Analog summing: Dangerous Music 2bus and equivalents

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
Opz
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Analog summing: Dangerous Music 2bus and equivalents

Post by Opz » Fri Jun 08, 2012 4:14 pm

Was wondering if anyone here does analog summing with a Dangerous Music 2bus or maybe it's LT equivalent? And if so, do you use it with Live or compose the track in Live, bounce it and mix it in some other DAW? And do you bring the summing box back into the master of the DAW to track it or does one keep it fully analog after the summing box?
Maybe someone has experience with alternative analog summing boxes and could give some directions/pointers to check?

Thanks in advance for any info!

Opz
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Re: Analog summing: Dangerous Music 2bus and equivalents

Post by Opz » Sat Jun 09, 2012 7:25 am

So I guess everybody here keeps it itb :)
I found a small article about the subject and read a pro/con article yesterday, makes me reconsider the purchase of a analog summing box. Saves money as well lol

timothyallan
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Re: Analog summing: Dangerous Music 2bus and equivalents

Post by timothyallan » Sun Jun 10, 2012 10:47 am

I'd ask on Gearslutz.

freshdrumma
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Re: Analog summing: Dangerous Music 2bus and equivalents

Post by freshdrumma » Sun Jun 10, 2012 12:04 pm

I was considering one, than bought tla fattrack instead, sweets my monitoring/recording needs better
I also own a trident desk, my consideration on analog summing are: don't bother if you don't have a really good converter, plus i think that some stuff sounds better when mixed itb, it really depends on the music. On the other hand, My analog mix on the trident desk always sounds better than both the itb and the summed one

3dot...
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Re: Analog summing: Dangerous Music 2bus and equivalents

Post by 3dot... » Sun Jun 10, 2012 12:36 pm

imo..
unless there's an issue with space..
get an old (early 90's) analog mixer/console..
one with a reputable eq and preamp with relatively low noise..
maybe a broadcast style mixer..
should be half price of those trending summing boxes they sell today (even after you've got it serviced..)
and give you a much more "range"

of course .. if it's a small studio space.. forget what I just said..

also.. about the 2bus...
consider you're going to need to supply it with 16x'MIC LEVELED' outputs
which probably means you're going to need a new audio interface..that does that..
I don't think that many do..
:wink:
http://www.avid.com/US/products/HD-IO/Specifications
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Opz
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Re: Analog summing: Dangerous Music 2bus and equivalents

Post by Opz » Sun Jun 10, 2012 3:59 pm

3dot... wrote:imo..
unless there's an issue with space..
get an old (early 90's) analog mixer/console..
one with a reputable eq and preamp with relatively low noise..
maybe a broadcast style mixer..
should be half price of those trending summing boxes they sell today (even after you've got it serviced..)
and give you a much more "range"

of course .. if it's a small studio space.. forget what I just said..

also.. about the 2bus...
consider you're going to need to supply it with 16x'MIC LEVELED' outputs
which probably means you're going to need a new audio interface..that does that..
I don't think that many do..
:wink:
http://www.avid.com/US/products/HD-IO/Specifications
Space is kind of a problem, but more in the sense of having to disassemble the console to get it there. It's not on ground level. And I'll probably have to reinforce the floor. So no console for me.

About those 'Mic leveled' outputs you mention: you mean +4dBu (balanced) outputs, right?
I thought that nowadays most audio interfaces support +4dBu output.
But my old MOTU 828mkII does so and my new UA Apollo also does so, so no problems there.
Everything is hooked up here at +4dBu, only the inputs of the MOTU are set to -10 dBV.

3dot...
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Re: Analog summing: Dangerous Music 2bus and equivalents

Post by 3dot... » Sun Jun 10, 2012 5:21 pm

no I don't mean +4 db.. (-10/+4 dB are line levels )
mic level is (afaik) -60dB

http://eu.audio-technica.com/en/resourc ... 0Level.pdf

balanced..yes (XLR by the looks of it..)
but the outputs on the apollo are line levels ..
so some sort of conversion will be required to get the best s/n ratio
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Opz
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Re: Analog summing: Dangerous Music 2bus and equivalents

Post by Opz » Sun Jun 10, 2012 6:59 pm

The 2Bus works with both those mentioned -10 dBV and +4 dBu levels (and higher) with the latter being the better option. Check it's manual, you'll see. Don't know where you read that the 2Bus requires some strange -60 dB level. The fact that it has XLR connectors doesn't have anything to do with mics.
The fact that a microphone outputs a lower level is the reason why there are preamps to add gain.
The document you posted refers to a microphone, which has nothing to do with the (un)balanced line level needed between an interface and for instance the 2Bus. And the Avid machine you linked to is also a balanced line level device. You're mixing things up that have no direct relation to one another.

http://dangerousmusic.com/2bus.html

3dot...
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Re: Analog summing: Dangerous Music 2bus and equivalents

Post by 3dot... » Sun Jun 10, 2012 7:09 pm

well.. didn't go as far as the manual..
when I see XLR.. it's automatically labels as mic input..
(call me old school eh? )
sorry for the confusion.. :oops:
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Opz
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Re: Analog summing: Dangerous Music 2bus and equivalents

Post by Opz » Sun Jun 10, 2012 7:15 pm

It's all good :)
Just remember XLR is only a connection type.
It is quite often used for mics though.

