Summing Mixer Setup – Documentation – Additional Options – Components

Analog Studio Mixer Docs Schemaitc Wiring Diagram Monitor Controller Layout Design Example Blueprint




Connection – Stereo Balanced Studio Standard Connectors

There is NO Signal Quality difference between TRS, DSUB, and XLR.

All three types conduct 3 signals in balanced mode:
  • POSITIVE (+)
  • NEGATIVE (-)
  • GROUND
Connecrion type:
  • D-Sub DB25 Tascam Standard Analog Balanced
  • TRS 1/4″ balanced: Tip=hot (+), Ring=cold (-), Sleeve=GND
  • XLR balanced: 1=GND, 2=hot (+), 3=cold (-)
DSUB – DB25 Tascam Analog Standard
Make sure you’re using Analog DB-25 – NOT (AES/EBU digital)! AES/EBU pinout scheme follows the analog one closely.

The original AES/EBU pinout was indeed based on the analog pinout, but it uses the first four balanced lines for AES/EBU in and the last four balanced lines for AES/EBU out. Always use a compatible cable with the standard Analog Tascam. Download Tascam pinouts pdf


Setup Configuration with Example and Visuals

The following images show diverse possibilities of custom builds. You can actively participate in the planning, essentially designing it yourself, or ask for my help to create the best unique custom studio gear for you.


Input Channel Count and type

  • 1U Rack:
  • DSUB: up to 40-48 ch input
  • TRS: up to 32 ch input
  • XLR: 8 ch input
  • 2U Rack:
  • DSUB: up to 96 ch input
  • TRS: up to 64 ch input
  • XLR: up to 16 ch input
  • 3U Rack:
  • DSUB: up to 128 ch input
  • TRS: up to 96 ch input
  • XLR: up to 32 ch input

Output channel Count and Type

  • 1U Rack:
  • DSUB: Up to 16 channels out (8 stereo) or ask for custom pinout
  • TRS: Up to 8 channels out (4 stereo)
  • XLR: Up to 6 channels out (3 stereo)
  • In the case of a 16-channel input through DSUB input.

The recommended output count is 4 ch / 2 x Stereo: Main Rec | Monitor. This allows real-time monitoring of the master output.


Master Active Passive – Dual Solid State Switch

What’s the 2-in-1 (two-in-one) Active Passive Switch?

It is a uniquely designed feature by VintageMaker. It’s like having two different types of summing mixers in one box.

  • Passive = Non-Powered
  • Active = Powered
  • Active/Passive 2in1= Both Powered/Non-Powered
  • *pros: different sound color character
master active passive 2in1 youtube

Possible combinations – variations for different sound color and character.

  • Passive: External Preamps (your preamps)
  • Active 1: Internal Transformer Amp (Neumann – Filtek – Lawo)
  • Active 2: Combined – Internal Transformer Amp + Your DAW or External Preamps
  • Benefits: Different amps = Different sound color and character.

FAQ – Why Two switches instead of One?
  • Simply because it’s hard to find durable and high-quality solid-state switch that can handle 24 signals at once in terms of cost-effectiveness.
  • To handle 24 signals we need 2 X 12 pin Stereo switches (see videos you can easy switch 2xSW at once)
  • The dual switch keeps the dual balanced stereo signal flow clean and isolated from input to output.
  • If you only need one switch, check the ‘Power ON Activated – Relay’ option. (see bellow)

Master Active Passive – One Switch Relay

  • Active mode: POWER ON
  • Passive mode: POWER OFF
  • Power-On Voltage-Controlled Relay Circuit

Mono Input Conversion Switch

  • Why Mono Switch?
  • Simply because it gives you the Big Analog Console like Mono Sounding!
  • Ultra-Precise Center Placed Mono: Provides extra stable, real analog mono base on Kick, Bass, Main Vox, and Snare.
  • Separation for Stereos: Offers superior separation and 3D depth for the rest of your Stereo Instruments.
  • Save channels: You don’t have to waste precious analog channels in your DAW by using two channels (L/R) for a mono instrument.

