23 thoughts on “Input / Output Mixers

  • 10/15/2017 at 15:08
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    Could I reopen this discussion in respect of the balanced or unbalanced outputs?

    I’ve recently purchased some Adam A7x speakers which have both balanced and unbalanced inputs. I’m currently using unbalanced cables from OAX600 line output 1 to the speakers, but wondered whether it would be worth obtaining some balanced cables. However it’s still unclear to me whether or not the Sonic line outs are balanced. Did anyone find a definitive answer to this?

    Looking at the spec of the Vocalis speakers, which I understand were designed to match the Sonic, they have balanced inputs, so one could assume that the sonic has balanced outputs.

    However just to confuse things even more, the cables which run from the line out to the floor level sockets are only 2 Wire unbalanced.

    All very confusing!

    Reply
    • 10/15/2017 at 16:22
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      Hi Geoff,

      I am using unbalanced cables from my Sonic to the Adam’s without any issue. I have only got 6m cables, so nothing too long.

      If I recall correctly, and I am sure Jeff will correct me if I haven’t, the balanced cables are good for longer distances, or where there might be interference etc, as they send the signal and the inverse signal, which is then added together in the speakers amps, thus cancelling out any interference to ensure what you hear is what left the Sonic.

      Cheers
      Mark

      Reply
    • 10/15/2017 at 17:42
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      It’s easier to go from unbalanced to balanced than the other way round, and looking at the specs it appears that the outputs are unbalanced, which for the price you pay is real penny pinching, as they should have both. (Just be lucky you don’t have an OAX 1 or 500 as these don’t even have balanced inputs (Or USB Midi) which really is unacceptable penny pinching, and Wersi should be embarrassed for pulling such a stunt)

      Bill

      Reply
    • 10/16/2017 at 06:37
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      I was tempted to take advantage of the “sale” on the Adam’s recently posted but so far have not taken the plunge. Geoff – How do you like them?

      Reply
      • 10/16/2017 at 10:10
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        Yes I like them very much. A big improvement on my previous HiFi speakers. I’m using a 10 inch paradigm sub woofer with the A7x’s but I wouldn’t say it’s absolutely necessary. Depends how much bass you like. I may replace this with the Adam sub at a later date, but unfortunately they aren’t included in the 10% offer.

        Although they are described as near field monitors, they do fill the room with sound … and indeed other rooms if I raise the volume!

        Reply
        • 10/16/2017 at 13:41
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          Hi Geoff,

          I beat the 10% deal on my speakers, I achieved nearer 40% and got free stands and vibra matting, so always worth shopping around and doing a bit of negotiation.

          Cheers
          Mark

          Reply
  • 02/28/2017 at 07:27
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    Hi Mark,

    Many thanks for the update on the speakers, I’ve much enjoyed following your adventures with the Sonic sound system. I was hoping that you might have been able to use the external units as a complement to the internal speakers rather than as a replacement, but if as you report, the sound of these is so dire, I can see the sense in pulling the plug. By applying an intensive investigational functional diagnostic parametric methodology, or to put it more succinctly, what my mother would often somewhat unkindly refer to as “messing about”, I concluded that a combination of both was the most optimum arrangement for achieving the best sound reproduction.

    Something is going seriously wrong here. Given that we are replacing two elements in the audio chain, the power amplifier and the speakers, if the quality of the sound is so markedly different between the internal and the external systems, you would have to suspect that there might also be an issue with the power amplifier as well. I’m left wondering just what Wersi are doing here. Do they genuinely believe that this is good sound quality, or are they following the route of flat screen TV manufacturers and providing only a nominal sound system with the expectation that the user will add on better quality external units. Given that there are models in the OAX range that don’t have internal speakers, and that there are recommended external units available, you might suspect it’s the latter. However, knowing the quality of certain of these units, the Vocalis for example, you might conclude that it’s more likely to be the former!

    I have an idea. Sound quality is a very subjective thing. What sounds good to one person can sound terrible to another. Professional reviewers of speakers tend to focus on the technical aspects of the product, e.g. treble, mid range, bass performance etc, and this is important, but Wersi owners are more likely to be interested in how a particular speaker might influence the sound of the instrument. I’m thinking of things like the overall tonal quality (warm or bright), colouring of individual instrumental sounds (strings lush or strident, brass full bodied or raucous), bass (deep and rich or more of a thump). If in the fullness of time you would be willing to provide a critique along these lines for the Adam speakers, I’m sure that other OAX owners considering going down a similar route would find it most useful. If we can also encourage other owners who have added different speakers to do something similar, then we might be able to construct a useful range of suitable units to choose from based on their differing individual characteristics. Just a thought.

