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External summing of DAW mixes

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That the Haufe transformer achieved the lowest leftovers result most likely indicates that the gain was most closely matched in this case, rather than saying very much about the distortion introduced.

On a wide band music signal as used in the test, part of the leftover will presumably be caused by deviations in frequency response, and not just non-linear distortion. I don't think that makes the results any less useful however.

If the budget is too low to have me mix on a proper board (often the case), I mix ITB and give them the option to do final tweaks and a external summing through a large format console. I'll take the finished mix to another studio and run everything into the board, set the faders to 0, pan FX L and R and then make any final tweeks necessary before printing the mixes back into protools. I'm happy with the results, not the same as mixing entirely on the board but certainly alot of the boards character rubs off onto the tracks. I have a few favorites, the most favorite being an 80 input SSL4000G series

Andre, how would you charactrise the differences with the "Zero Sum" method through the desk track-for-track v. the fully ITB method?

compasspnt wrote on Sun, 03 October 2010 08:54
Andre, how would you charactrise the differences with the "Zero Sum" method through the desk track-for-track v. the fully ITB method?


No just kidding. Well not really, it really does sound magical, but I can specify a bit more.

The biggest difference for me is the clarity of the stereo image, more control, smoothness and tightness in the low-end, and a much smoother, shinier and more natural top-end. You can literally hear the analog desk wiping away the digital "pixelation" from the top end of the digital mix. Naturally, when you bring in each track fader to fader you benefit from the components like the transformers to help color the sound in a way that you would come to expect from mixing on a desk. I also take advantage of the VCA groups which colors the sound in an even more pleasing way. This method also allows you to get a chance to make any final revisions in a different light/perspective using a machine that is nothing short of brilliant. Lastly, I am a huge fan of the 4000 series buss compressor so I like to just touch the needle with that on the way out. And if the mix is still a little dark I'll patch in a pair of EQ's to brighten it just a tad. The SSL studio has a nice pair of Lang  PEQ-2's

IMO Its a relatively in-expensive way to bring some of the benefits of a large-format console to your mixes that has a price tag that most groups will OK. Also, I like bringing business to the studios still repping the large consoles, I would like to see them around for many many many many many years to come. I actually may be doing this with some mixes soon, if that happens I will gladly upload the pre-mastered mixes with the ITB mix and the "Zero-sum" approach for people to A/B.


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