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Topic: Anyone mixing in Analog?

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  1. #1

    Anyone mixing in Analog?

    I was just wondering with all the DAW-based systems here - how many of you mix out in the analog domain?

    Im thinking of getting this; Folcrom passive summing buss

    But it also requires a high quality multi-channel DAC and preamps.

    Are there better alternatives?

    Thanks.
    ---------------------------
    - SCA - Sound Studios -
    www.sca-soundstudios.com
    ---------------------------

  2. #2

    Re: Anyone mixing in Analog?

    there are many different options limited only by your pocketbook. The Dangerous 2 bus is an alternative to the folcrom which I have used with good results. Yes, these type of summing boxes require good converters to achieve good results. so keep that in mind if you do decide to use any of them. I personally rent a Manley 16x2 mixer when I have high profile work.

  3. #3

    Re: Anyone mixing in Analog?

    Thanks Christo, the Apogee DA-16X D/A Converter looks like a good match for the Folcrom or Dangerous 2. Or do you or someone have preferred A/D-D/A converters?
    ---------------------------
    - SCA - Sound Studios -
    www.sca-soundstudios.com
    ---------------------------

  4. #4
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    Re: Anyone mixing in Analog?

    The Manley mixer is a great option. And there is an entire school of thought regarding Sum bus technology, especially in the rack versions.

    A couple of years ago I communicated both with EveAnna Manley and Hutch (who worked at one time with Rupert Neve) regarding their thoughts to build a sum bus rackmount. The opening argument for this was based on API's "Lunchbox" approach (up to sixteen channel strips from API's premium Legacy console summing to a high quality bus designated the API 7800:

    http://www.apiaudio.com/apihomeSet2.html

    The Manley team said they could probably build something similar, but part of the custom build costs would also include research and development costs (bottom line: I couldn't afford it.)

  5. #5

    Re: Anyone mixing in Analog?

    Yes, the Apogee would be a good choice, good conversion quality. I use Lavry blue AD/DA converters, they are incredible sounding converters, but a bit pricey. I think the Apogee and the Dangerous 2 bus would be a great combination that would make you and your clients definitely happy.

  6. #6

    Re: Anyone mixing in Analog?

    Hi Frederick. Yes, in my case, as an alternative to blocking out time with an API, SSL or Neve I just rent as many Manley 16x2's as I need. I save alot of money that way and still retain the quality that I need. The Manley units are incredible and Hutch definitely knows how to put great gear together.

  7. #7

    Re: Anyone mixing in Analog?

    If you are looking for the best bang for the buck with a pre and a/d, look at the Grace Lunatec V3. I almost used an existing pre with the apogee AD but this was the MUCH BETTER option. It is nearly identical to its $4000 big brother pre which has gold contacts versus silver contacts on its rotaries and a different power supply. However, this can be used for remote recording and has a built in AD converter up to 192k(for 2 channels though). It is the cleanest pre and/or ad converter I have heard. Grace rates it at a 96% version of its big brother, with more benefits(such as remote recording on optional battery pack and built in ad).

    I don't know if this answers your question though.....I agree with Fredrick about Manley though if you have the $$$.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    Re: Anyone mixing in Analog?

    Audio purists beware: devil's advocate post ahead:

    I don't mean to steer the flow of where this is going, but another consideration may very well be either a PCI or Firewire solution such as found in t.c.electronic powercore with the optional Sony Oxford 48-bit EQ and vintage LA-2A compression/limiting modeling in either PCI or rackmount firewire models, or the Mackie UAD-1 card. The advantages are no need to remove the signal chain from the digital domain - warmth can be added via vintage EQ & compression modeling.

    It was this type of thinking that got me personally involved in more computer-based solutions, especially when considering that the signal chain of most high end sample libraries (from mic to recording storage medium) have proven to be incredibly sophisticated, using all the toys (Apogee, Manley, Neve, Neumann, API, etc - I seem to remember seeing a Manley Massive Passive in Nick Phoenix's rack on the free East West DVD.) Sonic Implants Symphonic Strings, for instance, used B&K 4011 front microphones with Schoeps CMC-6Ug and Neumann U87 spot microphones, Benchmark preamps and Troisi A/D converters direct to Tascam DA98HR digital multi-track.

    In other words, when you purchase samples you're not only getting the emulation of the instrument but also the high end signal chain coupled with the engineering talent it took to make the sample. Unless you're recording actual instruments or voices, having a signal go back through the process of digital to analog conversion and then back to digital, however clean, can invite artifacts into your recording if not extremely careful.

    The reason I brought up t.c. electronic powercore firewire or pci solution is its ability to process your sound much like a full-blown pro tool system with minimal hit on the CPU (except that the powercore runs at 96khz and not 192kHz), it's Mac OS X friendly design (supports PCs as well) and the quality is superb.

  9. #9

    Re: Anyone mixing in Analog?

    Hi Frederick, thanks for your thoughts (and to everyone else too), it is much appreciated.

    I can certainly see what you're saying particularly in regard to A/D and D/A conversion issues. My main reason for starting this thread though is that I have been reading up a lot lately on DAW summing and the inherent drawbacks in doing it (summing digitally).

    I agree wholeheartedly in that the sample libs we buy are state of the art and they are recorded with top quality gear - my concern is when we start mixing these tracks down to a two channel bus in our DAW's (most often at 44.1kHz), we loose a lot of the quality or "magic".

    As I'm sure you know, a mix isn't just about the sonic quality of one instrument and putting those instruments together, but more how those instruments blend and meld with each other particularly in the harmonics and upper frequencies. I just dont believe that our audio software has the "maths" at this time (and may never) to adequately describe all of these things happening.

    As mentioned in my first post, Im looking for a solution that hopefully gives the best of both worlds - analog summing and the convenience of digitally automated mix's. My hope is that with high quality A/D and D/A converters, the damage of going out to an analog summing bus will be minimal. In return, hopefully I get mix's that sound "warm", "full", "fat" and "have air"
    ---------------------------
    - SCA - Sound Studios -
    www.sca-soundstudios.com
    ---------------------------

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