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Custom Discrete 2-Buss - "The Boy Box"
Old 27th July 2018
  #1
Custom Discrete 2-Buss - "The Boy Box"

Attached is the discrete 2-buss enclosure I've been designing with Todd Wilson at Portland Pro Audio. Inside is a discrete summing section with balanced inserts made by Steve Firlotte at Inward Connections. VF600 opamps with Cinemag x-formers. The VF600 opamp operates at 16V and was designed to have more "color" than its higher headroom brother, the SPA 690 (24V).

Chassis has a Dorrough meter on the front with buss trims, a detented master output, and the option to hook up an external fader on the back of the chassis. Dedicated power supply, as well.

As for the imagery, we are able to print on the aluminum in color.

STOKED.
Attached Thumbnails
Custom Discrete 2-Buss - "The Boy Box"-boybox.jpg  
Attached Files
File Type: pdf T2MIX-ALL (1).pdf (5.71 MB, 109 views)
Old 28th July 2018
  #2
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Nice work mate.

Great to see some long term posters here branching out into the HW realm and putting there hard earned into what should be a nice product.

Looking forward to the finished product , pricing etc.

Cheers
Old 28th July 2018
  #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by nickknack View Post
Nice work mate. Looking forward to the finished product , pricing etc.
It actually wasn't intended for mass market...just for my personal use. Wanted to showcase it, though, because I thought it was such a laugh. Perhaps, if a bunch of people are interested, it could be done, though. Would have to compensate Boy George, haha.
Old 28th July 2018
  #4
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nomatic's Avatar
That is f!cking awesome!
Old 28th July 2018
  #5
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Very cool.

I don't see any summing going on, though.

Is it input > opamps > transformers > trims > output?

At what point are the inserts inserted?

Why Cinemags?
Old 28th July 2018
  #6
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Drumsound's Avatar
Is this a stere unit you're inserting on your console mix bus?
Old 28th July 2018
  #7
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ruffrecords's Avatar
Very nice but there is only one S in bus.

Cheers

Ian
Old 28th July 2018
  #8
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ruffrecords View Post
Very nice but there is only one S in bus.

Cheers

Ian
And there's no "uff" in "rough." :-)
Old 29th July 2018
  #9
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jjblair's Avatar
Firlotte is the man. I have a box with 12 Langevin AM16s that he made for me 24 years ago, with 690s on the bus. But after listening tests, I only use it for the mic pres, and summing all my snare mics together. As you already know, I didn't find summing mixes outside the box to be better for me. In my experience, where you do your summing isn't going to change much sonically. Let me know what difference you have coloring the bus with the 600s, summing internal or externally. I wound up concluding that summing internally and coloring externally was the way to go.
Old 29th July 2018
  #10
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deuc647's Avatar
 

JJ, burns is completely, and i mean completely, OTB.
Old 29th July 2018
  #11
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IanBSC's Avatar
So you can connect this to console channels via DSUB?
Old 29th July 2018
  #12
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ruffrecords's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
And there's no "uff" in "rough." :-)
Ruff Bird Facts | Philomachus Pugnax - The RSPB

Cheers

Ian
Old 29th July 2018
  #13
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjblair View Post
As you already know, I didn't find summing mixes outside the box to be better for me. In my experience, where you do your summing isn't going to change much sonically.
I didn't already know that. But I don't think it matters in this case anyway, because OP's box doesn't sum. Near as I can tell.
Old 29th July 2018
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
I didn't already know that. But I don't think it matters in this case anyway, because OP's box doesn't sum. Near as I can tell.
"Inside is a discrete summing section with balanced inserts made by Steve Firlotte at Inward Connections."
Old 29th July 2018
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deuc647 View Post
JJ, burns is completely, and i mean completely, OTB.
Oh, I know.
Old 29th July 2018
  #16
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjblair View Post
"Inside is a discrete summing section with balanced inserts made by Steve Firlotte at Inward Connections."
Look at the mechanical drawing of the back.
Old 29th July 2018
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
Look at the mechanical drawing of the back.
Oh! I didn't see that. Then why did he say summing section? Yeah. There's no summing section there if it's just two inputs and a send/return. Huh. I'm not sure I understand the point of this box, then.
Old 29th July 2018
  #18
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjblair View Post
Oh! I didn't see that. Then why did he say summing section? Yeah. There's no summing section there if it's just two inputs and a send/return. Huh. I'm not sure I understand the point of this box, then.
A high-gain gain stage driving transformers followed by trimmers... I can see doing that. I do something like that sometimes, but usually in parallel with the unaltered mix. And I use big old grindy transformers, not relatively benign ones like Cinemags.

If you took what he's already got and added a parallel pass-through and a way to control the blend of the two, then I think you'd have something. And there actually would be summing. Of two stereo signals, anyway.
Old 29th July 2018
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
A high-gain gain stage driving transformers followed by trimmers... I can see doing that. I do something like that sometimes, but usually in parallel with the unaltered mix. And I use big old grindy transformers, not relatively benign ones like Cinemags.

