ytsestef

A/B comparison between DAW SUMMING vs ANALOG SUMMING
« on: October 23, 2009, 12:45:23 PM »
LINK TO THE POST WITH DOWNLOAD LINKS AND INFO ON THE PROCEDURE:

http://www.groupdiy.com/index.php?topic=35964.msg442784#msg442784


As promised earlier in this forum I've prepared a track in two versions:
1) ITB Cubase 5 mix using GSSL with turbo.
2) ADAT outs -> Sonic Core A16 Converter -> Passive Summing Mixer -> SSL 9K -> GSSL with turbo -> back to audio interface.

The RMS levels have been matched and both files begin simultaneously (although you can't hear them both at the same time because of phase differences).
The SSL Plugin and GSSL settings are identical. Nothing has been changed between the two versions, not a single eq, not a single level, just summed all the buses (OTB) to a stereo one ITB.

If you're interested, I'm going to upload the files for you to listen to, compare and debate about this! I have personally found the difference is quite astonishing (to the ears of a sound engineer) but I'd like to hear if someone else has a different opinion on whether all this is worth the fuss or not.

So, what do you think?
1) Should this be a blind test or you want to know what each file is?
2) Which is the best place to upload them to? Can someone host the files? Or should I just use sendspace?

MODS, do you think this is the best place for this? I though about posting in the brewery, but on the other hand it is quite an important topic and has to do with gear and sound, so I put it in The Lab. Please move this if you'd like.

EDIT: Sorry, made a mistake that led to a hell of a misunderstanding, the mix was done OTB in the first place, THEN mixed all the buses inside Cubase 5.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2009, 12:17:55 PM by ytsestef »
Stefanos.


tv

Upload 320kbps mp3's and tag them so it is evident which one is ITB and which one is sum-box.

Additionally, I propose to upload TWO additional versions:

1) DRY ITB mix (w/o the Wawez 2-bus compressor)
2) DRY OTB mix (not going thru the Gssl)

-------
This somehow belongs to the Brewery...
If you sprinkle when you tinkle, please be neat and wipe the seat.

ytsestef

Upload 320kbps mp3's and tag them so it is evident which one is ITB and which one is sum-box.

Additionally, I propose to upload TWO additional versions:

1) DRY ITB mix (w/o the Wawez 2-bus compressor)
2) DRY OTB mix (not going thru the Gssl)

-------
This somehow belongs to the Brewery...

I disagree about the mp3s, I was thinking of .wav (at best) or .flac files inside a .rar for ease of use.
When I find the time I'll get to the uncompressed tracks as well, that's all I got for now, though.

Well if the moderators feel this belongs in The Brewery, they should move it, and sorry for the mistake.
Stefanos.

Biasrocks

The SSL Plugin and GSSL settings are identical. Nothing has been changed between the two versions, not a single eq, not a single level, only laid the tracks from a stereo bus (ITB) to many stereo buses (OTB).


First what are you trying to prove with this? Secondly, my approach to an mix done exclusively ITB vs an Analog Summed mix would be totally different. My mix time decisions would be different and ultimately the mix would be very different. Every piece of gear has it's sweet spot, including the make up gain that you use on your analog summing bus, to ignore this is doing a dis-service to any comparison and really undermines the decision making process behind any mix situation.

Quote
MODS, do you think this is the best place for this? I though about posting in the brewery, but on the other hand it is quite an important topic and has to do with gear and sound, so I put it in The Lab. Please move this if you'd like.

Ultimately, I think this belongs on a site like Geer*lutz where it has been done to death.

Mark
http://SharktankPro.com

"I'd rather use an SPX90 than a UA plugin....." Joe Barresi

ytsestef

I'm not trying to prove anything, I just wanted to listen to people's opinions and help people who can't decide if it's worth the fuss.
I have made my conclusions as to which is "better" than the other. Well, some stuff is better than the other at any setting, and while I agree with you saying that the mix needs to be tuned, it would certainly do better justice but there's no way it could alter the result. It would only complicate things further.

In the end, the whole point is to compare the summing capabilities between "the algorithm" and "the resistors". If someone was to change the testing material, the whole comparison would be apples vs oranges.

I don't like Geer*lutz at all. I wanted to share my experience with you folks. Apparently if there's not much interest, the test won't be done at all.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2009, 01:28:42 PM by ytsestef »
Stefanos.

plumsolly

I would be curious to hear the results. I don't see how it would hurt anything to have the files available to listen to. Best, Ben

Biasrocks

I'm not trying to prove anything, I just wanted to listen to people's opinions and help people who can't decide if it's worth the fuss.

Your title says otherwise.

