The AMS Neve 8816 Summing Mixer proved to me that an analogue summing mixer genuinely does create a warmer, glued mixdown. I did wonder whether it was a case of The Emperor's New Clothes, but I genuinely believe that sound of the mixdown is better when passed through the 8816.
They have crammed a lot into a small box here and there are some compromises in doing that. All the knobs are really close together and some of them wobble a little. Not whatI would expect for the price - though it did not have any adverse effect on the sound (no crackle with the movement).
The width control is great. It's a bit of a mystery what it does. Maybe a little bit of M/S control and maybe a little compression(?) somewhere, but just adding the tiniest little width makes a Stereo mix-down sound magically better. Some might say, if I knew how to I could do that inside the box with digital tools. Maybe so. But I don't know how to make it sound just like that with just a little tweak of the knob.
Other than the wobbliness in some of the knobs the only other thing I got frustrated with was the USB-based recall software. I've had to flash the firmware in the 8816 a number of times because it loses contact with the computer. I don't know whether other people have experienced this or whether it is my setup, but the software side feels a little Heath Robinson. A chinagraph pencil could however probably be adequate to mark levels on the knobs for recall later.
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