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Analogue Summing (previously SSL Fusion)

For everything after the recording stage: hardware/software and how you use it.

Re: Analogue Summing

Postby Guest » Sat Jan 12, 2019 2:36 pm

Forum Admin wrote:
Still Vibrations wrote: (At least I am hearing bells, my wife says it is silence so has it occurred to me that I may be going mad?)

:) It's like when you listen to White Noise (no, not the David Vorhaus album!) it contains every frequency so in there is every known sound. It's akin to staring at an open fire... after a while you can see anything in the flames.

Or am I going mad too? :headbang:

We are in good company, I remember reading that Leonardo da Vinci used to see myriad images in old walls.
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Re: Analogue Summing

Postby The Red Bladder » Sat Jan 12, 2019 2:52 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:In the analogue world, with multiple signals passing through console channels and tape machines multiple times, there are countless high-pass filters everywhere in the form of inter-stage coupling capacitors which all introduce not only frequency response changes, but also phase shifts. Same for coupling transformers. And then there is HF crosstalk effects within and between adjacent channels and elsewhere introducing more phase shifts and response changes. And added noise, and added distortions.
All true - of course. All analogue circuitry acts in a complex way, as each component interacts with each other component. In some types of circuit, such as valve amps, these different levels of complexity are extreme and can be easily observed as harmonic and dis-harmonic distortions are introduced to the signal. These can be additional wave-forms or the suppression of other wave-forms. A typical example is the loading of audio signals onto tape and at such levels that the HF signals of one source suppresses the HF signals of a weaker source - thereby acting as a type of multiband compressor. Digital calculations can mimic such effects, but only fairly roughly - but hey! They're getting better!

One issue though with analogue is phase. Phase compensation in things like filters is in a completely different league to, say 20 years ago. Even the better quality budget desks (e.g. A&H R-Series) are just rock-solid. I tested their 24R a couple of years back and I could not get the signal to shift sideways on my multi-channel Oscar, no matter where I placed the filters or what frequency I was shoving through it.

Even with the better (and light-years more expensive!) desks from the 80s and into the 90s, turning the filters to extreme levels saw the signal from that channel drift sideways, albeit slightly.

Another issue is that all digital processes take time. Electrical events and therefore all analogue electrical processes take place instantaneously - well, at about 1/3 the speed of light, so we'll call that instantly.

Switch on an FM radio and it comes to life immediately. DAB takes a few seconds to find a transmission stream, identify the COFDM packages for Radio Four and reassemble them and turn that into an analogue audio signal and make our lives miserable with 'Woman's Hour'.

Some digital events take so long, we can slip out for a coffee, whilst some workstation boots, up, finds the wi-fi signal, up-dates our emails and scratches its nuts and then wastes five minutes looking for some routine we only half-deleted yesterday! In fact, the time-delay involved with digital is the biggest problem facing those who design such things.

This is important!

We hear stereo and are able to pin-point the position of the source of a sound, even when blindfolded, because of time. Left-to-right positioning is the difference between the time it takes for a sound to reach the L and R ears. Sound moves at about 1ms per foot, so the difference between all-the-way-to-the-left and all-the-way-to-the-right is just one millisecond! Now try and work out what the time difference is for just two or three degrees! It's tiny! It's one-90th of one millisecond!

Of course, we also add the filter effect of our outer ears to help with positioning and with realising front-to-back and above and below, but the Haas effect tells us that time is the major component in our ability to locate the position of a sound source.

Now look at processing times in digital - they are catastrophic! The fastest ADDA round-trip conversion I know is for the various models of the Radar from iZ-Tech of Vancouver - it comes in at 1.6ms. PT HD and all the other usual suspects are much slower!

We talk of latency-free monitoring, when in fact we are talking about some damn box delivering the signal to the foldback path a couple of milliseconds after the event. Now imagine just how many compromises any multi-path digital summing has to battle through!

