stereo mixer module comparison

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teamhobson
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Post by teamhobson » Sun Jan 20, 2019 12:04 pm

I'm in the market for a stereo mixer. Do eurorack mixers deal okay with regular desktop synth/drum machine levels or will the signal have to be real hot going into it?

If so, is that why some mixers have a signal booster?
Last edited by teamhobson on Sun Jan 20, 2019 1:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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diller
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Post by diller » Sun Jan 20, 2019 12:11 pm

teamhobson wrote:I'm in the market for a stereo mixer. Do eurorack mixers deal okay with regular desktop synth/drum machine levels or will the signal have to be real hot going into it?

If so, if that who some mixers have a signal booster?
You want to use a separate interface amplifier when doing this to have the proper gain staging.

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cackland
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Post by cackland » Sun Jan 20, 2019 12:15 pm

After reading the recent responses in this thread, I'm curious to find out what the 'ideal' stereo mixer would be for you guys?

Obviously everyone has their different take on the matter, so I'm wondering if you could design a module suited for your needs.. what features would it have?

*Number of chains / Expandable?
*CV over pan, aux (send + return / send / return), level?
*Stereo aux over mono aux?
*Pre output / post output?
*PFL / AFL?
*Channel muting?
*Master out control (level, cv)?
*Is headphone integration important?
*Visual feedback?
*Linear slide potentiometers or standard?

etc...

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mdoudoroff
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Post by mdoudoroff » Sun Jan 20, 2019 12:21 pm

diller wrote:
teamhobson wrote:I'm in the market for a stereo mixer. Do eurorack mixers deal okay with regular desktop synth/drum machine levels or will the signal have to be real hot going into it?

If so, if that who some mixers have a signal booster?
You want to use a separate interface amplifier when doing this to have the proper gain staging.
Not necessarily true. It all depends, and this is the Wild West out here.

As a matter of fact, WMD just posted this video yesterday:

[video][/video]

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mdoudoroff
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Post by mdoudoroff » Sun Jan 20, 2019 12:25 pm

cackland wrote:After reading the recent responses in this thread, I'm curious to find out what the 'ideal' stereo mixer would be for you guys?

Obviously everyone has their different take on the matter, so I'm wondering if you could design a module suited for your needs.. what features would it have?

*Number of chains / Expandable?
*CV over pan, aux (send + return / send / return), level?
*Stereo aux over mono aux?
*Pre output / post output?
*PFL / AFL?
*Channel muting?
*Master out control (level, cv)?
*Is headphone integration important?
*Visual feedback?
*Linear slide potentiometers or standard?

etc...
I’ll cross-post an edited version of what I just wrote on this other thread:

It’s very hard to cram a full “channel strip” into 3U; due to the spatial limitations, it’s a brutal puzzle of spacial/ergonomic/feature compromises. And everyone has a slightly different idea of what to prioritize.

In addition to being vastly better value for the buck, outboard mixers tend to be pretty similar to one another. Evidently, there’s a formula there that really works, but it’s a formula that is fundamentally incompatible with 3U (Eurorack). You want to have it all, but you cannot.

Making it worse:
- Eurorack modules are low volume niche products (no manufacturing scale benefits)
- HP usage adds built-in “hidden” cost
- In addition to providing typical “channel strip” features, why have a Euorack implementation without any CV? (Many decline to, but you gotta at least ask the question.)

There are lots of options out there, and each has it’s own take on reconciling all the above with slightly different priorities. Meanwhile, new modules keep showing up because for each set of compromises, somebody is disappointed.

Generally speaking, most recent product introductions have been focused on minimalist modules that have few channel strip features features and few modular features (Intelljel Mixup, 4ms Listen, Nearness, Sound Stage, and many more). At the other extreme are the maximalist, sprawling ADDAC, Befaco and Frap multi-module sets that are—in reality—staggeringly expensive, once you factor in both the modules and the HP they consume. Earlier on, there was a high concentration of feature-rich four channel numbers (Qu-bit, Toppobrillo, Verbos, L-1, Cwejman, XAOC, Koma, ProModular) some of which could be daisy-chained.