"Myth or Not? 1:1 comparison between DAW&PLUGIN vs ANALOG SUMMING&HARDWARE"

Quote
In the end, the whole point is to compare the summing capabilities between "the algorithm" and "the resistors". If someone was to change the testing material, the whole comparison would be apples vs oranges.

That's like saying, do a mix on this SSL but you're not allowed to change anything on the console just run your mix. My point is that these "shootouts" come no where near to an actual test of each environment. No one in their right minds would mix totally ITB and then break it out to analog summing and then print, it does a dis-service to the process. You're optimizing your mix in a digital environment which completely ignores the advantages of a good analog mix.

Why not do it in reverse? Do a good, balanced mix into your analog summing box and bus compressor taking advantage of what they have to offer and then print that exact same mix digitally with your SSL plugin. I think you'll find the results to be quite startling when you fully take advantage of the analog environment.

Mark
http://SharktankPro.com

"I'd rather use an SPX90 than a UA plugin....." Joe Barresi

briomusic

my opinion/votes:

yes, does belong here, as it is about a piece of DIY equipment

yes, please do a blind test where the title of the files doesn't reveal which ones they are

yes, I would also be interested in an OTB/summing box mix be routed back thru 2-buss

I guess the title 'myth...' is a bit gearslut-esque but I think this is a valid contribution which is definitely of interest to someone considering a summing box as a project.

ETA also voting 'no compression'
« Last Edit: October 23, 2009, 04:37:30 PM by briomusic »

tv

I think I should explain what I meant more clearly:
-- I am convinced that a "proper" comparison of a summing device can be only done right if there is nothing else on the 2bus (in this case, without the buss-comps)

I.e. I think that the comps should be removed from "contest" files... or at least "no-comp" versions offered as in addition to originals.

IF the point is to listen to the differences in summing devices and NOT to differences in bus-comps...

If you sprinkle when you tinkle, please be neat and wipe the seat.

Biasrocks

I think I should explain what I meant more clearly:
-- I am convinced that a "proper" comparison of a summing device can be only done right if there is nothing else on the 2bus (in this case, without the buss-comps)

I.e. I think that the comps should be removed from "contest" files... or at least "no-comp" versions offered as in addition to originals.

IF the point is to listen to the differences in summing devices and NOT to differences in bus-comps...


Alright, I guess you mix with two hands behind your back and one ear plugged.  ;D

You are now twice removed from a typical mix situation, you're mixing digital and without a bus compressor.

Another factor is that you're results will vary widely depending on what mic-pre is employed, how much make-up gain is used and how hard you hit it. A Neve on the output will sound very different from a Millenia or a GML. Should we remove that variable as well and find a pre-amp that is the best at "straight wire with gain", is that even possible.

My point is that these tests don't reflect how a typical mixer use these products, but if you feel the need to continue I'll not protest further.  8)

Mark
« Last Edit: October 23, 2009, 03:11:00 PM by Biasrocks »
http://SharktankPro.com

"I'd rather use an SPX90 than a UA plugin....." Joe Barresi


Jonte Knif


IMHO the only interesting point would be "does digital summing sound bad/different compared to a resistor network or perhaps an OP-amp summing amp"
All other point are pretty obvious, the are differences, and they are far from "mythical".

With all respect digital summing is "perfect". Using resistor network should be pretty perfect too.

Quote
Should we remove that variable as well and find a pre-amp that is the best at "straight wire with gain", is that even possible.

If the amplifier after passive summing has definitive character then _do run the DAW mixed material through it too!_ At the same level.

Well, obviously we are going to face differences like impedances which should be compensated.

Otherwise you could just compare the amp to a straight wire, nothing to do with summing or mixing. Right?

My point is: there are going to be differences, but this test has to be executed with minimum amount of variables to have some general validity.


Biasrocks

My point is: there are going to be differences, but this test has to be executed with minimum amount of variables to have some general validity.

My point is simply, no one uses these devices this way.

In fact, you use these "variables" to your advantage.

Mark
http://SharktankPro.com

"I'd rather use an SPX90 than a UA plugin....." Joe Barresi

helterbelter

Well, although I agree with Biasrocks that you will mix differently ITB or OTB, I think a comparison will be fun to listen to.

But with the outcome, you should also note which was the original mix. I'd also leave out the busscompression, but who am I...

