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:
Audio file with Transformers in.
Audio file with Transformers out.
“The A-Designs Mix Factory is, by any measure, a superb analogue summing mixer”
Bob Thomas, SOS, January 2017
“There was undoubtedly a noticeable increase in punch and clarity when summing with Mix Factory…this is clearly a very well designed and implemented circuit with some very practical features, and arguably class-leading sonics – I marginally preferred the Mix Factory summed mix to a print of the same mix through an equally prestigious high end summer.
The Mix Factory is thoughtfully designed for practical and flexible use, and has huge headroom, clean sonics and low noise.
George Shilling, Resolution, April 2017