Also worth pointing out that this entire matter is relatively new to modular synthesizers. Except for outliers like the Buchla System Interface, it’s only quite recently that folks have been trying to make stereo mixer modules for modulars.
Last edited by mdoudoroff on Sun Jan 20, 2019 12:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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cackland
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Post by cackland » Sun Jan 20, 2019 12:28 pm

Yes, yes... read that. Completely makes sense.

Was just curious to see what features some, over others, would prefer if they could implement / design their own.

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Post by teamhobson » Sun Jan 20, 2019 12:43 pm

diller wrote:
teamhobson wrote:I'm in the market for a stereo mixer. Do eurorack mixers deal okay with regular desktop synth/drum machine levels or will the signal have to be real hot going into it?

If so, if that who some mixers have a signal booster?
You want to use a separate interface amplifier when doing this to have the proper gain staging.
I would like to take my Machinedrum and Monomachine out of the stereo mixer and into my morphagene. The intention is that when playing live I can quickly take a recording of what was just playing and fade across to the recording and start tearing it apart.

I have now just realised while typing this that I'll probably neer another euro level mixer to control the morphagenes signal into my small mixing desk...

Any tips on a more efficient way to route this signal path?

Summary: Elektron boxes -> stereo mixer -> morphagene -> mixer? -> mixing desk

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Post by mdoudoroff » Sun Jan 20, 2019 12:48 pm

cackland wrote:Yes, yes... read that. Completely makes sense.

Was just curious to see what features some, over others, would prefer if they could implement / design their own.
Ok. If I could wave my magic wand, I would start with the WMD Performance Mixer. I would rip out the B inputs and the entire cue system. I would rip out all the panning VCAs except for 2-4 channels, because a few is enough. I’d probably rip out most of the level VCAs too, for the same reason. (It’s convenient to have all those VCAs, but they take up space, add cost, and most go unused most of the time.) I would add a few AUX VCAs for 2-4 channels. I’d make the module slightly wider to build in the two additional stereo channels from the PM Channels expander. I’d replace the cue buttons with clickless mutes. Then I’d look into refining the AUX system. And I’d probably spin off a smaller edition for creating a separate submix (or for use in a small case).

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Post by cackland » Sun Jan 20, 2019 1:19 pm

mdoudoroff wrote:
Ok. If I could wave my magic wand, I would start with the WMD Performance Mixer. I would rip out the B inputs and the entire cue system. I would rip out all the panning VCAs except for 2-4 channels, because a few is enough. I’d probably rip out most of the level VCAs too, for the same reason. (It’s convenient to have all those VCAs, but they take up space, add cost, and most go unused most of the time.) I would add a few AUX VCAs for 2-4 channels. I’d make the module slightly wider to build in the two additional stereo channels from the PM Channels expander. I’d replace the cue buttons with clickless mutes. Then I’d look into refining the AUX system. And I’d probably spin off a smaller edition for creating a separate submix (or for use in a small case).
This sounds like a good starting point.

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Post by Trebbers » Sun Jan 20, 2019 1:48 pm

mdoudoroff wrote:
cackland wrote:Yes, yes... read that. Completely makes sense.

Was just curious to see what features some, over others, would prefer if they could implement / design their own.
Ok. If I could wave my magic wand, I would start with the WMD Performance Mixer. I would rip out the B inputs and the entire cue system. I would rip out all the panning VCAs except for 2-4 channels, because a few is enough. I’d probably rip out most of the level VCAs too, for the same reason. (It’s convenient to have all those VCAs, but they take up space, add cost, and most go unused most of the time.) I would add a few AUX VCAs for 2-4 channels. I’d make the module slightly wider to build in the two additional stereo channels from the PM Channels expander. I’d replace the cue buttons with clickless mutes. Then I’d look into refining the AUX system. And I’d probably spin off a smaller edition for creating a separate submix (or for use in a small case).
This is pretty much how I feel, esp if 'refining the AUX system' means at least one stereo return and being able to use both AUX A/B simultaneously.

I still don't get the logic of having CUE built in, but relegating mutes to an expander. Even if the target user is someone making techno, everybody needs them mutes!

Even still, I'm really happy with mine even if it feels like it wasn't made for me.

