Looking for a 3+ parallel blender with specific requirements

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by SirTarquin, Jun 18, 2020.

  1. spentron

    spentron Member

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    I see no assurance that any of the devices mentioned will do what you want because none of them mention the potential problem (EDIT: unless your problem is unique to that hardware). Although demos sound fine but maybe because they're kind of avoiding the problem or context. Or there is compression.

    The usual purpose of active mixing is to isolate the controls of one channel from another. In a sense, what you want here is almost the opposite, for the controls to interact but only when mixing but taken out when not mixing or only using 2 sources.

    EDIT: Essentially, you're looking for there to be a volume drop if you turn on an effect that has no volume, that would make up for if that effect did have volume. But there are still several ways to do this, hard to automatically compensate for everything. The basic idea is simple though, maybe even someone has done it. [original musings continue...]

    One way to do this is more of a blend control, not individual channels but 1 vs. 2, 1+2 vs. 3. An internal passive circuit surrounded by buffers and make up gain is the obvious circuit. The switches disable sources by floating them so there is a volume increase when fewer sources are selected. Then that needs to be compensated for. Not only that, but 50% of one sound plus 50% of another tends to not sound as loud, so ideally, the compensation is also adjustable. And there can still be need of seperate level trims. There is a way to do this with seperate levels for each channel, but again there are complexities.

    Another way would be to have several seperate mixes and switch between them. Full control but fewer switchable choices at one time unless many knobs. Always more knobs...

    Maybe the simplest would be a seperate circuit that decreases volume based on how many sources are used.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2020
  2. spentron

    spentron Member

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    Wait -- do your effects pass (mix in) dry signal? E.g. chorus echo and reverb? Not, for example, fuzz and synth and 100% wet reverb? Are effect volumes increasing or total volume?
     
  3. SirTarquin

    SirTarquin Member

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    I'm only using fuzz and synth, fuzz more than synth. Both fuzzes are completely wet and have no dry mix. It's increasing total volume, it does the same thing with the dry signal when all pedals are bypassed as it does when the pedals are switched on.
     
  4. spentron

    spentron Member

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    OK.
    A normal amount is expected. If one person sings and then another adds in, it gets louder, and that would be normal for adding a parallel loop also. If both loops get louder when more are switched on, that's not normal. E.g. if the fuzz volume is 0, but the synth still gets louder if the fuzz loop is turned on. Almost any unit on the market shouldn't have that problem. It would be nice if instead it compensated for more sources but I don't see anyone claiming that, see my first post.

    If the dry signal got louder, diminishing the added effects, that would be a redundant blend problem.
     
  5. SirTarquin

    SirTarquin Member

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    No, the volume level remains the same for each loop and the dry signal remains the same volume. I am referring to the overall volume which you are saying is normal, and I do conceptually understand why, adding additional voices and whatnot. My concern is mostly in regards to gigging in a band setting (despite not currently being in a band, I'm still hoping to be back in one again someday). After setting the volume of the overall rig to properly sit in the mix with the rest of the band and setting the volume of each loop equal that setting, every time I would add one or two additional loops it would cause the overall volume to fluctuate meaning I would constantly be throwing myself out of the desired mix. So I was wanting something that would address that. Does that make since? I'm worried that I might not be expressing my thoughts properly. Basically I want a parallel blender with a limiter, which would keep the master output at a desired volume by simply reducing the volume without adding any kind of compression.

    And I was able to try the Tri Parallel Mixer recently and it's behaving the same as the Saturnworks, so I don't think what I am referring to is an issue between active and passive mixers.
     
  6. spentron

    spentron Member

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    That's what I figured, but wanted to be complete. Volume matching/control is more critical in a band.

    One comparison is my Boomerang phrase sampler. When you overdub, it reduces the existing audio under it by 2.5 dB, so the volume doesn't build up as much, but not overdoing the correction either (adding two identical signals would result in 6 dB increase). I don't know if anybody else does this, especially since that becomes harder when you add undo. Similar could also be done in a parallel mixer. Circuitwise it could be inherent in the mix switcher design, or just switching the gain with the other pole of the switches.

    I have used a blend box where you fade from one chain to the other, one decreases and one increases. But this comes out as some reduction in the middle unless you make one side louder but never quite go all the way to that end. And it's not a switch but a big knob.

    Of course, you could just add some limiting after, but it does seem like an (another) overlooked potential feature for the blend box.