3dot...
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Re: Analog summing: Dangerous Music 2bus and equivalents

Post by 3dot... » Sun Jun 10, 2012 7:25 pm

yeah.. I know this.. but it still manages to confuse me at times...
also...
I thought it would be appropriate.. with the summing and everything..
but since the digital/home studio is this products' aim..
then I guess line level is right...

(I've been taught...maybe falsely..
that even if an instrument is originaly line/inst. level.. to get a better s/n ratio..
it's better to bring it to MIC level using a DI-BOX and plug it in the microphone inputs...
something to do with impedance.... and keeping a low noise floor..
)

bah.. :mrgreen:
still confused I guess
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Opz
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Re: Analog summing: Dangerous Music 2bus and equivalents

Post by Opz » Sun Jun 10, 2012 7:42 pm

I copied this from the wiki because english is not my native language and I would require far more sentences to describe what it does :)

"A D.I. is a device typically used in recording studios to connect a high-impedance, line level, unbalanced output signal to a low-impedance microphone level balanced input, usually via XLR connector. DIs are frequently used to connect an electric guitar or electric bass to a mixing console's microphone input. The DI performs level matching, balancing, and either active buffering or passive impedance matching/impedance bridging to minimize noise, distortion, and ground loops."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DI_unit

3dot...
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Re: Analog summing: Dangerous Music 2bus and equivalents

Post by 3dot... » Sun Jun 10, 2012 7:52 pm

yep.. I guess having it balanced..
and having the impedance match is what's important eventually..

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/oct09/a ... 1009_3.htm
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nuxnamon
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Re: Analog summing: Dangerous Music 2bus and equivalents

Post by nuxnamon » Mon Jun 11, 2012 1:24 am

Opz wrote:So I guess everybody here keeps it itb :)
I found a small article about the subject and read a pro/con article yesterday, makes me reconsider the purchase of a analog summing box. Saves money as well lol
D-box here. What article?

southsounder
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Re: Analog summing: Dangerous Music 2bus and equivalents

Post by southsounder » Mon Jun 11, 2012 2:28 am

If you mix OTB you well eventually have to use one more pass of A/D somewhere, unless you're still working with cassettes or are passing a reel-to-reel mixdown directly to your mastering engineer (who will still be converting it back to digital, again assuming your final distribution format includes CD and/or MP3).

OTB really shines when you have a lot of outboard signal processors that you want to use during mixing. Depending on the summing mixer you choose, the summing box itself can also color the signal to a greater or lesser degree. Dangerous' summing boxes fall in the later camp. That can be desirable or not depending on your personal preferences.

I've always mixed OTB, but to me unless you're really into the EQ on a specific console using an actual mixer in the age of DAW based automation doesn't make any sense. On my previous consoles I always set the faders at 0 and bypassed the EQ since even halfway decent EQ plugins sound way better than anything short of stupid expensive mixers - certainly better than the EQ on my Mackie 8.bus at least.

So why have a huge desktop drawing massive power and generating heat in a cramped control room when you're really only using the mixbus portion anyway? Plus, remember you're paying for the case, the pres, the EQ, the faders, etc. If you're going to spend X, better to spend it all on exactly what you need instead of a bunch of shit you'll just bypass anyway. OK, I'll admit having 6' of mixer does look cool - I'll give it that much at least.

I picked up a Rascal Tonebuss, which is pretty colored, and couldn't be happier. I run 16 outs directly from my D/A's to the Tonebuss, and I feed the mixed signal directly to the A/D on my old DAW. So far I've been doing any mastering-ish processing directly on that computer - mostly because I know Sound Forge so well, and still prefer it to the 2 track editor (Peak Pro, yech) on my main DAW.

Know that there really is no right or wrong way to go on this kind of thing, again it all boils down to personal preference. Maybe the best way to go about it is ask yourself what it is you think you're missing from your current setup?

I will say that spending a lot of money to add converters and a clean summing mixer when you're already pretty happy with the mixes you're getting ITB might end up being a disappointment. I know that's certainly a common enough tale over on GS.

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