A Powerful, Straightforward Summing Mixer
For those seeking a powerful, straightforward summing mixer, or those who wish to expand the number of channels in their current analog summing rigs, meet the 2-BUS LT. Built with the same award-winning active summing electronics that have made our head designer Chris Muth legendary, the 2-BUS LT strips away non-essentials in order to bring the world’s best analog sound within reach of anyone. You get sixteen channels of pristine analog summing, dual stereo outputs to feed both your monitoring chain and your mix path, and an expansion port for linking any of our summing mixers together for even more channels.
Unveil Your Sound With Active Analog Summing
Unlike passive summing boxes that require huge amounts of make-up gain to restore the lost audio, or line mixers masquerading as “summing mixers,” the active electronics in the 2-BUS LT result in what Dangerous users describe as “a huge soundstage,” “holographic sound,” and “audible three-dimensionality.” Panning is wide and precise, reverbs spacious and deep, bass powerful and engaging, treble and mids articulate and interesting. And within all that spacious sound, you get an incredibly focused and strong center image. When summing in analog, you’re also allowing multiple converter channels to share the workload of getting your sounds into the analog environment. Once there, the 2-BUS LT’s exceptional summing circuits will provide all the headroom plus a vast soundstage, allowing your mixes to truly shine.
Many analog processors – from delays and reverbs to EQs, compressors and more – have been beautifully modeled in the digital realm, but analog summing remains impossible to emulate digitally. We’ve all experienced the frustration of a mix collapsing when relying on a single digital master fader to handle it all. The middle gets crowded, panning becomes blurry, reverbs lose dimension, and soon the mix just lacks appeal. By summing individual tracks or subgroups of tracks (often called “stems”) with the 2-BUS LT’s analog circuits, you get crystal clear sonic imaging and a wide-open soundstage. No matter how high your track count, all your recorded audio, software instruments, samplers, effects and plugins will sing with the detail, punch and clarity that only real analog summing can deliver. You’ll struggle less, work faster and enjoy mixing more!
Making The Analog Investment
When you buy analog equipment, you’re making a real investment that will hold its value for decades. Analog technology is time-tested. It won’t require an expensive upgrade, become incompatible with your computer or DAW, or start crashing. No matter what music production system you’re using in ten, fifteen, twenty years, the superior summing capabilities of the 2-BUS LT will always be a relevant, compatible and valuable centerpiece in your studio.
- Hand built in the USA.
- Active analog summing circuits by renowned designer Chris Muth.
- Crystal clear stereo imaging.
- Ample headroom to handle today’s DACs (+27 dBu max input level).
- Effortless outboard gear integration.
- Full expandable with 2-BUS+, 2-BUS LT, and D-BOX
- DB-25 Connectors
- 1 rack space
- External switching PSU (+/-15VDC)
1 Hz-100 kHz within 0.2 dB
Total Harmonic Distortion:
0.003% in audio band
0.004% IMD60 4:1
Crosstalk @ 1 kHz:
-82 dBu total energy in audio band
Nominal operating level:
12 kohm balanced
50 ohms balanced (600 ohm drive capable)
Warranty: Free 2 year extended warranty with online registration.
Standard warranty: 90 days parts and labor, subject to inspection. Does not include damage incurred through abusive operation or modifications/attempted repair by unauthorized technicians.
Choosing Your Summing Amp:
Since the creation of the Dangerous 2-Bus many manufacturers have released “summing box” products. Choosing one can be confusing, but if you ask 2 questions it becomes easy.
1. Is it really a summing amplifier, or is it a line mixer?
A true summing box designed to be a back-end for a DAW mixer will be “fixed gain and fixed pan,” because the fader and pan controls are in the DAW software mixer. You do not want to repeat these functions in the hardware domain because a) you lose your recall capabilities and b) you are running your audio through unnecessary electronics which will degrade the sound.
If it has pan pots and/or level controls on it, it is a line mixer, not a summing mixer, despite what the front panel might say. A line mixer is perfect if you need to sub-mix keyboards or a bunch of mic preamps to stereo, but is not the best option when mixing a track from your DAW.
2. Do I want a clean or colored signal path for my mixing?
The short answer is you want options. Many manufacturers have a signature tonal coloration to their sound, incorporating components like transformers or tubes into the design. These components can sometimes shape the sound in a pleasing way, but you are stuck with that sound for everything you do. We chose to make the tone and color optional with the 2-Bus+ by designing three original analog color circuits that can be selected and adjusted as you need them. Suppose the transformer is great on one song but not right on another – you can simply disengage it with the press of a single button. Or suppose you like the harmonic stimulation, but want less of it. Other summing amps do not have this option; they hold you hostage to a single sound.
A true mastering-style summing amp will let all of what you recorded come through into a clean, high-headroom environment for the summing process. We at Dangerous have a deep background in designing and building mastering consoles and monitor controllers. With our approach to summing you can insert color where, when and how you choose with the onboard processors in the 2-Bus+, or with outboard gear and plugins. All options remain open, the best of all worlds.
A note on passive summing:
There are two types of passive summing devices: powered and non-powered. Non-powered summing amps simply employ a resistor network feeding a pair of busses. This process by its nature loses a considerable amount of level, requiring a high-gain amplifier (microphone preamplifier) to bring it back up to usable line level. Non-powered boxes require the user to insert a separate outboard mic pre for this makeup gain.
Other products have the amplifier built in, appearing on the outside like an active summing device but in fact employ the same non-powered summing as described above. You can often tell when non-powered summing is being used by a high input channel count (32 or 48 inputs) because the parts cost only pennies, as opposed to having expensive active receiver amplifiers on every input.
We have found through years of experience and testing that this non-powered approach is not the ideal way to handle this task, and that an active design using balanced receiver amplifiers, summing op-amps and line drivers yields the most exceptional performance.
Not having an active balanced design creates several potential problems:
-A balanced receiver provides common mode rejection (CMR) while a passive resistor network does not. Good CMR is key to low noise performance.
-A balanced receiver allows isolation of the D/A converter’s ground from the audio ground of the summing amp – passive does not. This could lead to poor crosstalk rejection, which means poor imaging.
-Active design also allows for a local ground reference for the inputs, which is the same ground reference as the summing op-amp. All these things contribute to a clean, quiet, low-distortion device that is stable.