     
  7. SirTarquin

    SirTarquin Member

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    Since I've been having trouble expressing what I mean by all this through words, I went ahead and made an animated graphic to help give more of a visual reference which should hopefully help with understanding this concept. The db numbers are by no way accurate since I haven't actually measured the volume at all, but it should at least get the point across.

    This is what I currently have:



    And this is what I want:

     
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  8. SirTarquin

    SirTarquin Member

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    I'm honestly starting to consider if I can get the one I already have to be modded to do what I'm hoping. I've managed to get it to fit really well on my board while saving a lot of space, which all the other blenders similar to it wouldn't be able to do, so I'd like it if I could have one in this same body. I asked Saturnworks if they were able to do a custom work that would include a limiting/volume correction feature but they replied saying they didn't have the proper circuitry, which means I'll have to look elsewhere to get this done. I'm just not who out there would be able to add something like this.

    Does anyone know who to go to for pedal mods and have the ability to add volume correcting or limiting features?
     
  9. wrathfuldeity

    wrathfuldeity Member

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    Klein Bottle easily does that plus some eq shaping and mixing of the various loops. Maybe check with Peter and see if Madbean or someone else maybe picking up doing kits or a production line...or see if one of his high school kids would spec and build one.
     
  10. SirTarquin

    SirTarquin Member

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    But does it do it automatically without having to adjust any knobs is the question. I'm not against having one, but the more I search the more they seem completely gone for good. Nothing on Madbean's site about them anymore other than old forum posts.
     
  11. guitarnet70

    guitarnet70 Member

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    In the 90s, when I was using a rack system, I had a midi-controlled line mixer for this purpose.
    In a pedal format, the Elite Acoustic Stompmix X4 should do what you are asking for.
    [​IMG]
     
  12. wrathfuldeity

    wrathfuldeity Member

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    It doesn't adjust automatically...but it happens without any adjustment...once you got the mix set up. To set up, use the level knob on the pedal and/or the "pre" knob of each loop. These two adjustments interact to set the relative volume to the other loops....thus the unity. But you also have the 6 and 12 db boost that can help tighten up the loop. The "mix" knob sets how much the effect is relative to the other loops. Basically these adjustments sets the relative volumes and effect of the "master" mix. The master sets the over all volume. Then when you punch-in or out the various loops, each loop is not additive nor subtractive volume wise...you are merely stomping in/out various loops (no change in volume).


    The cool thing, for example: Have trem in loop 1, delay in loop 2 and reverb in loop 3. Sometimes the trem seems to get abit lost; thus I can increase the pre...or more often the mix to bring the trem to the fore front. And depending if doing it via the level knob on the pedal and/or using the mix knob on the KB can give it a different character. Additionally using the hpf and lpf you can create a niche in the tonal spectrum so that each loop/fx is not competing or mushing out each other. The KB really gives the ability to carve out space/niches. Btw you can also put more than 1 pedal in each loop. Actually, in loop 1 is trem, in loop 2 is ambient verb + delay, and in loop 3 there is another delay + verb. Thus I can mix-or-not up the serial process or have all of them on. Furthermore there are the feedback knobs in which you can loop a loop (feedback) in to another loop...but its not an all-or-nothing situation. You can just blend/bleed in a partial mix of the feed in to another loop. Which in that case gives me a huge ambient pallete where with a partial feed can really fatten or saturate a tonal space without it becoming too congested. Or you can use the feed back knobs to drive in to a controlled/uncontrolled oscillation. One of these days I might switch over to using the KB for sizzle, od, dist, fuzz side to hear what happens…or some crazy synths.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2020 at 7:37 AM
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  13. SirTarquin

    SirTarquin Member

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    That does sound much more like what I want. Looked at the images again and noticed the “Mix” knob as opposed to the “Return” knob on the EHX, which probably addresses my issue more and is why the EHX didn’t pan out. I can email Peter about additional options of getting one, but I’m not holding on to much hope considering how everything I research just further confirms how unavailable it is.

    And let’s not forget, I am a bass player that’s not very interested in ambient sounds. I’m using the blender for a monster fuzz sound. Albeing, I could use the send knobs to go back and forth from running synth parallel to the fuzz and sending it through the fuzz.
     
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  14. wrathfuldeity

    wrathfuldeity Member

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    And that is another reason why this pedal is sooo dope...ton of different things you can do with it. And once you get used to how it works, it is very intuitive to use and a tweaker's delight.

    If I were a bass player, I'd immediately throw in my VFE Triumvirate in loop 1, VFE Mini Mu in loop 2 and a synth in loop 3.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2020 at 11:26 AM

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