    Keep up the good work
    Jeff

    Reply
  • 02/26/2017 at 08:56
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    Hi Mark,

    Some things that you can try that might fix your internal speakers problem.

    1) Console Volume Control
    Try turning this down to zero. If you’re lucky this might silence the internal speakers but not the external outputs. If you’re unlucky and it’s a master control, then it won’t.

    2) Headphone Socket
    Try inserting a standard stereo jack plug into the headphone socket. It doesn’t have to be connected to anything. Inserting the jack plug activates the relay that cuts the signal to the internal speakers, but on my Scala it leaves the signal present at the external outputs.

    2) External Output 2
    I doubt if inserting a connector into any of the external audio outputs will silence the internal speakers. This doesn’t happen on my Scala. The reason why Wersi do certain things is often shrouded in mystery, but my guess is that in a stage environment where the external speakers could be some way away from the performer, it’s useful to have the internal speakers sounding for monitoring purposes. If what Wersi have told you is correct and the external outputs at the back of the organ are balanced outputs, you will need a balanced cable to connect to the external output 2 connector. This output also feeds the top speakers on the console, but on the Scala it’s a full frequency output. The reason we hear only the treble from these speakers is because we have a high pass filter fitted to them which blocks all the lower frequencies and allows only the higher ones to pass. So if you connect to this output you can turn down the volume on output 1 (which goes to the organ’s internal speakers) in the Output Mixer, and adjust the volume of output 2 to suit.

    Of course the snag with this is that access to this output requires leaving the back panel permanently open. Again, another Wersi mystery as to why they don’t provide an opening for the cable so that the panel can be closed. My guess is that these outputs are essentially provided for studio work, which might also explain why they are configured as balanced outputs. That doesn’t explain though why the outputs at the front of the organ are unbalanced. These are the ones that you would connect to on stage, so you’d think that these would be better balanced as well.

    One final thought on configuring external speakers based on my experience with the Scala. The internal speakers are too close together to provide any degree of stereo separation, but they do provide a good consistent sound field across the instrument. With external speakers it’s the opposite. Now we get a much better stereo separation but the sound field has a tendency to collapse into two point sources, one at the left and the other at the right. So when playing the instrument you’re effectively sitting in a ‘sonic hole’ (no pun intended!). If you can set the external units at head height and angle them towards you so that you are sitting in the ‘sweet spot’, you can get some semblance of a stereo field. However, I discovered that the most expansive sound was obtained by having both the internal and external speakers sounding together. Now we get a good continuous sound field extending all the way from the edge of the left speaker, across the organ and out to the edge of the right speaker. Your external speakers will have a gain control which will enable you to adjust the volume relative to the internal speakers so that a balance in their respective volumes can be obtained.

    I notice that the speakers you have chosen are essentially monitor speakers which are principally designed for close up studio work. As such they will have a relatively narrow dispersion angle compared with conventional Hi-Fi units. Personally I prefer a wide dispersive sound from an electronic organ that fills the room and enables others in the room who may be some distance away from the organ to hear the same sound that I’m hearing. So if this is also your preference, widening the sound field will help with this.

    Hope this helps
    Jeff

    Reply
    • 02/26/2017 at 15:08
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      Hi Jeff,

      The easiest option was to part the speaker cable plug in the back. Not sure about Scala, but on 800 the back flips back including the music rest, so not practical to leave open.

      The A8X is a near field and mid field monitor, unlike the A7X, which is near field only. The sound quality out of these is stunning, and knocks spots off the internal speakers and Vocalis. I have had them at full volume and had the house shaking, and still no distortion. I have them set half way now, so that my ears don’t bleed!

      The Sonic volume controls everything, as in your Master volume analogy, so I think parting the speaker plug was the only real option.

      I tried connecting a pair of Kef floor standing hifi speakers first, but they did not do the bass justice and were not overly loud, hence the Adam’s.

      The 8’s definitely do not need a subwoofer – however have read that the 7’s probably do. Very happy with the choice, and knowing what I know now, I would not have gone for internal speakers. I am now able to hear when I play pretty much what I hear when I play it back on a hifi, which definitely wasn’t the case with the internals.

      Thanks
      Mark

      Reply
  • 02/22/2017 at 14:24
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    Speakers arrived yesterday (23 hours from order) but waiting for stands, cables and isolator pads – which should arrive tomorrow.

