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It’s time for another round of the HSC Podcast. A few topics covered:

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  • Well…. it’s good to keep an open mind about things. I admit that I really didn’t expect to hear any difference with my gear. I figured high end analog gear might make a subtle difference with summing but…

    So I set it up, did the test and I can hear a difference. Listening back at a typical volume I did not really hear much difference through my Alesis or JBL monitors (only one speaker at a time mind you) but surprisingly when I put on my Sennheiser headphones I could hear a distinct difference in the low end. The analog summed signal seemed to “open up” a bit just after each hit. It was a strange thing to hear since I was listening to a mono signal. I assume this is what people mean when they talk about “depth” in analog gear. The transients of the analog summed version was a touch blunter but it was the decay of each drum hit that was noticeably different between the two. Not a huge difference, but noticeable. The high frequencies didn’t sound any different but then my cold may still be affecting the top end of my hearing.

    I’m not planning on dropping a couple grand on a summing box but someday when I’m looking to move up to the next level I’ll keep this experience in mind. It also gives a little more weight to my consideration of buying a new interface with more outputs (i.e. mixing to stems and then summing on my Mackie mixer).

    Oh by the way; I ran this comparison a couple of times with different levels in my DAW to see if internal headroom was the issue but that did not seem to make any difference.

    To sum up (no pun intended) I think people who work in high end studios with top notch gear can probably hear this kind of difference more easily (due both to their monitors and their tuned acoustic environment) but in my space with my gear the difference in sound is too subtle to affect my mixing decisions or inspire me musically. Subtleties are of course important but I’ll be spending my money on new guitar strings and more bass traps before pursuing an analog summing set up. šŸ™‚

  • I’ve been ignoring the concept of analog summing for a while now. I’m lazy, I like mixing in the box. šŸ˜‰ But lately I saw a post on gearslutz about a simple way to compare analog summing to ITB summing. You can check it out at

    When I get over this cold and my ears clear up I’m gonna give it a try with my Mackie VLZ mixer. I’m really not expecting to hear anything earth shattering but it’s a simple enough experiment.

    • That IS really interesting. I must try it.