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Basic CV panning takes up way too much space!
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Author Basic CV panning takes up way too much space!
Videographics
After extensive investigation, and review of countless threads on small eurorack mixers, I feel like I've stumbled across a gaping hole in the world of compact eurorack utility modules. For some reason basic CV panning is taking up way too much space/hp!

I was looking for a basic module to take 4 inputs and do CV panning to 2 destinations. I was sure I could find a small utility module to do this in the 8 to 10hp range — smaller if I was lucky. After all, this only requires 10 jacks (4 main inputs, 4 CV inputs, and 2 outputs) and 4 to 6hp modules with 10 jacks are quite common. Even if you added 4 VCAs and a bunch of small knobs, it wouldn't need to be larger than 8 or 10hp, right?

Wrong. I found this basic function isn't even available on a 12hp module! The smallest solution to accomplish this basic utilitarian function is the Verbos Scan & Pan at 14hp. Scan & Pan is excellent, but it's also more than basic. I thought of ganging up some of 4hp modules that could each pan one input, but that's even less efficient. Beyond the Scan & Pan, the next smallest option is the Happy Nerding PanMix at 16hp. Everything else is even larger! Not everyone interested in basic level control and CV panning, wants to jam a mixing desk with busses and sends into their rack.

Such a utility is useful with any modules with multiple outputs and, as eurorack polyphony grows in popularity the need for this will be even greater...

Has anyone found themselves wondering about this? Am I missing something? Thoughts?
vailsy
I think an 8hp frames might do what you seek in the required size ..
Jumbuktu
vailsy wrote:
I think an 8hp frames might do what you seek in the required size ..


Frames doesn't do stereo.
Jumbuktu
There are plenty of 4hp cv controlled panners. Check out modulargrid.
williamcarthief
Well this is interesting. I just started a post about looking for a module that takes 4 ins to two outs for vc crossfading of stereo sources - a very similar endeavor to yours. I believe Quattro Figaro does what you're after in 10hp but for myself I'm concerned that its distortion tendency may be problematic.
DSC
I have had friends ask me similar style questions in which I usually reply "that is what got me started on my journey 'behind the panel'". Please whatever you do in this life do not be satisfied with the typical 'off the shelf' retail solution. Please strike out in your own direction, if necessary, to find and more importantly to try and possibly create your own solution...

...and then report back on what you find thumbs up
selfdestroyer
Wouldn't the Cold Mac fill this hole?
bedhed3000
williamcarthief wrote:
Well this is interesting. I just started a post about looking for a module that takes 4 ins to two outs for vc crossfading of stereo sources - a very similar endeavor to yours. I believe Quattro Figaro does what you're after in 10hp but for myself I'm concerned that its distortion tendency may be problematic.


I'm pretty sure you can only do panning on two stereo pairs with the Quattro Figaro (so, 2 inputs/4 outputs). However, it's a great VCA IMO. I'm able to keep the distortion under control by making sure the CV attenuators are at 50% or below. Sometimes the distortion actually sounds great depending on the sound source.
bedhed3000
double post
drewfx1
You need 8 VCA's with inverted CV's driving each pair to pan 4 channels. There are modules out there with 8 VCA's in 12 HP or less.

But they aren't going to make it with 4 CV ins only and then invert each one to feed the other 4 VCA's to hard wire it for quad panning because that limits the possibilities to panning alone or else wastes 4 of the 8 VCA's.
acidbob
Can the disting do it?
pieter
acidbob wrote:
Can the disting do it?


The Disting has only two inputs and one CV control in.

However, this definitely looks like something that could fit in 8hp. Two 2164 chips, a bunch of opamps to buffer the inputs, CV-controlled panning with attenuation controls on the CV, all DC coupled. That could be a very nice module indeed.
hawkfuzz
Cold Mac I believe.
mdoudoroff
Cold Mac is only going to pan two signals max. There’s also a question of pan law, no?

I’m a bit unclear on the premise, though: is this the end of the chain (in the rack), and the outputs are going to an outboard mixer or interface next?
pieter
what is pan law?
mdoudoroff
pieter wrote:
what is pan law?


See here?

https://www.muffwiggler.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=162150&postdays=0&po storder=asc&start=100&sid=5fdb10e2849f1967e8c8303783f5ac18
pieter
thumbs up
damase
In my experience you will almost always want an offset and attenuator for every pan cv input... makes this theoretical 6 hp module more like 12hp.

