Summing Mixer Customer Feedback - Review
Guess that tells you how happy I am with the units…
I, too, find that using OTB summing makes a subtle, yet remarkable difference, especially in regard to clarity of position in the stereo field (and mono is true mono).
I love being able to create sub mixes/stems using the smaller summing mixers and running them through a variety of preamps for colour (or non-colour).
My clients love it, too, and many returning customers ask/demand for the mix to be run through the analog summing mixer/s. I even have clients coming in because of this equipment (one particular client did his own research and came because of the VintageMaker brand; that job alone paid for the units several times over…).
I bought a Neumann 24/4 several years ago and have since bought another four 8/2 channel passive summing mixers.
I even have clients coming in because of this equipment.
Just had an enquiry for 5 days mixing, running stems through analog summing…
An interesting blog, citing analog summing: http://www.rasxix.com/news.html
“I’m pretty intimate with my outboard gear and my setup allows me to utilize them efficiently to color a track in accordance to what it might need.” Indeed so. The artistry of Niko Schauble of Pughouse and his collection of vintage outboard EQs, compressors and preamps was exactly what I needed. I figured since I had already put in this much work, Niko’s warm boxes would be icing. The exported tracks from Singapore were imported into a ProTools station. Some of the reverbs were replaced with Sony Oxfords and Lexicon Native. Niko’s suggestion of using Sound Toy’s Echoboy turned out to be what some of my vocals needed for that slight touch of glimmer in the mix. The signal path went from the playback machine (ProTools) through an Apogee Symphony, into a Neumann Vintage Maker Summing Mixer and then out to a second system via an Apogee Duet (which essentially has the same converters as the Symphony) and was recaptured at 24 bit 96 kHz. This process was recommended by Joel and accommodated by Niko who actually went out and bought another Apogee module for my session! On the heavier tracks, we also ran through a pair of Neve 51 channel strips post summing mixer and the cleaner tracks were run through the Earthworks 1024. On the whole, I was pretty ecstatic about how the mixes turned out, punchy on the tracks that needed to be and shimmery on the cleaner acoustic ones.
I have always been reticent to use descriptions like “wide” and “deep” but what can I say? The Vintagemaker made my mixes sound “wider” and “deeper” and dare I say, there was a certain “sweetness” that in-the-box mixing does not give you. So the colors available though analog summing did shine through in the end (although mine was more of a hybrid mixing process) and if you’ve spent substantial time and effort tweaking your mixes as I have, it might behoove you to visit a studio like Pughouse for what I’d like to call “post-processing” before your down mix.”
You can read some testimonials on our website: | Pughouse Studios |
Lastly, in regard to value for money and communication (Paul will discuss and build to your requests): I can’t recommend VintageMaker highly enough! Niko
JURIJ GIANLUCA RICOTTI – Italy
JGR Studios awarded on hundreds albums with Andrea Bocelli, Ennio Morricone, Steven Mercurio, Rita Ora, Ariana Grande, Kevin Costner, Kacey Musgraves, MIMS, Queen, Beyoncè, Pink, David Sylvian, Malmsteen, Steve Vai, Macalpine, Britney Spears, Bireli Lagrane, Salvatore Russo, Il Volo, Fernando Osorio, Ana Belen, Armando Manzanero, Richard Galliano, Marcello Giordani, Ron, Renga, Chiara Galiazzo, Il Volo, Vinnie Colaiuta, Nathan East, Michael Thompson, and many others.
Neumann Summing Mixer / Passive Summing mixer / Neumann summing amp
I should firstly like to say something in defence of my VM Mixer, Vintage Maker is my best choice for sound engineer wants a real analog summing with custom components.
In my experience, Mostly of peoples aspect a sound “changing”, “colouring”, and other artefacts make their mix more Big, Huge and Powerful than digital summing process. Mostly of the peoples don’t know what analog summing means. Let me explain the differences: Digital summing is a mathematical computer processing than loss all the phase characteristic added in analog summing world. That’s the principal feature. Passive summing should be the best situation and the real feature we need in the digital world. Personally I hate summing mixers than change my original mix in the box. I work every day for TV and Movie soundtracks, albums, live set.
VintageMaker is a piece of gear of my entire process.
As explained, the main difference is the 3D spatial effect created with phase summing in analog world, and this difference is more evident with huge tracks summing of course. 8 tracks summed sound much better than digital summing, and certain software like Harrison Mix Bus makes a great virtual summing more than Protools, Cubase etc. 16 Tracks summed in analog are more wide than 8, and 24 tracks are incredibly wide and beautiful than only 8 summed. But…. in this process someone forget the tools between the gear. DA converters are an important part in this process. The DA conversion is very different than AD. Choose the best converters makes a huge difference in the analog summing. I’ve tested a lot of converters before my final choice Ferrofish, Creamwear, Behringer with and without customs components, Apogee, etc. Ferrofish and VM seems to be my best “clean” choice. Another factor to consider is the Word Clock, and professional audio board than clock all the tracks and clock the DA, without WC synch these machines makes difference on the process too. And Last but not the least, the cables. Pro means pro, if you want use pro gears you have to choose pro cables. I’ve chooses Vovox cables connected from my DA to VM and viceversa from VM to my audio board (RME UFX) for the bounce recording, another more economic choice could be Cordial. That’s make the differences, i’ve listened some one says analog summing does not make difference, bla bla. I’ve seen people love summing gears change the sound of their mix thinking to colour the mix. If your choice will be colour the mix, just test different summing box until you will find the right one for you, but please don’t say this summing is better than this etc etc. Have no sense, even you choose a preamp for your gear, in the same question. Avalon is better than Neve and bla bla.
