understanding is that the digita; realm master fader gets a summed level signal from the tracks, which is a higher level than the individual tracks, therefore causing some of the dynamics , especially of those tracks with quieter parts to get lost in the background

The analog summing amp apparently does not have this same effect (which seems confusing... why call it a summing amp??) and the master output level is not greater than the individual parts (sounds like calling it an Equalizer would be more appropriate... but... well then- uh nevermind)

I have heard a few before/after that have a noticeable difference, but, I'm a little skeptical of demos that I've not experienced 'first person'

so i come here to the forum of wisemen to seek the truth... and remain a sustained one Wink

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tmix Offline
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2010 10:24 am    Post subject: My Take Reply with quote

I have checked into this myself and here is my take.
Basically a summing unit is a simplified mixer with quality components to not degrade the signal. It has been stripped of most electronic components that could possibly degrade the seperation and fidelity if the component (EQ,Compressor etc) was not of high caliber, it allows you to mix the volume and pan positions and often has inserts for whatever high quality analogue gear you place inline to a channel or a buss.

Most are passive, with no output preamp (again to leave the signal as pure as possible) and to that you could put in line your choice of stereo preamp (like a Neve or API) if you desire the "flavor" of that befor going to 2 track.

In a perfect world this would preserve your perfect mix to remain as pure and unscathed as possible with maximum clarity.
I have listened to mixes both ways, and depending on the person mixing, it has made some minimal differences to some incredible difference dependant on how many tracks you are mixing.

On small track counts where the signal levels are not being pushed really hard...you would be hard pressed to hear the difference.

I have experimented with the high end summing mixer and just a "good" quality mixer (Soundcraft Ghost, Soundtracs Topaz" to mix stems from computer, and they both work well. It really depends on how much cash you want to throw at it to get that last 3 percent out of your mixes.

I say that... but I have also mixed on Samplitude for so many years (which has an excellent internal summing) that I forget some softwares may sucK at summing and therefore you would see a lot more of an improvement.

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stainless Offline
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2010 10:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

the consensus from another forum is split 50/50... so I'm wondering if money would be better spent on a better compressor, a limiter, or maybe EQ-

I'm usually working with 16- 24 tracks (usually closer to 14)

my preamps range from A+ (Prism) to C+ (or minus depending on opinion) and in between, so I'm not sure another pre-amp would be all that beneficial... I've got more pre's than I have inputs (and I'm not counting the Digi's internals- haven't used those in quite a while)

I could upgrade mics, but being rather content with the lot, it's back to the question of 'does a $1000 mic sound 4 times better than $250 mics... or twice as good as a $500?'

thanks for the thoughts

maybe I should just buy a decent analog board..... but where to put it?... never should have sold my Tascam MK-32

or maybe, since Protools is no longer proprietary get a better converter I/O?

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skod Offline
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2010 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just one guy's opinion- but I can't imagine it providing enough bang for the buck. Not to mention the additional complexity in the rig: I find myself making mine simpler and simpler as things crap out...

But take that with a grain of salt, since I still insist on mixing in the analog domain in any case. Just give me a good analog board and I'm happy as a little pig in slop. Your mileage may vary.

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G_L Offline
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2010 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stainless wrote:

so i come here to the forum of wisemen to seek the truth...

You're in the wrong place.
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freesalsa Offline
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2010 10:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the mix engines in most DAW's are sufficient for good quality mixing. You would get far better mileage out of a top notch preamp and/or microphone.
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SlamminMixes86 Offline
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2013 3:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wouldn't spend too much time or money on analog summing. It has its' place but most of the time it's in a situation where budgets aren't an issue. There's bigger fish to fry in this mixing gig and analog summing isn't even on my radar. I have an analog console and I don't even bother doing it because the results have been less than mind blowing. YMMV.
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Porter Offline
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2013 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SlamminMixes86, it possibly had it's place 3 years ago when this thread was created Wink

Don't get me wrong, it's great to get new feedback, but sometimes the thread has been done and dusted.

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