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module/frame "standards" Multi-Channel Preamps
Old 11th September 2007
  #1
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brianroth's Avatar
 

module/frame "standards"

A recent conversation with a friend/client lead me to this thread:

thoughts on Valley People

...which got me to thinking (THAT'S a scary thought...lol).

In terms of a "standard" card/module plus frame design, I can come up with these, in approximate order of long-term popularity and usage.

1. API 500 (with multiple compatible modules from multiple manufacturers)
2. dbx 900 (with compatible modules from Aphex and ... ????)
3. Valley People (sole source for modules AFAIK)
4. The original Allison Research (sole source again?)
5. Audio Design & Recording/aka Audio+Design SCAMP rack (sole source?) **

6. And, of course, the new Tonelux format (I set this one off in it's own little space since it's relatively new).

Any other formats that I've forgotten?

Going onwards from here, I'll toss in my 2 cents on each form factor. My thought process is to see just how flexible each form-factor can be for something more elaborate than a simple mic pre, EQ, etc., as in modules for bus assigns and other functions in the design of a sidecar or desk.

1. Highly popular, BUT seriously limited because of the small quantity of pins (15) available on the edge connector, unless one decides to go with a dual-readout connector which is certainly "out of spec" for the VPR alliance specs.

2. I cannot find my notes, but I seem to recall the dbx 900 connector had more available pins than the 500 format.

3. I *did* find my schemos, etc for the Valley frame, and it used a dual-readout connector with 60 available pins, but it seems that many were already "reserved" in the original design.

4. Allison modules, like the 500's, also had a limited number of available pins (10?).

5. The SCAMP rack used a 45 pin connector, and for many (but not all) of the modules, a good number of those pins were uncommitted.

6. I need to read through the Tonelux specs <g>.

Anyway, just some food for thought and comments.

Bri

** For those unfamilar with the SCAMP rack, here's a scan of an ad I wrote for them back in the early 1980's:

http://www.brianroth.com/library/a+d-scamp1981.jpg

Last edited by brianroth; 11th September 2007 at 09:52 AM.. Reason: update
Old 11th September 2007
  #2
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gyraf's Avatar
 

In Europe, the "DANNER" cassette format was hugely popular among the professional scene - the Neumann, NTP, SEEM, Siemens and so forth used these..

Jakob E.
Old 11th September 2007
  #3
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gyraf....of course, elaborate!

I also recall an "N-module" "euro" format, but being in the USA, I was looking at pinouts that are familiar here. Ooops!

I was just trying to recall anything that had a pinout which was useful for future planning. <g> IE, A Whole Lotta Love.....errrr... pins!! <g>

15 pins suck IMHO. Hence my interest in the recently- resurrected Valley format.

Bri
Old 11th September 2007
  #4


There is a DIN standard for subracks that might be useful. Standard connectors include up to 96 pins and things like coax and high current configurations.

http://www.mouser.com/catalog/631/1649.pdf
Schroff

These get used a lot in manufacturing testing. Parts are everywhere and there are DIN and IEEE documented standards for all the hardware. They get used a lot as PCIe backplanes, but you don't have to.

I once designed a whole custom test system using this standard for modular chasis mounting.....




-tINY

Old 12th September 2007
  #5
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Some years ago, there was a discussion about this over at recording.org where several manufacturers were asking for user input on this, IIRC.

I can't point you to the exact thread, as I was banned (and not rightfully so) because of the unfortunate GroupDIY-incident.

Jakob E.
Old 12th September 2007
  #6
Gear Maniac
 
vocomotion's Avatar
 

Add these too:

SPL RackPack

Audient Black Series


TubeTech

ADM
Old 8th March 2008
  #7
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roginator's Avatar
 

and rebis format
Old 15th March 2008
  #8
seventh circle audio?
Old 16th March 2008
  #9
TRW
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Add SSL to that list....X-Rack. One of the most fully featured modular systems available.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gyraf View Post
Some years ago, there was a discussion about this over at recording.org where several manufacturers were asking for user input on this, IIRC.

