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Summing or not summing

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Anonymous
September 19, 2005 12:05:18 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Hello r.a.p
Here's the situation : I have just mixed an album in the box, the mixes
sound great, tastefull eq's dynamic and fx, a lot of definition. but I
do hear that typical 2d flatness inherent to summing it all within a
software. I am thinking of this : Spliting my mixes in 4 or 8 stereo
stems and buying or renting a summing box to do the final print.

If the mixes are really good and coherent except for the flat effect,
would running it all through a summing box simply add depth, or would
it also "change" coherence or relations beetween the elements of the
mix?

Thanks for any light anyone could share

P.

More about : summing summing

Anonymous
September 19, 2005 4:43:30 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

I was going to write a reply here, then I noticed this topic has been
discussed extensively on this newsgroup before. I suggest you do a
google search on newsgroup rec.audio.pro for "audio summing", this
should give you all the information you need.
Anonymous
September 19, 2005 8:01:55 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Sumsum wrote:

> I have just mixed an album in the box, the mixes
> sound great, tastefull eq's dynamic and fx, a lot of definition. but I
> do hear that typical 2d flatness inherent to summing it all within a
> software.

So, the mix doesn't really sound great. There is nothing "flat" that's
inherent to summing within software, at least if it's good software.

> I am thinking of this : Spliting my mixes in 4 or 8 stereo
> stems and buying or renting a summing box to do the final print.

Why don't you pretend that you have a summing box, split the tracks
into stems, and them mix them again. Chances are you'll come out with
something different and maybe you'll like it better. No need to spend
money. If you want to spend some money, take your box to a studio with
a really good engineer who produces mixes that you like, and ask him to
mix a song. If you like it, analyze why it's better than your mixes.
You'll probably find something other than the hardware.

> If the mixes are really good and coherent except for the flat effect,
> would running it all through a summing box simply add depth, or would
> it also "change" coherence or relations beetween the elements of the
> mix?

It shouldn't change anything other than your mindset, but sometimes
that helps more than anything. If you're using Cakewalk 8 or ProTools 5
or something like that, then you might indeed have a problem that could
be helped by external summing, but remember that not only do you need a
box to do the summing, you need very good analog signals going into it,
which means using very good D/A converters. Listening to 8 mediocre D/A
converters is going to sound worse than listening to one.

If your computer's audio interface has a digital output, you might
first want to spend your money on a high quality stereo D/A converter
through which to do your monitoring while mixing. Benchmark has one
that's pretty popular for this application. That will give you a more
accurate picture of what's happening in your mix. It might sound a lot
better just by listening to it through a better converter, or hearing
better might let you fix whatever's making your mix sound flat.
Related resources
Can't find your answer ? Ask !
Anonymous
September 19, 2005 11:17:01 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Sumsum" <philgreiss@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:1127099118.631580.91750@g43g2000cwa.googlegroups.com

Note the hijacking of the name of a famous producer by a
freebie, untracable mail account.

> Hello r.a.p
> Here's the situation : I have just mixed an album in the
> box, the mixes sound great, tastefull eq's dynamic and
> fx, a lot of definition. but I do hear that typical 2d
> flatness inherent to summing it all within a software.

There ain't no such thing as "typical 2d flatness inherent
to summing it all within a software".

Who told you that such a thing exists, your sales manager?
;-)
Anonymous
September 19, 2005 1:24:23 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

These guys build a summing box
(http://www.dangerousmusic.com/2bus.html) that claims to solve this
problem. Curious as to how you can hear the 2db flatness in the mix.
My mixes in Sonar with a Lynx L22 exhibit the same dull finish; at
least I think that's what it is.

DaveT
Anonymous
September 19, 2005 4:42:30 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <1127099118.631580.91750@g43g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
"Sumsum" <philgreiss@gmail.com> wrote:

> Hello r.a.p
> Here's the situation : I have just mixed an album in the box, the mixes
> sound great, tastefull eq's dynamic and fx, a lot of definition. but I
> do hear that typical 2d flatness inherent to summing it all within a
> software. I am thinking of this : Spliting my mixes in 4 or 8 stereo
> stems and buying or renting a summing box to do the final print.
>
> If the mixes are really good and coherent except for the flat effect,
> would running it all through a summing box simply add depth, or would
> it also "change" coherence or relations beetween the elements of the
> mix?
>
> Thanks for any light anyone could share
>
> P.
>

You might try using a very stable external word clock and see if that doesn't
make a difference.

