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4 way studio monitor switch?
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Author 4 way studio monitor switch?
EMwhite
Anybody know of a high quality 4-way studio monitor switch that will allow me to hook up 4 Yamaha HS style powered monitors (in corners of a rectangular room) and then allow me to rotate a knob push buttons in order to select speaker 1 and 2 in stereo, then 2 and 3, then 3 and 4, and so on?

Point is that on each of the four wall of my home studio, I have keyboard setups and would like to use 'those' speakers for listening purposes.

This will not be used for mixing or for live (non-studio) gigging.

I don't need bells and whistles like a rack mount unit with fiber optic cables, SPDIF, etc etc but if the right box has the quality and can do what I want, I don't mind investing a few hundred $$.

Thanks
Technologear?
I just had a blast trying to solve that audio issue. I've attempted replying 3x but now think I've nailed it
The key problem is the two speakers that are used as part of 2 different pairs (the middle two speakers, corners B and C. To use a readily available multi monitor out device you need to be able to receive 2 inputs on those- the radial pro av1 sums 2 sources to mono. That should work as long as you never select Mix 1+2, or 2+3 at same time. See diagram
JohnLRice
Maybe a Coleman Audio MS6R? http://www.colemanaudio.com/ Six buttons route a single stereo input to one of six different stereo outputs. Coleman Audio products are great and I highly recommend them! They may seem expensive for what they do but they are well worth it! thumbs up These are $565 but if you look around you can find them at $50 to $100 off, check Reverb.com.




The MS6R provides control for six stereo outputs from a single stereo input. This model incorporates completely passive switching and XLR connections for all inputs and outputs. Unselected outputs are shunted to ground to minimize line noise to amplifiers or powered monitors.

EDIT: hhhmmm, maybe never mind? d'oh! I didn't think it through and to use this to do what you want to do you'd need 4 PAIRS of powered speakers, not just 4 single speakers.
TechForze
I am interested in this as well! (4 speaker setup, switching AB to BC to CD)
Technologear? that could work
EMwhite
Thanks for the replies. Will need to dig into the diagram when I get a chance.

Most of the research that I've done lead me into the $600-$x,000 product space meant for real studios with multiple rooms or for people that want to master for multiple listening environments. The JBL is particularly impressive as it calibrates via a microphone that takes into account all of the failings of a less than perfect acoustic environment, but there have been complaints about it, it may not be available, and doesn't solve my problem. But I got sucked into/sidetracked into researching because it was bright, shiny, and had some features that I didn't need. I always want that which seems well engineered whether I need it or not.

Back to the plot, a 4-output switch box, if well built and transparent could do this provided that you leverage one of each stereo pair such that:

Monitor A
1L stereo L
1R unused

Monitor B
2L unused
2R stereo R

Monitor C
3L stereo L
3R unused

Monitor D
4L unused
4R stereo R

So left side is outputs 1 & 2 selected, right side, 3 & 4, etc.

But most are only 3 channel outs which doesn't help.

I also considered so-called 5.1 surround selectors and that might be good if you could patch L and R inputs to L R, L-surround and R-surround and have a subwoofer in there. But the few that I saw only did stereo to stereo or stereo to only the fronts of the 5.1 surround; and then 5.1 to 5.1.

I was excited (for a moment) by John's suggestion and assumed it had a way to patch internally such that the first selector button hardwired the outputs to config 1, 2nd to two, etc. But not the case.

Finally, I'm certain I can do this with my Saffire Mixcontrol software but I really don't want to screw around with my Mac. While I am very happy with my Saffire setup (I did away with my A&H analog board for a OctaPre + Pro24 setup), I like to set and forget and just want physical buttons and a knob.

Any other suggestions?
jonbstevens
If you DIY this looks like it'll work:

http://www.soundskulptor.com/uk/mc624.html
JohnLRice
EMwhite wrote:

I was excited (for a moment) by John's suggestion and assumed it had a way to patch internally such that the first selector button hardwired the outputs to config 1, 2nd to two, etc. But not the case.
Sorry to get your hopes up! d'oh! You could write to Mr. Coleman and ask him if he has any products that do what you want and if not could he make you something and how much would it cost? He might be able to modify some existing product? (he has surround sound switchers also that might be easily modified?) He's a nice guy and very approachable. thumbs up
Graham Hinton
All you need is a rotary wafer switch. Do you want to do it balanced or unbalanced?
EMwhite
[thanks John, may do that]

Graham, balanced would be preferred; currently running balanced from the Focusrite out to Yamaha HS5 (and a HS8S). I'll probably need to bypass and go direct to the sub; at the moment I'm running L and R to a Sub and leveraging it's crossover to feed the HS5 a more proper range of frequencies.

If it's a high quality rotary, I'd be up for it; like everything, we all strive for excellence from our high end synths, thousands of dollars worth of modules, Mogami cables between pedals, hand wound coils; seek to have the signal as clean as possible when delivered to the speaker/monitors (of course one might argue that $1000 worth of monitors does not exactly complement gear worth 10-20x that.
Graham Hinton
EMwhite wrote:
Graham, balanced would be preferred; currently running balanced from the Focusrite out to Yamaha HS5 (and a HS8S). I'll probably need to bypass and go direct to the sub; at the moment I'm running L and R to a Sub and leveraging it's crossover to feed the HS5 a more proper range of frequencies.


