SPL Mix Dream
16-in-2 Analog Summing Mixer
The MixDream design plan provides for the integration of analog equipment in digital production environments and stereo mixdown at the analog level.
This concept offers high-grade analog summing without panorama and fader controls, in turn allowing an engineer to retain the entire scope of his computer automation. One MixDream can sum up to 16 audio tracks to a stereo signal, and should the need arise for more than 16 tracks, several MixDreams may be linked together.
The MixDream discrete class A technology is based on a 60-volt rail (+/- 30V). Newly developed circuitry, based on the most modern analog components, guarantees an extremely high slew rate, a low noise level of -97dBu (A-weighted, all channels active) and a dynamic level of over 125dB. Thus the MixDream easily realizes the technical level of the best analog consoles.
Analog vs. Digital Summing:
Nowadays, many are asking whether analog summing is better than digital summing. But perhaps the real question is whether digital summing better than analog summing? The people at SPL don‘t know of anyone who says so. SPL does know that summing with the MixDream creates an amazing signal depth, precise localization and a wonderful stereo imaging. Moreover, the addition of individual instruments results in soft and pleasant transitions. These are analog summing differences that we hear—and that you can expect.
However, in contrast to simple summing devices the MixDream‘s insert and processing capabilities clearly spotlight a factor that is most important in a quality mix: while quality summing is the basis of a good mix, quality processing in the mixing process has the biggest influence on sound. When engineers discuss the qualities of highly-acclaimed analog consoles, it is very often the superior analog processing potential of such consoles that is an integral part of such “shop talk”.
The MixDream now allows DAW users to exploit this potential with maximum comfort and uncompromising quality, ensuring that nothing can stand in the way of the engineer‘s having the best of both analog and digital worlds.
Reduction of A/D conversions:
Calculated with 16 units for all MixDream inserts, 14 A/D conversions can be spared in the summing process: DAW insertion of 16 analog units through A/D-D/A converters requires 32 conversions, while with the MixDream only the summed signal needs to be converted (18 conversions). Especially the critical A/D conversions are reduced to a minimum and the analog effects are summed before any (in principle not loss-free) A/D conversion has to be made at all.
The MixDream in Mastering:
Multi-channel sessions can be mixed and processed in analog, something that may also be of special importance when an engineer wishes to upsample to SACD or DVD-A.
Controls for stereo summing:
- Adjustable insert level
- Stereo expansion control with infinite gradation
- Adjustable analog peak limiter
- Adjustable outputs with added in/out switching of Lundahl transformers
Processing, but you choose the mix:
Each input channel is equipped with a signal-present LED and a switchable insert-loop. A three stage toggle switch per channel allows the choice of whether or not a channel should be added to the mix buss.
With the No-Mix switch control, a channel may be removed from the mix while remaining available for re-recording through its Direct Output. The No-Mix function can be particularly useful, for example, when the engineer wishes to add track compression. The compressed signal can be re-recorded to the DAW for level automation. This is also known as “bounce back” capability, and without it, compressed signals could not employ level automation, since the compressor is inserted post fader.
Common Bypass for all Inserts:
All Inserts may be switched on or off globally.
Connection of Sampler, Keyboards etc.
Along with DAW audio tracks and effects machines or processors in the insert loops, samplers, keyboards and expanders may also be connected directly to the MixDream. Then the Midi tracks need only be added in the DAW project, the outputs (for example, from a keyboard) are then routed directly to the MixDream.
To save converter channels, channels 1 & 2, 3 & 4 and 5 & 6 may be switched to Mono so that two signals can be converted by a paired D/A. In this case such signals are characteristically chosen which would receive a more central placement in the stereo mix (e.g. kick, snare, lead vocal, bass). All channel pairs must otherwise be panned hard left/right in the mix.