AMS Neve Desktop Summing Package

SKU: Summing package
$ 5,250.00

The AMS Neve Desktop Summing Package is a complete OTB DAW solution comprising the 8816 Summing Mixer with digital ADC card and 8804 Fader Pack with Sidecheeks—all at a special bundle price

The Neve Desktop Summing Package gives you a complete Neve DAW mixing solution from its custom Carnhill transformer-balanced mix bus to its Neve-designed analog-to-digital output card and long-throw faders in between. The Neve Desktop Summing Package combines the 16-channel, hand-wired 8816 summing mixer with the 8804 Fader Pack for long-throw fader control. To complement the classic Neve analog sound, the package includes the 8816ADC digital output card and tabletop legs for the 8804 Fader Pack and ties it all together with Neve’s Total Recall™ software.  

AMS Neve Desktop Summing Package—Just the Facts:

  • Hand-built, hand-wired 16-channel summing mixer for use in professional computer-based studios
  • Classic Neve analog transformer mix bus topology
  • Instant recall of settings stored on PC or Mac via USB using Neve Total Recall™
  • 16 input channels plus aux additional inputs
  • Cue, level, pan, solo, and mute controls
  • Mix Insert points
  • Various solo and solo in place functions
  • Sum and difference insert with exclusive ‘Stereo Width Control’
  • Separate Monitor and Cue levels
  • Main and Alt speaker outs
  • Onboard talkback mic w/talkback input to Cue
  • Units can be cascaded for multiple output
  • 2U rackmount design with special shielded power supply
  • Two-track return, plus iPod input
  • Headphone outs on front and back
  • Included digital output card; 44.1kHz to 192kHz, plus DSD
  • High-quality long-throw fader module
  • 16 channel faders and 2 master faders
  • 16 Mute/solo switches
  • 16 Direct outputs allow 8816 level pots to become auxiliary sends
  • 4U rackmount or tabletop operation using built-in stand or included Neve 8804 sidecheeks

 

AMS Neve Desktop Summing Package—Under the Hood

 

AMS Neve 8816 Summing Mixer

The AMS Neve 8816 is a 16-channel summing mixer featuring the sound of classic Neve consoles of the ’70s, with +15dB gain, level, pan, cut/solo and cue controls per channel, monitor control, talkback, and the unique stereo widening control

The AMS Neve 8816 Summing Mixer features classic Neve transformer-coupled sonics, plus a wealth of functions you’d find on a professional desk. The 8816 has 16 input channels, aux inputs, cue, level, pan, solo, mute controls, and mix insert points. But that’s only a part of the story. It has a monitor section, talkback, headphone outputs, 2-track return, iPod input, and instant recall of settings from Mac and PC via USB. Of special note is the stereo widening control*, a feature of certain ’70s consoles that enabled you to mix “outside the speakers.” The 8816 also has options for a fader pack and digital output card capable of PCM sample rates up to 24-bit/192kHz and DSD. Plus, you can cascade units and fader packs for a larger system with multiple outputs.

AMS Neve 8816 Summing Mixer—Just the Facts:

  • Hand-built, hand-wired 16-channel summing mixer for use in professional computer-based studios
  • Classic Neve analog transformer mix bus topology
  • Instant Recall of settings stored on PC or Mac via USB
  • 16 input channels plus aux additional inputs
  • Cue, Level, Pan, Solo, and Mute controls
  • Mix Insert points
  • Various solo and solo in place functions
  • Sum and difference insert with exclusive ‘Stereo Width Control’
  • Separate Monitor and Cue levels
  • Main and Alt speaker outs
  • Onboard talkback mic w/talkback input to Cue
  • Units can be cascaded for multiple outputs
  • 2U rackmount design with special shielded power supply
  • 2-track return, plus iPod input
  • Headphone outputs on front and back
  • Optional digital output card; 44.1kHz to 192kHz, plus DSD

*PAD Tech Note—A feature that all but disappeared from consoles is the width control. Summing a small portion of each channel into the other reduced the width of the stereo image, and was considered desirable by some, since the slightly smaller image would make the image less associated with the speakers, thus enhancing the illusion of acoustic reality. However, in modern times, the common wisdom is that greater isolation between the speakers is required in order to provide a good stereo image. This notion was disproved by the BBC in extensive testing before the days of stereo broadcasting. It was determined that a stereo separation of 20-25dB is all that’s needed to provide the illusion of a full stereo width. Of course, once we all fell in love with hard-panned heavy guitars, the idea was to find a way to de-correlate a mix from the speakers by making it wider, and mixing “outside the speakers” became a highly elusive goal. It was discovered that cross-feeding anti-phase signals would increase the stereo image. In 1972, Mullard Research Laboratories published a famous circuit that provided continuous variation from mono to normal stereo to enhanced-width stereo. The caveat was not to sum more than 24% of the phase-inverted, stereo-flipped mix into the main mix or it would break the stereo image into two halves.