I generally work in studio with Neve and SSL, with master sound Engineer like Gatica etc.
When I want produce some in my personal home studio or simply Mix and Master with my gear…. Vintage Maker makes me happy because is transparent. When I want a touch of color, I pull up the Active section with Neumann 475-B. Analog summing makes huge differences especially in acoustic recordings, in other situations like Dance, and Electro you could choose the digital summing as best….. before speak about VM performances, just check your outboard gear before, cables, and DA….. I hope could be useful for the next analog summing users.
Paul is the owner of VintageMaker –
and one of the most passionate people we have ever done business with inside the small pro audio world.
Paul has an extensive knowledge of gear and has been making custom summing mixers to order for years. Paul offers options and customization that no other company (to our knowledge) offers. Not to mention the VintageMaker summing mixers can be made with both active and passive circuitry along with other flexible options which makes these summing mixers a no brain for any producer or audio engineer.
The VintageMaker products offer a very clean, 3d and transparent sound. The units are handcrafted with extreme care and are laser engraved. Overall, the VintageMaker units are damn classy looking units! These units do not just look pretty though, the sound dynamite! Separation, clarity, width, and so much more. What’s not to love when it comes to taking an ITB mix and turning into that open and pristine analog console sound!
The summing mixer sounds really really good!
Lots better than my analog board! Thanks!
You did a great work!!
3U Standard Rack
Neumann v475-2B NOS
24in by DB25=12 Stereo CH
2xStereo out by XLR balanced as: OUT1/ and / OUT2
4xStereo to mono CH1-CH4 = 8 mono by switch on master sum bus
Active/Passive2in1 by front panel switch
Master Send/Return by front panel switch
12xstereo Insert/Return = 12x send/Return by front panel switch
12xstereo Insert/Return by 3xDB25 send – 3xDB25return
Group ABCD / OR Master sum select switch
ABCD subgroup send out by 4xvol ctrl via TRS balanced
ABCD Send return by TRS balanced
12×4=48 stereo routing switch A/or/B/or/C/or/D
2×21 Step precision Neumann master gain potentiometer
Hey Paul, after some testing and comparing to the Shadow Hills and Rupert Neve
i´m happy to tell you that your summing amp is playing in the same league. The difference are not huge, but they are listenable, and i like what i´m hearing with yours. For me (and also a very good friend and mastering engineer) it´s even better in the sound then the others i´ve compared it to. I finally went with yours and i´m very happy with this decision.
So all in all, i´m so happy with this unit. I will sell my Neve and give back the Shadow Hills. Thanks so much. Moritz
Incredible value for money.
I guess it’s not worth posting mixes as you change your workflow when you get a summing mixer.
I did shootout the VintageMaker with the Burl bomber, the Dangerous 2 BUS, the Shadow Hills Equinox
and ended up keeping the VintageMaker.
Matt Palfreman UK
Having had my Neumann Summing Mixer for about a week now.
I have to say I’m absolutely blown away by it. It’s quickly becoming the most valuable asset to my studio.
The sound of all the music that I grew up loving always just seemed out of reach. Mixing entirely ‘in the box’ left my mixes sounding very up front and lacking space to breathe. The summing mixer has added such a richness and depth to my mixes and has given them that analog flare that I longed for.
This is by far the best value for money piece of equipment I own, I can’t recommend it highly enough. Buy it now!”
Harald Værnor – Norway
I am very happy the Neumann so far
it adds some tonal qualities that takes me back to my days working with larger consoles. The mono switch option is fantastic. Still experimenting and learning how to get the best out of it I guess, it´s still my first mix using it.
Thanks again for great support.
Valery Proletarski (producer, mixer) – UK
Dear Paul, In a summer 2018, I have purchased from you a summing mixer. When it arrived, I put it in a cupboard with the rest of my staff, as I needed to re-build the studio.
Yesterday, was a special day.
I bought new monitors Mackie MR524.
I decided to tryout them. I hooked up the mixer and listened in bypass mode. The sound was good, but didn’t impressed me so much. It had the same clinical character that always comes from computer.
Then, I switched on the transformers.
It was a moment of revelation! Suddenly, the sound became alive. The width, the depth, the realism came out from the monitors. All the details were there. I could describe it, as the summing mixer put up the music on another level. High frequencies were natural, without irritating and piercings the ear. Low frequencies were tight and focused. The middle had a lot of energy, but not aggravating. Everything was glued together without any compression. I even didn’t touch the potentiometers. They were on dial 1. After turning them on position 5, there was a nice warmth. Just superb!
I would like to mention the quality of build. There are 48 ins, 2 stereo outs, 1 stereo insert, 1 stereo return, 4 stereo-to-mono switches on the first 4 channels. Everything is in 1U box. Neat, classy and beautiful. Love it!
A very big thank you from another happy customer.
I heard the Neumann Vintage Maker in my room on my system compared to a Dangerous LT and a Shadow Hills Equinox.
The sound card was an Antelope Orion. Granted I was applying these summing boxes to a hybrid mix (mixed through a pair of Pultecs and BAE 10dcs) so these were not summed from the beginning. Regardless the differences were more than obvious. The Dangerous was larger sounding than the Equinox but the equinox was classier sounding. The Lt sounded like a REALLY big ITB mix which could be appealing for some styles. The equinox had nice low end mojo happening and over all but couldn’t touch the sheer size of the Dangerous to me.