Question on pre design for Kevin A. (or anyone else)

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

What would be the most cost/performance effective way today
using electronics to achieve continuous trim for multiple
pre channels using a single control and having tight
tracking? Ganged, rotary switched resistors not of interest.


Thanks,

Bob
--

"Things should be described as simply as possible, but no
simpler."

A. Einstein
41 answers Last reply
More about question design kevin else
  1. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    "Bob Cain" <arcane@arcanemethods.com> wrote in message
    news:d50nll02a35@enews4.newsguy.com...
    >
    > What would be the most cost/performance effective way today
    > using electronics to achieve continuous trim for multiple
    > pre channels using a single control and having tight
    > tracking? Ganged, rotary switched resistors not of interest.
    >
    >
    >

    parallel VCAs (voltage controlled amplifier)
  2. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    TimPerry wrote:
    > "Bob Cain" <arcane@arcanemethods.com> wrote in message
    > news:d50nll02a35@enews4.newsguy.com...
    >
    >>What would be the most cost/performance effective way today
    >>using electronics to achieve continuous trim for multiple
    >>pre channels using a single control and having tight
    >>tracking? Ganged, rotary switched resistors not of interest.
    >>
    >>
    >>
    >
    >
    > parallel VCAs (voltage controlled amplifier)

    Got a part number that you think would not introduce too
    much noise or distortion in the front end of a pre? It's
    pretty much got to be the first gain stage.


    Bob
    --

    "Things should be described as simply as possible, but no
    simpler."

    A. Einstein
  3. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    Bob Cain wrote:

    > What would be the most cost/performance effective way today
    > using electronics to achieve continuous trim for multiple
    > pre channels using a single control and having tight
    > tracking? Ganged, rotary switched resistors not of interest.

    Give a real world application.

    IME multiple mics are never matched *that* tightly, and their usage
    isn't matched *that* tightly.

    This is a recording forum right - all fine level setting is deferred
    to the mix, right?

    In SR - well it's meatball surgery so existing analog pots with all
    their warts, still get the job done. Besides, you also have the faders
    for fine settings.
  4. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    Bob Cain wrote:
    > What would be the most cost/performance effective way today
    > using electronics to achieve continuous trim for multiple
    > pre channels using a single control and having tight
    > tracking? Ganged, rotary switched resistors not of interest.
    >

    I am having difficulty understanding the question exactly. It seems that
    you are asking about many ganged channels, all having their gains
    adjusted at once.

    If continuous really mean continuous, then there is only one practical
    solution, that is VCA (voltage controlled amplifiers).

    If finite step size is allowed, then using digital i.c. gain pots is an
    option. That is, there are chips that have digital lines to control
    their internal tapped resisters. The digital lines are just fed to all
    pots.

    http://www.analog.com/digital_pots.html

    http://www.maxim-ic.com/appnotes.cfm/appnote_number/3484

    Kevin Aylward
    informationEXTRACT@anasoft.co.uk
    http://www.anasoft.co.uk
    SuperSpice, a very affordable Mixed-Mode
    Windows Simulator with Schematic Capture,
    Waveform Display, FFT's and Filter Design.
  5. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    In article <d50nll02a35@enews4.newsguy.com> arcane@arcanemethods.com writes:

    > What would be the most cost/performance effective way today
    > using electronics to achieve continuous trim for multiple
    > pre channels using a single control and having tight
    > tracking? Ganged, rotary switched resistors not of interest.

    I'm not Kevin, thank goodness, but how about digitally controlled
    attenuators? The steps are quantized, but you should be able to get
    ones with fine enough resolution to seem continuous.

    --
    I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
    However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
    lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
    you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
    and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
  6. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    Bob Cain wrote:
    >
    > What would be the most cost/performance effective way today using
    > electronics to achieve continuous trim for multiple pre channels using a
    > single control and having tight tracking? Ganged, rotary switched
    > resistors not of interest.

