Analog Summing: 

The question as to whether or not to use analog summing when mixing a DAW project is much discussed in music recording forums. I use this method myself and would like to share with you here some of my experiences and conclusions. 

    The argument I most often encounter is one pertaining to which sounds better, analog summing, or mixing with automation inside a DAW (digital audio workstation) such as Pro Tools. For those unfamiliar with the term, "analog summing" is the process of sending the individual recorded tracks through a digital to analog converter to an analog console for mixing i. e. level adjustments, shaping tone with EQ, and or adding effects and processing such as compression. The tracks are "summed" to a stereo two channel output of the console and returned to the DAW through an analog to digital converter with the end result being a two track mix of the song which is ready for mastering and release as a final product. If that sounds like a rather complex process, it is! 
     IMO the question of which method sounds better is antiquated and perhaps irrelevant. A decent engineer, with today's tools, should be capable of achieving successful mixes with either method. 


So, if I believe this, why invest in the extra equipment and take the extra time?... (Your DAW will remember where you left off every time, and each analog summing session is almost like starting from scratch when working on multiple songs such as an album project). 
    Well my reasoning goes something like this. The turning of knobs and moving of faders from start to finish of a tune never comes out exactly the same, therefore it is something akin to a live performance. Think of what it feels like to be "up" in baseball, the fast balls are coming at you and you use your best judgement to take a swing, or let that one pass. At any rate the involvement is immediate, and to me the mix achieved under these conditions can retain that excitement. 
  So for "The Sky & The Road" Phil Jones and I have mixed all the tunes (recorded in Pr Tools 11HD) through a Trident series 65 console using Lynx Aurora converters. Although the process has been lengthy, it has been fruitful and I hope you all agree the results will be worth listening to over and over. After all isn't that what a good album is for?
   Our finished mixes will be sent to Nick Fainbarg of Costa Mesa Studios (Nick also recorded the basic tracks) for post production and mastering. After that, off to the manufacturer... And finally the chance to share with all of you!
Beach Cities Recording

Beach Cities Recording