Being a guy who worked in analog studios throughout school, I was excited to see that Dangerous Music had brought analog summing to the doorstep of my digital world. Like an anxious child on Christmas eve, I couldn’t wait to get back to my home studio and intertwine the D-Box into my humble setup. Before I knew it I had the unit patched in and I began my embarkment into the world of the D-Box.
After a few minutes wrangling with the IO settings in Logic I was up and running. The first thing I noticed about this box after pulling it out of the bag was the build quality. This thing is built like a tank! Not only is the chassis rock-solid, but the knobs and buttons are firm and accurate. After reading through the manual I decided to put the D-Box through it’s paces on a mix I had been working on previously. The minute I pushed the “Sum” button on the D-Box I was sold. My mixes came to life! The mixes sounded the way I envisioned them originally. The summing portion of this box really glued my whole mix together, while adding additional headroom and clarity. The biggest noticeable change was definitely in the drums. They instantly became more dynamic and packed a punch big enough to leave any DAW user drooling.
Analog summing is definitely the mainstay of the D-Box; however, don’t be fooled. This box is much, much more. I found the ability to switch between the four inputs (Sum output, analog input, DAW, and CD) extremely useful. Especially when switching between the output of the summing amp and the DAW. The quality of the D/A converter on this box allows any digital input source to shine through. In addition, having another set of monitors readily available, this makes mixing easier than ever.
The last feature I delved into was the headphone outs and the talkback mic. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to use these features in a session environment; however, I did do some critical listening through the headphones and toggled the talkback mic on and off. The clarity of both the headphone amps and the mic is truly astounding. I have used many cue systems is the past, both as an engineer and a musician, and I have never heard a monitoring system as pristine as this.
The D-Box is a great addition to any studio. With an unbeatable price tag and features to boot, it can’t get any better in a single rack space. I would encourage any engineer, producer, or hobbyist to take a serious look at this box. The D-Box is the thing that is missing in your mix that you can’t seem to put your finger on. It is truly one of the best values I have ever seen in the arena of pro audio. I will be buying a D-Box very soon!