    Bob, what would be the point of this?
  7. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    Bob Cain wrote:
    > TimPerry wrote:
    >> "Bob Cain" <arcane@arcanemethods.com> wrote in message
    >> news:d50nll02a35@enews4.newsguy.com...
    >>
    >>> What would be the most cost/performance effective way today
    >>> using electronics to achieve continuous trim for multiple
    >>> pre channels using a single control and having tight
    >>> tracking? Ganged, rotary switched resistors not of interest.
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>
    >>
    >>
    >> parallel VCAs (voltage controlled amplifier)
    >
    > Got a part number that you think would not introduce too
    > much noise or distortion in the front end of a pre? It's
    > pretty much got to be the first gain stage.
    >

    Your probably going to have to have some gain first, to use any standard
    parts.

    There is a very low noise VCA, its the AD602, we use it in ultrsound as
    a time swept amplifier.

    http://www.analog.com/en/prod/0,2877,AD602,00.html

    It has a low impedance, so it would require at least an emitter follower
    buffer to interface to a mic directly. Its distortion is well, I don't
    know. Look it up.


    Kevin Aylward
    informationEXTRACT@anasoft.co.uk
    http://www.anasoft.co.uk
    SuperSpice, a very affordable Mixed-Mode
    Windows Simulator with Schematic Capture,
    Waveform Display, FFT's and Filter Design.
  8. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    In article <d526dc12nk3@enews1.newsguy.com> arcane@arcanemethods.com writes:

    > Got a part number that you think would not introduce too
    > much noise or distortion in the front end of a pre? It's
    > pretty much got to be the first gain stage.

    This has been the problem in the past. Maybe it's better now. The
    reason why most sound cards and many didigtal recorders don't have
    input level controls is that adding a digitally controlled attenuator
    would add a couple of dB of noise. Since they're in a spec war, nobody
    wanted to publish a noise specification higher than it had to be even
    though controlling the sensitivity of the input would be a great
    convenience to the users who understand how to use such a control.


    --
    I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
    However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
    lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
    you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
    and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
  9. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    In article <2YGdneQWVMQpX-nfRVn-1g@comcast.com> arnyk@hotpop.com writes:

    > Give a real world application.
    >
    > IME multiple mics are never matched *that* tightly, and their usage
    > isn't matched *that* tightly.

    I can see this as a preamp for a multi-channel mic setup such as a 5.1
    array, Holophone, Soundfield or that ATMOS (commercial products)
    system that has an overall level control.


    --
    I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
    However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
    lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
    you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
    and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
  10. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    Mike Rivers wrote:
    > In article <2YGdneQWVMQpX-nfRVn-1g@comcast.com> arnyk@hotpop.com writes:
    >
    >
    >> Give a real world application.
    >>
    >> IME multiple mics are never matched *that* tightly, and their usage
    >> isn't matched *that* tightly.
    >
    >
    > I can see this as a preamp for a multi-channel mic setup such as a 5.1
    > array, Holophone, Soundfield or that ATMOS (commercial products)
    > system that has an overall level control.


    Bingo.
  11. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    Arny Krueger wrote:
    > Bob Cain wrote:
    >
    >
    >>What would be the most cost/performance effective way today
    >>using electronics to achieve continuous trim for multiple
    >>pre channels using a single control and having tight
    >>tracking? Ganged, rotary switched resistors not of interest.
    >
    >
    > Give a real world application.

    Ambisonic mic. In general, multiple capsules in an array to
    capture and encode directional information.

    > IME multiple mics are never matched *that* tightly, and their usage
    > isn't matched *that* tightly.

    The bane of Ambisonics but it works pretty well anyway. I
    just don't want gains wandering relative to each other when
    setting the overall record level of an array. If they do,
    the encoding logic is all screwed up. I can compensate for
    fixed differences in capsules to a large extent with
    measurment based DSP but not for gains wandering with
    respect to each other in use.

    > This is a recording forum right - all fine level setting is deferred
    > to the mix, right?

    Not in this case. It's all about amplitude differences
    among the channels so changing the overall gain should
    introduce very little systematic error.


    Bob
    --

    "Things should be described as simply as possible, but no
    simpler."

    A. Einstein
  12. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    Kurt Albershardt wrote:
    > Mike Rivers wrote:
    >>
    >> I can see this as a preamp for a multi-channel mic setup such as a 5.1
    >> array, Holophone, Soundfield or that ATMOS (commercial products)
    >> system that has an overall level control.
    >
    >
    >
    > Bingo.

