The Tasty Blender - a 2-channel Rockbox!

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The Tasty Blender - a 2-channel Rockbox!

Postby pete » Fri Nov 19, 2010 8:49 am

How about a Rockbox Limiter that can blend two channels? This product idea is taking the Rockbox Limiter to the next level. The design isn't finished, and we'd like your input. What should this product have? The initial design is planning to have 2 inputs. One for a mic, and the other for a balanced line level signal. Would a third channel be useful? Is the Speaker Switch feature absolutely necessary? Please share you're thoughts! Thanks!
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Re: The Tasty Blender - a 2-channel Rockbox!

Postby towers » Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:16 am

hey Pete!
Since i am playing with a click track, I have to use an additional mixer to get the monitor and click track into my in ears. Maybe an extra input (limiter not necessary) would solve this problem.
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Re: The Tasty Blender - a 2-channel Rockbox!

Postby pete » Fri Mar 18, 2011 7:17 pm

Hey Towers,
As I read your post, I thought of a new way to setup the Rockbox. I think I may be on to something here. I was able to combine a monitor mix and a click track without using an additional mixer.

I have my aux mix (coming from my mixer) plugged into the "IN" on the Rockbox as usual. But I also have my metronome plugged directly into the parallel output of the Rockbox. In this way, I am using the parallel output as a second input to the Rockbox. I'm using a 1/8" stereo to 1/4" mono cable like this:

http://www.jr.com/hosa/pe/HOS_CMP105/

Although I don't have control of each channel individually at the Rockbox, I am able to adjust them at the sources. First I set my aux mix and Rockbox volume as usual, then I plugged in my metronome and set the level of my click using the volume control on my metronome. I'll admit the volume control on my metronome is a bit touchy, but it seems to do the trick.

I have a couple extra of these hosa cables, so let me know if you're interested to try this out, and I'd be happy to send you one!

Rock on!
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Re: The Tasty Blender - a 2-channel Rockbox!

Postby MilesDrum » Wed Mar 23, 2011 10:00 pm

Hey Pete, Miles Gibbons here... I'm with Towers on this one. I'm a bit of an anti-gear nut. The simpler and more minimal my setup is, the better!

Using the paralell output as an "in" seems cool - However, a couple of the bands I play in use backing tracks, and I'm not in control of the volumes of my click and monitor feeds at their source. Ideally, I'd want seperate lines with the click, and the monitor mix. My ideal Tasty Blender is just two 1\4" inputs, with individual levels and a headphone out. I'd like the speaker\line switch on one channel. This way, regardless of what the soundguy is doing to my mix, I can make sure I hear the click when I need it, and hear the band when I need to.

This would replace a stand, tray, mixer, mixer case, extra cables ( = a headache!) in my setup. Let me know what you think. Or if you accept bribes for custom boxes ha ha... I know you're a busy guy, sounds like the company is really growing! Thanks for reading.
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Re: The Tasty Blender - a 2-channel Rockbox!

Postby pete » Tue Apr 05, 2011 9:24 pm

Hey Miles,
Thank you for your feedback! It's great to hear your perspective as a drummer!

I've been trying to work out the best combo of features for the tasty blender for quite some time now. I've been struggling to find a balance of adding the most desirable features, while still keeping cost down. For a lot of users, myself included, having 3 channels would really be ideal.

Ch1 - Mic/Line (combo XLR/TRS input connector)
Ch2 - Mic/Line (combo XLR/TRS input connector)
Ch3 - Line/Speaker (TRS input)

All three with individual peak LEDs on the inputs, gain, pan and volume control. And of course, output limiting before it hits the headphone amp driver output.

With 3 channels, I like the idea of mixing a guitar (be it a mic'd cab or an acoustic), my vocal mic, and a mix from the sound guy (be it either line or off the wedge).