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Post by mdoudoroff » Sun Jan 20, 2019 4:15 pm

Oh, one other thing. Instead of the DB25 expander, I want a 4hp module with sixteen decent ADCs and a Thunderbolt 3 jack on the front. All sixteen (prefader is fine) digitized at 24/48 and shot out one cable to the DAW.
:hihi:

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Post by BTG » Sun Jan 20, 2019 4:40 pm

mdoudoroff wrote:
cackland wrote:Yes, yes... read that. Completely makes sense.

Was just curious to see what features some, over others, would prefer if they could implement / design their own.
Ok. If I could wave my magic wand, I would start with the WMD Performance Mixer. I would rip out the B inputs and the entire cue system. I would rip out all the panning VCAs except for 2-4 channels, because a few is enough. I’d probably rip out most of the level VCAs too, for the same reason. (It’s convenient to have all those VCAs, but they take up space, add cost, and most go unused most of the time.) I would add a few AUX VCAs for 2-4 channels. I’d make the module slightly wider to build in the two additional stereo channels from the PM Channels expander. I’d replace the cue buttons with clickless mutes. Then I’d look into refining the AUX system. And I’d probably spin off a smaller edition for creating a separate submix (or for use in a small case).
+1 to all that.

Alternative, a Mixology with few a more inputs would be great.

For minimal HP but otherwise reasonable features I still think the Unify is great (I've bought and sold that four times now...)

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Post by Hallmar » Sun Jan 20, 2019 4:42 pm

mdoudoroff wrote:Oh, one other thing. Instead of the DB25 expander, I want a 4hp module with sixteen decent ADCs and a Thunderbolt 3 jack on the front. All sixteen (prefader is fine) digitized at 24/48 and shot out one cable to the DAW.
:hihi:
Tall order for 4hp.

Don't even think 16 jacks and a thunderbolt will fit on the frontpanel haha

But just that in any HP would be fucking great

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Post by mdoudoroff » Sun Jan 20, 2019 4:50 pm

Hallmar wrote:
Tall order for 4hp.

Don't even think 16 jacks and a thunderbolt will fit on the frontpanel haha

But just that in any HP would be fucking great
No jacks required: the audio all runs to the module over a couple ribbon cables off the back of the PM.

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Post by Hallmar » Sun Jan 20, 2019 4:58 pm

mdoudoroff wrote:
Hallmar wrote:
Tall order for 4hp.

Don't even think 16 jacks and a thunderbolt will fit on the frontpanel haha

But just that in any HP would be fucking great
No jacks required: the audio all runs to the module over a couple ribbon cables off the back of the PM.
fuck, you're right.

edit: didn't realize it was about the PM cuz i'm stupid

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Post by cackland » Sun Jan 20, 2019 5:13 pm

Mdoudoroff, that is an excellent idea.

So practically an ES8 expansion module

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Post by Fallen_lassen » Sun Jan 20, 2019 7:21 pm

mdoudoroff wrote:[quote="cackland"

Also worth pointing out that this entire matter is relatively new to modular synthesizers. Except for outliers like the Buchla System Interface, it’s only quite recently that folks have been trying to make stereo mixer modules for modulars.
Roland already had a stereo mixer in the system 100m and they reissued it in the system 500.
And it is a fine mixer.

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Post by mdoudoroff » Sun Jan 20, 2019 9:35 pm

Fallen_lassen wrote: Roland already had a stereo mixer in the system 100m and they reissued it in the system 500.
And it is a fine mixer.
I’m sure you could find another example here or there. Serge may have had one at some point.

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Post by 101010oxo » Mon Jan 21, 2019 3:22 am

Thanks for putting that up. Great resource! Helps me a lot with my mixer quest...
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Post by davidu » Mon Jan 21, 2019 9:54 am

What do you think of new Tesseract Tex Mix modules?
Not to expensive, 2 aux, stereo channels, stereo returns, cue
but
no visual feedback, no CV over PAN...

How to know if levels are ok? There is no leds showing volume level?

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Post by Triscus » Wed Jan 23, 2019 7:50 am

That overview I handy as I am looking for a CV controlled stereo mixer, thank you

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Post by mdoudoroff » Wed Jan 23, 2019 8:04 am

davidu wrote:What do you think of new Tesseract Tex Mix modules?
Not to expensive, 2 aux, stereo channels, stereo returns, cue
but
no visual feedback, no CV over PAN...