AMS Neve 8816 Summing Mixer—Under the Hood

Hand-built and hand-wired at the Neve factory in Burnley, England, the 8816 allows engineers and producers to mix their music on a true Neve summing mixer. A post-insert mix function can be used for mixing in a separate stem or blending the mix with a special effect.

With four monitor sources, two sets of speakers, independent monitor level control, talkback mic, cue send and headphone outs, the 8816 effectively turns a digital audio workstation to a professional mixing facility. An onboard USB connector allows snapshots of the 8816 to be saved to a PC or Mac and recalled ready for remix.

And of course, there’s the classic, genre-defining Neve sound. The 8816 uses the same transformer mixing topology as the classic 80-Series consoles, with two custom Carnhill transformers on the stereo mix bus output, plus a unique Stereo Width** control as found in professional mastering studios. And what all this means is that the unit delivers the open, punchy mixes for which Neve consoles have long been renowned.

**PAD For the Record—Stereo widening readily available in plug-in form these days. However, using these plug-ins on a final mix can introduce phase cancellation, so you’ll need to reference your mix in mono. This effect can be easily created in a DAW without using a plug-in. Copy your 2-tack master, use the stereo flip function so that left is right and right is left on your copied mix. Then reverse its phase. From there, blend the two mixes together adding small amounts of the copied anti-phase mix as you would a parallel compressed track. You’ll hear the widening effect as you blend the two together. Also, be sure to check your mix in mono. The advantage of this procedure is that you’re not dealing with the reconstruction filters of the plug-in adding word length to your final mix, which could cause overloads in the converters that the L/R meter can’t see. At the end of the day, stereo widening is best left for mastering. However, there are certain effects within the mix that stereo widening can be very, well, effective on. For example, put a widening plug-in on the stereo returns of a reverb, such as the Lexicon 224XL, and it will make the reverb returns wrap around your head. 

AMS Neve 8804 Fader Pack

The AMS Neve 8804 Fader Pack offers precision fader control for the 8816 Summing Mixer, featuring 16 channel faders with mute/solo switches, two master faders, direct outputs, aux send, and instant recall via Mac/PC

Perhaps the most requested feature for summing mixers of all makes is the addition of faders. While it can be argued that you can do your fader automation in the DAW and simply use the summing mixer for analog flavor and stem recording, engineer and mixers quickly realized that changing levels on DAW faders (particularly lowering them) changed the sound of the instrument or vocal. However, using analog faders to reduce or increase level didn’t change the timbral integrity of a sound, just its volume. Another benefit of analog faders is that you can ride them while tracking vocals,* thus controlling levels going into your converters without reducing the word-length “describing” the sound. Of course, while the 8804 Fader Pack does all this and more, the faders aren’t automated beyond snapshot recall. On the plus side, performing a mix on faders like an instrument is far more musical that drawing automation lines with a mouse. The mix engineer becomes a part of the performance, which in turn can lead to magical moments that can’t be had with a DAW pencil tool.

AMS Neve 8804 Fader Pack—Just the Facts:

  • High-quality long-throw fader module for use with popular 8816 Summing Mixer
  • Hand-made by Neve in Burnley, England
  • 16 channel faders and 2 master faders
  • 16 mute/solo switches
  • 16 direct outputs allow 8816 level pots to become auxiliary sends
  • Instant recall of settings stored on PC or Mac via USB
  • 4U rackmount or tabletop operation using built-in stand or optional Neve 8804 sidecheeks

AMS Neve 8804 Fader Pack—Beneath the Surface

The Neve 8804 not only adds fader control to the 8816, but it also provides expanded functionality. Each 8804 channel fader has a direct output, which can be set to pre- or post-fader. These direct outputs can then be used to feed effects units, make separate recordings of individual tracks in a mix*, or for multi-track recording from the 8816. The channel level pot on the 8816 becomes a dedicated auxiliary send for an outboard reverb unit, letting you add that extra touch of magic to the mix.

The 8804 is equipped with AMS Neve’s proprietary Recall utility program for use with a computer-based system. Recall enables your Mac or PC to store and recall all of the 8804’s settings, facilitating workflow and increasing productivity. Put simply, this is the Neve console experience brought to the DAW-based studio.

*PAD For the RecordOne of the closely guarded secrets of getting vocal tracks that sound like money is to ride faders during tracking. It’s a bit scary at first, since nobody wants to risk spoiling a great performance, but nothing sounds as good as fader rides. Since, as they say, the essence of engineering is laziness, it’s very tempting simply insert a compressor and let it do the level control. Some will put two compressors in series so that neither has to work too hard, thus avoiding artifacts, but truth be told, no compressor, no matter how fast its attack time, can anticipate when a singer is going to belt. Compressors only react, they can’t anticipate. If you’re nervous about upping your game with fader rides, send the signal to two channels, one for fader rides, the other with a compressor inserted for safety. And once you get the hang of it, you’ll never want to track vocals any other way.