Important: The Mono Input Conversion switch is for Mono, Single-channel instruments like Mono kick / bass – NOT FOR STEREO L/R – TWO Channel Instruments.
*there’s another switch called the Master Stereo To Mono switch, which is for Mix – Mono Compatibility Test

stereo to mono stm youtube extended tutorial
Principles: The summing mixer has TWO separate, independent sides:
  • LEFT SIDE: Left input goes to theLeft output.
  • RIGHT SIDE: Right input goes to the Right output.
  • Additional inputs follow a similar pattern for a comprehensive stereo mix.
  • STEREO – Stereo Instruments – regularly – Panning From DAW
analog studio mixer signal flow diagram datasheet

Mono instruments: in the DAW sequencer (Steinberg cubase, pro tools, flstudio, reaper, logic pro, Ableton etc.) should place the kick hard left, the bass hard on the right, and so on. 

Stereo instruments: Connect the summing mixer according to the analog outputs of the DAW; If you don’t use mono channels in your mix, simply turn down all the mono switches, and you’ll have a fully stereo analog summing mixer with panning control available from the DAW. 


1x MONO – Per Channel Switches

  • Each Input Channel has its own Hard pan Left / Hard Pan Right Input – To Center – Mono Switch
  • Convert “SEPARATELY” choosing L or R input (Hard Panned Left / OR / Hard Panned Right) input signals to become Center placed – or leave hard panned L / or / R (see benefits and example below in blue).
  • By the Per Channel Mono Switch you can choose to convert ‘SEPARATELY’ by selecting either the hard-panned Left or hard-panned Right input signals to the center position, or you can leave them as hard-panned L or R (stereo).

1x STEREO (2 In) TO 2 MONO – STM Switch

STM Switch turns L/R inputs ‘COMBINED’ (two hard-panned L/R inputs) into an absolutely centered mono signal (1 x stereo to 2 mono). For example, ‘SNARE’ on channel 1 (left), ‘KICK’ on channel 2 (right).


Master Out Mono Mix Switch

Mono Mix Compatibility Test switch

Sometimes just because a mix sounds good in stereo doesn’t mean it will sound good when the left and right channels are combined into a mono signal. In some cases, you may hear what is known as comb-filtering, which will color the sound of your mix and cause peaks and dips in its frequency response. In some cases, instruments may lose their integrity or even seem to completely disappear from the mix

  • Placed before Inserts or Master Outputs
  • Checking your mix for Mono compatibility as you go is a good preventative measure

Phase Invert – InvR – switch

Phase InvR – Invert Right side of the stereo signal

First, what is phase inversion?

Inverting a wave’s phase means swapping the location of its peaks and troughs. This creates cancellation when peaks of one wave coincide with the troughs of the other wave. Phase inversion is a subtle, yet versatile music production tool capable of many distinguished feats.


Phase Invert R + Master Mono mode

Reversing the phase of the right channel and mono-ing it with the left and sending the result to both speakers is particularly useful for assessing the width content of your mix and distortion characteristic by effectively replacing the ‘centre image’ with the out-of-phase information.


Passive Mode Insert

Passive Mode has its own dedicated insert. (see Master Active/Passive section)

This function allows you to insert any external preamp into the signal chain in Passive Mode before the Master Insert (for example, an external Tube amp or other color amp). With the Active/Passive switches, you can instantly switch between the internal amp (Neumann, Filtek/Lawo) and your external preamps.

This gives you a lot of freedom to bring various external transformer or tube amp sounds into the recording chain, allowing you to combine the effects of different processors in the sound of your mixes.


Master Insert Send Return Switch

Allows you to INSERT SEND or BYPASS the master stereo L/R signal to external processors like EQ, Comp, Limiter, and then RETURN it to the master out (print/record).

  • Allows switching between processed and unprocessed signals for comparison purposes.
  • Master SND/RET is placed before the master out.
  • 100% of the signal is routed to SEND.
  • 1st Switch: enables sending to external (routes the master to SND).
  • 2nd Switch: enables the return from external (routes the return to the master out)
FAQ – Why Two switches instead of One?
  • Simply because it’s hard to find a solid-state switch that can handle 24 signals at once in terms of cost-effectiveness.
  • To handle 24 signals we need 2 X 12 pin Stereo switches (see videos you can easy switch 2xSW at once)
  • The dual switch keeps the dual balanced stereo signal flow clean and isolated from input to output.
  • If you only need one switch, check the ‘Power ON Activated – Relay’ option. (see bellow)

Multi Master Insert Send Return chain

Multiple SEND/RETURN = Freely Choose – exclude or include – INSERT or BYPASS (either one or more) external gear in the chain.