    Indeed. :-)


    Bob
    --

    "Things should be described as simply as possible, but no
    simpler."

    A. Einstein
  13. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    "Bob Cain"
    >
    > What would be the most cost/performance effective way today using
    > electronics to achieve continuous trim for multiple pre channels using a
    > single control and having tight tracking? Ganged, rotary switched
    > resistors not of interest.
    >


    ** Is this for a mic-preamp ??

    Real application or some asinine hypothetical ??


    ............ Phil
  14. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    Phil Allison wrote:
    > "Bob Cain"
    >
    >>What would be the most cost/performance effective way today using
    >>electronics to achieve continuous trim for multiple pre channels using a
    >>single control and having tight tracking? Ganged, rotary switched
    >>resistors not of interest.
    >>
    >
    >
    >
    > ** Is this for a mic-preamp ??

    Yes.

    >
    > Real application or some asinine hypothetical ??

    Real. The only box capable of it today is the Metric Halo
    2882 and it's overkill for my app.


    Bob
    --

    "Things should be described as simply as possible, but no
    simpler."

    A. Einstein
  15. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    Kevin Aylward wrote:

    > Your probably going to have to have some gain first, to use any standard
    > parts.
    >
    > There is a very low noise VCA, its the AD602, we use it in ultrsound as
    > a time swept amplifier.
    >
    > http://www.analog.com/en/prod/0,2877,AD602,00.html
    >
    > It has a low impedance, so it would require at least an emitter follower
    > buffer to interface to a mic directly. Its distortion is well, I don't
    > know. Look it up.

    Looks great! +/-.3dB gain accuracy should be fine. .1%
    distortion (if that's what -60 dBc means) ain't wonderful
    but I can live with that better than noise which is only 1.4
    nV/rootHz.

    0-40 dB gain is good enough if it's going into a converter
    with 20 or so real bits. Gonna get some.


    Many Thanks,

    Bob
    --

    "Things should be described as simply as possible, but no
    simpler."

    A. Einstein
  16. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    Bob Cain <arcane@arcanemethods.com> wrote in
    news:d5269002nk3@enews1.newsguy.com:

    >
    >
    > Phil Allison wrote:
    >> "Bob Cain"
    >>
    >>>What would be the most cost/performance effective way today
    >>>using electronics to achieve continuous trim for multiple pre
    >>>channels using a single control and having tight tracking?
    >>>Ganged, rotary switched resistors not of interest.
    >>>
    >>
    >>
    >>
    >> ** Is this for a mic-preamp ??
    >
    > Yes.
    >
    >>
    >> Real application or some asinine hypothetical ??
    >
    > Real. The only box capable of it today is the Metric Halo
    > 2882 and it's overkill for my app.
    >
    >
    > Bob

    How many simultaneous channels? You might consider a light
    dependent resistor in the feedback path of an op-amp, controlled
    by the brightness of a LED.

    --
    Bob Quintal

    PA is y I've altered my email address.
  17. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    Bob Quintal wrote:
    > Bob Cain <arcane@arcanemethods.com> wrote in
    > news:d5269002nk3@enews1.newsguy.com:
    >
    >
    >>
    >>Phil Allison wrote:
    >>
    >>>"Bob Cain"
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>>What would be the most cost/performance effective way today
    >>>>using electronics to achieve continuous trim for multiple pre
    >>>>channels using a single control and having tight tracking?
    >>>>Ganged, rotary switched resistors not of interest.
    >>>>
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>** Is this for a mic-preamp ??
    >>
    >>Yes.
    >>
    >>
    >>> Real application or some asinine hypothetical ??
    >>
    >>Real. The only box capable of it today is the Metric Halo
    >>2882 and it's overkill for my app.
    >>
    >>
    >>Bob
    >
    >
    > How many simultaneous channels?

    Four.

    > You might consider a light
    > dependent resistor in the feedback path of an op-amp, controlled
    > by the brightness of a LED.

    Hmmm, that's a new idea! (At least for this app.) Any idea
    how well such devices track? I'll look into it but I'll bet
    that noise will be a signifigant problem; noise from the
    light source as well as from the device itself. Definitely
    worth an investigation, though, because it's so darned simple.


    Bob
    --

    "Things should be described as simply as possible, but no
    simpler."

