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Analog Matrix-mixer with MIDI remote Audio Volume Control/mute
Analog Matrix-mixer with MIDI remote Audio Volume Control/mute
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Old 14th November 2015, 09:59 AM   #1
Mix44 is offline Mix44  France
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Question Analog Matrix-mixer with MIDI remote Audio Volume Control/mute

Hello,
i'm a performance musician, using analog synths and other sound generators. My actual project include an art installation, with acoustic experience. I know more or less electronic principles and analog audio paths, sufficient enough to make my previous stages.
But today, i've been joining this forum because i must admit, i don't have the sufficient knowledge... and i must learn about it. That's why we have web-forum, i suppose

I hope i can get some feedbacks and tips here, that will help me to go in the right direction.
So i will try my best to use the right words and to provide enough elements to help you to understand properly what i trying to achieve, and i know by experience, that recquiers some efforts from my side. So, here we go...

The Problem:
i have 2 analog mono audio sources coming in Jack 6.3 plugs, at line levels (2 synths)
i want to distribute simultanemously each lines to 3 rooms with independant volume controls (matrix 2x3)
easy ?, everybody call it a "matrix-mixer" and i have one at home !
But then:
all volume controls must be adjuted/controlled via pots and/or external MIDI devices generating CC ! that's the trick !
Yes, i want to use a MIDI sequencer to send "volume automation patterns"
But the worst, is that i want to keeep analog path all along...if possible !? by not using AD/DA converter or sound card.

My learning curve:
i've been asking google for nights and days...even months, readings blogs and tutorials on this subject.
I've been diving in this forum (thanks DiyAudio !), and found intersting posts like those ones :
cs3318 and arduino
Digital/analog volume control experience
...
I've been also asking electronic shops, sending emails and receiving pleasant replies but not accurate vision.
I've learnt about Arduino packages and PIC programming (i'm a programmer by my work)

i've learnt about CS3318, a High-Performance 8-Channel Analog Volume Control
https://www.cirrus.com/en/products/cs3308-18.html

I've learnt about LM1971, a Digitally Controlled 62 dB Audio Attenuator with/Mute
LM1971 | Volume Control | Audio | Description & parametrics

I've learnt about PGA4311, a 4-Channel, +/-5V Audio Volume Control
PGA4311 | Volume Control | Audio | Description & parametrics

Well, i made a tour of what is existing on the market, but none of this kind of project really exist.
I was expecting someone, somewhere who were already made a similar device... without success.
And finally, my straight questions...

Question 1:
Can i really control digitally analog signals without conversion using one of the solutions previously proposed ?
in this case, 6 volume controls (3 output gain/input), but i'm thinking about more inputs/outputs.

Question 2:
To not loosing my analog signal qualities, should i have to add Amps at some point ? and what kind of qualities i must search for ?

Question 3:
Is Arduino a good plateform to do this kind of project, using CS3318, LM1971 or PGA4311 ?
If not, is there a better dev-borad for this kind of project... especially if i want to upgrade the device later with more inputs.

thank you for reading and if you have any suggestions, ideas or knowledges about this, please, share it
u.d

Last edited by Mix44; 14th November 2015 at 10:11 AM.
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Old 14th November 2015, 01:33 PM   #2
Mix44 is offline Mix44  France
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Old 18th November 2015, 12:45 PM   #3
rsavas is offline rsavas  Canada
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Sounds like you need a custom designed solution. Anyone of the chips that you mentioned could do the task.
Sure Arduino could be used, or any mcu for that matter but it is all custom hardware & software, that you need to write for your application.
I did some experiments awhile back using a atmel xmega, sparkfun xmega128a1 breakout board, a TI pga2311 and some Bourns encoders, 4x40 lcd display. I wrote the code in MCS BASCOM-AVR. i can share that with you if it helps. Send me a PM if you want this code and design. The design evovled to me designing a portable radio/media player/stereo unit.

Last edited by rsavas; 18th November 2015 at 12:53 PM.
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Old 19th November 2015, 02:34 PM   #4
Mix44 is offline Mix44  France
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Hi Rsavas, thanks for the tips and your support
i'll use the PGA to control the volume/mute of each line
But right now, i'm focusing on the power mode and limits, and this is still unclear.
i explain:

Some recent tests are showing me that using a microchip to define the volume control values is no problem at all, but my config needs more mix-points !

So, the final unit will have 16 control-points in total, if i'm right, i will need 16 pga (80€), but it needs to get power, and i'm not sure an xmega/atmega is suffricient for that purpose, can you confirm ?
In this case is the solution mentioned earlier is still adapted ?
thanks for reading
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Old 19th November 2015, 04:25 PM   #5
jazbo8 is offline jazbo8
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How about Sound Sculpture Volcano?
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Old 21st November 2015, 09:01 PM   #6
rsavas is offline rsavas  Canada
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Not sure what you mean by power.
Not sure what you want the xmega to do? it is faster than a atmega328, as it can run at 32MHz.
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Old 22nd November 2015, 02:49 PM   #7
Mix44 is offline Mix44  France
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a tiny update, focusing on board design and enclosure.
this version has 4in and 4 out, and my choice was to use 4x PGA4311, a 4-Channel, +/-5V Audio Volume Control PGA4311 | Volume Control | Audio | Description & parametrics

if i still have a question today, it is the choice between 2 microcontrollers, Atmega OR PIC16/32 ?
remember that it must "drive in real time" the 4 PGA at the same time...
any suggestions or experiences about multiple PGAs ?
 

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