2-BUS

The Reference in DAW Analog Summing

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The Original Summing Solution that Ignited the Out-Of-Box Revolution.

Born out of real-world necessity, this tool, the first of its kind, was created to bring back the analog sound-quality, feel and headroom that were missing from the digital mixing environment, while maintaining the fast DAW workflow, editing and recall capabilities that we all depend on.

Through cutting-edge analog audio circuit design the 2-Bus allows the full potential of your studio to be realized–audibly, in terms of sound quality, spatial detail and headroom–and ergonomically in terms of outboard equipment integration in the mix process.  Designed and built with the highest quality components and a no-compromise attitude, this pristine audio path delivers nuance, depth and clarity to your mix without any added coloration, and thus allows the true nature of your recorded tracks and outboard gear to shine.

Searching for punch? Extended soundstage? Definition? Headroom? The Dangerous 2-Bus 16X2 summing device puts that all back  into a lifeless mix. Much like traditional vintage consoles brought together multiple channels of audio, the 2-Bus receives 16 analog outputs from any DAW interface and combines them to stereo. This is its sole purpose and it performs more transparently and musically than any other solution.

  • Massive Punch and Detail
  • Clear Stereo Imaging
  • Incredible Headroom
  • Effortless Outboard Gear Integration
  • The Top Choice of Mix Engineers Worldwide

True summing devices have no individual volume controls, pan pots or aux sends. Those functions are performed by the recording software to leverage automation and recall on demand. Furthermore, running your audio through unneccesary electronics lowers performance.

The measure of a successful mix is consistency: will it translate across multiple mediums like the radio, an iPod, home hi-fi, a car stereo… Therefore, a summing solution must be transparent, yet musical to deliver. Only if and when color is desired, then outboard may be called upon for this purpose.

The Dangerous Music 2-Bus leverages decades of collective experience from the world’s premier mix engineers to guarantee results.

  • Unsurpassed Sonic Performance
  • Stepped Attenuator Volume Control
  • Custom Built Linear Power Supply
  • Fully Linkable with 2-Bus, 2-Bus LT and D-Box
  • Hand Assembled in the USA

You will hear the difference.

Frequency Response:
1 Hz-100 kHz within 0.1 dB

Total Harmonic Distortion:
0.0045% +4 dBu input level
0.0008% +22 dBu input level

Intermodulation Distortion: 
0.0055% +4 dBu input level
0.0015% +22 dBu input level

Crosstalk:
> 101 dBu

Noise floor:
<-83 dBu total energy in audio band

Max level:
+28 dBu

Nominal operating level:
+4 dBu (1.228 volts)

Input impedance: 
25kohm balanced

Output impedance: 
50 ohms balanced (600 ohm drive capable)

Gain accuracy: 
>0.02 dB @ 1 kHz for any gain setting

Power consumption: 
30 watts

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.

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Check out our 2-BUS Reviews HERE

Testimonials

  • Michael James

    Producer/Mixer

    “The thing that’s great about the 2-BUS for me is that the ‘mastering aesthetic’ of the Dangerous gear allows me to keep the coloration that I have in its pristine state, rather than adding to it.”

  • David Minehan

    Guitarist for The Replacements, Producer at Wooly Mammoth Sound

    “Dangerous is one of those companies that everyone gives the thumbs up to. We pros who make our living doing this rely on their stuff more and more.”

  • David Minehan

    Guitarist for The Replacements, Producer at Wooly Mammoth Sound

    “I use my 2-BUS every day and get great results and compliments on the final mixes.”

  • Charlie Peacock

    Producer

    “I feel like I’m working in half the time now. The Dangerous 2-BUS has definitely sped up what we do.”

  • Barry Rudolph

    Mix Magazine

    “Mixing down a stereo pair [on the 2-BUS]…you’ll have more headroom and dynamic range, a wider stereo spread and clearer sound…than mixing inside Pro Tools.”

  • Reuven

    Mix Engineer

    “I love the low end, it’s very unique the way the low end flows —amazing. The stereo image is wider on the 2-BUS too. Over the years I would sometimes try out other summing boxes to see what happened, but always came back to the 2-BUS.”

  • Noël Jackson

    Mastering Engineer

    “I love all the Dangerous Music equipment. I use the MONITOR ST, the MASTER, and two 2-BUS LTs for my mixing and stem-mastering.”

  • Thom Monahan

    TapeOp Magazine

    “The overall sound of my mixes just seemed a little more robust and clear. If the original 2-BUS was a superhighway for sound, then the 2-BUS+ is one that’s been freshly repaved, and I just got right back on and drove. “

  • Jeff Juliano

    Mix Engineer

    “Every song I have mixed in the past 10 years has been through my original Dangerous 2-BUS. Within 30 seconds of installing my 2-BUS+ I knew that I had just made an incredible investment in my sound. The familiarity of the original but way better sounding. I didn’t think that was possible!

  • Alberto Rizzo Schettino

    Engineer

    “The Dangerous Music 2-BUS is one of the reasons my studio delivers a killer sound that grants the edge on the competition.”

  • Submit a testimonial here

Why Use an Analog Summing Mixer? | Audio Engineer Ryan West