Analogue – analog summing boxes have their uses beyond simply combining (sum) signals.
That’s great but what is OTB?
Basically, instead of having your tracks merged digitally into a stereo mix in your DAW – ITB (in the box), you run each track individually out to the analog summing mixer OTB (out of box) and do it all there, then bring it back into your DAW
Signal flow in order: DAW OUT – SUMMING – DAW REC
- DAW stems
- DA converter (outputs)
- Summing mixer (inputs)
- Stereo mix from the summing mixer (outputs)
- AD converter (inputs)
- DAW (rec)
- DAW out 1Left /2Right —- SUM input 1Left /2Right
- DAW out 3Left /4Right —- SUM input 3Left /4Right
- DAW out 5Left /6Right —- SUM input 5Left /6Right
- DAW out 7Left /8Right —- SUM input 7Left /8Right
Basic simple setup (example) for stereo stems
- 1/2: Bass/Drums
- 3/4: Vocals
- 5/6: Guitars
- 7/8: Keys/Effects
Youtube quick signal routing
Basic routing example for a Summing Mixer with Stereo to mono input conversion switch:
1: Mono Kick
2: Mono Bass
3/4: Snare, hats some percs > stereo
5/6: Percs\toms\synth blips etc. > stereo
7/8: Synths\Effects\pads\Guitars\Piano\Vocals etc > stereo
Read more about: https://vintagemaker.net/documentation/#stm
Features like Mono option per channel for mono instruments like kick bass and master‑bus insert send return points, for example, can be extremely useful, as they provide an easy way to incorporate outboard hardware (EQs, compressors and the like) into your rig.
Going a little further and let’s insert an external EQ or Compressor to our master stereo chain for signal process.
Master Insert Send/Return by switch control
Roughly this function allows to SEND master signal to external processors like EQ, Comp, Limiter, then RETURN to master out (print / record)
That’s great but what is an insert?
An insert is used when you want to process a signal directly. You can insert an effect, such as a compressor or EQ directly onto the master summed stereo chain. This is when you want to change the loudness balance of ranges of frequencies by an Equalizer (EQ) or you want to add a compressor to change the dynamic range of your master stereo before Main Rec. (DAW record)
- allows to switch between processed or unprocessed signals (comparison purposes)
- Master SND/RET placed before master out
- 100% of the signal routed to SEND
- 1st switch: enable Send to external
- 2nd switch: enable Return from external
Let’s jump a big one to see there are large opportunities for a more complex signal processing by a Matrix Summing mixer
Multi-bus compression routing Matrix
Bus A, Bus B, Bus C and Bus D you can use the matrix switch to access to the MULTIBUS compression / external routing process.
You can route your inputs to desired sub group for external process, then return the processed BUS signals for master summig.
- A – Instruments that are in the upper midrange of a song, such as vocals or keyboards, synths, percussion.
- B – Instruments that anchor the song such as drums, bass, maybe cello, congas, choose instruments that will compliment each other.
- C – Instruments that create transient midrange power and will have a lot of rides, such as guitars.
- D – Instruments that need the warmth of tube and are not played staccato. To be used in combination with other categories for glue factor.
What’s important is that you try every combination and see which sounds the best. Eventually, you’ll know the sound of the different combinations in your head at which point it becomes instinctual read more about : www.mbrauer.com/q-a