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External summing of DAW mixes

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Analog summing is different than digital summing. When you experiment a little for yourself you'll soon know which you like and why.

marcel wrote on Mon, 06 October 2008 12:12
Not to be a vibe killer (!), but there is extensive discussion about this topic here and elsewhere on the net:

here is a good start

Should keep you busy for a week or so, LOL.

So true. But I'm really interested in the experience and practice of members of this board at this time.

A few years ago I did a comparison of the same tracks played from PT ITB and from RADAR through a Soundcraft Delta. Clearly (Edit-In my opinion   )  the RADAR/Soundcraft mix was more satisfying. But this is not the same as running stems though a box.

Bill Mueller wrote on Mon, 06 October 2008 10:12
MDM, wrote on Mon, 06 October 2008 07:41
there is something to it, aurally... the sounds have more 'space' around them than they do itb.


As usual, spoken like a real authority.

Now, PLEASE explain why, using technically acceptable language and a minimum of hyperbole and opinion.

Best regards,


I don't need to explain why Bill, I am not a teacher by profession, and therefore am not limited in my perception by having to explain the technical aspects of what my senses tell me.. and only believing in that which I can explain..

this ain't a court of law.. tis a forum

Bill Mueller:
Vertigo wrote on Mon, 06 October 2008 12:43
there is something to it, aurally... the sounds have more 'space' around them than they do itb.

This may not have been the authoritative answer you were looking for, but it sums up my own observations 100%.

I know that using Nuendo there is a definite difference between the sound of summed tracks ITB versus console. I find that the individual tracks seem to retain much more of their definition OTB and I really find the Nuendo mix bus to be terrible in comparison; although that's not to say that I've been entirely displeased with it. I've done ITB mixes that sound great, but I still like the sound of my analog console mixes much better.

If you're thinking about going this route I'd definitely recommend investing in some good outboard. Plug-ins tend to sound much different OTB...


Hello Lance,

For the last few years I have been immersed in a culture of absolutes. If you burn so much propellant for so much time, you generate so much force which accelerates so much mass to such a speed. At the same time, the rocket scientist genius types that run the program, go to great lengths to state their opinions as OPINIONS in exactly the same way you so appropriately just did.

This forum sometimes takes me to the other extreme of the experience, with some people stating their unsubstantiated opinions as FACTS. A simple, "In my opinion", or "I believe" or "as per my observation" would take these discussions in a much more productive direction. The reason I am such a stickler for such decorum, is because this is a well respected forum and there are many young engineers coming here for knowledge and wisdom. I don't want them to get those valuable commodities confused with opinion and conjecture.

Best regards,


Running stems through a box is a combination of digital and analog summing.  If pure analog summing sounds way better than pure digital, it might be worth it to make the compromise, but I guess you would reach a point of diminishing returns - like a 96 track DAW mix stemmed into 8 channels of analog summing, say. Maybe at that point it wouldn't be worth it.


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