    A. Einstein
  18. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    Bob Cain wrote:

    > What would be the most cost/performance effective way today
    > using electronics to achieve continuous trim for multiple
    > pre channels using a single control and having tight
    > tracking? Ganged, rotary switched resistors not of interest.

    If you can live with 1dB steps TI's PGA2500. Rather a good mic amp in
    its own right. Gain is controlled by an SPI interface.

    Graham
  19. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    On Sat, 30 Apr 2005 12:52:22 -0700, Bob Cain
    <arcane@arcanemethods.com> wrote:

    >
    >What would be the most cost/performance effective way today
    >using electronics to achieve continuous trim for multiple
    >pre channels using a single control and having tight
    >tracking? Ganged, rotary switched resistors not of interest.

    There's the (lamp or LED)/CDS photocell combination such as the
    Vactrol brand name or cheap surplus ones such as this:

    http://www.goldmine-elec-products.com/prodinfo.asp?number=G15396&variation=&aitem=1&mitem=1

    Running a control current through each LED of several such units
    and using the photocell resistance in the preamp feedback circuit for
    each channel would 'work', but I understand CDS photocells don't have
    very consistent light-resistance characteristics from one unit to the
    next (I wonder if they're temperature-sensitive as well). So, use a
    12-bit A/D to read the control voltage (from a front-panel gain
    potentiometer), and use a microcontroller to generate several outputs,
    each calibrated for its particular LED/photocell combination.
    Calibration is not something one wants to do in production, but
    since you've already put a microprocessor in there, have a path from
    the micro to the pre inputs, so it injects a known level signal, and
    then measure each output in 1dB steps over the whole gain range of
    each preamp, writing each LED current value to FLASH memory (you DID
    pick a chip that can write FLASH under program control, didn't you?).
    Values between 1dB steps (from that 12-bit word from the front-panel
    control) can be interpolated by the processor.
    A pushbutton, perhaps on the back panel, would initiate
    calibration.

    It appears you want this for production


    If you want a pure analog solution, there's the idea of the
    front-panel knob adjusting vanes between small lamps or LED's and
    photocells, sort of a multichannel Morley volume pedal behind a front
    panel. But that could have 'issues', it might need manual calibration.


    >Thanks,
    >
    >Bob

    -----
    http://mindspring.com/~benbradley
  20. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    On Sun, 01 May 2005 12:18:32 -0700, Bob Cain
    <arcane@arcanemethods.com> wrote:

    >> How many simultaneous channels?
    >
    >Four.

    I've got a four gang Alps pot, audio taper 100K with
    a motor on its back and a knob on its front, mounted
    on a circuit board with motor driver IC, etc. Yours
    if you want it.

    Also several Alps 50K six gangs with motor, unmounted.

    Chris Hornbeck
    "Don't panic."
  21. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    Mike Rivers wrote:
    > how about digitally controlled
    > attenuators? The steps are quantized, but you should be able to get
    > ones with fine enough resolution to seem continuous.

    Got a PN for any you've heard good things about?


    Thanks,

    Bob
    --

    "Things should be described as simply as possible, but no
    simpler."

    A. Einstein
  22. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    Pooh Bear wrote:

    > If you can live with 1dB steps TI's PGA2500. Rather a good mic amp in
    > its own right. Gain is controlled by an SPI interface.

    _Very_ nice part, thanks. I'd like to control it with a
    pot, though, and that will take a little thought. Maybe
    there's a PIC that can do the job with a single chip.

    Definitely a go-to part for a pre/ADC.


    Bob
    --

    "Things should be described as simply as possible, but no
    simpler."

