Prototyping Nearness, a minimal panning mixer module


#21

I keep daydreaming about chaining them together via a jumper cable in the back so that the outputs mix in with an adjacent unit - unless they are patched. This would allow for a single output pair to have the sum of multiple mixer modules without patching - keeping the patch points open for more instruments.

But - they are exceedingly awesome as-is as one can patch to the hard points between units. (Though, this would be at the loss of hard-panned any instruments outside of the first unit in a chain.) :slight_smile:


#22

Very cool! Keep us updated on the progress :slight_smile:


#23

I’d probably be interested in that too, if someone sold them fully built. Probably even more if the panning followed some sort of bell curve, with the center inputs panned only slightly left/right.

Anyway, really cool idea and the fact that it’s simple and elegant is probably what makes it attractive.


#24

Great idea for a panning module!!!
Keep us posted on the progress!!!


#25

How goes with the Patch-n-Pan module? :wink:


#26

Yes…
I do want one or two!


#27

I’d like one as well!


#28

I would like at least one, probably two


#29

If an “on-off” switch, whether as a toggle or a latching button, could be added to each of the seven inputs it would be worth the extra HP to me to avoid dangling cables.


#30

I’m also in the, “wow this is a great idea!” I’d like one camp. :wink:


#31

I would love one or two or these!! Such a great idea


#32

I’m in for 2 tooooooooooooooo


#33

Right, update time!

Between my day job and having a small kid at home, I’ve only been able to spend scattered moments on this (hence the two-month silence), but I have tried to playtest the prototype as much as possible, and: I reckon the concept works, for what it is. I’m also happy with the pan law I chose (3 dB). The positions definitely need to be changed, though. I’ve experimented by manually tweaking per-channel gain of a synthesized stereo sweep (in Audacity), and have something I think will work better, and that I will use for the second revision, along with a few other minor tweaks.

Playtesting it has also given me a chance to think about additional features. Here’s the thing: I want this to perform a single, specific task – mixing seven channels down to two – and to be good at that, without locking it into a specific use. I want to it be small and inexpensive enough that you could use a few of them throughout a patch without thinking too much about it. Things like attenuators, switches, a line-level stereo output jack, or even expander pins, would all be useful in some circumstances, but they all add size and cost (and complexity). I wasn’t sure that a fixed-position panning mixer could be useful without any of those features, but now I am.

Which is to say, I don’t expect to make any radical changes to the design, except possibly moving the output jacks to the opposite ends of the panel, as suggested by @laborcamp, since that definitely strengthens the metaphor behind the interface – if I can find a way to do it without making a mess of the PCB layout. I hope to get time to finish the second revision this week, and will then order new boards to build and verify. I have a few sketches for panel designs, but nothing final yet.

Oh, and I also settled on a name. A minimal mixer needs a minimal name; meet the 7:2.


#34

Crazy thought, and might add too much complexity, but had you thought about a ‘rotate’ jack, a la the 4MS RCD? It would be cool to plug an LFO into that and suddenly have everything shifting around the stereo space, and only would add 1 extra jack to the panel :slight_smile:


#35

this would be extremely cool. Very nice for ambient patches.


#36

I am very sympathetic to the desire (and perhaps even the need) to keep this simple, and I do not want to suggest that added complexity is a prerequisite of value. As described, 7:2 (“seven by two”?) is the bees knees.

FWIW, I think of the three “add on” capabilities, only on/off and attenuate play well together. Rotating raises questions like “are the on/off state and attenuation state linked to the position in the stereo field OR the input”? It makes my head hurt.

If you do keep it simple, I would ask you to consider the merits of expander pins to allow someone else perhaps to pick up the challenge of an expander (perhaps 3HP also to reduce the risk of Harvestman Odd HP Situations).

Thanks for all your hard work and creativity!


#37

I very much like the simple design of this and I am happy to hear that @billyhologram wants to stick with it.

I am not that much in circuit design but I think that rotating the outputs isn’t done with an extra jack to put an LFO in. How should they rotate, how should they fade, or should they just switch with a click noise? Even adding expander pins seems to be more complicated than you might think as the module should work without connecting them either and then the expander pins seem to be expected to work with switches, attenuators, panning, CV input…then sine wave oscillators, wavefolding and scale sequencing…:wink:

It’s a great and simple design, a piece of minimalistic art - why not keeping it as it is and get a dubmix if it is not powerful enough for doing everything.

:slightly_smiling_face:


#38

for rotation you could use something like this (will only rotate 4 channels though):

edit:
forgot about confusor, could make for a good pairing as well:

probably not possible with the current design but would be cool if it could be used in either direction, so that plugging into L and R outputs (serving as inputs) would get you 7 different mixes of that.

other than that i think simple is beautiful! and will make a great buddy for just friends. especially if it’s dc coupled so you could use it in LFO range as well (not sure if it is though?)


#39

love the dc coupled idea because it doesn’t add anything to the panel

also the idea about being able to use it as either 7:2 or 2:7 is really neat too

although it is easy (i have no electronics building/designing experience) to say that simply because nothing gets added to the panel that it should be simple :wink:

this is a really neat project I would honestly love a standalone version (2 maybe?) that expected 0-10v for ciat-lonbarde hardware. so many mono outputs!

I just have a feeling once i break the eurorack audio seal things won’t ever be the same so I’d prefer not to


#40

Also interested in 1, potentially 2 of these!