I have a small collection of outboard audio hardware in my studio.
- Mackie 802-VLZ3 8-input mixer
- Lexicon MPX-1 Multi-effects processor
- TC Electronics Desktop Konnekt6 Firewire Interface
- TASCAM SS-R1 Compact Flash MP3 recorder
- A pair of FMR Really Nice Compressors
Of the many potential ways to hook this stuff together, I’ve come up with this patch. Have a look at this block diagram.
I’ll describe how this works with the Mackie features to get flexible signal routing. The first thing to look at is the Matrix Mixer in the upper left. This is my own Matrix Mixer module. It can mix up to six signals coming out of the modular and has stereo outputs. (Most of the arrowed lines on the diagram indicate stereo connections.) Note how the output of the Matrix Mixer tees off, one branch straight into the Mackie on channels 3-4, and the other going through a compressor and the Lexicon in series into channels 5-6. Both the compressor and the Lexicon are stereo units, and each has a bypass switch.
Moving down the diagram, note the mono Aux Send output. This is not pre-patched. I use it to send signals into the modular for any purpose, but usually to patch modules as effects. The MOTM-410 filters, Blacet Time Machines, and Blacet StonZ Phaser make very good effects processors. The outputs from whatever I’ve chosen are then returned to the Mackie channel inputs 1-2, which have equalization and also the ability to mix back into the aux send bus for feedback!
Next, notice how the firewire interface is fed from the Alt Outputs of the Mackie, and is returned on channels 7-8. I have to explain the alt outputs. Each input channel on the Mackie has a Mute-Alt button. In the normal position, the channel signal is routed to the main mixing bus, headed ultimately to the tape recorder and the studio monitor speakers. But when the Alt button is engaged, the channel is routed to the alt out bus. The channel fader still controls the level, but now on the alt out. This means I can mix to the computer any of the three sources: from Matrix Mixer, from Lexicon effects, and from modular effects.
Remember that each Mackie channel also has an aux send pot that mixes into the Aux Send bus. (Selecting the ‘pre-fader’ option sends the signal to the aux bus before it reaches the channel fader.) Are you getting the picture now? Possibilities include:
- Three parallel effects: Lexicon, Computer, Modular.
- Lexicon and/or Computer effects followed by a Modular effects.
- Modular effects followed by Computer effects.
A few things I can’t do, such as routing the stereo output of the computer to the stereo input of the Lexicon. (I have to mix channels 7-8 to the aux send and patch the mono aux send into the Matrix Mixer for that routing order.) This setup has flexibility that I could have used even before I got the firewire, if only I had thought of it. I hope this information may be useful to you. And please add comments!