Mixer with switchable delay effect

I want to build a mixer with the option to switch each channel through a delay circuit to a final mixed output with the unswitched (clean, no delay) channels. This way any channel of the 12 total can be either clean or with delay. This is what I’ve come up with so far:

I plan to have attenuator pots at each channel 1-12 input as well. Will it work? Does it make sense?


Do I just use this circuit with 12 true bypass switches as the inputs?

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In your first diagram I don’t see the point of having separate input buffers for the two signal paths, and you also don’t need a mixer for the delayed and un-delayed signals before the final mixing stage. Especially since you’re not really mixing delayed and un-delayed signals because only one is active.

(OK, if the delay circuit otherwise has very low input impedance you might need separate input buffers.)

As I understand it the whole “true bypass” thing isn’t really relevant for synth signals. A simple DPST switch works.

So I would think you could just:

  • Buffer the input signal with a unity gain inverting amplifier.
  • Send buffer output on one side to DPST switch, other side to delay and output of delay to DPST switch.
  • Common contact of DPST switch to 12-input mixing stage (inverting).

I would also advise using 10k resistors rather than 100k for any amplifier stages not directly connected to an input. You need 100k on input stages because you need that input impedance, but for stages downstream 10k is fine and will result in a lower noise floor.

I’m having a hard time visualizing this. I just don’t understand enough of the engineering terminology. I’d like to use any of your suggestions, though, because they are always helpful. I’d like to have the best design I personally can build for myself. If you have time and feel inclined to help with a schematic it will definitely be appreciated and studied and (hopefully) built with your name burned into the frame… :grimacing:

Simplified (like you’d want 100k pots as attenuators before the 100k input resistors) but…

So I’d need a separate buffer for each input?

12 inputs, 12 buffers.

(I guess if there’s a non inverting buffer at the input to the delay section, there doesn’t need to be another buffer. The un-delayed input could go directly to the switch; but in that case the 10k resistors in the final mixer would need to be 100k, and you’d want a second inverting stage after the mixer.)

I think that is the line of thinking I was using in the first diagram I posted. The simple mixer

With the first inverting buffer (12 inputs) being used as either side of the switch in my hand drawn diagram and both being mixed again by the second inverting buffer as the output. I was literally going to duplicate this delay circuit as the delay part of my diagram

After seeing them side by side I realized I had some redundancies. Maybe I just wire the inputs from both circuits on either side of the switches. One side to the first inverting buffer in the delay circuit at the input, and the other side to the first part of the simple mixer leaving out it’s final inverting buffer then sending it into the final inverted buffer of the delay circuit…

The idea is definitely to be able to switch the delay on or off for any or all 12 of the inputs and have all mixed in the end.

In this case, what you really need is to design a mixer that has a FX send/return for each channel. No need to incorporate the delay circuit in the mixer. This way you can keep it open and patch any effect(s) in the FX loop.

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Send and return fx loops are useful in a mixer but so is the insert loop. Inserts in mixers allow you to use a Y cable (2 mono jacks wired to one single stereo jack) The input signal is interrupted and sent out through one ‘leg’ of the Y cable, through an effect and then back in to the mixers input. Having the “option” to patch in an additional insert to a mixer or patchbay is useful. (plus 20 character obvious reasons why)


In this case, a simple matrix mixer would be most appropriate.

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I don’t see send/receive as a useful way to solve the problem. What they asked for was 12 channels each with its own switchable delay. That would allow each channel to have its own delay parameters. It’s unlikely they already have 12 external delay channels, so they’d need to build them, and building them into the mixer would make sense, if it’s unlikely they’d be using them independently of the mixer.

If they actually wanted the same delay parameters for all delayed channels, they’d need only one external delay. But they’d need a way to take the, say, 7 channels they’ve selected and mix them into the delay before mixing the delay into the 5 undelayed channels. Pretty much they would need two 12-channel mixers.

Or one 13-channel mixer with two outputs and switches to send each channel to one or the other (or both?). Then 7 channels could be switched to one output, it could go into a delay, and then the delay output could be mixed with the other 5 channels.

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Two 12 channel mixers is what it will most likely be. That is essentially the idea I have on paper, anyway. One 12 channel mix going into the delay, one 12 channel mix clean, and both mixed for the final output.
See that unused pin on the mute switch? Instead of a mute or open circuit the signal is sent through an identical mixer circuit to the delay. I will move the attenuator pots to the other side of the switches. I just need to put it on breadboard and figure out how to make it work. When I get my 100 switches from China ($25 :grin:) I will give it a trial run. This will be one of the main features for my next project which will be a base for my big rack. Another feature will be a Baby16 of Moritz Klein design with 2 gate outs as well as cv.

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Be careful not to heat then up too much when soldering, I have destroyed a few cheap switches from China this way.

Two 12 input mixers is essentially a 12 input mono mixer with an effects bus, as would be found in professional mixers. Pro mixers often have multiple effects buses plus EQ and such for each input channel, but that could turn into a monumentally epic project, it has been done though. :crazy_face:

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I’m aquatinted with these cheap switches. I’ve definitely melted a couple in the past. Yeah, I’m definitely not going monumental with this one. Ive already considered how out of hand this effect thing could get if I don’t stop with the delay. I’m just looking for ways to use 100 switches now. :robot::joy: I am gonna put a patchable distortion effect on the panel, though. I don’t currently have any fuzz or distortion effects anywhere on my rack.

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