We position a sound by identifying a time difference of about one-90th of one thousandth of one second, or 0.01111 of a millisecond. Yet most audio is delivered at either 48kHz or 44.1kHz. That means that every sample is positioned at time intervals of about DOUBLE that required by our ears to accurately position a sound!

Nyquist theorem tells us that such positioning issues are irrelevant, as indeed they are - UNLESS we use plugins and/or other digital processes that cause the signal to be re-positioned, albeit microscopically.

Even if we do all our processing at 96kHz, that is still the time factor we require to position accurately, so any process such as compression, gating or repitching will have to place our audio in exactly the same sample it came from - and they often do not!

If you are recording using one pair of mics and no summing is involved, that makes no difference, as both sides of the stereo signal are treated (or suffer!) the same time approximations (assuming a decent recording device that is working properly and is internally clocked.

Analogue summing does not re-position bits of the audio to places where they do not belong. It works instantaneously, so everything goes to the right place time-wise.
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Re: Analogue Summing

Postby blinddrew » Sat Jan 12, 2019 7:20 pm

Martin Walker wrote:OK - here you go:
1. Each of the channels ends with Console5channel

2. Each of the stem busses (DRUMS, GUITARS in capital letters), starts with Console5buss and ends with Console5channel

3. The MASTER starts with Console5buss.

Basically at every mixing stage (whether channel to master or channel to buss) ends up with a channel/buss plug-in pair.


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Thanks Martin, that was how I was thinking it would work. I'll have a bit of a play with it on my current projects.
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Re: Analogue Summing

Postby Martin Walker » Sun Jan 13, 2019 3:26 am

Do let us know what improvements (if any) you hear. I can certainly hear some with my aging ears, and suspect that younger ones will hear significantly more, as some of the interaction does go on above 10kHz ;)


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Re: Analogue Summing

Postby blinddrew » Sun Jan 13, 2019 11:15 am

On which note, presumably i can A/B it just by toggling the buss plugin?
On the video demo (and my very brief play yesterday) it seemed to be adding a bit of volume as well, which was making comparison very difficult.
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Re: Analogue Summing

Postby Martin Walker » Sun Jan 13, 2019 11:25 am

Sadly no - that leaves all the channel plug-ins running, without the compensating action of the buss plug-in. I'm afraid you need to bypass all the individual plug-ins.

Basically I rendered my reaper project with them all on, and then all off, and then compared the two renders to hear the console5 action.

It IS possible to create a clever Reaper keyboard shortcut that places all the channel/buss plug-ins in one move, and once again to remove them all, so you can hear the effect on/off, but I haven't tried that approach yet (it needs special Reaper commands & extensions setting up).


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Re: Analogue Summing

Postby blinddrew » Sun Jan 13, 2019 11:51 am

Hmm, rendering definitely sounds like the way forward then!
Might try an A/B/C test with none, just the instrument busses to the master, and all channels to see what i can hear.
As with most things, i suspect the limiting factor will be my untrained ears! ;)
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Re: Analogue Summing

Postby Wonks » Sun Jan 13, 2019 11:54 am

Then train them, dear chap. Train them!
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Re: Analogue Summing

Postby ore_terra » Sun Jan 13, 2019 12:10 pm

hi chaps.

(as usual) such an interesting and useful topic. downloaded console 5 but it seems it's 32 bits so Cubase sends it to the blacklist (any way it can be downloaded in 64 bits?)

does it do anything similar to what Harrison Mixbus does? I never did a straight AB comparison, mainly because when I use Mixbus just as color adding thing (export stems from Cubase and final mix in Mixbus) I tent to overuse bus drive knobs and therefore the effect becomes so audible that I don't need AB :lol:

I'll do my best to contain myself and try it in a "cleaner" mode.
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Re: Analogue Summing

Postby ore_terra » Sun Jan 13, 2019 12:50 pm

just did it, but with the drive knobs quite cranked up :lol:

you can find the stems and a stereo out, both for cubase and Mixbus (before and after Mixbus)

for comparison purposes, note that stereo out from Mixbus is about 1.5 db quieter than the "dry" one from Cubase

Download the files here
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Re: Analogue Summing

Postby Wonks » Sun Jan 13, 2019 1:40 pm

The 1.5dB difference might simply be down to the pan law settings in the two systems.
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Re: Analogue Summing

Postby Martin Walker » Sun Jan 13, 2019 2:11 pm

ore_terra wrote:(as usual) such an interesting and useful topic. downloaded console 5 but it seems it's 32 bits so Cubase sends it to the blacklist (any way it can be downloaded in 64 bits?)

