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True Matrix Switcher with both Analog and Digital I/O

Discussion in 'Suggestion Box' started by scratch17, Oct 18, 2015.

  1. scratch17

    scratch17
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    I know that there is a company making a digitally controlled analog matrix switcher.

    The strengths of that system are it's GUI for creating preset routing maps, and its excellent way of insertion and deletion of devices in a routing path.

    However, there are a lot of design limitations to that system.

    First, there is a maximum of 16 x 16 I/O with no reasonable matrix expansion option available.
    Second, there is no digital I/O available for integration with the analog matrix.
    Third, while the control application has a great GUI for creating preset routing maps, it is not available for Mac OS unless JAVA is added.

    So I propose that RJM create the Mastermind Matrix.

    Start with a base unit containing a matrix with analog inputs and outputs. But make it expandable. What kind of expansion? Here is my vision for this product.

    1. Expandable analog I/O. Connecting hardware units would be implemented via DB25 expansion bus cards.
    Each card would add an 8 x 8 matrix bus in parallel to the existing hardware matrix. Each card's only function would be to add the matrix buses. Functional responsibility for all switching and routing would be local to each unit's hardware. All units would have at least two slots to add cards.

    So for example, assume an 8 x 8 unit connects to a 16 x 16 unit. Each would start as a self contained system. But by adding an expansion card to each, the system becomes one 24 x 24 matrix.

    A control software application would recognize the expansion and switch the matrix I/O map to reflect the expansion.

    2. Available digital I/O expansion. Why add digital I/O to a matrix?

    If you're a guitarist, think about connecting a Kemper Profiling Amplifier, Fractal Axe FX2, Roland VG-99, TC G-System, Line 6 Helix, etc. without extra A/D and D/A conversion. Also, you don't cannibalize your analog I/O, leaving more room for preamps and pedals.

    In the studio, by adding digital I/O the Mastermind Matrix becomes the ultimate automated patch bay, regardless of what you want to connect.

    Expansion would be implemented via expansion cards containing built in A/D and D/A conversion. Each card would add a parallel matrix of digital I/O to the existing analog matrix.

    Cards would have ADAT S/MUX and/or S/PDIF and AES/EBU ports with sample rate conversion. ADAT ports would allow connection to stand alone, DAW or powered plug-ins. S/PDIF ports would allow connection to KPA, FX2, G-System, etc. AES/EBU would add connections to hardware samplers, synthesizers, tone modules, etc.

    3. Buffering should be switchable on or off for any input. Why? I run my guitar to a Radial JDV DI. It has a proprietary drag control that I really love. But running it into a buffered input on the matrix would defeat the purpose. Also some pedals don't like buffered inputs.

    4. I want the software to run on the latest Mac OS natively, without requiring JAVA. That is one of the problems I have with the existing matrix product.

    5. Complete integration with my MMGT. This means preset trees. A preset tree contains metadata about the basic presets' path and included devices. It also has data that creates routing options within the routing map data.

    Here's a simple example starting with the basic preset.

    Routing: Mag Pickup output --> JDV --> (buffer off) matrix analog in 1 --> matrix analog 1 out to fuzz --> matrix analog in 2 --> matrix analog out 2 to amp input --> amp send --> matrix analog input 3 --> matrix analog out 3 to reverb --> matrix analog input 4 --> matrix analog out 4 to mod --> matrix analog input 5
    --> matrix analog out 5 to amp return.

    Let' s suppose that routing was saved as a preset, and it could be accessed via a single button push on a MMGT.

    But on the MMGT the page would change and allow mapping of IA buttons for the fuzz, reverb and mod, for insert or removal. Three other IA mappings could be set up to change the routing to parallel for each effect. Or other buttons could rearrange effect order and placement.

    In other words, a preset would contain changeable routing data that was easily accessible via the MMGT. You would not have to save a preset for every routing map. You would save routing options inside the preset that would be reflected (and easily accessed) by a MMGT page.

    I know that there is an extremely low possibility of ever seeing such a product from RJM (or any other company). However, if you'd told me that I'd have my current rig with its fantastic possibilities, even ten years ago, I'd suggest you were dreaming. So I'm dreaming big with this one.
     
  2. luca9583

    luca9583
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    An RJM Router/Matrix would be totally awesome. Are you suggesting a floor based unit that is basically a fully blown Mastermind GT with say 16 Ins and Outs? Or are we talking about a rack unit similar to the Effect Gizmo but with full routing matrix power? The digital I/O options are a great idea to avoid all that A/D conversion when using digital gear, but with the Axe II for example, would digital I/O still allow 4CM?
     
  3. scratch17

    scratch17
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    I have found a way to implement most of the routing ideas I posted above using existing available technology. Since it is off topic for this venue, yet might be of some interest to members here, I provide this link to a description of how to accomplish thiese goals.

    http://www.vguitarforums.com/smf/index.php?topic=21232.0

    Luca, I doubt you'd have enough channels of digital I/O to implement a 4CM method with most gear such as the Axe FX2 or KPA.
     

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