Is Distopik’s Mix:Analog Hardware in the Cloud Rental Service Worth It?

I decided to do some accountant math on whether renting analog gear “in the cloud” makes business sense.
Mix:analog sells MATs or Mix Analog Tokens at a rate of $0.06 per token ($13.99 divided by 250 tokens = 0.05596) in their most expensive plan.
Their average rental rate is 97.5 tokens per 15 minutes or $5.461. Per hour, that’s approximately $21.82 again on average.
Their gear includes two professional level tape machines, a Fairchild 670 compressor clone, Elysia museq, Gyraf G24 compressor and a Bettermaker Limiter.

Their mastering rack is the most cost effective rental. At a cost of 120 tokens ($6.7152) you get two stereo linked Pultec EQ clones, an SSL buss compressor clone, an analog limiter and a Sontec inspired equalizer. That’s $26.86 per hour for five pieces of gear, effectively $5.37 per hour per device.
Now, let’s take a look at the cost of the brand name gear because I don’t know the real price of the clones.

An elysia museq will run you $5,299.
The Gyraf G24 costs $3,900 and the Bettermaker Mastering Limiter $2,699.00

All these devices cost 90 Mix Analog Tokens, which is about $5.40 every 15 minutes or $21.60 per hour. So let’s do the math on APPROXIMATELY (rounded up) how many hours you would need to rent before you bought this gear.

Museq: 245 hours ($5,299 / $21.60)G24: 181 hoursMastering Limiter: 125 hours

Now, this does not include the excellent Burl BAD4 and BDA8 converters.

Tack on an extra $5,400 for those plus the Mothership chassis.
The tape machines are pretty neat too. The nice thing is, you don’t have to pay for new tape nor do you have to pay or spend the time to repair/maintain them. Tape machines are a b**ch, seriously!

A Telefunken M15 runs about $2,000 + shipping and Recording the Masters tape is used. At 420 tokens per hour it’s about $25.20 to rent. That’s 79 hours before you can buy one outright and that again doesn’t include shipping, tape and maintenance costs.

An excellent condition Studer A812, if you can find one, go for around $3,000-6,000. Taking the lower figure, that’s 119 hours of use before a purchase. Studers are notorious for being difficult to maintain, so I’d rather pay $25.20 per album (give or take 15 minutes) than have the real deal. Again, this does NOT include the cost of the Burl converters nor the cool clean volume boost/cut device.

Recall/preset and sweet spot are other Mix Analog benefits that cannot be understated. If you buy a lot of tokens upfront, these costs are even cheaper.

Run a business? MATs are tax write-offs.

Rent the gear only when you NEED it. I say, Mix:analog is a solid deal. Pass on the costs to your customers…that’s what I do. Otherwise, they get an all plugins only mix or master. Simple as that. Analog mixing/mastering is something all audio engineers can offer now from the comfort of their home studio.

Author: Adam

Adam is a professional photographer, videographer and audio engineer. He started Real Home Recording back in 2011 and in 2017 launched Don't Go to Recording School.