The 8804 surface controls

Channel faders

The 8804 has sixteen 100mm, long-throw channel faders that control the levels on channels 1 through 16. The faders have a gain range from -∞dB to +15dB. Having 15dB gain in hand is a useful creative tool, particularly when riding levels in the mix. Care should be taken not to overload the workstation or other recording device by using too much boost across multiple channels simultaneously.

Aux send level control

With the 8804 fader pack attached, the rotary pots of the 8816 summing mixer are taken out of the main circuit and re-tasked as an auxiliary send level control. These auxes will always be pre-fader and cannot be changed to post-fader. The 8816 Master Level pot is no longer used.

Master faders

Two master faders control the Mix Left and Mix Right output levels with a gain range from –∞dB to 0dB. With both faders at the top of their range, the mix gain is unity.

Cut/solo channel switches

Cut/Solo buttons above each channel activate the Mute relays in the 8816 via the USB connection. The switches on the 8816 or on the 8804 may both be used, each will illuminate to reflect changes made from the other. In Cut mode, each button mutes the associated channel. In Solo mode, each button solos the associated channel. The solo type is Solo In Place, where all non-soloed channels are muted.

Cut/Solo Master Switch

The Cut/Solo switch on the upper right of the 8804 sets the mode of the Cut/ Solo channel switches. When the Master switch is illuminated yellow, the channel buttons are in Solo mode. When the switch is unlit, all channel switches are in Mute mode.

Direct Outputs

The 8804 provides balanced Direct Outputs from each of the 16 channels. These can be used for recording or as sends to effects units and processors. The Direct Outputs can be set Pre- or Post- fader within the Recall software.

If a channel Direct Output is set to post-fader, you can select whether it will be muted by the Cut/Solo switch. The Direct Output balanced circuits will be on either on a 50 pin D-type connector or on two 25-way D-type connectors on the rear of the 8804.

Auxiliary send

With the levels controlled from the 8804 faders, the rotary level control on the 8816 is available to use as an auxiliary pre-fade send level control. (The output appears on Circuit 4 of Connector 3 on the 8816.)

Recall software

Settings on the 8804 may be stored and recalled using the same Recall software as the 8816 and other members of the Neve 88 Outboard series.

Master/Slave settings

It’s possible to have a maximum of two 8816 units and two optional 8804 fader packs connected via USB to the Recall software. If you only have one 8816 and one 8804 fader pack connected, both units must be set to Slave so the Recall software will operate correctly.

Optional sidecheeks

While you can use the its built-in wire stand, the 8804 can dress to impress with a pair of optional side panels or sidecheeks (which are kind of sweet), bearing the distinctive red on Neve lightning bolt logo on a raised white circle.

AMS Neve 8816ADC Digital Output Card

The 8816ADC is a high-quality stereo analog-to-digital converter option card for the AMS Neve 8816 summing mixer that supports PCM sample rates up to 192kHz plus DSD, with sync inputs on AES3 and word clock

The standard M.O. for hybrid analog/digital studios is to output from a multi-channel converter into an analog summing mixer and record the 2-track master back into the DAW project through a separate high-quality, stereo A-to-D converter. Generally, such units run in the $2.5k-$3k price range and need to be integrated into your studio, which adds another level of complication. On the other hand, the card integrates into the 8816 and can be controlled from the front panel. The 8816ADC uses the same converters as AMS Neve’s flagship digital consoles, offering serious bang for the buck with sound quality rivaling the best standalone converters.

AMS Neve 8816ADC—Just the Facts:

  • PCM sampling rates from 24-bit/44.1kHz to 24-bit/192kHz
  • DSD (direct stream digital) sampling
  • Two sync inputs; AES3 on XLR-F and word clock over BNC connector
  • Single- and double-wire AES3 output
  • Internal crystal reference if no external sync is present
  • Sample frequency selected from the 8816 summing mixer front panel

AMS Neve 8816ADC—Under the Hood

Sampling Frequency

Sample frequency can be selected by pressing the button to the right of the sample frequency LEDs. This will toggle through the sampling frequencies one at a time.

8816ADC sync input

The 8816 has two sync inputs; one is a single AES3 female XLR), the other is word clock with a BNC connector. If no sync input is present, the 8816ADC will synchronize to its internal crystal clock. If one or the other sync inputs are present, the AES or WCK led will illuminate red showing that that sync input type is detected. When the correct sampling frequency is selected, either the WCK or AES led will light solid green to show that sync is being received and the unit has successfully locked to it. If both sync inputs are present and valid, the word clock input takes precedence over AES as the reference. Normally the sync input is set to the required sample rate. In this case both AES out 1/L and AES out 2/R carry the same stereo AES signal converted from the unit’s left and right analog outputs.

