Analog Summing In The Digital Age
Recording software companies brag about their “mixer,” but discerning engineers won’t settle for in-the-box mixing when the dimension, punch, and articulation of analog summing can vastly improve their productions. Phoenix’s Nicerizer series summing mixers incorporate features and circuitry that have made it a legendary tone machine.
A Summing Mixer (not Amplifier)
The distinction between a stereo mixer and a summing amplifier is important when considering your hybrid analog/digital rig. In essence, a mixer incorporates a fuller range of features. The Nicerizer is decidedly a mixer, pulling crucial elements such as circuit overdrive and panning back into the analog realm where they truly outperform their digital emulations. Our dented pan-pots are unmatched for both precision stereo placement and ease of recall, and they are a key ingredient the huge, open sound of the Nicerizer.
Driving a Versatile, Class-A Input Circuit
With the Nicerizer, Phoenix takes a modern approach to Class-A circuit design. Our unique transformerless input stage delivers the full frequency spectrum with unrivaled clarity and punch. Transformers slow things down, which can be great in some cases, but if you’re stuck with transformers, then you’re stuck with slower transients (slew-rates), limiting the range of tonalities. Our electronically balanced input stage can be driven modestly for ultra-clear hi-fi sound, or you can engage a +8db switch on any channel individually to drive the circuit for a fatter, more saturated sound that only Discrete Class-A buffer amps can deliver.
Legendary Transformer-Balanced Output Stage
Once mixed, the stereo signal hits a pair of our custom-wound DB694 output transformer, which we’ve coupled to Phoenix's proprietary, fully discrete DSOP-2 output amplifier. The DSOP-2 is the result of Phoenix's head-designer David Rees’ forward-thinking solutions for upgrading vintage Neve consoles. Improve on Neve? Indeed, the DSOP-2 represents the pinnacle of Class-A output circuits, offering a smooth transition from ultra-clean to beautifully saturated tones.
Extra Features That Quickly Become Essentials
Width Control—The Nicerizer’s width control uses elements of Mid/Side processing to offer your mixes a narrower or wider image simply by turning a knob. Mix engineers who haven’t used a width control often don’t realize what they’re missing: a level of spacial manipulation that can unlock hidden dimensions or tighten up a sprawling production.
Balanced, Unbalanced: No Problem—The Nicerizer’s 16 individual inputs can accept both balanced and unbalanced signals without any of the gain loss typical on most mixer inputs. This is an increasingly useful feature as looping through guitar pedals and even recording midi-driven analog synths in real time while mixing are fast becoming standard practices.
Stereo Bus Insert—Strap any balanced or unbalanced gear onto the main mix bus for added control. A common practice today while mixing is to strap a bus compressor, and often an eq, onto the stereo bus, yet mastering engineers will also love this feature when working with stems.
Independently Controlled Aux Output—Just before hitting the output transformers, we have grabbed an output signal and assigned it to its own front-panel level control. Drive external monitoring amps, or simple bypass our output stage for a transfomerless sound to your final capture device.
2T Return—Another feature that makes the Nicerizer a true mixer is the 2-track input, allowing you to monitor an external output source through the onboard headphone amplifier.
Monitor Select Switch—An industry first, this switch allows you to monitor single pairs of channels (1-2, 3-4, etc), as well as any of the other stereo ports on the Nicerizer. Infinitely useful for a multitude of workflows, this switch is the sleeping giant of the mixer, ready to unleash all kinds of creative uses, from doing individual stem work to comparing reference mixes to allowing direct comparison of many analog sources.
Monitor Select Switch Toggle—Once you’ve chosen which input pair you’d like to monitor via the Monitor Select Switch, the Toggle lets you monitor either the Left or Right channels in mono (sent to both channels) on the headphone amp, or to monitor in stereo. Forensic analysis of your audio signals has never been easier.
LED Meters—Following the Monitor Select Switch, our LED meter array will give you constant visual confirmation of your operating levels. Indispensable for managing gain as you finalize your productions.