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Mixing with Stackables + Attenuators?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Eurorack Modules  
Author Mixing with Stackables + Attenuators?
Zentrix
I have read several times on here that adding signals with stackcables is *bad*.

Buuuut.... what if you attenuate the signals first? Are we simply wanting to avoid clipping/saturating an input jack+circuit with double the voltage expected? Or are issues of impedance that may damage modules and cause "slow burn out" more complex than simple questions of signal gain?
Nino
One basic rule is to only connect input to output and output to input.
Mixing with Stackcables will connect anything with anything.
CaneMan
It's a matter of protection circuitry. Many (most?) outputs on Eurorack modules are not necessarily designed to accept signals. So often the only way you'll know if plugging an output to an output might fry one or both modules is if you ask the module maker or check the circuit diagram. Might as well use mixers for combining audio and CV and OR-combiners or logic modules for clocks and gates.
cptnal
What's happening is that the full output voltages are being summed, and if the peaks of the waves line up you can end up overloading what it's plugged into. Hence mixers for outputs. thumbs up
mskala
cptnal wrote:
What's happening is that the full output voltages are being summed, and if the peaks of the waves line up you can end up overloading what it's plugged into. Hence mixers for outputs. :tu:


That would be true with independently-powered outputs connected in series, but plugging outputs together with stackable cables is connecting them in parallel. At best you get an average of the two voltages, but because the outputs are each trying to drive the combined voltage to their own output, they're going to be overloaded. The danger is to the outputs, not to an input that might also be connected.

Edit, on the original question - if you used passive attenuators you should be okay. That's basically how a passive mixer works. As with any passive module you end up with a wonky output impedance that will cause other problems, but at least it's unlikely to blow anything up. It's no good with buffered attenuators, because then you just get the same kind of contention between the output buffers as if you hadn't attenuated the signals in the first place.
mskala
(dupe, sorry)
noisanceritual
It's not a question of attenuate it's about when you mult it without buffer it drops voltage as you add more, correct me if i'm wrong ... Also what others said it can overload sometimes other modules
potatobrain
Still this question is quite open for me. Didn't find any straight answer about why to avoid this so far.

I was mixing audio with stackables, each time I was adding a new signal the overall volume was dropping down. No smoke or fire though.
cptnal
There's a saying that goes, "precedence is no indicator of risk." In other words, just because it hasn't happened before doesn't mean there's no risk of it happening in the future. Sounds like a shame you're willing to gamble the investment you've made for the sake of a mixer, which costs buttons by comparison.

Don't mean to lecture. Just stay safe. thumbs up
Risc_Terilia
Any discussion of levels is beside the fact that you shouldn't be connecting outputs to outputs.
mskala
potatobrain wrote:
Still this question is quite open for me. Didn't find any straight answer about why to avoid this so far.


Because it can damage the outputs by drawing much more current than they're designed to supply. Even when it doesn't cause damage, it's likely to have inconsistent and less-than-useful results, such as a mix with one output much stronger than the other, or extreme distortion.

This is the wrong point on which to try to economize. Just get a proper mixer, and it'll work and be safe. My company sells them...
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