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Analog mixing snake oil
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Production Techniques  
Author Analog mixing snake oil
I dunno if this theme was ever popular here for discussion.
Any of you guys here are believers that analog summing is technically superior to digital ? Or is this only a matter of distortion and nonlinearity ?
Well I think it depends on what gear you use, some mixer will get the sound worse, other better and maybe other will not make any differences

I used to do my mixes with analog gear, but summing in the DAW, now I have a small mixer with 8 inputs, so I can make 4 stereo groups (or 8 mono groups and everything in between), and then the main stereo output of the mixer goes in my rack for analog processing, and it does sound different.

I know sometimes this kind of things are bullshit, but depending on what gear you use, you can have interesting result.

Everybody told me that hardware synths and compressors were the same than plugins, and when I tried and experiment myself I discovered that I liked the analog ones much more, and then it was the same for EQ, reverb, tape saturation and so on... It just sounds much more musical, and you can drive everything hard and it stays solid. So I wouldn't be surprised if analog summing give you a better sound too. (but it would be much more subtle than a colorful compressors or eq for exemple)

And maybe when you use the eq of the sum mixer, or use different input level to help the seperation between instruments, maybe that help to get a different sound to ? I love to try this kind of thing
Why not spend $50 and find out for yourself? s/sb2-16x2-passive-summing-mixer
Oh... Sorry...
Passive summing mixers are even more snake oil based IMO.
Passive summing resistor chain has sooooo unpleasant crosstalk...
There's nothing even talk about.

And probably the colour people get is from a gain make up stage, that is after passive resistor matrix.

So probably you just can colour your digital buss with that preamp.

I'm talking about real mixing with active stages, auxes, eqs, inserts.
Where every input is isolated electrically from each other.
That's whole another concept and story.

And my thoughts are..... even the cheap mixers.... like Mackie, Tascam, Soundcraft can do wonders, the image and separation become vital and vivid.
When digital is just adding numbers and stays mushy and plastic.

Even cheap compressor like Alesis 3630, shit, it just have some life.
Especially in french house pumping.

Real DBX160 even with transformerless version kicks the WAVES ass.

Plugins are so static and lame....
Except the tech like Nebula/Acqua.
But it's so heavy on a CPU and no realtime monitoring.
Cause at the buffer = 1024 samples it still eats all your CPU cycles.
There's no replacement for clipping a mix and working the sends/eq while live mixing, but yeah the goal there isn't clarity or even the often discussed "glue" necessarily
passive mixers were all the rage when summing inside a computer was faulty. nowadays it is good and you don't need that. assuming you use a recent cpu and daw. and pref work at 24 bits.
It works. I've had mixes sent through top end analog summing units and heard a big difference. It's a posher sound, not like glue, more like lube lol
But the thing is, I'm not sure how much of that is the process of sending all the separate parts out of separate D/A converters anyway, and how much of it is the summing unit. Would be good to A/B a homemade solution to test this.

I usually ended up liking the mix without analog summing more, which surprised me. Maybe i preferred the glue razz
well, your sending your signal thru some preamp. obviously that changes the sound a bit. but try sending that stereo mix from your cpu thru that same preamp. still any diffenence? i doubt it ...
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