Single-wire AES3

If the selected sample rate on the front of the unit is the same as the sync being input into the rear of the unit (48 kHz, either via word clock or AES sync), then the 2 XLR connectors on the rear of the ADC card will output Left and Right on both XLRs, so in effect a stereo mix on 1/L and the same stereo mix on 2/R.

Double-wire AES3

It is also possible to select 96kHz (or 88.1kHz) sampling rate with a 48kHz (or 44.1kHz) sync input. Similarly, it is possible to select 192kHz (or 176.2 kHz) sampling rate with a 96kHz (or 88.1kHz) sync input. This will cause the unit to output double rate AES on the two AES Output connectors. The sync LED will illuminate green indicating the sync reference is still being used for the digital output even though the ADC is sampling at twice the sync input sampling rate.

In this situation, AES out 1/L carries the odd and even samples of the left audio double rate signal on its left and right digital channels respectively. Similarly, AES out 2/R carries the odd and even samples of the right audio double rate signal on its left and right AES channels.

DSD

Selecting DSD will default to 44.1kHz reference. If no sync is available it will use its own internal crystal reference. The interface requires a minimum of two BNC cables (DSD left and DSD right) to the DSD recording device. The DSD output is switchable between SDIF* 2 and SDIF 3 with a rear panel switch. SDIF 2 requires a 44.1kHz sync signal to be passed to the DAC and this should preferably come from the 8816 sync output via a third BNC cable. SDIF 3 transmits the DSD signals with clock information included and should not need the sync signal.

*SDIF: Sound Description Interchange Format 

AMS Neve 8804 Sidecheeks (Pair)

The AMS Neve 8804 Sidecheeks are stylish side-panels with the Neve logo for the 8804 Fader Pack

While you can use its built-in wire stand, the 8804 Fader Pack can dress to impress with a pair of optional finishing side panels (as they are known to the unenlightened). Bearing the distinctive red Neve lightning bolt logo on a raised white circle, the 8804 Sidecheeks (which are kind of sweet) give your Fader Pack a distinctive and impressive look that speaks volumes to your clients.

AMS Neve 8804 Sidecheeks—Just the facts:

  • Two end panels for the 8804 Fader Pack
  • Red Neve lightning bolt logo on a raised white circle
  • Royal Air Force blue finish
  • Impressive look for desktop use

 

The AMS Desktop Summing Package is a surprisingly affordable means of upgrading your DAW to professional standards for tracking and mixing with console functionality and classic Neve sound. For more information, call or chat online with your PAD Studio Specialist today.

 

I/O

  • Input impedance: (balanced +4dBu) >20k ohm
  • Output impedance: (balanced +4dBu) 50 ohm (unbalanced +4dBu) 100
  • Headphone jack output impedance loading: More than 60 ohms
  • Max input level (balanced): Better than +26dBu
  • Max output level (balanced): Better than +26dBu into 600 ohms; better than +14dBu into 600 ohms unbalanced

Frequency Response

  • 1 Line input to main output: 20Hz to 20kHz +/- 0.5dB; better than -3dB @ 60kHz

THD

  • 1 Line input to main output: 50Hz to 20kHz, better than 0.02% (measured at +20dBu into 10kHz with 80k filter)

Noise

  • No channels routed: Better than -86dBu (20Hz to 20kHz filter)
  • 1 channel routed: Better than -85dBu
  • 16 channels routed: Better than -80dBu

Power Requirements

  • Rated voltage: 36V DC
  • Rated current: 1.6A max
  • Primary protection fuse:
  • Operating Voltage: 36V
  • Fuse rating and type: T3. 15A anti-surge 20mm x 5mm glass

Physical

  • Height: 3-1/2" (88 mm)
  • Width: 19" (483 mm)
  • Depth: 15-3/8" (390 mm)
  • Weight: 16 lb. (7 kg)

 *All specifications with no processing in circuit

 

Level

  • Channels 1–16 -∞ to +15dB
  • Mix L / R -∞ to +0dB

Frequency Response

  • +/- 0.2dB: 10Hz to 20kHz
  • +/- 0.5dB: 10Hz to 40kHz

Distortion

  • Measurement Window: 10Hz to 80kHz
  • Fader @ 0dB: Distortion <0.005% (20Hz to 20kHz)

Noise

  • Measurement Window: 10Hz to 22kHz
  • Fader @ 0dB: Noise <90dB (20Hz to 20kHz)

Physical

  • Height 6-15/16" (17.6 cm) / 4U
  • Width 19" (48.2 cm)
  • Depth 1-1/2" (3.2 cm)
  • Weight: 4.6 lb. (2.1 kg)

 

 

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