...Then you will also likely need level control, and possibly cv level so you will be adding another mixer or quad vca also(or come to the conclusion that these liberal hp panning mixers are actually quite smart and well designed)

If you just want a small panel with a bunch of jacks for cv inputs, rebel technologies makes a small matrix mixer that could possibly be used for that also
williamcarthief
bedhed3000 wrote:
williamcarthief wrote:
Well this is interesting. I just started a post about looking for a module that takes 4 ins to two outs for vc crossfading of stereo sources - a very similar endeavor to yours. I believe Quattro Figaro does what you're after in 10hp but for myself I'm concerned that its distortion tendency may be problematic.


I'm pretty sure you can only do panning on two stereo pairs with the Quattro Figaro (so, 2 inputs/4 outputs). However, it's a great VCA IMO. I'm able to keep the distortion under control by making sure the CV attenuators are at 50% or below. Sometimes the distortion actually sounds great depending on the sound source.


Staring at it more, I think you're right. I can see what the panning patch would be, but not the crossfading patch. For crossfading it has the four required vcas and the ability to invert cv's to two of the four, but I'd still need to run it's four individual outs into a stereo mixer to get crossfading.
pieter
damase wrote:
In my experience you will almost always want an offset and attenuator for every pan cv input... makes this theoretical 6 hp module more like 12hp.

...Then you will also likely need level control, and possibly cv level so you will be adding another mixer or quad vca also(or come to the conclusion that these liberal hp panning mixers are actually quite smart and well designed)

If you just want a small panel with a bunch of jacks for cv inputs, rebel technologies makes a small matrix mixer that could possibly be used for that also


Isn't the offset the same as the panning knob without cv? Level control is definitely feature creep into a full-on mixer. So basically you want four inputs, four CV inputs, and two outputs, with two pots per channel. I think that can be done in 8 hp. The tangle quartet has a similar number of features, and so does the Bubblesound VCA4p (swap out four jacks for mini pots). It may be a bit dense, but still perfectly usable.
damase
pieter wrote:
damase wrote:
In my experience you will almost always want an offset and attenuator for every pan cv input... makes this theoretical 6 hp module more like 12hp.

...Then you will also likely need level control, and possibly cv level so you will be adding another mixer or quad vca also(or come to the conclusion that these liberal hp panning mixers are actually quite smart and well designed)

If you just want a small panel with a bunch of jacks for cv inputs, rebel technologies makes a small matrix mixer that could possibly be used for that also


Isn't the offset the same as the panning knob without cv? Level control is definitely feature creep into a full-on mixer. So basically you want four inputs, four CV inputs, and two outputs, with two pots per channel. I think that can be done in 8 hp. The tangle quartet has a similar number of features, and so does the Bubblesound VCA4p (swap out four jacks for mini pots). It may be a bit dense, but still perfectly usable.


You can call it feature creep I guess. My point is that it’s basically necessity to have level control so you’ll be spending the hp one way or another. Playability(module space and layout) is also a concern for many
TheRosskonian
You are absolutely right about a gap. All the good modules are on the high end, HP wise.

The upcoming 4MS listen modules might fit what you are looking for. There is also the 2HP PAN, but there are no details on that one other than the name of it on the side of the cardboard box of other 2HP modules.
Videographics
Wow, thanks for all of your perspectives.

I have a Quattro Figaro that does SOME panning, but it would take two of them (20hp) to pan 4 inputs and it’s not designed as a panner so it doesn’t respect pan law.

Similarly, it would take 4 of the 4hp panning modules to pan 4 inputs, and you’d also need some unity gain mixing to pull them together. The size of this solution would be at least 20hp.

Cold Mac does all kinds of cool stuff but I’m pretty sure it can only pan one input, so 4 of them would take up over 30hp. The Tangle Quartet, Bubblesound VCA4p, and Rebel modules all lack CV panning. I can’t find any 4ms Listen modules with CV panning. ModularGrid doesn’t even show any prototype pan modules from 2hp.

So... you see my dilemma/concern...

The Quattro Figaro from Bastl seems like the most appropriate form factor. Simply replacing the inverted CV outs with CV panning inputs would do the trick. With smaller gain knobs (like on the Verbos Scan and Pan) there’d even be room to add hardware panning knobs.

I can also envision a 6hp ‘no knobs’ module with a form factor like the Frap Tools 333 that could handle 4 input channels each with in, out, cv level, and cv panning, plus two master outputs. The 333 shows there’d also be room for pan-law and/or gain switches and status leds. And, we’ve seen some designers cram that much into 4 or 5hp. So why is 14hp still the smallest thing we have to do this simple job?

Further thoughts?
batch
Rebel Technology Mix04 can do this. It’s either 8 or 10 HP.
starthief
batch wrote:
Rebel Technology Mix04 can do this. It’s either 8 or 10 HP.


That could be great with a 16n Faderbank.
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