This article is part 2 of the Audio Summing Debate in which we are going to put another analogue out-of-the-box hardware mixing workflow to the test to find out if you can hear the difference and if you like the difference between the “sound” of analogue hardware and an In-The-Box mix.
Once again we are using a short just under 2 minute track you are going to be listening to was recorded for an audio interface review. It’s a simple track featuring real drums, guitars (both acoustic and electric), bass, and vocals and busses down to 16 track quite nicely.
You can check the full instrument and track rundown in part 1 of the series.
As I’m sure many of you now know I am the owner of a beautiful Audient ASP8024 HE console. Now, although this is not an article about workflow as such, it would be hard to dodge the subject entirely and we will talk more about this when we get down to the all important listening.
The Audio Interface
Once again all the audio for these tests is being routed through the new Universal Audio Apollo X16 running at 96KHz with a headroom of +24dBu.
One of the audio files you will hear below is the “In-The-Box” (ITB) bounce to disk. No external hardware has been used. There are no plug-ins or processors on the master bus, in an attempt to keep this as much of a fair test as possible. It’s also worth noting that the files have been level matched as best I can without any kind of processing or limiting so you may need to turn your output up a little to get a good level. Remember, dynamic range is king.
The second mix is a stereo track running through the console. The 8 stereo busses in Pro Tools were routed to a pair of mono inputs on the console and panned hard left and right. There is no EQ or processing happening in the channel path. This pair of channels rout to the master fader and then back into another pair of channels to record back into Pro Tools. All the paired faders are set as close as I can to the 0 mark.
Take The Challenge
Below you will find audio examples A and B. One is a standard “In-The-Box” two channel stereo Bounce To Disk, the other is a real time summed mix run through a pair of channels on the Audient ASP8024 Console. We would like to know which one your prefer. If you then wish, you can then leave us a comment saying which you think is which, but this is not the real point of the test. It’s all about the sound of the mix.
Which Mix Do You Prefer?
Over this series of articles and tests we have a total of 6 different summed mixes for you to listen too. Once you have had a chance to listen to all of these we will be back with a final article in which we will reveal the results. As always if you have any comments or questions please do leave them in the comments section below.