And with Pan control this becomes a stereo device, so if you were lucky enough to ever get a stereo mix from the sound guy :) then you could take advantage of it! This also could be awesome to use for bringing in a stereo room mic into a mono mix. This way, if you can only make mono mixes for each member, they could still get stereo sound from these room mics.

Another idea I have been thinking about is Parallel outs. This are useful if you want to send your vocal mic to both the tasty blender and the sound guy. My bros and I used to tour with a ton of mic splitters in order to split the mics with our in-ear mixer and the front of house sound guy. It worked well, but it would be nice to have the split happen right at the Tasty blender, rather than bringing the extra mic splitter box per channel. Another question to ask is... should those parallel outs be XLR or TRS? Tough call, but most people have extra XLR cables around, so maybe that's the right way to go.

Obviously, the more features, the more it's gonna drive up the size and price.

How many (or is it all) of these features do you see a must have? If you had 3 Channels, what would you most likely use them for?

Let me know, I'd be interested to know what you think.

Thanks!
-Pete
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Re: The Tasty Blender - a 2-channel Rockbox!

Postby MilesDrum » Tue Apr 05, 2011 10:17 pm

pete wrote:How many (or is it all) of these features do you see a must have? If you had 3 Channels, what would you most likely use them for?


I'll put my reservation for one in now; I like everything! My main interest is the individual volume\pan on each channel. I wouldn't often use the Paralell Outs, but I see the benefit of their inclusion. I dig the the 3-Channel setup. I'd be using one or two channels for the monitor mix (band\backing tracks, ideally stereo), and remaining channels for the click, maybe bass guitar. I think the design has sufficient versatility to serve different monitoring requirements (mic, line, speaker inputs etc). I wouldn't add or remove from the design. I think anyone wanting even more sophistication or control would end up with a multi-unit racked system anyway. The size wouldn't be the most pressing concern, but I imagine it wouldn't be much larger than the little 4-6 Channel Mackie mixers etc, if even that large.

Eagerly awaiting their release!
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Re: The Tasty Blender - a 2-channel Rockbox!

Postby MilesDrum » Tue Apr 05, 2011 10:21 pm

Would the Paralell Outs send the entire output of the unit? You'd want to send your mic signals to the board, but you wouldn't want the monitor mix coming in and going out, right? I'm not completely educated on how Paralell Outs work, so I might be addressing a non-issue. Also, just in terms of practicality, using TRS outs might be cool, because they'll save a tiny bit of space, and that'll free up XLR channels on the main board. Just brainstorming.
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Re: The Tasty Blender - a 2-channel Rockbox!

Postby David J Driver » Mon Apr 11, 2011 4:22 pm

Hey Pete!

I hope this topic isn't too dead fro one more reply. I like the feature set you describe. The device I currently use is from Rolls. It doesn't have a limiter or the speaker level step down.

It has:

The "monitor" feed, line level mono/stereo.

One mic pre with a through.

One mono/stereo DI with balanced outs.

I personally just use the monitor and the mono DI with my Bass preamp.

The people that sing and play use all three sets of inputs.

My drummer that sings has his voice and my bass in his mixer as well as the monitor feed.

I think that the signal "throughs" are going to be very important if you add mic inputs.

I think that the Rolls PM351 may be a good place to start then look at what you can take away.

I don't really like the rolls. It's OK but the lack of a limiter means that they will be going away as soon as I can find suitable replacements.

I like the rockons and the cables. If it had one more input it would be great for me. Two more would allow me to get rig of all our Rolls.
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Re: The Tasty Blender - a 2-channel Rockbox!

Postby pete » Mon Apr 18, 2011 8:35 pm

MilesDrum wrote:Would the Paralell Outs send the entire output of the unit?


For what I was originally thinking, no, but I'm open to any ideas. Originally, I was thinking parallel outs would be for each individual channel. This could be useful if you were to mic your kick, send that straight into your tasty blender, then also send that kick mic level signal (via the Parallel out) to the house system. It would also be good if you were to share one mix with the entire band (daisy-chaining tasty blenders via CH 1 IN and CH 1 parallel OUT). And each member could add more of themselves if they like (on their own tasty blender on channels 2 and 3).

