We have seen a few services launched in recent times that combine audio processing with online functionality - sending your tracks to be mastered in the cloud for example - such as Landr or CloudBounce. mix:analog is different however, and offers something that we think is genuinely new.
What's one of the biggest barriers to accessing the audio hardware of your dreams? It's the fact that it is hardware, and can't simply be downloaded like software can. This leaves you with the option of buying or renting, or going to a studio. mix:analog is designed to do away with this problem. Here's how the developer explains the service.
"Mix:analog is the only online service offering full, real-time control and monitoring of remote analog audio processing hardware. It's a browser application, that lets you remote-control professionaly maintained analog gear over the internet, using a graphical user interface.
The workflow is pretty much straightforward:
- Choose a signal chain and UPLOAD the file(s) you want to process;
- Press PLAY and tweak the settings;
- Use the DOWNLOAD tab to bounce the processed version.
While you're tweaking the settings, the playback is streamed to you live in 16/24-bit lossless quality at up to 192 kHz. We're distributing the purchase and maintenance costs of your dream gearbetween the users of the 'analog cloud', making it available at a fraction of the investment, required to buy the devices."
It's a really interesting idea, and we can see how the technology probably works. You upload files, the system at the other end is wired into the physical hardware units - compressors, EQs and more - and software control panels mapped to the hardware let you tweak these as you go. Once done, you download the processed files. Individual processors or chains of multiple units can be used.
Since hardware can only be used by one person at once, there's a scheduling system in place so you can book time to use the gear. Presets are available (thanks to the software controls) and pricing is 9 EUR (ex tax) per download.
The developer is clear that this is neither a DAW nor an online mastering service but a way to process your tracks through pro hardware without having to be in the same location as that hardware. Of course these files currently have to be processed in isolation, and this doesn't necessarily help you when mixing a full track, but it's a great starting point and multitrack processing is something that could be added in future. Tell us in the comments if this is the kind of service you have been waiting for!
The service features top-quality reincarnations of venerable classics: a 20-tube powered Distopik FC670 stereo compressor/limiter, two Distopik EQP-1Atube make-up passive EQs and a GML/Sontec inspired dual-mono, surgically accurate Distopik Precision Series Mastering EQ.
For the DA/AD conversion, Mix:analog uses the outstanding Burl B80 Mothership filled with BDA8 and BAD4 daughter cards.
The most visible software feature is the Preset Manager. It provides the ability to Save/Recall all the settings of any digitally controllable device plugged into the system.
More devices are scheduled to join the 'analog cloud' soon:
- Telefunken Magnetophon 15 (automated)
- Distopik Pathfinder (digitally controllable analog patchbay)
- Distopik VCA Compressor
- Distopik Brickwall Limiter
- A modular summing mixer by Distopik (not yet named)
- Bettermaker Mastering Limiter
Price: 9 EUR per file (ex tax)