The console5.zip file linked to on the page I posted above contains both 32-bit and 64-bit versions (see below) - just drop the appropriate .dll files into your existing vstplugins folder:

Console5zip.jpg


The Dark versions are very subtle variants with slightly lower HF, and I've yet to use them.


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Re: Analogue Summing

Postby Martin Walker » Sun Jan 13, 2019 3:52 pm

Zukan wrote:Martin, is there a better video showing this in action? That dude did my head in with his epic Ben Hur diatribe.

Just discovered this demo video of Airwindows Console5 in action, which may help a little more:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gsvx-EskqHk


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Re: Analogue Summing

Postby blinddrew » Sun Jan 13, 2019 4:19 pm

Wonks wrote:Then train them, dear chap. Train them!
I'm working on it!
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Re: Analogue Summing (previously SSL Fusion)

Postby blinddrew » Sun Jan 13, 2019 6:53 pm

Ok, so here's some examples from a project that I'm currently working on.
Three versions of the same track, the first one has no Console on it:
https://soundcloud.com/blinddrew/a-prol ... 13/s-FOezA
The second has Console on the seven busses feeding the master:
https://soundcloud.com/blinddrew/a-prol ... nb/s-3Y21p
The third has Console on every track and every buss:
https://soundcloud.com/blinddrew/a-prol ... ll/s-aZESX

They're all downloadable so you can listen without soundcloud's additional processing and stick them in a DAW for ABing.

To my ears, I can hear the difference, but it's not one I like. As I feared, to me it just sounds like I'm chucking another bucket of mud in the mix.
However, I wonder if this is a tool whereby to get the best from it you need it instantiated from the start and you mix into it?
I'm hoping to get my current EP wrapped up pretty soon and I may try using from scratch on the next project.



P.S. if anyone has any other feedback on the track, I am, as always, all ears (just not very well trained ones...)
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Re: Analogue Summing (previously SSL Fusion)

Postby blinddrew » Sun Jan 13, 2019 9:25 pm

Hmm. In retrospect that probably wasn't a great example to try it on. Anyone got anything 'cleaner' they'd like to try? ;)
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Re: Analogue Summing (previously SSL Fusion)

Postby Wonks » Sun Jan 13, 2019 9:56 pm

Can't you quickly do a cleaner mix? You must have a few 'distorting' elements there you can turn off first?
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Re: Analogue Summing (previously SSL Fusion)

Postby blinddrew » Sun Jan 13, 2019 10:18 pm

Sadly not without completely sending the levels all over the place. I'll have to get this lot finished and try again with a new song in the next batch.
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Re: Analogue Summing

Postby Zukan » Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:36 am

Martin Walker wrote:
Zukan wrote:Martin, is there a better video showing this in action? That dude did my head in with his epic Ben Hur diatribe.

Just discovered this demo video of Airwindows Console5 in action, which may help a little more:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gsvx-EskqHk


Martin

Thanks Martin.

Any chance you could upload some before/after examples using Console5 Myth?
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Re: Analogue Summing

Postby Martin Walker » Sun May 19, 2019 5:55 pm

Zukan wrote:Martin, is there a better video showing this in action? That dude did my head in with his epic Ben Hur diatribe.

Well, I've FINALLY finished a write-up of my Console5 findings on my web site, including hints and tips and a before/after audio demo.

SOUNDWORLDS 7: Optimising Airwindows Console5
http://www.yewtreemagic.co.uk/soundworlds7.php

Hope some of you find it useful! ;)


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