    A. Einstein
  23. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    Ben Bradley wrote:

    > On Sat, 30 Apr 2005 12:52:22 -0700, Bob Cain
    > <arcane@arcanemethods.com> wrote:
    >
    > >
    > >What would be the most cost/performance effective way today
    > >using electronics to achieve continuous trim for multiple
    > >pre channels using a single control and having tight
    > >tracking? Ganged, rotary switched resistors not of interest.
    >
    > There's the (lamp or LED)/CDS photocell combination such as the
    > Vactrol brand name or cheap surplus ones such as this:
    >
    > http://www.goldmine-elec-products.com/prodinfo.asp?number=G15396&variation=&aitem=1&mitem=1
    >
    > Running a control current through each LED of several such units
    > and using the photocell resistance in the preamp feedback circuit for
    > each channel would 'work', but I understand CDS photocells don't have
    > very consistent light-resistance characteristics from one unit to the
    > next (I wonder if they're temperature-sensitive as well). So, use a
    > 12-bit A/D to read the control voltage (from a front-panel gain
    > potentiometer), and use a microcontroller to generate several outputs,
    > each calibrated for its particular LED/photocell combination.
    > Calibration is not something one wants to do in production, but
    > since you've already put a microprocessor in there, have a path from
    > the micro to the pre inputs, so it injects a known level signal, and
    > then measure each output in 1dB steps over the whole gain range of
    > each preamp, writing each LED current value to FLASH memory (you DID
    > pick a chip that can write FLASH under program control, didn't you?).
    > Values between 1dB steps (from that 12-bit word from the front-panel
    > control) can be interpolated by the processor.
    > A pushbutton, perhaps on the back panel, would initiate
    > calibration.

    Those Vactrols have a horribly non-linear resistance. Matching them is something else and the
    resistance has a 'history effect'.

    Graham
  24. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    Bob Cain wrote:

    > Bob Quintal wrote:
    > > Bob Cain <arcane@arcanemethods.com> wrote in
    > > news:d5269002nk3@enews1.newsguy.com:
    > >
    > >
    > >>
    > >>Phil Allison wrote:
    > >>
    > >>>"Bob Cain"
    > >>>
    > >>>
    > >>>>What would be the most cost/performance effective way today
    > >>>>using electronics to achieve continuous trim for multiple pre
    > >>>>channels using a single control and having tight tracking?
    > >>>>Ganged, rotary switched resistors not of interest.
    > >>>>
    > >>>
    > >>>
    > >>>
    > >>>** Is this for a mic-preamp ??
    > >>
    > >>Yes.
    > >>
    > >>
    > >>> Real application or some asinine hypothetical ??
    > >>
    > >>Real. The only box capable of it today is the Metric Halo
    > >>2882 and it's overkill for my app.
    > >>
    > >>
    > >>Bob
    > >
    > >
    > > How many simultaneous channels?
    >
    > Four.
    >
    > > You might consider a light
    > > dependent resistor in the feedback path of an op-amp, controlled
    > > by the brightness of a LED.
    >
    > Hmmm, that's a new idea! (At least for this app.) Any idea
    > how well such devices track? I'll look into it but I'll bet
    > that noise will be a signifigant problem; noise from the
    > light source as well as from the device itself. Definitely
    > worth an investigation, though, because it's so darned simple.

    LDRs are horribly non-linear. Hope you don't mind lots of THD.

    You'll need to buy hundreds to get 4 that match too.

    Graham
  25. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    Pooh Bear wrote:

    > LDRs are horribly non-linear. Hope you don't mind lots of THD.
    >
    > You'll need to buy hundreds to get 4 that match too.

    Never mind. :-)


    Bob
    --

    "Things should be described as simply as possible, but no
    simpler."

    A. Einstein
  26. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    Bob Cain wrote:

    > What would be the most cost/performance effective way today
    > using electronics to achieve continuous trim for multiple
    > pre channels using a single control and having tight
    > tracking? Ganged, rotary switched resistors not of interest.

    Just in case you missed it earlier, provided you can handle a simple
    microprocessor control interface - you simply won't beat this.

    http://focus.ti.com/docs/prod/folders/print/pga2500.html

    Fully Differential Input-to-Output Architecture
    Digitally Controlled Gain Using Serial Port Interface:
    Gain Range: 10dB through 65dB, 1dB per step
    Unity (0dB) Gain Setting via Serial Port or Dedicated Control Pin
    Dynamic Performance:
    Equivalent Noise with ZS = 150 and Gain = 30dB: –128dBu
    Total Harmonic Distortion plus Noise (THD+N) with Gain = 30dB: 0.0004%
    Zero Crossing Detection Minimizes Audible Artifacts when Gain Switching
    Integrated DC Servo Minimizes Output Offset Voltage
    Common-Mode Servo Improves CMRR
    Four-Wire Serial Control Port Interface:
    Simple Interface to Microprocessor or DSP Serial Ports
    Supports Daisy-Chaining of Multiple PGA2500 Devices
    Dedicated Input Pin for Selecting Unity Gain
    Overload Output Pin Provides Clipping Indication
    Four General-Purpose Digital Output Pins
    Requires ±5V Power Supplies
    Available in an SSOP-28 Package
    APPLICATIONS
    Microphone Preamplifiers and Mixers
    Digital Mixers and Recorders


