Thanks for the answer
I would never send signals from the modular not properly attenuated. my doubt was whether the route of other modular signals inside the ER-301 together with the FATES Outs could be some return signal.
Apologies in advance if this is off-topic – but I made the mistake yesterday of plugging my modulars outputs into Norns’ outputs (and monitored via headphones). I really need to add some labels on there, as I always assume the outputs would be next to the headphones
Anyways, what’s surprising is that you still get audio out, it’s just got a crazy amount of FM and distortion. I really thought my Mangrove, Cold Mac, or RIP was broken, but after removing variables one by one, I finally realized I had plugged into the wrong jacks.
Everything is fine now, but out of sheer curiosity… does anyone know how is that possible? And where is the FM was coming from?
I suppose in the mean time, I’m curious if a voltage divider will work in a pinch / as a cheap stop-gap, and what the impacts / characteristics of it might be – if anyone has tried it. (I’ll probably have a go this afternoon and I can report back too).
I’ve used a simple potentiometer attenuated signal into my H1 recorder for ages and have never had an issue, but I’d love to have something that is ‘fixed’ to make it all a little more consistent in my recordings (and in this case norns input).
I’d actually argue that a simple potentiometer based volume control, or a fixed resistor divider (both having the same effect), would be more appropriate than a transformer - unless you specifically need galvanic isolation or want to hear transformer coloration in which case you already know what you want.
Why? It’s both vastly cheaper, and does the job as well as you’d want to with an unbalanced, line level (or hotter than standard line level) signal and modern gear. Fixed resistor pads are ubiquitous, and you’re likely to have and use attenuators / mixers in your modular anyway. Low distortion, no discernible change in sound quality, just a quieter signal.
(Edit: I see transformers used for balancing and impedance matching a lot, but it’s pretty rare to see them used in circuits for attenuating a line-level signal. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that either, but a resistor divider will just be neutral, effective and super cheap, so there’s not much reason to use anything else unless you know you need something else than simple attenuation.)
A voltage divider or pot, for a single channel should be totally fine I’d think…not 100% sure but I think you’d want to use a pot so that your input impedance isn’t too low and your output impedance isn’t crazy high. My guess is 25-50k…as all the devices your working with are buffered, active (not like a guitar).
Source on the impedance question as it relates to volume pedals:
I have the EXI[S]T which combines RIP-style cinnemag transformers with a passive volume attenuator. It seems to works great for me, I haven’t noticed any sort of tone suck when the attenuator is down (and sometimes that lift is definitely necessary.
You’re totally in the clear with that concept. A simple voltage divider attenuator is called an “L-pad” in the audio world. There are fancier configurations for passive attenuation if you are concerned with impedance matching and coloration.
I haven’t had a chance to read everything yet, but I put this together since I posted as a possible idea for a a super simple passive modular/norns aux send box.
I realize that this is kind of strange since it uses 2 dual gang pots to control vol from each input instead of using a wet/dry knob (panning mixer). But from my quick test, that approach resulted in too much loss of signal in a passive setup. I think it would have to be active for that.
My approach is kind of like a pre-configured matrix mixer with the voltage divider built in.
lmk if I’m missing anything big, and I’ll try to build it this afternoon
Not to dissuade folks from going DIY but figured there might be some interest in the BLN module from Michigan Synth Works. I’m hoping it will provide me with a way to squeeze norns I/O in my main case.