multi master insert youtube

Insert Swap Sequence Order Switch

FLIP OR SWAP – ACTIVATE OR BYPASS – YOUR ANALOG PATCHES INSTANTLY
The order of the outboards can be swapped in any other variation (let me know)

  • AB / or BA
  • BC / or CB
  • CD / or DC

Channel Insert Send Return

  • The input signal is always present on the corresponding send out (stereo channel)
  • The Return bypass switch enables or disables the return function:
  • Bypass switch OFF (switch down): Input → Sum Bus → Master out (regular summing operation)
  • Bypass switch ON (switch up): Input → Send → External Process → Return → Sum Bus → Master out
  • The Mono switch converts the processed signal to mono after it returns.

Auto TRS – Master Insert – Send – Return

Automatically switches audio channels to SEND out when the jack plug is inserted.

Operation:
  • TRS JACK PLUGGED IN = SEND ACTIVE
  • TRS JACK UNPLUGGED = NO SEND = Signal next to Master outputs

Master Insert Send AUTO TRS: no front-side switch; the TRS SEND connector female-jack has an inside routing switch – (check the listing image). When an external unit is connected, SEND becomes active; if empty, the signal goes to the RETURN and Master outputs. The RETURN serves as an additional output when the Send is empty.

AUTO INSERT TRS CONNECTOR OPERATION
  • AUTO INSERT SEND TRS ACTIVE :If an external device is connected to SEND, the built-in switch in the TRS female connector sends the signal to the external device.
  • AUTO INSERT SEND TRS INACTIVE: If nothing is connected to SEND, the built-in switch in the TRS connector sends the signal next to the Return and Main/Monitor
Key Points:
  • The signal remains uninterrupted if nothing is connected to SEND.
  • When the plug is inserted, the internal switch activates insertion detection
Operation Continuation:
  • The signal remains uninterrupted if nothing is connected to SEND.
  • As soon as you connect any audio signal to the SEND OUTPUTS, the main signal (before master outputs) gets interrupted. It is then processed through an external device and is brought back to the summing mixer via the RETURN INPUTS, whether it is an INSERT or a SEND FX.
  • The amount of SEND FX signal (like the amount of reverb) then depends on the DRY/WET signal of the SEND FX device.

Auto TRS Multi Bus Insert Send Return – combined with bypass master insert


MultiBus SubGroup MixBus

Sub Group summing for Multi–Bus Compression technique. Fixed sub-mixers (Group SUM ABCD) with dedicated inputs; each sub-mixer (slave sum) group comes with individual send/return for external processing, then returns to the Master SUM for final analog summing.


Expansion – Expander AUX input

Linking another (second slave) Passive or Active summing unit or Line Input


DIR (direct) Input to Output switch

DIR (direct) Input to Output or Input to Mixer switch: Direct Monitoring – Input to Output – Monitor switch. You don’t have to unplug your interface monitor in everyday work; you can keep it connected at all times to the summing mixer.

  • Down Position: corresponds to the regular summing mixer input (analog mixing)
  • Up Position: directs the signal straight to the Master Outputs without any reduction in signal volume, as it is sent to the input.
  • Important:
  • Power off the internal amp to avoid speaker damage!
  • Set Summing to Passive mode (if active).
  • When in Active mode (first time use), operate with low-level DAW signals!
  • Configure DAW monitor outputs for either Instrument output or Main Mix monitor outputs—refer to your DAW Mixer routing settings.

DIR (direct) Input + Bypass Summing Switch

Direct Input switch + Bypass Summing Switch (2xSwithes)

Don’t hassle with unplugging DAW Main Outputs during everyday work

  • Keep only DAW Main Outputs active and mute the rest inputs.
  • Down Position: Corresponds to the regular summing mixer input (analog mixing). DIR+BYP is inactive.
  • Up Position: Mute all inputs, allowing only DAW Main Outputs (1/2 or other) to go straight to the Master Outputs without any reduction in signal volume, as it is sent from the DAW Main Outputs.

  • DIR+OUT/BYP DOWN POSITION = REGULAR SUMMING INPUT
    DIR+OUT/BYP UPPER POSITION = STRAIGHT TO OUT (NO REDUCTION)
    *All other summing inputs BYPASSED – MUTED
  • Switch 1: Route the desired stereo input to Master out
    Switch 2: Mute/Bypass and exclude the other summing inputs
    You can freely select any channel 1/2, 7/8, 14/15, and so on…
  • Important note! Power off the internal amp to avoid speaker damage!
    Set Summing to Passive mode (if it is active).
    In Active mode (first time use), operate with low-level DAW signals!