How to know if levels are ok? There is no leds showing volume level?
The Tesseract Tex Mix is what it is: a bargain option with one particular set of compromises. (Every one of these mixers entails various compromises, regardless of price point. Heck, price itself is a compromise.) Being a bargain doesn’t mean it’s a bad option. It all depends on what you want and how you work. Many folks prefer a simpler, less-expensive approach.

The cost of these things tends to be directly related to the number of VCAs they entail. No voltage control means no VCAs, which means less expensive. Lots of voltage control means LOTS of VCAs, which means more expensive.

Triscus wrote:That overview I handy as I am looking for a CV controlled stereo mixer, thank you
:tu: That’s exactly what it’s intended to be.

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JPSynth Stereo Mixer

Post by jpsynth » Tue Jan 29, 2019 10:15 pm

Hi, I'd like to add my mixer to the list: JPSynth Stereo Mixer.

It's a simple 8HP 4 stereo channel mixer. Right channels normalled to the left in case you want to throw mono stuff in the mix.

Nothing fancy, just something that mixes stereo (or mono) signals together. Nothing more, nothing less.

https://jpsynth.com/products/stereo-mixer

Image[/img]

Thanks
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Post by CorpusCallosum » Sat Mar 02, 2019 9:18 am

mdoudoroff I'm wondering why you say an outboard mixer is fundamentally incompatible with eurorack. Is it just the lack of cv control, or is it because of something else?
mdoudoroff wrote:
cackland wrote:After reading the recent responses in this thread, I'm curious to find out what the 'ideal' stereo mixer would be for you guys?

Obviously everyone has their different take on the matter, so I'm wondering if you could design a module suited for your needs.. what features would it have?

*Number of chains / Expandable?
*CV over pan, aux (send + return / send / return), level?
*Stereo aux over mono aux?
*Pre output / post output?
*PFL / AFL?
*Channel muting?
*Master out control (level, cv)?
*Is headphone integration important?
*Visual feedback?
*Linear slide potentiometers or standard?

etc...
I’ll cross-post an edited version of what I just wrote on this other thread:

It’s very hard to cram a full “channel strip” into 3U; due to the spatial limitations, it’s a brutal puzzle of spacial/ergonomic/feature compromises. And everyone has a slightly different idea of what to prioritize.

In addition to being vastly better value for the buck, outboard mixers tend to be pretty similar to one another. Evidently, there’s a formula there that really works, but it’s a formula that is fundamentally incompatible with 3U (Eurorack). You want to have it all, but you cannot.

Making it worse:
- Eurorack modules are low volume niche products (no manufacturing scale benefits)
- HP usage adds built-in “hidden” cost
- In addition to providing typical “channel strip” features, why have a Euorack implementation without any CV? (Many decline to, but you gotta at least ask the question.)

There are lots of options out there, and each has it’s own take on reconciling all the above with slightly different priorities. Meanwhile, new modules keep showing up because for each set of compromises, somebody is disappointed.

Generally speaking, most recent product introductions have been focused on minimalist modules that have few channel strip features features and few modular features (Intelljel Mixup, 4ms Listen, Nearness, Sound Stage, and many more). At the other extreme are the maximalist, sprawling ADDAC, Befaco and Frap multi-module sets that are—in reality—staggeringly expensive, once you factor in both the modules and the HP they consume. Earlier on, there was a high concentration of feature-rich four channel numbers (Qu-bit, Toppobrillo, Verbos, L-1, Cwejman, XAOC, Koma, ProModular) some of which could be daisy-chained.

Also worth pointing out that this entire matter is relatively new to modular synthesizers. Except for outliers like the Buchla System Interface, it’s only quite recently that folks have been trying to make stereo mixer modules for modulars.

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Post by mdoudoroff » Sat Mar 02, 2019 9:25 am

CorpusCallosum wrote:mdoudoroff I'm wondering why you say an outboard mixer is fundamentally incompatible with eurorack. Is it just the lack of cv control, or is it because of something else?
All I mean is that there’s no workable way to cram the functionality of a full channel strip into 3U.

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