Analog Summing. Let do this again :)

Analog Summing. Let do this again :)
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Very interesting… Gustavo, would you consider writing a couple of paragraphs in the Plugin category describing how this works and how you use it? I’m sure many of us would be very interested. Thanks!


That would be a nice task! I’m not an English native speaker, but I may try it!


Just from what I’ve seen since you got here, I’m sure you will be fine. :smile:


i`d take a couple of those bass traps off the side walls to place behind the monitors or two above as a cloud


awesome workspace though dude!


It’s not easy to see in the photos, but that’s just not possible. Right behind the monitors are two windows, and I have zero space between the bases of the monitor stands and the walls, and I can’t hang anything on the windows.

What’s also not visible is that the ceiling in this room is really weirdly shaped, with all kinds of angled sections. The only part of the ceiling that is flat and parallel to the floor has a big ceiling fan built-in there, so I can’t suspend any cloud absorbers.

Believe me, I outfitted the sound treatment in this room in the most efficient way possible. Worked with a guy from GIK, whom I bought the treatment panels from, to design the best possible coverage. I just don’t think it is possible to make this room sound any better without full demo and rebuild, which just ain’t happening. I’m actually very happy indeed with how that all came out. :slight_smile:


Hi Jonathan, I am trying my first jurney with the NLS from Waves. I put one instance as the last plugin in the each aux bus (Drum, Bass, Guitar, etc) and the Bus NLS in the Pre Master. I have never worked with a real console, but it is possible to really notice the difference with and without the NLS. Do you have any recommendation on using it?


Paul999, this is a very interesting subject. I am relatively new in mixing and after some time studying and watching some videos we get attracted to those big consoles. They are really beautiful and probably the sensation of turning knobs and moving sliders makes the thing even more attractive, but in the end, in my opinion, everybody is looking for a better solution to make your mix sound great, and the summing seems to give this magic solution. It is very important to listen to people like you and others in the post that had the chance to try both: analog summing and the ITB and though avoid spending money in a gear that wont give you the result you expect.
I even imagine working with an analog summing or mixer and if you have to recall a song or you are just changing from one activity to another and you loose all the settings in the mixer!!
I am saying all of this, because, I am one of those that was thinking about invest in a mixer and an interface with more outs.
Thanks .


@eazanotti, there’s nothing magic about it at all…trust me. Its a little tad teensy tiny bit of warmth and character for a lot of money :frowning: But when you get used to using one you miss it when its not there.

Its natural. Don’t fight it. Resistance if futile. :smiley:


The front of the summing mixer doesn’t change. And if I deviate from my normal settings, I note it on the stem channels in the DAW.

I think you should go for it. You only live once.


Oh yeah. There’s certainly a difference. If you can’t hear a difference there’s something wrong with your monitors. The waves NLS is not subtle.


  • If you have the already have heavy saturation plugins towards the front of the channel strip, put the NLS at the end.
  • If the channel lacks drive, depth, and punch, drive it, put it at the front, drive the shit out of it then build your compression behind hit.
  • The Spike console is extremely transparent but punchy clear and powerful. The Nevo adds some very nice dirt gooey globby character.

If you can’t hear it doing anything, start turning the drive on the bus up until you can. And KEEP turning it up. You mix will puff up, grow wings, and slap you right in the face.

The key to making this thing sing is balancing these two control proportionately.


Yeah it looks pretty good dude, as long as it works then sorted :slight_smile:


I even imagine working with an analog summing or mixer and if you have to recall a song or you are just changing from one activity to another and you loose all the settings in the mixer!!

I own waves NLS. I found it easy to destroy a mix with this:grinning: It is easy to use too much and make a more mono, harsh, nasty mess. I typically use it for character on a channel. I never liked what it did as a summing solution.

Here is how I’ve solved the automation solution. It will sound complex but when I got used to it I’ve loved it. I use my Daw like a tape recorder to start. I have a template of tracks that I record onto. When it comes time to mix I send 64 tracks out to my console, I eq and compress as necessary and split into various auxes and parallel compression groups. From the console I have a second template inside my daw to collect the 80 tracks that come back out of my console. These 80 tracks that come back in are sent to 4 hardware groups from my Daw. Drums and bass, instruments, vocals and things that don’t need buss compression. These groups get recorded back into my daw as well.

If your still with me here is what you get. Depending on the automation fix you have a couple layers. Most fixes can happen on the 4 stereo stems. If I have to peel back one more layer I then need to send that group out for processing again. For the most part these subgroups hardware settings are fairly consistent or quick to recreate.


You said it Paul! Man, that would be a recipe for disaster for me. So many places along that chain where I could drop the ball! And believe you me, I am a world expert at ball-dropping! (Don’t try this at home, kids)


Jonathan, one question about rhe NLS.
In the busses you put an instance at last in the inserts. In the pre master it goes at first an than you can put a comp or eq after. Is it right?

About analog summing, instead of doing it in a console, doing in an analog summing box is the same result? I know that you can DIY, just Don,'t know the quality. For that you must be able to take the several outs from your DAW. I have a Saffire pro 24 and don’t have much outs, will have to expand it.


@eazanotti, I don’t see a reason to put on a pre-master (depending on the terminology your DAW uses). Just put it right on the master. The way I could see the NLS on a pre-master is if I was combining it with a REAL summing mixer, but that would be kind of crazy imo. So yeah, just stick it on the master 2 bus. It doesn’t matter which plugin slot its in. Works the same way either way. I typically put it first. Then might follow with a Massive Passive or a Pultec. Then hit the SSL or Red3 bus compressor then out.

When using a real summing mixer it’ll go as follows
Stem 1 - summing mixer
Stem 2 - summing mixer
Stem 3 - summing mixer etc…

Summing mixer -> Massive Passive
Massive Passive -> SSL Bus Comp
SSL Bus Comp -> Return to DAW (Print Track)

You can see where it differs a little from the way you’d hook a real summing mixer up. The signal flow isn’t the same. You could probably get a little closer by switching your DAW track insert slots to post-fader/post-pan if your DAW has the option.

Actually at this point, it would be helpful if you told me which DAWs you use.

…and one more thing, take a look at some videos on the way real summing mixers work. That might help make things make more sense.


Thanks a lot Jonathan for spending your time explaining.
I have Logic installed, but got more confortable with Protools.


I don’t think the results are the same. I really like using the Dangerous 2bus. Summing sounds different on different consoles as well. So it might not be as cut-and-dry as ITB vs hardware.

I would try and get at least 16 channels of analog i/o, in addition to what you need for your monitors. That way you can have 8 stereo stems.

Np… :smiley: keep working with that NLS :smiley:


Care to expand on that Andrew? The only consideration I can think of for analogue summing is that it fucks up your workflow. Real time bounce comes immediately to mind.


+1 @ColdRoomStudio

…curious to see if you drew the same conclusion I did about the workflow changes.


@Chordwainer I’m just popping by to say hi, and also; That’s kinda sexy.