    In the meantime, the Wersi guys in Germany have answered by email re outputs.

    On the 800, the outputs at the back, behind the panel are balanced and the ones by the pedals are unbalanced. I have ordered unbalanced cables, so let’s see how it goes when they arrive.

    I will take some pictures as requested Curt, and email onto you.

    Reply
    • 02/22/2017 at 14:55
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      Nice – That was quick!

      I’m going to guess the same is true on my 700 but will verify with Wersi once I have enough $$ in my piggy bank to purchase some external speakers. I’m sure you already know this but make sure you get cables with a “90” on the end you will connect on the Sonic side. That will allow for the back panel to close and not put to much pressure on the cables. I went with these – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00HK1NXUG/ref=od_aui_detailpages00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

      I ordered 2 sets of 2. At this point I’m only using on the Input side. I’m coming out of a Focusrite interface that is USB attached to an external PC. From the Focusrite I’m running balanced inputs to the Sonic.

      I was just about to start to document my config and why I’ve done what I’ve done for others to review, comment and perhaps use as a starting point for their config. I should have something posted on our site in the next few days on the overall concept for my studio.

      Reply
      • 02/22/2017 at 16:46
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        Hi Curt,

        As I am trying unbalanced first, I have gone for straight jacks, as they will be on the floor by the pedals. If I go balanced, I will of course go for 90 degree plugs – hadn’t thought of that, as hadn’t looked at that yet. Back panel of 800 is very different to 700, in that the whole back flips back from the music rest, rather than just a flap like the 700 and my old Verona.

        I got a really good deal on the speakers as part of a bundle, which essentially took over £300 off the price, however they have now removed the bundle, so think it was an error, so i was in the right place at the right time.

        I will let you know what they are like once set up.

        Cheers
        Mark

        Reply
        • 02/24/2017 at 15:30
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          Hi Curt,

          I now have the stands and the cables too, although the power leads that came with the speakers had EU plugs, not UK – temporary workaround sorted with a Spanish 3 way extension lead with a UK plug.

          Initial impressions are wow!, however I can’t turn the internal speakers off. I have muted Output 2 (the tweeters), but if I mute Output 1 I kill the Adam’s too.

          Other than me taking the back off and physically unplugging the speaker connector, I can’t find a way of doing this.

          Any ideas? – I had assumed that plugging in the jacks would have muted the internal speakers.

          I will take some pictures in daylight and email them onto you. Speaker stands aren’t ideal, but 42″ is the right height and I wouldn’t have had the bundle price without them. They will do for now though, and may grow on me, so long as the sound is ok.

          Cheers
          Mark

          Reply
          • 02/24/2017 at 16:25
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            Hmm – I wondered a little about that. I would have been with you and “assumed that plugging in the jacks would have muted the internal speakers”.

            Are you using the front or rear output jacks? Since Wersi states (at least for the 700) that the connections are on the front allowing for “no cables” to been seen when used in a stage type setting with the organ facing the audience, perhaps the front jacks do mute vs. the rear?

            If that is true (and that would be a BIG if) it brings back the balanced / un-balanced discussion.

            Unless someone else has the answer you are exploring new territory here.

          • 02/24/2017 at 16:41
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            Hi Curt,

            I am using the unbalanced outputs down by the pedals, and only have unbalanced 1/4″ jack to male XLR cables, so can’t try the rear outputs as they are balanced outputs.

            I think in the short term I will separate the speaker connector at the back, and pose the question to the OAX team and see what they suggest.

            Ps. Like the picture of your set up, quite impressive!

            I know that you are going down the external VST route, but have you found any 3rd party standalone sounds that can just be imported into OAX. I am looking for a vocal “laa” type of sound.

            It’s been a long day, so will fiddle with the speakers again tomorrow.

            Cheers
            Mark

          • 02/24/2017 at 17:03
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            On your comment about the stands growing on you. Initially when I put together the stand that I’m using for the PC I hated it…. WAY to big and just down right ugly… But it is “growing on me”! 🙂

            Wait, now that I’m thinking about this … The Output 1 jacks on the rear already have connections. Is that what you are referring to regarding “the speaker connector” or are you talking about a different connection?

            Assuming you have the needed cables (maybe / maybe-not?) go directly from output 1 to the Adams and that would also disconnect the internal speakers.

            That is starting to make more sense to me now as that would allow you to use the internal mixer to set those levels.

            But I’m guessing that might bring us full circle back to having the correct cables again??