    I currently have an eval board on loan from TI. It looks like an
    impressive part. Designed by the Burr-Brown division of course.


    Graham
  27. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    > > What would be the most cost/performance effective way today
    > > using electronics to achieve continuous trim for multiple
    > > pre channels using a single control and having tight
    > > tracking? Ganged, rotary switched resistors not of interest.

    Exactly how much gain variation do you need? If you only need to tweak it
    say 12 dB, say, you can use a quad linear-taper pot; set up series resistors
    so the series resistor is 1/3 the value of that pot section (measure and set
    exactly). Within that range, while your attenuation-vs.-rotation won't be
    perfect in terms of dB-per-unit rotation, it won't be as horrible as with a
    pot with wider range. And linear pot sections track one another a good deal
    better than log.

    Not at all elegant, but if it'll fit the application it's at least
    cost-effective.

    Peace,
    Paul
  28. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    Ben Bradley wrote:
    > On Sat, 30 Apr 2005 12:52:22 -0700, Bob Cain
    > <arcane@arcanemethods.com> wrote:
    >
    >>
    >> What would be the most cost/performance effective way today
    >> using electronics to achieve continuous trim for multiple
    >> pre channels using a single control and having tight
    >> tracking? Ganged, rotary switched resistors not of interest.
    >
    > There's the (lamp or LED)/CDS photocell combination such as the
    > Vactrol brand name or cheap surplus ones such as this:
    >
    >
    http://www.goldmine-elec-products.com/prodinfo.asp?number=G15396&variation=&aitem=1&mitem=1

    CdS cells aren't exactly what we'd call linear resistors, by modern
    standards. IOW if you pass an audio signal through a voltage divider
    that includes a CdS cell, pure signal in gives moderately distorted
    signal out.

    I did quite a bit of work with CdS cells as amplitude regulators in
    audio signal generators some decades ago, and they were the weakest
    link, even when their resistance was swamped with good resistors.
  29. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    In article <d54kfu11haj@enews3.newsguy.com> arcane@arcanemethods.com writes:

    > > how about digitally controlled
    > > attenuators? The steps are quantized, but you should be able to get
    > > ones with fine enough resolution to seem continuous.
    >
    > Got a PN for any you've heard good things about?

    Nope. I don't do design. I leave that to qualified professionals like
    Kevin. I thought about it, though, when recalling that Dan Kennedy
    uses those devices for his equalizer. He'll probably give you a good
    steer.

    The PGA2500 digitally controlled mic input chip that Graham (I think)
    suggested might be a good bet though. This is what Mackie is using in
    the mic input card for their new digital console.

    --
    I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
    However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
    lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
    you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
    and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
  30. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    Pooh Bear wrote:
    > Bob Cain wrote:
    >
    >> What would be the most cost/performance effective way today
    >> using electronics to achieve continuous trim for multiple
    >> pre channels using a single control and having tight
    >> tracking? Ganged, rotary switched resistors not of interest.
    >
    > Just in case you missed it earlier, provided you can handle a simple
    > microprocessor control interface - you simply won't beat this.
    >
    > http://focus.ti.com/docs/prod/folders/print/pga2500.html
    >
    > Fully Differential Input-to-Output Architecture
    > Digitally Controlled Gain Using Serial Port Interface:
    > Gain Range: 10dB through 65dB, 1dB per step
    > Unity (0dB) Gain Setting via Serial Port or Dedicated Control Pin
    > Dynamic Performance:
    > Equivalent Noise with ZS = 150 and Gain = 30dB: -128dBu
    > Total Harmonic Distortion plus Noise (THD+N) with Gain = 30dB: 0.0004%
    > Zero Crossing Detection Minimizes Audible Artifacts when Gain
    > Switching Integrated DC Servo Minimizes Output Offset Voltage
    > Common-Mode Servo Improves CMRR
    > Four-Wire Serial Control Port Interface:
    > Simple Interface to Microprocessor or DSP Serial Ports
    > Supports Daisy-Chaining of Multiple PGA2500 Devices
    > Dedicated Input Pin for Selecting Unity Gain
    > Overload Output Pin Provides Clipping Indication
    > Four General-Purpose Digital Output Pins
    > Requires ±5V Power Supplies
    > Available in an SSOP-28 Package
    > APPLICATIONS
    > Microphone Preamplifiers and Mixers
    > Digital Mixers and Recorders
    >
    >
    > I currently have an eval board on loan from TI. It looks like an
    > impressive part. Designed by the Burr-Brown division of course.
    >

