Analog Summing. Let do this again :)

Analog Summing. Let do this again :)
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Yeah, I know… here’s a normal shot of the desk end of the room that puts it in proper perspective. This was from a few years ago before I treated the room.


Very nice, Dave!


Thanks-- it’s much nicer now with the acoustic treatment, and the two screens have since died (they were leftovers from many computers before), and I replaced them with a single ultra-widescreen display that spans almost the entire top deck of the desk. I love having all that screen real estate!


Very nice - what speakers are you using?


They are Pioneer SDJ-08 nearfields. They’re from Pioneer’s “DJ line”, and the main selling point for me in addition to how they sound is that there is a tabletop volume-control wheel, a nice heavy, big dial that is always right there for volume adjustments. Absolutely love how that cleans up my workflow instead of having to control volume in the box or (shudder) having to reach behind the speakers to turn the dials back there. This model has been replaced by their S-DJ80X model, apparently-- 8 inch woofers is where the “8” in the model designation comes from. I think I paid about $US200 each. Very happy with them, SO much better than the absolute bottom-of-the-line M-Audio speaks I started with!


Are the cones made of some composite material?


may have to look into summing plugins that @Paul999 mentioned, because I won’t be getting an outboard console, that’s for sure, for the simple reason that I have nowhere to put one. Thanks for the info guys!

I haven’t tried this yet but the Harrison Mixbus has a free download, which I think may be pretty good for what you want to do. I have the Slate and I find it works just as well just by adding the channel or bus to the track and not necessarily summing them all together. The Harrison looks interesting because its emulating an entire console and channel/bus count is limited. but supposedly its emulated enough where there is even crosstalk between channels etc, like you are working on the real desk. Ive been meaning to try it when I have some time to really mess with it, but may give you an idea of what you are looking for.


Everything Andrew said was correct in my opinion. For years, the summing mixer was my only piece of outboard gear, and I used it a lot.

Its probably better for a newcomer (to the summing world) to think of it has having 8 stereo master busses to divide the load vs having a single 2 bus. Yes, it ultimately ends up on 2 busses (if you’re mixing music vs film). But what happens as the sound travels from 8 stereo master busses down to 2 is physically and electronically different than if everything goes strait to the 2.


I don’t know the answer to this offhand Andrew, but will see what I can find out.


As I understand it VCC emulates crosstalk too - it’s a fairly important part of the console ‘sound’.

Softube make both console emulations for both Neve and SSL that are very deep emulations, modelling all the good stuff - I’ve been meaning to sample them, but I am very happy with Slate:


Apologies if this has already been explained. (I put up a Do Not Disturb sign but you guys talks so loud!!!)

SO if you got an ITB plug, where’d you put it? Last item on the two buss?


VCC has two modules, Virtual Console and Virtual Mix Buss. The idea is to put Virtual Console on each track, before any other plugins, and to put Virtual Mix Buss on your busses, including your two buss. Of course the order is not a rule or anything, that just emulates the way things happen on a console.

This article explains it in more detail:


To elaborate on what Andrew just said, the central concept is that the plugins on each channel strip interacts with the single plugin on the 2 bus at a number of different levels.

Here’s the one I use when I don’t have time to setup up the my hardware summing mixer, or might not have access to it because I’m working out of someone else room.

At the end of the day, the Slate one is probably better, but I’m still working with the Waves because I’m more familiar with it.


The only thing that bugs me about NLS is the metering - the VU meters show peak dBfs, which is borderline useless for a plug that’s supposedly based on analogue gear which will be calibrated so the imaginary 0dBu = something like -18dBfs. It’d be lovely if the meters showed RMS values around the signal level the plug’s actually designed to operate at. It’s not really a big deal as I’m aware of my gain staging, but it’d be nice if it was even worth glancing at the meters once and a while.

Oh, that and how weird the SSL bus component gets if you raise the gain - all warbly and strange.

That said I do like and use the plug overall, though not really as it’s intended. I’ll stick the Bus version on the master, then use channel versions where I want to add a bit of grit.

I’m quite interested in what I’ve read about the SKnote stripbus console plug - all the instances actually interact in the background so you get proper crosstalk. I’ve read good things about the sound and questionable things about the interface. Then there’s the Airwindows’ Console, which as I understand it is designed to be set up so there’s an extra layer of busses in your daw between the things you want to sum and the master bus, so that the different components of the plugin feed into each other and interact as designed without having to worry about gain staging with pre/post fader inserts.


+1 Reaper
I usually use a lot of ReaPlugs except for when I’m in a hurry during tracking and I’ll drag some of their oneknob(waves) stuff on for time and creativity’s sake. It all depends on the source material.

On that… as a built-in, not much beats ReaFir.

I don’t have access to a real analogue summer, but to your point, I have heard some very good mixes from people that mix and master completely ITB.



Hmmm… now there’s a song title waiting to happen… “It was a warm analog(ue) summer… the breeze was soft and slow…” wheels spinning


“…murmering like tape hiss through the treeeeeeeeeesssssssss…”


“…moonlight off the lake like a slapback reverb…”


Yeah, I like what VCC does and use it on all tracks and on the 2-bus. It’s pretty subtle, but if you bypass it on all tracks you will hear the difference.


I have VCC and NLS, but I’m using Plugin Alliance bx_console, which emulates a Neve modern desk. There is no bus plugin or saturation, but each instance of the plugin can be set to an individual console channel. There are 72 emulated channels, and they all sound a bit different, resulting in a very interesting summing effect!