CGS04 the CGS DC mixer (previous version) project arose out of a need for a small mixer that preserved the DC component of signals, at audio frequencies and below, specifically for the hobbyist synthesizer builder, though it's applications do not stop there. Its compact size means it can easily be included along with other circuit boards in modules that do not have enough inputs of their own, such as some VCAs or VCFs.
A little on how it works
It can just as appropriately be used as a module in its own right, as shown in the photo to the right. In this case there are six inputs, two "normalized" through switched jacks to + and - 7 volts, allowing the mixed signals to be shifted up and down. The seventh knob works as a master level, though including this control is optional.
The circuit design is quite conventional, using two op-amps in a unity gain inverting configuration. The first stage mixes the signals from the six inputs. The output signal from this op-amp is inverted. The second op-amp, which could be considered a single input "mixer" simply re-inverts it.
The resistor (*B) can be replace by a variable resistor of 50k if a master level control is required. As the value of this resistor reduces, the swing at the output of the op-amp also reduces.
The 3k3 at the output simply offers some protection to the op-amp in the event of a short circuit, which happens frequently when patch cords are being used. The second 3k3 (*A) allows a second output to be easily implemented, and gives some isolation between two loads, thus reducing interaction. These resistors can just as easily be 1k, bringing them more in line with what seems to be a standard for synthesizer modules.
The two 10mfd capacitors give some power supply isolation. Power rails can be almost anything from +/- 6V to +/- 15V. Asymmetrical rail voltages will work, but the mixer will behave as if it was running on supply of +/- of the lower of the rail voltages. E.g. supply rails of +12V/-6V would cause the mixer to behave if it was running on a +/- 6V supply.
Only a single example of an adjustable input is shown on the circuit diagram. Simply repeat as needed.
Parts List (PCB only)
This is a guide only. Parts needed will vary with individual constructor's needs.
|10mfd 25V (old ver only)||2|
|100nf (new ver)||2|
|DC MIXER PCB||1|
- The 3k3 resistors can be replaced with 1k resistors to bring this module in line with standard practice. Later PCBs will have 1k marked in these positions.
- Other pin-compatible op-amps (TL072, etc.) should also work on this PCB.
- This PCB is also used for the joystick controller.
Readers are permitted to construct these circuits for their own personal use only. Ken Stone retains all rights to his work.
- CGS DC mixer for the latest version
- CGS CV mega mixer for an enhanced version of CGS04, designed for both audio and CV mixing.
- CGS joystick controller
- The CGS modules
- CGS parts FAQ
- D.C. Mixer for music synthesizers by Ken Stone, 1998, with permission of the author - archived
- CGS Synth discussion group, for discussion of locating parts, modifications and corrections etc.