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Neve consoles are often revered for their ability to impart the “finishing touches” on any mix. But as home studios continue to grow more popular, it can be increasingly difficult to integrate a full-sized console into your space. Thankful, the Neve 8816 Summing Mixer offers the same legendary sound and functionality in a compact, rack-mountable package.
The AMS Neve 8816 16 Channel Summing Mixer is an extremely versatile 16:2 summing mixer with comprehensive input, mixing and monitoring functions. It can be used for recording, mixing, mastering and even live performances. Combining the class-leading electronics from the famous 88R analog console with comprehensive input, mixing and monitoring features, the 8816 provides DAW users with unparalleled sound quality and versatility.
In our latest video, we hit the studio with our friends Julia Kahn (vocals), Josh Barker (synth), Chris Farney (drums) and Kevin Schuck (guitar) to record and mix a live version of her song “Reaching.” This session was recorded by Anthony Vaticalos at the Vintage King Nashville Showroom using the Neve 1073OPX eight-channel preamp, 1073SPX preamp and EQ, and the following gear:
The 8816 is a powerful summing mixer, which uses a 16x2 voltage summing bus derived from classic 80 Series Neve consoles such as the 8058 and 8068. This unit offers 16 channel strips with level and pan controls, a cut/solo button and a cue send. Each Channel has an additional +15dB of gain, accommodating +4dBu or -10dBu input levels for connecting pro or semi-pro gear. Individual pan controls allow for accurate stereo positioning of all 16 input sources
All 16 input signals are summed through a pair of Neve Marinair transformers, adding the character and tone of the classic Neve 80-series consoles. The Marinair transformers are placed before the mix output and mix inserts, allowing you to ‘drive’ the transformers into saturation by increasing the channel levels and attenuating the main mix output level.
Mix Inserts allow you to add stereo outboard processors across the two mix bus inserts. INS is a balanced insert circuit with on/off switch, ideal for applying a compressor to the entire mix. INS has two modes accessed by pressing MIX LEVEL control:
Mid/Side option flips the insert (INS) into mid/side mode, with the left channel becoming the mid (SUM) and the right channel of the insert becoming the side (difference) This can be an ideal feature for mixing or mastering through the 8816.
IMR is a unique parallel processing option, acting like a wet/dry function, allowing you to add, a stereo compressor to the mix bus and blend the ‘Wet’ compressor return over the ‘dry’ mix signal.
The Width control is Neve’s unique stereo width processor provided via a single knob control. When engaged, the width pot will sweep all the way from mono in the anti-clockwise position, through to stereo at the 2-o’clock position, to a hyper-wide stereo image when turned fully clockwise. This feature is great for enhancing the stereo imaging of a mix while remaining musical throughout the entire control range.
Multiple 8816 summing mixers can be linked together via an external stereo bus, allowing for voltage summing of large numbers of channels. The 8816 also offers PPM scale metering, which is highly accurate mix metering that allows you to set the output level back into your DAW ranging from -16 to +26dBu.
Packed with features found only on high-end Neve consoles, the 8816 is much more than a summing mixer. The following features make the 8816 ideal for tracking and overdubbing.
All 16 channels have a dedicated Cue send to send signals independently into performer headphones. Channels 15-16 can be set as a stereo pair into the cue, ideal inputs for stereo instruments or overdubbing.
The Master CUE level pot balances the cue level of channels 1-14 against the stereo 15-16 inputs. The 2TR input can be used as a dedicated stereo DAW playback input and can feed into the Cue for performers via the 2TR TO CUE switch—ideal for overdubbing tracks to the DAW playback.
The Stereo Cue can output at the rear for connecting to studio hear back systems or feed to the front-mounted headphone output. The front-mounted H/PHONE headphone output can feed either from this independent cue mix, or from the 8816 main mix via the HP MON button so that the artist can hear their own mix, or the studio mix.
The SOLO/CUT switches for all 16 channels provide further control for tracking, allowing the 8816’s to function just like a Neve console. The 8816 even has a built-in talkback microphone and controls to communicate with performers.
The 8816 features monitor controls you’d expect to see on a large-format Neve console and can function as your studio's main monitor controller. This unit has two stereo loudspeaker outputs that can be toggled with the ALT SPK button, perfect for connecting main and nearfield studio monitors. The 8816 also features an iMON 3.5mm input which is perfect for connecting phones, laptops etc to feed to the monitor outputs. The main monitor control (MON) can toggle through several monitoring options:
The 8816 also offers full recall controls via the Neve Recall app. When connected to your DAW computer via USB, the 8816 settings can be saved/loaded easily with all switches loading automatically and pot positions manually recalled via the interactive recall app on screen.
If you prefer to mix with faders, you can connect the 8804 Fader Pack, which provides fader controls for all 16 inputs and master mix output and unlocks new features such as direct outputs and aux send for all 16 channels.
Finally, the optional ADC card provides up to 192kHz/24-bit A/D internal conversion through Neve’s mastering-grade converters.
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