revised: The NEW SumTest with NLS and VCC

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Len911
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Re: A Summing Test that needs your evaluation

Post by Len911 » Sat Dec 15, 2012 11:29 pm

It's my understanding that summing issues aren't as much a problem if you are using a floating point rather than fixed point scheme?? But it seems to me that the more tracks you have, the more likely you may start getting phase cancellation issues or at least an increased chance of that happening. Maybe that is what is happening with the basses that Andy is describing.
My first thought when listening was that there might have been a phase thing going on, but I couldn't tell the difference between them really, there may have been, but I think my ears and mind plays tricks on me or compensates. I quit micro-listening when I discovered that all the subtle effects I thought I was hearing, and all the tweaking, was for nothing on a plugin I had when I discovered that I had a setting wrong and that I wasn't getting a difference,lol, though nobody else knew, I still embarrassed myself to myself :lol: :oops: :oops:
I think if something isn't sounding right to you, it's great to investigate and figure out what the problem is, but looking for them and especially subtle ones, hasn't proved very fruitful in my experience. The ear, mind and imagination seem to be more dynamic and compensating, whereas science seems to be a little more linear and exacting. At times I have even used the wavelab file comparer to see if there really was a difference after I effected a track, and it even gives you a file of the difference. I couldn't hear a difference,lol, but the science of wavelab proved it,lol!
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Re: A Summing Test that needs your evaluation

Post by cardell » Sun Dec 16, 2012 2:03 am

andygabrys wrote:are you casting the Gauntlet Sir?

lol.

I am happy to run the tracks through the plugin, but I defer on the "mix-off". although who knows, we all might get something out of it.
:lol: well, I was kidding of course...but I kinda like the idea now! :idea:

However, I'll wait to see what Russell (the OP) says about this (since they are his tracks).

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Re: A Summing Test that needs your evaluation

Post by DesireInspires » Sun Dec 16, 2012 1:06 pm

They all sound the same to me.

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Russell Landwehr
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Re: A Summing Test that needs your evaluation

Post by Russell Landwehr » Sun Dec 16, 2012 5:14 pm

Whao! I step away from the forum for a day and then look what happens... a little friendly rumble in the school yard?? :lol: :lol:

Now I wanna try a closer headphone listen to the v4.4 comparison track. At first blush I couldn't tell a difference but mebbe a closer listen is warranted. But from my first listen I concluded that my 3 different ways of summing the 8 stereo tracks all pretty-much sounded the same. Or at least not different enough to make me wanna sum that way.

I've been in touch with Stuart about running a test on his system with NLS. (I've got his drop-box info) I would be happy to post the individual tracks and see what comes of it in a "shootout" type of scenario. However, I think these crappy throw-away tracks for testing purposes on this 4bar loop are a bit embarrasing. I like Andy's suggestion to demo the plug-ins on an already completed "serious" track. I've been researching that, but doing a VCC demo would be hard to do since I do not have an iLock2. I have definate ideas about a some "shootout" parameters, but I would like to hear it done with one of my more serious songs. I have 3 recent cues that I think would fit the bill nicely. I would like to pick the one with the most tracks (since that is where "analog" summing supposedly shines.)

Also in reading reviews on NLS and VCC (which I never knew about untill this topic) people seem to be gushing over the VCC plug-in and while the NLS plug-in gets good reviews, the comments are more muted. I'm seeing the Waves NLS at $250 and the Slate Digital VCC at $200. So the price is comparable.

Anyway, I would love to hear both plug-ins in action, Specially on one of my "serious" tracks. It would be a song under 2:30. Either "Empty Glass," "Pools" or "Searching For." Which ever I can output the most tracks for.

If you guys are interested, let's work on the parameters of the test.
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Re: A Summing Test that needs your evaluation

Post by andygabrys » Sun Dec 16, 2012 5:39 pm

I'm game.

Couple of things to consider.

These analog channel kinda plugins theoretically you put first in you channel strip. Then you add eq and such to achieve the results of what you want beyond that.

Since Stuart and I (and you Russell) are all in different DAWs, there isn't really a way to have the same mix with stick plugins in place and let us add the analog channel plugs to the start if the chain. But outputting dry tracks would also mean that none or your mixing work would be kept. Outputting processed tracks would mean we are just adding the plugs to te end of the chain.

Letting us each mix the track from scratch would mean that our basic mixes could be very different, different enough that the effect of the analog channel plugs wouldn't be distinct and quantifiable.

Any ideas?

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Re: A Summing Test that needs your evaluation

Post by cardell » Sun Dec 16, 2012 7:17 pm

andygabrys wrote:I'm game.
Me too.

Andy makes some very good points here. For example, part of the sound with the NLS plug-in is achieved by using the drive pots (potentiality meters).

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Re: A Summing Test that needs your evaluation

Post by wen » Sun Dec 16, 2012 8:11 pm

What's summing?

LOL

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Re: A Summing Test that needs your evaluation

Post by Russell Landwehr » Sun Dec 16, 2012 8:14 pm

Ya, I was thinking along the same lines.

The main premise behind the summing plugins is that you mix and eq differently during the process because of the feel that they impart.

Therefore, even with an a/b mix in the same box, it is not truly how you would mix with or without the summing. PLUS you have the choice of so many different desks to emulate even within the plugins. The only true test of the summing is to do the unity-gain thing and just see how the summing emulator works compared to the original. It may not be a better sounding mix, (or it may be) but I think the idea here is to see what "affect" the summing emulator imparts.

Maybe I don't understand where the summing plug-in works the best, but it seems to me that even the summing of processed (verb,delay,chorus,eq) tracks could be heard.


I think that the differences between DAWs would be small. When I summed ITB against 2 different OTB summing, it pretty much came out the same. So I think that having you guys unity-sum the same files with different emulators would work not as a "shootout," but more as a "taste test."

A quick unity-gain "with and without" mix shouldn't take too long eh?

It's 10pm here, my bedtime, but my alarm is set for 5:30am (studio time for me, best part of the day). I'll check back in the morning, then head out to the studio to break out some tracks. Let me know what you think. I am really interested to see where this goes.

BTW, any files I put up will be 44.1/16. Unless you'd rather work with different resolution and bit depth, then give me an extra day to work that out. I'm still monkeying with the whole 24bit thing.

Russell
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Re: A Summing Test that needs your evaluation

Post by Russell Landwehr » Sun Dec 16, 2012 8:16 pm

wen wrote:What's summing?

LOL
When more than one track gets added together to create a single (usually stereo track) THAT is summing.

In the analog world, it was/is done with op-amps and circuitry. Think of it as a Y cable with a bunch of Y's except the signals are coming down the ends of the Y to be output all mixed together.

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Re: A Summing Test that needs your evaluation

Post by cardell » Sun Dec 16, 2012 8:36 pm

Russell Landwehr wrote:BTW, any files I put up will be 44.1/16. Unless you'd rather work with different resolution and bit depth, then give me an extra day to work that out. I'm still monkeying with the whole 24bit thing.
That's fine with me. I'm mostly in 24bit, 48Khz these days. However, if someone sends me 16bit files, I stick to the same sample rate (as their files), but I run my DAW at 24bit, in order to gain the additional accuracy of the plugins. ;)

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