-Jay
--
x------- Jay Kadis ------- x---- Jay's Attic Studio ------x
x Lecturer, Audio Engineer x Dexter Records x
x CCRMA, Stanford University x http://www.offbeats.com/ x
x---------- http://ccrma.stanford.edu/~jay/ ------------x
Anonymous
September 19, 2005 5:01:43 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<psychodave.thomas@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:1127147063.486563.206740@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com...
> These guys build a summing box
> (http://www.dangerousmusic.com/2bus.html) that claims to solve this
> problem. Curious as to how you can hear the 2db flatness in the mix.
> My mixes in Sonar with a Lynx L22 exhibit the same dull finish; at
> least I think that's what it is.
>
> DaveT
>

I'm pretty sure thats the waxy buildup!
Anonymous
September 19, 2005 7:38:26 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

psychodave.thomas@gmail.com wrote:

> My mixes in Sonar with a Lynx L22 exhibit the same dull finish; at
> least I think that's what it is.

I hate to suggest it, but try another DAW program. Nuendo/Cubase and
Sequoia/Samplitude are a couple that are reported to have very good mix
engines. The thing that most people like best about Sonar is its
seamless integration of audio and MIDI.
Anonymous
September 20, 2005 2:50:08 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Jay Kadis wrote:

> In article <1127099118.631580.91750@g43g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
> "Sumsum" <philgreiss@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > Hello r.a.p
> > Here's the situation : I have just mixed an album in the box, the mixes
> > sound great, tastefull eq's dynamic and fx, a lot of definition. but I
> > do hear that typical 2d flatness inherent to summing it all within a
> > software. I am thinking of this : Spliting my mixes in 4 or 8 stereo
> > stems and buying or renting a summing box to do the final print.
> >
> > If the mixes are really good and coherent except for the flat effect,
> > would running it all through a summing box simply add depth, or would
> > it also "change" coherence or relations beetween the elements of the
> > mix?
> >
> > Thanks for any light anyone could share
> >
> > P.
> >
>
> You might try using a very stable external word clock and see if that doesn't
> make a difference.
>
> -Jay

Is that meant to be a joke ?

Graham
Anonymous
September 20, 2005 2:50:09 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <432F3290.B7343002@hotmail.com>,
Pooh Bear <rabbitsfriendsandrelations@hotmail.com> wrote:

> Jay Kadis wrote:
>
> > In article <1127099118.631580.91750@g43g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
> > "Sumsum" <philgreiss@gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > > Hello r.a.p
> > > Here's the situation : I have just mixed an album in the box, the mixes
> > > sound great, tastefull eq's dynamic and fx, a lot of definition. but I
> > > do hear that typical 2d flatness inherent to summing it all within a
> > > software. I am thinking of this : Spliting my mixes in 4 or 8 stereo
> > > stems and buying or renting a summing box to do the final print.
> > >
> > > If the mixes are really good and coherent except for the flat effect,
> > > would running it all through a summing box simply add depth, or would
> > > it also "change" coherence or relations beetween the elements of the
> > > mix?
> > >
> > > Thanks for any light anyone could share
> > >
> > > P.
> > >
> >
> > You might try using a very stable external word clock and see if that
> > doesn't
> > make a difference.
> >
> > -Jay
>
> Is that meant to be a joke ?
>
> Graham
>

No. Stable clocking can make a big difference in imaging and depth if the
built-in clock is not stable enough. The imaging on our Mackie D8B improved
noticably with the addition of the Apogee clock card and even more with an
external Big Ben clock.

-Jay
--
x------- Jay Kadis ------- x---- Jay's Attic Studio ------x
x Lecturer, Audio Engineer x Dexter Records x
x CCRMA, Stanford University x http://www.offbeats.com/ x
x---------- http://ccrma.stanford.edu/~jay/ ------------x
Anonymous
September 20, 2005 4:11:44 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Jay Kadis <jay@ccrma.stanford.edu> wrote in
news:jay-6D184B.14515219092005@news.stanford.edu:

> In article <432F3290.B7343002@hotmail.com>,
> Pooh Bear <rabbitsfriendsandrelations@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
>> Jay Kadis wrote:

>> > You might try using a very stable external word clock and see if
>> > that doesn't
>> > make a difference.
>> >
>> > -Jay
>>
>> Is that meant to be a joke ?
>>
>> Graham
>
> No. Stable clocking can make a big difference in imaging and depth if
> the built-in clock is not stable enough. The imaging on our Mackie
> D8B improved noticably with the addition of the Apogee clock card and
> even more with an external Big Ben clock.

