Mix Factory is a new and different concept and approach to summing out-of-the-box – and it’s not just a summing unit, it delivers analogue warmth with depth and image. It’s a 16-channel analogue summing system that offers a hybrid combination of a DAW’s editing precision, plug-in processing and automation with the sound of an analogue console. It was initially conceptualized by famed music producer/engineer Tony Shepperd to facilitate his particular work-flow and mixing style. Then, Fix Audio’s Paul Wolff expanded on Shepperd’s idea with a custom-designed system that makes Mix Factory flexible enough to enhance anyone’s work-flow and mixing style.
Mix Factory comes in an all-steel 2U cabinet with top-notch internal construction that uses a combination of surface-mount technology and hand assembly.
There are 16 channels (which are 2 D-sub inputs summing to a stereo XLR out). All 16 channels have a continuous Gain Knob, Pan with centre detent, and Mute that acts as a signal indicator with an audio sensitive LED. This indicator glows when a signal is passing into the channel, and intensifies when the signal is stronger. The same Mute button changes colour from red, when used as a mute, to green when a signal is passing through the channel.
There are two Eight-Channel groups: 1-8 and 9-16. Each group has an insert for a compressor or EQ. There’s also a Master Insert for all 16 channels, along with 3 mute buttons for each insert. And there’s more. The unit has a push-button option to go from clean (i.e. the standard setup bypassing the transformers) to tonal, using the output transformers custom-made for this product by Cinemag. The difference between transformers and no transformers is dramatic – here’s the opportunity for analogue tone and/or colour.
The MIX FACTORY is also linkable. This means you can have 64 or more channels…it’s like having a console in a Rack. And there’s a hefty, external switchable (120-230v) power supply to guarantee miniscule self noise, with a sturdy 1.5-meter cable.
Here are a couple of audio files, with and without the Cinemag transformers, for comparison:
“The A-Designs Mix Factory is, by any measure, a superb analogue summing mixer”
Bob Thomas, SOS, January 2017