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Analogue Summing (previously SSL Fusion)

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Re: Analogue Summing

Postby Elephone » Sat May 25, 2019 8:53 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote: ...I have often found that just running the ITB stereo mix through an external preamp for a bit of analogue-y transformer saturation / distortion / phase tweaking can do much the same thing! H

Do you recommend any particular external preamps for this purpose? Would summing group tracks, then the summing these to a final stereo mix be worthwhile?

Thanks
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Re: Analogue Summing

Postby Martin Walker » Mon May 27, 2019 1:15 pm

Elephone wrote:
Hugh Robjohns wrote: ...I have often found that just running the ITB stereo mix through an external preamp for a bit of analogue-y transformer saturation / distortion / phase tweaking can do much the same thing! H

Do you recommend any particular external preamps for this purpose? Would summing group tracks, then the summing these to a final stereo mix be worthwhile?

Hi Elephone!

For obvious reasons, preamps touted for their clean, transparent sound won't be very helpful for adding mojo, as they are designed not to add euphonic 'extras'.

The three most-often quoted mic preamp makes for adding 'mojo' are:

1. Neve (slight bass bloom, fat, lush & airy highs - the holy grail seems to be the 1073 model, particularly the older ones, but newer clones can also work well ;) )

2. API (loaded with punch and impact, forward mid-range)

3. SSL (to a lesser extent than the other two, but transparent and tight)


As Hugh mentions, simply passing a stereo mix through certain preamps can provide that certain something, but if you have more than two preamps at your disposal then you could certainly treat groups separately for a greater effect, and that does also give you the possibility of running the drum buss through with more extreme settings if that gets you the sound that you want.

If you're thinking of buying a couple of mic preamps specifically for this purpose, there are also a few dedicated stereo 'mojo' boxes available, possibly the most well known being Louder Than Liftoff's Silver Bullet, reviewed here by Bob Thomas for SOS:

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/lo ... ver-bullet

This not only offers a pair of mic preamps, but both Neve and API inspired mojo that you can even run in series for more versatile treatments.


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Re: Analogue Summing

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon May 27, 2019 1:24 pm

Elephone wrote:Do you recommend any particular external preamps for this purpose?

It really does come down to personal taste and the effect you're trying to achieve. Typically, it would be something with a transformer input, lots of headroom, possibly valve or some vintage solid-state circuitry, and an output fader so you can overdrive the input while maintaining a sensible output level. Lots to choose from, then...

However, most preamps that meet with that kind of spec are pricey. A much more cost-effective alternative, but one that has bags of tonal/character flexibility is the Cranborne Camden 500:

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/cr ... camden-500

Although that's a single channel 500-series module, it's also just been released as a two-channel rack-mount version.

Would summing group tracks, then the summing these to a final stereo mix be worthwhile?

Possibly -- again, it depends what effect you're after -- but doing it that way would allow you to process some source tracks and not others, or process some more heavily than others.

H
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Re: Analogue Summing (previously SSL Fusion)

Postby Elephone » Mon May 27, 2019 7:51 pm

If the tube preamp is mono (and the tracks are stereo), is it viable to use this effect by passing each side through separately then re-synching in DAW?

I've got an ART Tube MP STV3 Single-channel Tube Microphone Preamp, but might it only be worth doing with the hi-end gear? (I do want to compare with Airwindows also.)

Thanks
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Re: Analogue Summing (previously SSL Fusion)

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon May 27, 2019 9:10 pm

Yes, it's feasible... If tedious and harder to judge settings for the full effect.

H
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Re: Analogue Summing (previously SSL Fusion)

Postby CS70 » Mon May 27, 2019 9:17 pm

Elephone wrote:If the tube preamp is mono (and the tracks are stereo), is it viable to use this effect by passing each side through separately then re-synching in DAW?

I've got an ART Tube MP STV3 Single-channel Tube Microphone Preamp, but might it only be worth doing with the hi-end gear? (I do want to compare with Airwindows also.)

Thanks

Something you could try is to send a mono sum to the preamp, record the result and then add it in parallel, a little like you do to parallel compression, and see what you get.
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