In which case the issue moves from summing (which is mathematical in the
box, using no clock) to monitoring or tracking.
Anonymous
September 20, 2005 5:26:51 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On 19 Sep 2005 00:43:30 -0700, kleinebre@hotmail.com wrote:

>I was going to write a reply here, then I noticed this topic has been
>discussed extensively on this newsgroup before. I suggest you do a
>google search on newsgroup rec.audio.pro for "audio summing", this
>should give you all the information you need.

There's a summing-bus-vs.-in-the-box mix comparison CD from
http://3daudioinc.com, there it is, the "Awesome DAWSUM Sampler". I
seem to recall Lynn was offering these or some similar recordings free
(or was it someone else doing something similar?) a few years ago when
he was first doing this comparison to see who could tell which was
which. While I was "interested", and such comparisons certainly
generated some long threads, I didn't even request one because I
really doubt I'd be able to hear any difference myself, since I
already had the mic pre CD and had a really hard time distinguishing
things on that.
There are also forums there, and it looks like there's quite a lot
of discussion on the "Awesome DAW-SUM Comparison" forum.
Anonymous
September 20, 2005 12:07:28 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Mike,
Yup, I use MIDI & audio all the time and it works great. Maybe Sonar 5
will produce better results? Thanks for the reply.

DaveT
Anonymous
September 20, 2005 12:16:17 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Hi,
An good quality clock will make a big difference to the stereo imaging.
Though, I'm a fan of splitting it out to 8 or 16 channels. Then the
clients can see that I'm really doing something. I think it does sound
better splitting it out in stems, but I've never A/B'd it so I'd have
to agree with Mike.

BTW I have a strange Paronia that Logic may sound better than Pro
Tools. Has anybody else got this...

DS
Anonymous
September 20, 2005 12:30:53 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

You will of course notice the typo where I was going to say An Apo....
Then I settled for a good quality clock.
Anonymous
September 20, 2005 3:28:50 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"studiorat" <daveslevin@02.ie> wrote in message
news:1127229377.305769.48940@o13g2000cwo.googlegroups.com

> An good quality clock will make a big difference to the
> stereo imaging.

Only if the existing clock is really horrid, or
mis-connected.
Anonymous
September 20, 2005 9:25:38 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Well thanks for all your imputs, most of your comments are really
showing how poor your earing is (or got). Summing in an external box is
and has always been a great way of improving the depth of a great mix
done in software. I just finished a few listening test with some
colleagues, a simple summing test involving running an instrumental and
its stereo accapella through a summing box using input 1 and 2 for
music, 3 and 4 for the acapella, and running in parallel the same
elements all crammed into inputs 5 and 6 of the same summing box. Same
great mix, but the vocal sits in front effortlessly in the summed up
1-4 version of the song.

the IS a nice difference but not too pronounced either... I was
concerned about me having to retweak everything when running stems
through a summing box but i guess not... my question was : will the
GLUE stick when the mix is splitted and re-summed through an external
device. My question was not : can you guys show me how much you know
about clocking, A/D converters and how much you're willing to bark and
bitch at some reasonable question blindly (or deafly) - scuse ma
poooorrrr english sssiirrr
Anonymous
September 20, 2005 10:47:21 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

I had no certitude yesterday! I was hopping to get some feedback from
users who work with summing devices, and not have to actually rent or
buy a unit... When I got back on the board only to read : "clock your
system right" or "it's your mix that sounds flat" I decided to just
rely on my ears and instinct. But i guess it turned out to be a
positive thing. Summing it out of the box really adds that "spatial
placement".
So I'll answer my own question : Yes Phil! if your mix is good, it will
make it even better without (much) tweaking. Good luck with your
endeavour! Peace! All the best! Take care! Much love!... and don't
forget!!! : in the end the winner is : music

P.
Anonymous
September 21, 2005 5:05:11 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

So, if you already had your mind made up, why'd you bother asking the
question?
Anonymous
September 21, 2005 5:31:00 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

I'm 100% sure. Summing outside the box added a very subtle and
beautifull "detachment" that is really reminiscent of all the mixes I
love that are done on a large consoles. the difference is not "oh my
god my mixes sound 10 times better!!!" the difference is : wow. now
that sounds like a mixe straight out of a board.
Anonymous
September 21, 2005 5:32:53 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

I used a 2 bus lt from dangerous audio
Anonymous
September 21, 2005 6:57:17 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Sumsum <philgreiss@gmail.com> wrote:

> I had no certitude yesterday! I was hopping to get some feedback from
> users who work with summing devices, and not have to actually rent or
> buy a unit... When I got back on the board only to read : "clock your
> system right" or "it's your mix that sounds flat" I decided to just
> rely on my ears and instinct. But i guess it turned out to be a
> positive thing. Summing it out of the box really adds that "spatial
> placement".
> So I'll answer my own question : Yes Phil! if your mix is good, it will
> make it even better without (much) tweaking. Good luck with your
> endeavour! Peace! All the best! Take care! Much love!... and don't
> forget!!! : in the end the winner is : music
>
> P.