I can't point you to the exact thread, as I was banned (and not rightfully so) because of the unfortunate GroupDIY-incident.

Jakob E.
Yeah I remember that... I think EveAnna Manley, Dan Kennedy (Great River) and Tim from Buzz were heading up the discussion.

I swear Tim was putting forward a new Buzz A-Rack system that manufacturers could adopt... there was obviously little interest because the idea died...shame.

and every one went 500 crazy. Why I have no idea - the justification that 'everybody' had a half empty API rack lying around is no good, look at how many new racks are being bought now because of all the 'cool' modules available.

There are still many people who request mixing solutions for the 500 rack...
I know JLM and Purple have some ready but it still seems odd to me. 15 pins just isn't enough...I personally don't see the point of double width modules either.

Tim from SCA was supposedly working on a new uber-rack that would have stacks of busses and I.O, API500 compatibilty but higher power rails and a larger 220mm card format...it's been years since I heard anything new.

-T
Old 16th March 2008
  #10
500 series nutjob
 
pan60's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TRW View Post
There are still many people who request mixing solutions for the 500 rack...
I know JLM and Purple have some ready but it still seems odd to me. 15 pins just isn't enough...I personally don't see the point of double width modules either.

-T
any real mixing solution will be handled with some other card socket, so what?
the use the 500 format for pres, eqs and comps, use something else to handle bussing and returns.
the bottom line is no one want to spend the money to develop a truly modular console.
Paul is, so their is always the tonelux for those that want.
i think it will happen for the 500 format, just time, i see no reason for the bussing to have to on a 15 pin plug which to be honest it is a 30 contacts.
their would not be the option of pres, eqs, and comps ( and a lot of others things to come ), that would not be here had the 500 format not been promoted.
and their is no way we would be were we are now, with another format.
Old 16th March 2008
  #11
TRW
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Pan I know you love the 500 series format...but I'm entitled to my opinion and you won't change it.

Sorry.

I honestly believe that if the original rec.org discussion had produced a rack a few years ago which contained the ability to house old 500 series cards as well as newer cards we would still be where we are now - in terms of new product available.

All of the little manufacturers producing cards for the 500 series now - many of whom stem off from prodigy-pro.com, would have been the most open-minded to a new format that had back-wards compatibility.

It's clear the boat has been missed but thats how I see it.
I'm actually considering getting a lunchbox because there is some cool stuff available for it now... but I still think it could have been different.

-T
Old 16th March 2008
  #12
TRW
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60-pins on the valley?

Nice... thats as much as Tim from SCA was talking about doing.

Brian, you can add the brand spanking new TubeTech rack there too...

-T
Old 17th March 2008
  #13
500 series nutjob
 
pan60's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TRW View Post
Pan I know you love the 500 series format...but I'm entitled to my opinion and you won't change it.

Sorry.

I honestly believe that if the original rec.org discussion had produced a rack a few years ago which contained the ability to house old 500 series cards as well as newer cards we would still be where we are now - in terms of new product available.

All of the little manufacturers producing cards for the 500 series now - many of whom stem off from prodigy-pro.com, would have been the most open-minded to a new format that had back-wards compatibility.

It's clear the boat has been missed but thats how I see it.
it is okay that i am right and your wrong heh
joking!
we all have opinions and thats all cool on my end.
i am not say it could not have gone different, but i did not, and the potential is still their, IMHO.


Quote:
Originally Posted by TRW View Post
I'm actually considering getting a lunchbox because there is some cool stuff available for it now... but I still think it could have been different.

-T
yep, this is way i am so into it~
Old 24th March 2008
  #14
Gear Head
 
aquabluemusic's Avatar
 

The later solid state Telefunken/TAB modules. I don't know if Rebis modules would come into this subject.

I use Scamp modules and always thought it nice to have some other modules from different makes in the same rack. When using synthesisers the Doepfer module range seems to have become a standard (Eurorack) with many other companies taking up the standard.

Last edited by aquabluemusic; 24th March 2008 at 01:49 PM.. Reason: additional text
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