(and yes, this is a bit more brewery material).


ytsestef

Re: A/B comparison between DAW&PLUGIN vs ANALOG SUMMING&HARDWARE
« Reply #13 on: October 23, 2009, 06:27:21 PM »
OK, I made a mistake. I edited my first post as well, but let me repeat:
The mix was done OTB at first, then I took all the buses and mixed them insude cubase 5 without changing anything. Better now??
As for the compression matter, I mixed inside the compressor (It was in all the time), so if I bypass it now, it would cause transient and level mayhem. That's why I added the waves plugin in the ITB mix. As for the preamp, it's not API, it's not NEVE, it's not transformer, it's not tube, it's an opamp pre. A 9K no less. This preamp is supposed to come pretty close to "wire with gain". Although we all know there is no such thing. Fixed the title, too. I couldn't see why you guys got so patriotic about it, anyway.

Mark, please realize that you answered to a post that wasn't mine, it was tv's, and you treated it like it was my post. I was going to make the test, not tv.

Quote
Quote
Quote from: tv on Today at 02:27:10 pm
I think I should explain what I meant more clearly:
-- I am convinced that a "proper" comparison of a summing device can be only done right if there is nothing else on the 2bus (in this case, without the buss-comps)

I.e. I think that the comps should be removed from "contest" files... or at least "no-comp" versions offered as in addition to originals.

IF the point is to listen to the differences in summing devices and NOT to differences in bus-comps...

Alright, I guess you mix with two hands behind your back and one ear plugged.  Grin

You are now twice removed from a typical mix situation, you're mixing digital and without a bus compressor.

Another factor is that you're results will vary widely depending on what mic-pre is employed, how much make-up gain is used and how hard you hit it. A Neve on the output will sound very different from a Millenia or a GML. Should we remove that variable as well and find a pre-amp that is the best at "straight wire with gain", is that even possible.

My point is that these tests don't reflect how a typical mixer use these products, but if you feel the need to continue I'll not protest further.  Cool

Mark

Actually, what I can do is use the gssl in both mixes (instead of the plugin).
« Last Edit: October 23, 2009, 06:29:52 PM by ytsestef »
Stefanos.

s2udio

Ultimately, I think this belongs on a site like Geer*lutz where it has been done to death.
Mark

Absolutely 100%.....this old A/B saga bores the arse off me....... :(
and get's no one anywhere....whatever !
« Last Edit: October 23, 2009, 06:58:04 PM by s2udio »
On the end of a Rural Twisted Pair.

ytsestef

Ultimately, I think this belongs on a site like Geer*lutz where it has been done to death.
Mark

Absolutely 100%.....this old A/B saga bores the arse off me....... :(
and get's no one anywhere....whatever !

Would you like to elaborate on your opinion please??
I have absolutely no problem ditching the test if I understand the reasons why it gets no one anywhere.  :)
Stefanos.

plumsolly

Re: A/B comparison between DAW SUMMING vs ANALOG SUMMING
« Reply #16 on: October 23, 2009, 07:20:08 PM »
It seems that anyone who thinks that this thread/test is not worthwhile could easily avoid it. And those of us that think it would be interesting could still benefit. Best, Ben

Re: A/B comparison between DAW SUMMING vs ANALOG SUMMING
« Reply #17 on: October 23, 2009, 08:50:26 PM »
I posted this page on my Comparisons page. Hope you don't mind :)


http://www.groupdiy.com/index.php?topic=35303.0


P.S. : feel free to use my iDisk to upload 24 bit audio files for comparison. There are instructions in the above Topic link.

all the best,

Dan P.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2009, 08:58:47 PM by danjpiscina »

kambo

Re: A/B comparison between DAW SUMMING vs ANALOG SUMMING
« Reply #18 on: October 23, 2009, 09:25:42 PM »
i wouldnt do this test, unless you are familiar with OTB mixing,  capabilities of your summing mixer, and your summing amp...
i know a lot of people disappointed after purchasing some expensive summing mixers,
but they all appreciated their new toy, only after some months... ITB vs OTB is totally different mind game...
just passing your audio through your new toy, doesnt provide anything in real life...
almost comparing ferrari vs ford ( no offense here :) ) without knowing how many gears you have, and why is that engine connected to your
seat... you will figure out soon after you drive it on a speed track, not in traffic jam  ;)



My point is simply, no one uses these devices this way.

In fact, you use these "variables" to your advantage.

Mark

i totally agree with Mark...


« Last Edit: October 23, 2009, 09:33:56 PM by kambo »

ytsestef

Re: A/B comparison between DAW SUMMING vs ANALOG SUMMING
« Reply #19 on: October 23, 2009, 09:40:48 PM »
Hey Kambo. I have mixed commercial records many times OTB using consoles. Both digital and analog.
What makes everyone think that I am a newbie home studio guy / sound engineer that doesn't know sh*t? It's really funny!
It's because of my low post count, isn't it??? lol  ;D ;D
Stefanos.


 

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