Congratulations. So, which summing box did you use?
And are you sure the "vocals up front" thing wasn't just a
manifestation of the DAW pan law being deactivated when you stemmed?


Justin Ulysses Morse
Roll Music Systems
Minneapolis, MN
www.rollmusic.com
Anonymous
September 21, 2005 1:25:56 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <1127262338.092651.77670@g47g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
"Sumsum" <philgreiss@gmail.com> wrote:

> Well thanks for all your imputs, most of your comments are really
> showing how poor your earing is (or got). Summing in an external box is
> and has always been a great way of improving the depth of a great mix
> done in software. I just finished a few listening test with some
> colleagues, a simple summing test involving running an instrumental and
> its stereo accapella through a summing box using input 1 and 2 for
> music, 3 and 4 for the acapella, and running in parallel the same
> elements all crammed into inputs 5 and 6 of the same summing box. Same
> great mix, but the vocal sits in front effortlessly in the summed up
> 1-4 version of the song.
>
> the IS a nice difference but not too pronounced either... I was
> concerned about me having to retweak everything when running stems
> through a summing box but i guess not... my question was : will the
> GLUE stick when the mix is splitted and re-summed through an external
> device. My question was not : can you guys show me how much you know
> about clocking, A/D converters and how much you're willing to bark and
> bitch at some reasonable question blindly (or deafly) - scuse ma
> poooorrrr english sssiirrr
>

You can bet we'll be tripping all over ourselves to help you in the future.

-Jay
--
x------- Jay Kadis ------- x---- Jay's Attic Studio ------x
x Lecturer, Audio Engineer x Dexter Records x
x CCRMA, Stanford University x http://www.offbeats.com/ x
x---------- http://ccrma.stanford.edu/~jay/ ------------x
September 21, 2005 8:07:32 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On 21 Sep 2005 01:32:53 -0700, "Sumsum" <philgreiss@gmail.com> wrote:

>I used a 2 bus lt from dangerous audio

I have been lurking and want to thank you for sharing your results
even though you were a bit pissed at other who tried to help you in a
tangential manner.
I did only one project in Protools using a Euphonics board and thought
it all sounded spectacular. I got into an unfortunate dispute with the
studio owner and had to finish the mixing on my more modest setup of
Nuendo with no board. I had different, read cheaper, converters,
speakers and amp to monitor with and didn't have the amazing outboard
gear. I did use the Waves convolutions reverb and some other great,
most Waves, plug-ins.
The album after mastering sounds seamless. You would never be able to
tell which songs were mixed in each studio.
Anonymous
September 22, 2005 2:13:47 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Sumsum <philgreiss@gmail.com> wrote:

> I'm 100% sure. Summing outside the box added a very subtle and
> beautifull "detachment" that is really reminiscent of all the mixes I
> love that are done on a large consoles. the difference is not "oh my
> god my mixes sound 10 times better!!!" the difference is : wow. now
> that sounds like a mixe straight out of a board.

I'm not doubting you in the least. I only mentioned the pan law issue
because it's one thing that sometimes gets in the way of an honest
appreciation of the real meaninful things that occur when you get out
of the box.


Sumsum <philgreiss@gmail.com> wrote:

> I used a 2 bus lt from dangerous audio

That's one of the two units on the market I think are really done
right. Not the one I would have recommended, of course
<insert winky punctuation here>

Justin Ulysses Morse
Roll Music Systems
Minneapolis, MN
www.rollmusic.com

Get your free exhibit pass for AES here:
http://www.aes.org/events/119/vip.cfm?365
September 23, 2005 12:50:25 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

can you pleas explain Justin?
regards,
Bob

----- Original Message -----
From: "Justin Ulysses Morse" <ulyssesnospam@rollmusic.com>
Newsgroups: rec.audio.pro
Sent: Thursday, September 22, 2005 5:13 PM
Subject: Re: Summing or not summing



>
> I'm not doubting you in the least. I only mentioned the pan law issue
> because it's one thing that sometimes gets in the way of an honest
> appreciation of the real meaninful things that occur when you get out
> of the box.
>
Anonymous
September 23, 2005 12:50:26 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Bob" <b.dewever@amc.uva.nl> wrote in message
news:1127458226.62998@aquila.amc.uva.nl

> can you pleas explain Justin?