Isn't it L & R XLR inputs, whatever would go to a speaker pair at the moment, and four XLR outputs?

Quote:

If it's a high quality rotary, I'd be up for it; like everything, we all strive for excellence from our high end synths, thousands of dollars worth of modules, Mogami cables between pedals, hand wound coils; seek to have the signal as clean as possible when delivered to the speaker/monitors (of course one might argue that $1000 worth of monitors does not exactly complement gear worth 10-20x that.


It's passive, you just need a decent quality break-before-make 4 way 4 pole rotary switch like a Grayhill 71. You you want me to tell you how to do it or to do it for you?
Technologear?
JohnLRice wrote:
Maybe a Coleman Audio MS6R? http://www.colemanaudio.com/ Six buttons route a single stereo input to one of six different stereo outputs. Coleman Audio products are great and I highly recommend them! They may seem expensive for what they do but they are well worth it! thumbs up These are $565 but if you look around you can find them at $50 to $100 off, check Reverb.com.




The MS6R provides control for six stereo outputs from a single stereo input. This model incorporates completely passive switching and XLR connections for all inputs and outputs. Unselected outputs are shunted to ground to minimize line noise to amplifiers or powered monitors.

EDIT: hhhmmm, maybe never mind? d'oh! I didn't think it through and to use this to do what you want to do you'd need 4 PAIRS of powered speakers, not just 4 single speakers.


This Coleman, or any other high quality 3 stereo out box, would work if you still have those radial summing boxes for speakers B and C I included in my diagram.

Ebwhite, your 4monitor mix with only one channel idea won't provide correct stereo for the middle pair, it will flip the stereo image. Not sure if that's a deal breaker.

I'm not sure that the rotary pot selector idea has maintained the correct stereo image per selection - can Graham confirm that?
Graham Hinton
Technologear? wrote:

I'm not sure that the rotary pot selector idea has maintained the correct stereo image per selection - can Graham confirm that?


It won't alter the image at all. All the other suggested solutions are far too complex and unnecessarily expensive.
Technologear?
Graham how does your suggestion address the issue of a single input cable entering speakers B and C, yet in monitor mix 2 the preferred stereo input changes from L->R (or vice versa)?
EMwhite
Does the Coleman product require/utilize phantom power or is it merely a large box with minimal (or no) circuitry inside aside from switches/jacks/wires?
marcn
Grahams suggestion seems to be the easiest, quickest and cheapest.
I drew it up quickly and i believe all you need is a 4P4T (rotary) switch and 6 XLR sockets (2in/4out) , a box and some wire.
That will give you all 4 sides of you room as in L/R = monitor A/B , B/C , C/D and D/A .
Optionally you could also wire them in any pairs you'd like like A/C or B/D, not that that is really useful.
Graham Hinton
Technologear? wrote:
Graham how does your suggestion address the issue of a single input cable entering speakers B and C, yet in monitor mix 2 the preferred stereo input changes from L->R (or vice versa)?


There isn't an issue to address. The speaker output connectors may be wired to any of the poles of the switch wafers. Each speaker is wired to two switch outputs, but they are on different wafers (sources).
Llouwelyn
MatrixMixer?
Technologear?
Graham Hinton wrote:
Technologear? wrote:
Graham how does your suggestion address the issue of a single input cable entering speakers B and C, yet in monitor mix 2 the preferred stereo input changes from L->R (or vice versa)?


There isn't an issue to address. The speaker output connectors may be wired to any of the poles of the switch wafers. Each speaker is wired to two switch outputs, but they are on different wafers (sources).


Graham- Got it. Cheers

EM- Do this then, get it made specifically for what you need. Please disregard my other suggestion.
EMwhite
Got it. So provided that the rotary is break, then make and that the contacts are high quality, a point wired solution should be nothing more than interjecting another 'patch' cable so to speak, from an electrical perspective.

In other words, it is unlikely to contribute to any signal loss assuming cable distances are short and component quality high.

Now for a thorny question: what complication would arise if trying to 'split' the signal, aka, take the L and R inputs and send them to the selected pair of monitors AND to a Subwoofer L and R?

I can solder, build from schematic and even troubleshoot but lack the basic understanding of how load or impedance increases or decreases if essentially splitting one signal into two (I assume this places more load on the source?) of course these are low level signal, very different from a Bass amp powering two speaker drivers vs. a single 8 Ohm drivers.

Thanks.
Graham Hinton
EMwhite wrote:

Now for a thorny question: what complication would arise if trying to 'split' the signal, aka, take the L and R inputs and send them to the selected pair of monitors AND to a Subwoofer L and R?

I can solder, build from schematic and even troubleshoot but lack the basic understanding of how load or impedance increases or decreases if essentially splitting one signal into two (I assume this places more load on the source?).


Balanced line inputs would normally be a "bridging" load, i.e. around 10k to 30k. Balanced outputs should be capable of driving several 600ohm loads in parallel, i.e. around 150 ohms. Splitting a signal is not a problem.

Here's your schematic:


I suggest building it in a largish diecast box with flanges for mounting on a wall, Hammond make some nice painted ones. This is a suitable switch: 71AF36-02-2-04N.
Neutrik chassis XLRs have a chassis solder tab next to pin 1 so that this can be linked with a short wire. The hot and cold pairs may be twisted to keep it neater.
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