Dangerous Music 2-Bus breathes life into mixing live with a digital console
Edmeston, NY — January 8, 2013 — Front of house engineer Horace Ward has a new secret weapon for making his live music mixes sound their best: the Dangerous Music 2-Bus. In the spirit of sharing, he’d like other engineers to know about it too, so their audiences can also get the best concert experience. The 2-Bus is best known for its role in the recording studio, bringing the tone, feel, and headroom of an analog console to digital mixes suffering from ‘in-the-box’ summing. But Ward has found a way to use the 2-Bus to get a similar enhancement – and control – over his live mixes. He says, “I don’t understand how the 2-Bus has been in the studio so long but hasn’t gotten to live shows – the sound is unbelievable.”
Over a decade ago in 2001, Dangerous Music debuted their commercial version of the Dangerous 2-Bus analog summing amp. Previously it was only made as a custom device for engineers “in the know” with Dangerous Music founders Bob Muller and Chris Muth. The 2-Bus’ release to the general public has had a profound impact on mixing with DAWs by bringing the music outside the box; It has literally defined the product category ‘analog summing,’ and today the award-winning company offers a wide range of products for recording, mastering, mixing and post-production facilities, all designed and built with mastering-quality standards and a practical aesthetic.
Ward outlines his reasons for using the Dangerous 2-Bus, “The feel is different with analog and digital summing output. Using the Dangerous 2-Bus and summing stems you really hear the difference. With keyboards for instance, when you put reverb on them now they ‘wrap around’ the audience, it’s like 3D, even coming from behind you. You get none of that that with a typical live digital console. You lose the ‘spread’ in the sound.”
As a front of house engineer, Ward mixes stems from the console as stereo drums, mono bass, stereo instruments such as guitar and keyboards, stereo backing vocals, lead vocals, etc., to the 16 analog inputs of the Dangerous 2-Bus and then takes the analog output of the 2-Bus right into the PA feed. Ward often mixes on an AVID Venue ‘Profile’ live mixing console. “I’m so used to using plug-ins in the studio with Pro Tools, I use them with the Profile and they sound the same,” says Ward. “If you push too many tracks through the 48k digital console it doesn’t sound that good, but with the Dangerous 2-Bus it sounds a whole lot better.”
Offering his personal analogy for what analog summing with the 2-Bus achieves, he suggests, “When you take a photograph and you look at it and the foreground is sharp and clear, but the background is ‘fuzzy’ and out of focus: that’s digital in-the-box summing. To get the ‘depth of field’ where the foreground and background are both in focus and clear: that’s analog summing.
“I do a lot of hip hop with a lot of low-end and grit, a lot of dynamics,” says Ward explaining some of the specifics on the sound he works with. “I need the depth that I get with the 2-Bus so that I can place everything in the mix. When the mix is just coming from a digital console it’s loud and flat sounding. With the 2-Bus I can get the vocal to the front for the audience to hear without being so loud.”
“Using the 2-Bus with the AVID Venue Profile console makes the mix sound ‘expensive.’ You can hear the difference. The 2-Bus really should be part of any live mix setup now. It is for me.”
“Audio integrity is non-negotiable,” says Dangerous Music president and co-founder Bob Muller. This is the credo upon which Dangerous Music is founded. Dangerous products are conceived and designed by musicians and engineers—not guys in lab coats—and the resulting products bring dynamic range, punch, intelligibility and emotion to the hybrid digital and analog studio. The high-fidelity, uncompromised signal paths in Dangerous Music products are achieved by harnessing over 20-years of electronics designer Chris Muth’s mastering design wizardry as the creator of infamous custom black boxes for world class facilities like Hit Factory, Masterdisk, Absolute Audio, and Sterling Sound. With the feedback of golden-eared engineers, artists and producers applied to the designs, Dangerous Music creates musical tools that fulfill the actual needs of today’s computer-based studio — and live mix engineers.
Front of house engineer Horace Ward mixes many different kinds of live events, from concerts to awards ceremonies, from Lady Gaga and Prince, to Destiny’s Child, Beyonce, Mary J Blige, Dru Hill, Puff Daddy, Wyclef Jean, Usher, Busta Rhymes, the Fugees, PM Dawn and LL Kool J. For more information or to contact Horace Ward visit: https://www.facebook.com/wardsound