4x4 16n controlled matrix mixer

Please indulge me in this idea that popped into my head while laying awake last night.

Would it be possible to make a small (minijack or quarter inch) teensy controlled matrix mixer that can work as a USB host for a 16n? I’m thinking passive, but I am open for input/possible pitfalls of doing something like this.

Quick morning sketch


By usb host I take it to mean 16n sliders would map to each of the 16 matrix points. Yes, you could do this, but it’s the hard way to make a matrix mixer! You would need 16x vca’s and 16 channels of DAC on top of the USB host.

(Edit: you could use 4x 4 channel gain cell ICs instead of VCAs)

There are heaps of 4x4 matrix mixer designs around and they would be far cheaper and easier to build. You could even build one with fader pots if that’s you main desire?

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I agree it’s not the simplest design :wink: ut would I really need DACs? The audio will not pass through the teensy, it would just be used to control the VCAs/channel gain cells.

Well usually you need a voltage to control each vca. Not sure you will get 16 channels of pwm from a teensy and even if you can you still need to filter each one…

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All great points. Might need to reconsider.
Main idea was to have a small footprint “add-on” to the 16n.

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Since the 16n sends CV signals for every fader you could use a(ny) CV controlled matrix mixer to achieve what you want.

e.g. this


I recently confirmed with Andrew at NLC that 16n will work to control the 16 VCAs on Clump.

The only weird thing is that there is a small dead zone at the bottom and maybe the top of the 16n sliders. But if you take that into account it’s not that big of a deal.

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if you want a ready solution, disting ex includes a 6x4 matrix mixer algorithm which can be controlled by 16n.


I have used Rebel Tech’s Mix04 for this purpose! It was great fun, but much spaghetti.

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yeah the disting ex seems like the way to go here

The ER-301 would also be perfect for building a matrix mixer, and you could build in some interesting node behaviors–modulated, processed, etc.

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Spaghetti is one of the reasons I want to do it with a usb connection. Since there is already enough spaghetti connected to a matrix mixer as is. And since I am abstaining from modular I was thinking stand alone.

I had similar inspiration and began thinking about retrofitting both 16n and Mix04 with HDMI jacks. If you wanted to go digital I think some I2C DACs w/ modified 16n firmware would be quicker development than a Teensy. You might also want some analog slew on the VCA control signals to avoid zipper noise.

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it’s completely possible. whether you think it’s worthwhile is another matter; it will be relatively expensive (mcu with USB host, sixteen channels of DAC, four four-channel VCA chips, the cost of your time to write all that damn firmware).

sixteen analog jacks into a CLUMP or derivative is much less hassle. keeping things in the analog domain means you can just use the 5V CV outs on the 16n, you don’t need any firmware or MCUs or USB hosting. just power to the mixer, and sixteen control lines.

also, as mentioned elsewhere, the I2C jack is probably a better fit, costwise, than USB; simpler protocol, highly suitable for this, but you still need DACs. There may be ways to do something clever with fewer channels of DAC and hold-capacitors, but that’s an exercise for the reader.