  • 02/20/2017 at 14:08
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    If you want big organ bass, go for the A7x with a sub-woofer, (At least a 12” active unless in a small room) or if you just want deep bass, then the A8x should be fine.

    Also, get yourself a calibration microphone, (If you have a AV Receiver then the one that comes with it should be OK for general use) and connect to your computer with RTA analyser software, then play some Pink Noise through the organ, and use it to get the best balance.

    Alternatively, you can get room correction hardware (Such as Direc Live) connected between the organ and speakers, to get the ideal response. (If you have an OAX instrument, then they are also available as a VST Effect Plug-n at a much-reduced price (The Plug-in can also be used with internal speakers)

    Hope this helps

    Bill

    Reply
  • 02/20/2017 at 07:24
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    Thanks Curt/Jeff for your responses.

    Yes, I think I have made my mind up on a pair of Adam A8X’s, as they are both a Nearfield and Midfield monitor, and have a better bass response than the A7X’s, but couldn’t fathom whether the outputs on the Sonic were balanced or unbalanced, and whilst I am only wanting 3m cables, hum probably isn’t going to be an issue, hence no natural requirement for the noise cancelling effect of balanced – although I agree Jeff, the guy that designed it deserves a medal – sounds like similar technology to that used in noise cancelling headphones. I have also checked with Adam, and they say that the XLR input on the speaker can take balanced or unbalanced, so I think I am going to give the unbalanced cables a try first.

    Thanks again for responses
    Regards
    Mark.

    Reply
    • 02/20/2017 at 07:40
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      Just ordered a pair of Adam A8X’s, 42″ stands, isolation pads and cables. Got a cracking deal!!

      I am hoping I won’t need a sub, but if I do I will deal with that later.

      I will let you know how I get on with them when they arrive, but assuming they arrive this week, it will be the weekend before I get a chance to have a play with them.

      Reply
      • 02/20/2017 at 07:59
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        VERY NICE! Good plan on trying without the sub first. I have to admit I’m a bit of a sub fan having used them on “Home Theater” configs over the years. Good chance you might be OK but there is nothing like rattling the windows every once in awhile with some massive bass sound from time to time… 🙂

        Eventually I’ll be doing the same thing as you. As much as I’ve tried, using the internals speakers – let’s just say, less than impressive. 🙁

        Once you are up and running – Share some pics with us so we can see how it all fits together.

        Reply
  • 02/20/2017 at 06:57
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    Hi Mark,

    Wersi instruments typically have unbalanced audio outputs. If you need to connect these to equipment with balanced inputs there are a couple of ways to do this depending on whether it’s a commercial or a domestic environment.

    In a commercial environment, such as stage or concert work, where we can have a large number of audio cables in close proximity to each other picking up noise from each other, we need to transmit the signal in balanced format. This is essentially a three wire cable comprising an earth wire, a signal wire and an inverse signal wire. The inverse signal is an ‘upside down’ version of the signal, or in technical parlance 180 degrees out of phase. If the sending device has unbalanced outputs and the receiving device has balanced inputs (as most commercial equipment does) then we need to generate the additional inverse signal at the sending end of the cable. There are circuits and units that can be purchased to do this.

    If you’re interested in how this all works, it’s quite ingenuous. The two signal wires are out of phase with each other but any noise that is picked up will be superimposed on both signals with the same amplitude and phase. At the receiving end of the cable the electronics subtracts the inverse signal from the signal. So if S is the signal and N is the noise, mathematically we have:-

    For the signal S- (-S) = S + S = 2S
    And for the noise N – N = 0

    So we double the signal and eliminate the noise. Whoever thought that one up deserves a medal!

    In a domestic environment we’re unlikely to meet anything like that degree of interference so the solution is much simpler. We use the same three wire cable but connect the inverse signal wire to the earth wire in the connector at the sending end of the cable. Essentially the signal is transmitted down the cable as an unbalanced signal. There are cables you can buy already wired with this configuration, or if you’re handy with a soldering iron you can make up your own.

    Hope this helps
    Jeff

    Reply
  • 02/19/2017 at 15:22
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    Hi Curt or anyone using external outputs from Sonic,

    Any idea as to whether the 1/4 output jacks by the pedals is balanced or unbalanced?

    Cheers
    Mark

    Reply
    • 02/20/2017 at 06:41
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      Good question and I’ve wondered the same thing. Nothing about that in the manual… 🙁 Does this mean you took the leap on a set of Adam’s? I’d be interested in the answer to the question you asked and also if you did get some externals – How do you like them?

      Reply

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