MilesDrum wrote:You'd want to send your mic signals to the board, but you wouldn't want the monitor mix coming in and going out, right?


I agree. I don't see a parralel out on the main LR of the Tasty blender being too useful. If you were to use this for daisy-chaining a mix (one application I can think of) it would be a bit confusing to have everyone "adding" to the shared mix. It might get difficult to control the levels if someone early on in the daisy chain changes their levels.

MilesDrum wrote:using TRS outs might be cool, because they'll save a tiny bit of space, and that'll free up XLR channels on the main board.


I'm not totally sure on XLR vs. 1/4" TRS for the connectors... Although TRS will definitely save a lot in space and price, I am finding that more and more of our customers request a XLR converter cables with their order. And XLRs are more standard when it comes to running sound around a stage. I think 90% of the time you're dealing with line level mixes, a sound guy is going to send you an XLR. What has been your experience?

I do agree that 1/4" is a good thing in that it could potentially free up your XLR channels on the main board. But then again, any time you're dealing with a snake, it's usually all XLR.

Maybe we could go with XLR and 1/4" combo connectors for the Channel inputs, and then all XLR on the outputs. This way, you could accept either, but then when it comes to routing your signals out of the parallel outs, you can use XLRs.

Another benefit of XLRs is that you can easily connect them together to reach longer distances.

hmm... I'll have to do some price comparisons on connectors. I'm willing to bet that XLR outputs are going to significantly increase the size and cost. I did some prototyping with the combo connectors a while back and I do remember those are REALLY pricey, but worth it, I think.
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Re: The Tasty Blender - a 2-channel Rockbox!

Postby MilesDrum » Mon Apr 18, 2011 9:55 pm

pete wrote:For what I was originally thinking, no, but I'm open to any ideas. Originally, I was thinking parallel outs would be for each individual channel.... I agree. I don't see a parralel out on the main LR of the Tasty blender being too useful. If you were to use this for daisy-chaining a mix (one application I can think of) it would be a bit confusing to have everyone "adding" to the shared mix. It might get difficult to control the levels if someone early on in the daisy chain changes their levels.

I'm not totally sure on XLR vs. 1/4" TRS for the connectors... Although TRS will definitely save a lot in space and price, I am finding that more and more of our customers request a XLR converter cables with their order. And XLRs are more standard when it comes to running sound around a stage. I think 90% of the time you're dealing with line level mixes, a sound guy is going to send you an XLR. What has been your experience? ...I do agree that 1/4" is a good thing in that it could potentially free up your XLR channels on the main board. But then again, any time you're dealing with a snake, it's usually all XLR.

Maybe we could go with XLR and 1/4" combo connectors for the Channel inputs, and then all XLR on the outputs. This way, you could accept either, but then when it comes to routing your signals out of the parallel outs, you can use XLRs... Another benefit of XLRs is that you can easily connect them together to reach longer distances... hmm... I'll have to do some price comparisons on connectors. I'm willing to bet that XLR outputs are going to significantly increase the size and cost. I did some prototyping with the combo connectors a while back and I do remember those are REALLY pricey, but worth it, I think.


Alright, that clarifies the "paralell outs." One out per input makes total sense, that would be great. I can definitely see myself using at least one of the paralell outs.

I get a 1\4" monitor feed half the time, and an XLR half the time (I bring adaptors for this). I also get a 1\4" click track feed. I'd be willing to spend a little bit more for the combo connectors in, as having the ability to recieve either type of cable is important to me. As for the outputs, they aren't a problem that needs solving for me, so the type of outputs wouldn't really.

The extra price and size would be worthwhile, I think. I'm not concerned with having a super miniscule item (although I love the size of the current Rockbox Limiter), but more so with having a fully contained and self sufficient unit. I'd rather not use multiple devices; just the Tasty Blender, cables, and earphones.
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