Example:

  • Main Out L/R = DAW Monitor Out
  • 1/2, 3/4, 5/6, 7/8 = DAW Line Outputs

Scenario 1: Use all 10 outputs for analog summing purposes. You can configure Main Out (DAW Monitor Out) to be assigned to a stereo track from the DAW mix (please test it out). Adding the remaining 8 outputs results in a total of 10 analog outs from the DAW. When the DIR+Bypass switches are in the down position, regular summing operation occurs, and all 10 inputs go to the summing circuit. The main rule is that the more analog channels, the higher the analog resolution.

Scenario 2: When the DIR+Bypass switches are in the up position, only the Main Out L/R (DAW Monitor Out) goes straight to the main outputs, and the remaining 8 inputs are muted. Mute all inputs, allowing only DAW Main Out L/R to go directly to the Master Outputs without any reduction in signal volume, as it is sent from the DAW to the summing input. In everyday work, there’s no need to unplug your interface monitor (out); you can keep it connected at all times to the summing mixer.


Direct Output (Input copy)


Master Out – ON/OFF – (MUTE)

By this option you can enable (ON) or disable (OFF) Mute master outputs

  • Master Out A (on/off) – MUTE
  • Master Out B (on/off) – MUTE
  • Master Out C (on/off) – MUTE

SELECT I/O Routing – switch


Variable Headroom Gain Switch

The Variable Headroom Gain Switch offers a broad range of gain and volume settings suitable for various applications and gain stages.

Variable Headroom Gain Switch: It provides a wide gain-volume range for different applications, offers gain stages between various microphone preamps or DAW interface inputs, and accommodates various source inputs, such as synthesizers or DAWs. Placed after passive SUM BUS (passive mixer) determines main out (total) gain reduction – for different (pre amps) applications – gain stage – volume range. With different gain reductions determine what sounds better for your mix

  • 1. Whether it’s with fewer input signals and more amplification. 
  • 2. Or the other way around, with more signals and less amplification. 
  • Benefits: You can overdrive the summing inputs with different gains to achieve more saturation and warm harmonics. 

Available 2-position switch values (select yours)

  • -6dB/-16dB
  • -10dB/-20dB
  • -15dB/-25dB
  • -20dB/-30dB
  • -25dB/-35dB

TRANSFORMER TYPES: NEUMANN – FILTEK – LAWO

Please note: All Vintage Transformer Amps are Transparent and Clean.

BUILT-IN TRANSFORMERS IN SUMMING MIXERS COME MODIFIED FOR FULL TRANSPARENT OPERATION, SERVICED, RECAPPED, TESTED, AND CALIBRATED!

The difference is in the added harmonic content and performance.

  • Neumann V457: Two Haufe Output transformers: Positioned as an entry-level option, it features relatively good harmonic content and effective noise isolation. Capable of handling up to 16 channel inputs.
  • Lawo DV975: Equipped with Four 2-in 2-out Pikatron Transformers, it imparts an SSL-like sound, showcasing solid harmonic content and effective noise isolation. Capable of accommodating up to 64 channel inputs.
  • Filtek DV1175: Outfitted with Four 2-in 2-out Haufe Transformers, it provides good harmonic content and effective noise isolation. Additionally, it comes equipped with Neumann-Haufe Transformers (called Neumann-Follower) Capable of handling up to 80 channel inputs.
  • Neumann 2C: Four 2-in 2-out Haufe Transformers, it offers huge harmonic content and excellent Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR). Capable of accommodating up to 96 channel inputs.
  • Neumann 2B: Four 2-in 2-out Haufe Transformers, it delivers extra huge harmonic content along with excellent noise isolation and SNR, making it a rare and legendary option. Capable of handling up to 128 channel inputs.

  • Please Note
  • NO COMPROMISE ALL-STYLE PURPOSE AUDIO TRANSFORMERS
  • GENUINE NOS TRANSFORMER AMP FROM LARGE VINTAGE GERMAN MASTERING CONSOLE
  • MODIFIED FOR FULL TRANSPARENT OPERATION, SERVICED, RECAPPED, TESTED, AND CALIBRATED

Audio demo comparison test ITB vs OTB digital vs analoque see more….