I think that what Justin is trying to communicate that all
this heavy breathing about life-changing experiences using
certain mixers is a bit bewildering to knowlegable people.
This because the problem analog mixers purport to fix - some
inherent loss of imaging through digital mixers, just
doesn't happen.

It's not that an analog mixer can fix something that is is
inherently wrong or lost in digital mixers, because as a
rule digital mixers vastly outpreform analog mixers.

However, if you mix with different panning rules, there's a
pretty good chance that your mixes will sound different.
Actually, if you mix the same thing twice with different
mixers it will likely sound different.

The thought is that some naive people are comparing mixers
that implement different panning rules, and confuse the
sound of different panning rules with some unknown and
unknowable problem with digital mixers.

My thought is that if you mix something twice, the second
mix is often the better-sounding mix. So people get a
flat-sounding mix the first time with a DAW, and then remix
it with an analog mixer and get something better. I say,
well your analog mix was your second mix of the same thing,
why shouldn't it sound better?

For example I routinely mix the same performance as live
sound one day, and from a mic-per-track multirack master the
next day. I also make a CD of the live mix, right from the
digital output of the console. The source material is
essentially identical, but the results are always clearly
different, and the second mix is almost always more widely
appreciated. There are several reasons for this, but one is
the fact that the multitrack mix is my second mix of the
same performance.

Some of the hype about analog mixers then ignores the fact
that a lot of digital mixing software and devices implement
different panning rules. For example with Audition, you have
your choice of at least two different panning rules.
September 23, 2005 4:50:50 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

thanks Arny!
Bob
Anonymous
September 24, 2005 8:45:22 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

> "Bob" <b.dewever@amc.uva.nl> wrote in message
> news:1127458226.62998@aquila.amc.uva.nl
>
> > can you pleas explain Justin?

Arny Krueger <arnyk@hotpop.com> wrote:
>
> I think that what Justin is trying to communicate
<snip>

Well, not exactly.

While Arny's points about a 2nd mix being an improvement are valid,
we're actualy discussing the use of dedicated analog summing boxes
here, which for the most part don't have faders or knobs, so when you
do a direct comparison to an itb mix you actually don't have to remix
anything. As the manufacturer of one of these summing devices (RMS216
Folcrom), I'm in a position to have heard and have received a great
deal of feedback about exactly how and why they offer an advantage to
their users. While transferring an itb mix to an outboard summing
device doesn't take full advantage of the otb approach, it does let a
user make a useful comparison. The difference is not what most users
would call subtle.

But my point was that, while you're making such a direct comparison,
it's important to make sure you're comparing apples to apples and
getting a fair assessment of the real sonic advantages. If you ignore
the pan law question, you may end up with a mix that sounds "punchier"
because the bass, kick, snare, and lead vocal are perhaps 3dB louder.

The pan law issue is this: Most mixers, analog or digital, apply an
equal-loudness curve, or pan law, so that the perceived loudness of the
channel doesn't change when you turn the pan control from hard-left or
hard-right (one speaker, full volume) to center (both speakers).

Summing boxes, on the other hand, don't have pan controls (for a good
reason: They intend to allow you to completely recall a mix from
within the DAW) and therefore do not apply a pan rule of any kind.

So if you take a mix you did inside your DAW, and you move your stereo
channels or stems over to stereo pairs of outputs feeding the summing
device, and then you move mono tracks (center-panned) over to single
channels of the summing box, bypassing the internal DAW mixbuss, you
can also bypass the pan control - effectively boosting that channel by
3dB or whatever the pan law is in your software. This can create a
change in the mix that isn't intended, and give results that could be
erroneouosly attributed to the outboard summing.

Once you begin mixing through a summing device, this isn't an issue of
course. But when you're making a direct comparison it can be addressed
easily and precisely.

My point is that outboard summing can stand on its own, and deserves a
proper and correct comparison. By making sure you account for this pan
law issue, a person considering going outside the box can make a more
honest and fully-informed assesment and decision. I don't want anybody
to be tricked into buying my product, and I'm sure the other guy feels
the same way. The concept of outboard summing stands on its own
merits. We've maintained a liberal return policy since we began
building the Folcrom, and we've seen it used remarkably little.

Justin Ulysses Morse
Roll Music Systems
Minneapolis, MN
www.rollmusic.com

Think outside the box.
!