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Author Topic: Modifying mixer's send/return for "insert"  (Read 2294 times)

Eric Wong!

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Modifying mixer's send/return for "insert"
« on: September 02, 2004, 05:16:43 pm »

Im at work right now so Im not infront of my mixer but Ill ask:  

Has anybody modified a mixer so that the send/return loop functions as a main insert instead? Mixer is  Stanton SMX501 DJ mixer.  

This mixer on each channel has a button to engage/disengage it from being sent thru the loop but the original signal still gets fed directly to the main outputs so the "return" stuff is just mixed in with the original material.  I like it to function that if I press the switch, it will send it thru the loop and not get "remixed" with the original signal.  

I would assume that if I can disconnect the "return" side from being fed into the mix but just piped directly to the mix (before the master volume pot) that would work...  help?
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Mac Kerr

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Re: Modifying mixer's send/return for "insert"
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2004, 05:42:36 pm »

Are you sure the original signal gets mixed back in? Most inserts will pass signal even with nothing plugged into the inserts no matter which position the switch is in. This is done with "normalling jacks". If you plug cables into the insert jacks, but do not hook them up to any outboard gear does signal still pass? I have never heard of a mixer wired as you describe.

Mac Kerr
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Eric Wong!

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Re: Modifying mixer's send/return for "insert"
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2004, 09:57:56 am »

Mac Kerr wrote on Thu, 02 September 2004 17:42

Are you sure the original signal gets mixed back in? Most inserts will pass signal even with nothing plugged into the inserts no matter which position the switch is in. This is done with "normalling jacks". If you plug cables into the insert jacks, but do not hook them up to any outboard gear does signal still pass? I have never heard of a mixer wired as you describe.

Mac Kerr



Yes the original signal gets mixed back in.  Think of the current send/return (it has seperate levels for both) as an pre fader aux send and aux return on a "normal" mixer.  

What I want to do is create a insert loop, thats before the master volume so I can use my expander.
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Modifying mixer's send/return for "insert"
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2004, 10:10:16 am »

Use an expander?  On a freaking disco rig?  After the recording engineer dutifully compressed the dynamic range out of the track at the insistence of the producer or artist?

Not that any of that is important, but I think you could find a way to better invest your money.

This reminds me of a story from about 20 years ago...  Hotel nightclub has dance system installed, DJ boy can't seem to keep from running offensively loud and blowing speakers, so hotel has installers come back and install hidden dbx 160s.  A couple of weeks later, DJ boy calls the installers and wants to buy an expander (a dbx 3bx IIRC) to hook up to the mixer outs because "something is sucking the volume out of the system."

I guess my post is here because after 20 years, I still don't understand what DJs hope to accomplish with expanders....

Tim "posting before coffee" Mc
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Mac Kerr

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Need coffee
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2004, 10:36:17 am »

Tim McCulloch wrote on Fri, 03 September 2004 10:10


snip
Tim "posting before coffee" Mc
Thanks for the reminder, I haven't had any coffee yet today either.  Laughing

Mac
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Eric Wong!

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Re: Modifying mixer's send/return for "insert"
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2004, 01:02:51 pm »

Tim McCulloch wrote on Fri, 03 September 2004 10:10

Use an expander?  On a freaking disco rig?  After the recording engineer dutifully compressed the dynamic range out of the track at the insistence of the producer or artist?

Not that any of that is important, but I think you could find a way to better invest your money.

This reminds me of a story from about 20 years ago...  Hotel nightclub has dance system installed, DJ boy can't seem to keep from running offensively loud and blowing speakers, so hotel has installers come back and install hidden dbx 160s.  A couple of weeks later, DJ boy calls the installers and wants to buy an expander (a dbx 3bx IIRC) to hook up to the mixer outs because "something is sucking the volume out of the system."

I guess my post is here because after 20 years, I still don't understand what DJs hope to accomplish with expanders....

Tim "posting before coffee" Mc


I knew where this was going so I purposely left out what I was using it for.  Anywho, I'm as into SR as I am into DJ, so I'm not the stereotypical "clueless DJ who pumps away and runs everything in the red."  I think I'm the only DJ I know who actually RTA's around the room and dance floor and EQ's cause I care about the way my system sounds.  On the expander use mostly the "impact restoration" circuit.  I think prerecorded music in general sux and although this circuit is "artificial" especially with dance music it really improves the punch, especially on some of the poorly recorded songs. My system has more then enough headroom for most of the venues (mostly smaller/medium) I play in, so overplaying the system has never been a concern.  

As for money, I already have the expander that was from my home stereo rig so thats no concern.  Even has the rack ears haha.  I opened up the mixer and had a look and it looks like I can modify some of the wires inside.  I've built many electronics projects before and while I dont make a living doing it I have a pretty good understanding of things though ive never done a mixer.  If so, that will be no money involved other then my time.  Anyway Im not going to explain myself anyfurther, I guess nobody else has modified a mixer before?
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Modifying mixer's send/return for "insert"
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2004, 01:35:08 pm »

Eric-

I'm glad to see you aren't "DJ Clipp."  You probably don't have much company amongst the "in" DJ crowd... Wink

If you're certain that you can get the results you want, then go for it.  As to the mixer mods, you'll probably need to talk to the manufacturer or a service tech.  Is there a reason you can't put the expander in the drive chain?

Just wonderin'

Tim Mc

p.s. your comment about pre-recorded music sucking... well, yeah.  It's all about how much 50hZ plays in the car, compressed so there is no range.  I did a rap show a few months back where the artist's DAT tape hit the meters at 100% and stayed there for the duration of each track.  I don't wonder why you dislike this....
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Eric Wong!

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Re: Modifying mixer's send/return for "insert"
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2004, 02:10:17 pm »

Tim McCulloch wrote on Fri, 03 September 2004 13:35

Eric-

I'm glad to see you aren't "DJ Clipp."  You probably don't have much company amongst the "in" DJ crowd... Wink

If you're certain that you can get the results you want, then go for it.  As to the mixer mods, you'll probably need to talk to the manufacturer or a service tech.  Is there a reason you can't put the expander in the drive chain?

Just wonderin'

Tim Mc

p.s. your comment about pre-recorded music sucking... well, yeah.  It's all about how much 50hZ plays in the car, compressed so there is no range.  I did a rap show a few months back where the artist's DAT tape hit the meters at 100% and stayed there for the duration of each track.  I don't wonder why you dislike this....


Hi, I guess you got your coffee?  Hehe, sorry if my last post sounded harsh I just wanted to explain myself.  

Anyhow, I can put the expander between the CD player and the mixer, however that will only expand one of the CD players.  I'd rather modify the mixer so it can be used as a "main insert" so I can expand the entire signal then just one of the tracks.  I also may do turntables but I havent decided as its a considerable investment to start an entire new format and style.  

Otherwise I would never use the expander in a live sound situation, and no wonder theres really no expanders out on the PA market either.  

Yeah regarding compression, soooo many commercially recorded songs are so compressed even on CD.  Its horrible.  Its even WORSE when its on the FM radio!  The meters DONT MOVE!  
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