21-Step Precision gain control – Neumann

  • Number of steps: 21
  • Gold-plated signal path
  • Extremely short signal path
  • Channel matching: +/-0.1 dB
  • Polished ‘S’ shape wiper and contact pins

FAQ: Why are there 2 (L/R) pots on Neumann?
  • Simply because Neumann is a dual stereo amp (2x Stereo amplifiers).
  • The Neumann 2C/2B electronic circuit requires 2 x stereo potentiometers per side.
  • It’s easy to set both the Left and Right side gains equally with 2 x 21-step precision potentiometers.

21-Step Precision Vol control – Monitor Controller

Precision attenuator Effective work range -6dB to -50dB
The first five steps experience dissipation due to the nature of the passive attenuator physics.


21-Step Precision Vol control – Passive Summing Out

  • Attenuator (+) – 0 to -25dB divided into 21 steps.
  • Example: Summing Base reduction of -10dB (+) -20dB attenuator range.
  • The adjustable range can be fine-tuned from -20 to -30dB using the attenuator.

21-Step Precision Vol control – Mono Input


Knob Style and Color

  • Vintage-style White “chicken head” knob
  • Vintage-style Black “chicken head” knob
  • Vintage-style Silver “chicken head” knob
  • Vintage-style Bronze “chicken head” knob
  • Round Black – solid aluminum-shaped knob

Built-In Integrated Monitor Control Inside the Summing Mixer


Multi-bus – Matrix – Summing Mixer

ABCD BUS matrix switch for MULTI-BUSS compression/external routing processes. (Limited availability)

STEREO TO MONO conversion switch available only after RETURN / before /signal enter to master summing network *Mono CHANNEL conversion available on fixed group multibus only

 Separate instruments into different categories that will allow freedom of movement. (source MICHAEL BRAUER PRODUCTIONS)

  • A – Instruments that are in the upper midrange of a song, such as vocals or keyboards, synths, percussion. Bring up the vocal a lot and it will only effect the instruments assigned to A Choose instruments for a buss that will compliment each other.
  • B – Instruments that anchor the song such as drums, bass, maybe cello, congas. Adding more bass or kick will only have an effect on the other instruments assigned to B. Choose instruments that will compliment each other.
  • C – Instruments that create transient midrange power and will have a lot of rides, such as guitars.
  • D – Instruments that need the warmth of tube and are not played staccato. To be used in combination with other categories for glue factor. 

Block Diagram


PSU – Worldwide – 110V-to 240V – External Power Supply

Neumann, Lawo, and Filtek transformer summing amps are equipped with an INTERNAL voltage regulator-filter and stabilizer circuit. The provided compact external power supply, a Switching PSU, ensures a stable 18 – 24VDC, eliminating the need for an additional one. Please do not use a foreign PSU!

The power supply comes with an EU plug. Buy a cheap EU to US/UK/AU travel plug adaptor at your local store!

PSU Details:
  • Input: 110-240VAC
  • Output: 18-24VDC, 0.6-1.5A (worldwide)
  • Plug Type: EU plug

Box Sizes

  • 1U 19-Inch Rack, Passive, DEPTH: 110mm (4.33 inches)
  • 1U 19-Inch Rack, Active, DEPTH: 180mm (7.09 inches)
  • 2U 19-Inch Rack, Passive, DEPTH: 180mm (7.09 inches)
  • 2U 19-Inch Rack, Active, DEPTH: 180mm (7.09 inches)

Specs

  • Max Input Level > +26dBu
  • THD+N < 0.005% • IMD < 0.005% Frequency Response: Flat within 0.1dB from 10Hz -30kHz Crosstalk rejection: > 98dBu @ 1KHz
  • Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR): -110dB
  • Noise at Unity Gain: 20Hz to 20KHz: < -89dBu
  • Noise at Nominal Mix: 20Hz to 20KHz: < -92dBu
  • Input Impedance: 600 Ohms – 25K Ohms Balanced
  • Output Impedance: 40 Ohms -1K ohms Balanced
  • Frequency Response: Flat within 0.1dB from 10Hz -30kHz
  • Sum Bus Input Reduction: -6dB -10dB -15dB / -20dB / -25dB (customizable)
  • Variable Switch Reduction: -6dB -10dB -15dB / -20dB / -25dB (customizable)