I am hesitant about posting this question, but I will try anyway:
In reading the LM-3204 potential applications, there is this in the manual:
And as long as we're discovering more inputs for your studio, consider your main console auxiliary returns: do you have enough? An LM-3204 can give you an additional 16 stereo returns with the added bonus of EQ on the returns.
Keep the routing of the sends from your main console the same; but run all your many effects' stereo returns through the LM-3204, and patch the LM-3204 Left and Right outputs back into one pair of auxiliary returns (or into a pair of channel inputs)."
[That's all, and I double checked the accuracy of the "manually" copied text above.]
Probably, it is my english, but I am having difficulty understanding this potential application for the LM-3204.
What would feed all that outboard?
The excerpt above implies using ALL the inputs in the LM-3204 to receive the outputs of all that outboard but it implies the "console" would only use one aux i/o... (WTF?)
So... I guess my question is how you would be feeding the inputs of the 16 outboard units with one single aux coming from the console?
Yeah, it's assuming you have another big mixer feeding it.
I actually have an lm-3204 in a setup with an effects submixer, though it itself doesn't act as one, I have a rane sm82 I use for that.
In my setup, I basically use all of the lm-3204's auxes and buses to get as many different separate outputs from the mixer per channel as possible. That said, if you don't use the main bus at all, you can get the most possible outputs per channel by taking advantage of the aux's. For every channel, you have 2 mono aux's and 2 stereo aux's, plus the mute/alt34 bus for an additional third stereo output. That's 2 mono and 3 stereo output groups per channel. I have my lm-3204 setup so that all my mono devices use the mono auxs and stereo devices use one of the stereo aux's or the mute/alt34 bus.
Those 2 mono and 3 stereo buses all connect into my 2x audiofire 12's. I then use my computer to route some of these inputs to effects units attached to the audiofire's outputs. These effects units are then connected into the rane sm82 submixer. That submixer is then connected back into the audiofire 12's for a dedicated effects return channel.
It's an interesting setup I have going on here, to say the least, but it's working to connect a lot of devices right now and the lm-3204's abilities as a stereo mixer are quite nice. Plus, it gives you some more ideas of how you can use the lm-3204. I would love a big console some day in the future, and I could very well see myself using the lm-3204 as an effects submixer some day, as my rane sm82 is actually filled up right now, and I already am needing more inputs. Though I'll admit I've had my eye on the speck xsum for that purpose as well, much more compact if you don't need all the EQ and the amount of buses, but much more $$$ too...
Once you get past say 6-8 effects devices, if you really want to attach more than that, you pretty much need a patch bay or some kind of sub-mixer, or some way to get things to route where they need to be (matrix mixers, or my audiofire 12, acting as a matrix mixer...also works, essentially it's like an electronic patch bay, I can send any input to any output.) It's generally not a problem in smaller setups where you can just connect all the effects directly to the mixer via it's auxs, inserts, and returns, and just be good with that. Though I'd love a console with enough inputs and outputs to drive all my equipment and my effects directly, it would probably cost much more than I could ever afford! That's basically why I've got such a segmented setup like this. I have physical patch bays in my setup now too, so that I can chain effects units through each other, if need be, without having to unplug anything from behind.