If you took what he's already got and added a parallel pass-through and a way to control the blend of the two, then I think you'd have something. And there actually would be summing. Of two stereo signals, anyway.
Oh, I get it now. He's got a Ghost, and is trying to get some vibe back into it. What he should do, is what I did, which is bypass the stereo bus of the console and go into a Firlotte bus. Skip the TL072s all together. Even though I'm after clean, unlimited headroom and wide transient response, which I guess he's not. But still, you don't want to hit those TL072s hard on a bus. That's just not a pleasant sound.
Old 30th July 2018
  #20
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Maybe our OP can chime in and clarify.
Old 30th July 2018
  #21
This box is not summing. If I wrote that, I made a mistake. It's an external, discrete 2-bus. Completely bypasses the Soundcraft 2-bus.

It's essentially just a really HOT enclosure for the 2-buss with a Dorrough meter, bus trims, and a detented output knob, (since I leave my fades for the mastering engineer.) It also has balanced inserts, which the Ghost does not offer. Taking the sends from the balanced inserts (as your master output) is actually a cleaner signal for the master output (simpler signal path) if you're not using the inserts.

Yes, I'm an OTB tape guy, as y'all know.

I posted this mainly because of the design, lol...
Old 30th July 2018
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burns46824 View Post
This box is not summing. If I wrote that, I made a mistake. It's an external, discrete 2-bus. Completely bypasses the Soundcraft 2-bus.

It's essentially just a really HOT enclosure for the 2-buss with a Dorrough meter, bus trims, and a detented output knob, (since I leave my fades for the mastering engineer.) It also has balanced inserts, which the Ghost does not offer. Taking the sends from the balanced inserts (as your master output) is actually a cleaner signal for the master output (simpler signal path) if you're not using the inserts.

Yes, I'm an OTB tape guy, as y'all know.

I posted this mainly because of the design, lol...
The design is a riot. Yeah, you got it. Bypass that mess. Glad to see you went to the right man - Steve. He's a freaking treasure.
Old 31st July 2018
  #23
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by burns46824 View Post
This box is not summing. If I wrote that, I made a mistake. It's an external, discrete 2-bus. Completely bypasses the Soundcraft 2-bus.
Not knowing exactly what's in your console, how are you getting into the box? Assigning all the faders to a pair of buses other than the mix bus?
Old 31st July 2018
  #24
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discrete 2-bus

provocative concept, good of you.

a high profile Nashville knob turner installed a pair of RCA tube line amps on the 2-bus section of his API 1608.
lots of color and even more headroom than the already impressive API numbers.

30 years ago, a Hollywood hot-shoe mixer replaced the 990 based output section in his custom console with tube line amplifiers; never looked back.
Old 31st July 2018
  #25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
Not knowing exactly what's in your console, how are you getting into the box? Assigning all the faders to a pair of buses other than the mix bus?
There is a pin-out connection on the back of the Ghost for the Ghost Expander console. My tech says the 2-bus signal is connected to that pin-out connection and he'll just take XLR outs from the pin-out. Dunno exactly how he's going to do it. I believe the signal is unbalanced until it reaches The Boy Box, so we're keeping the 2-bus enclosure very close to the console...as in right behind (and above) it.
Old 31st July 2018
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burns46824 View Post
There is a pin-out connection on the back of the Ghost for the Ghost Expander console. My tech says the 2-bus signal is connected to that pin-out connection and he'll just take XLR outs from the pin-out. Dunno exactly how he's going to do it. I believe the signal is unbalanced until it reaches The Boy Box, so we're keeping the 2-bus enclosure very close to the console...as in right behind (and above) it.
Ah, gotcha. Are your inserts (and hence your runs to your outboard) unbalanced as well? If yes and you've had no issues, you should be fine.
Old 31st July 2018
  #27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
Ah, gotcha. Are your inserts (and hence your runs to your outboard) unbalanced as well? If yes and you've had no issues, you should be fine.
All the inserts on the console are unbalanced, so I don't use them. I have a patchbay and I can just connect stuff straight from the tape machine to a, say, compressor, and then to the console.
Old 31st July 2018
  #28
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by burns46824 View Post
All the inserts on the console are unbalanced, so I don't use them. I have a patchbay and I can just connect stuff straight from the tape machine to a, say, compressor, and then to the console.
Seems smart.
Old 3rd August 2018
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burns46824 View Post
All the inserts on the console are unbalanced, so I don't use them. I have a patchbay and I can just connect stuff straight from the tape machine to a, say, compressor, and then to the console.
Hey Use those unbalanced inserts they might sound good, especially with outboard that has transformers.. is the unbalanced inserts at a lower operating level than +4? If so thats the ticket!
Old 3rd August 2018
  #30
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelAngelo View Post
Hey Use those unbalanced inserts they might sound good, especially with outboard that has transformers.. is the unbalanced inserts at a lower operating level than +4? If so thats the ticket!
No, they're +4. Is there some magic to unbalanced inserts? haha
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