    This is a very impressive part. I didn't know they existed. I find the
    distortion going up from 0.0004% to 0.03% as the output signal goes down
    from 3V to 30mv at fixed gain a little odd.

    From a practical point of view, its designed to be used with an A/D, so
    as long as its distortion is consistent with the raise of distortion in
    the AD with lower signals, net specs will be ok. However, I don't know
    the trade of that dictated such a state of affairs. Most of the internal
    amps could be in class A avoiding potential class ab issues.

    Kevin Aylward
    informationEXTRACT@anasoft.co.uk
    http://www.anasoft.co.uk
    SuperSpice, a very affordable Mixed-Mode
    Windows Simulator with Schematic Capture,
    Waveform Display, FFT's and Filter Design.
  31. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    Bob Cain <arcane@arcanemethods.com> wrote:
    >
    >What would be the most cost/performance effective way today
    >using electronics to achieve continuous trim for multiple
    >pre channels using a single control and having tight
    >tracking? Ganged, rotary switched resistors not of interest.

    If it has to sound good, the ganged resistors are definitely the way
    to go.

    If it doesn't have to sound good, there are a whole lot of CMOS based
    digital stepped controls. I'm not sure I would risk putting one into
    a feedback loop, but you could try it. Check the Maxim Semiconductor
    catalogue out for a bunch of them.

    I'm curious what the RNP does for digital gain control. Whatever it is,
    it can't be all that bad.

    Of course, you could just take the Gordon approach and do away with the
    trim completely. You don't get anything approaching continuous gain
    control, though.
    --scott
    --
    "C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
  32. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    Joe Sensor <crabcakes@emagic.net> wrote:
    >Bob Cain wrote:
    >>
    >> What would be the most cost/performance effective way today using
    >> electronics to achieve continuous trim for multiple pre channels using a
    >> single control and having tight tracking? Ganged, rotary switched
    >> resistors not of interest.
    >
    >Bob, what would be the point of this?

    5.1 mike arrays are where I'd first want something like that.

    I'd forgo the continuous trim, though and take the ganged resistor
    route. But I'm obsessed with keeping things out of the signal path.
    --scott
    --
    "C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
  33. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    Ben Bradley <ben_nospam_bradley@frontiernet.net> wrote:
    >
    > If you want a pure analog solution, there's the idea of the
    >front-panel knob adjusting vanes between small lamps or LED's and
    >photocells, sort of a multichannel Morley volume pedal behind a front
    >panel. But that could have 'issues', it might need manual calibration.

    If it's anything like the Lumiten, it will require manual calibration
    every five minutes. Hopefully modern LEDs would improve the stability
    a lot, though.
    --scott


    --
    "C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
  34. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    Bob,
    you might find some Analog Devices parts useful, such as the AD604
    variable gain amplifer or another part in the series or the AD5220
    digital pot or another part in that series.

    (financial disclosure: I own stock in AD) :-)

    Good luck.

    Mark
  35. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    Scott Dorsey wrote:
    > Bob Cain <arcane@arcanemethods.com> wrote:
    >>
    >> What would be the most cost/performance effective way today
    >> using electronics to achieve continuous trim for multiple
    >> pre channels using a single control and having tight
    >> tracking? Ganged, rotary switched resistors not of interest.
    >
    > If it has to sound good, the ganged resistors are definitely the way
    > to go.

    Not really. There are more optimum solutions.

    >
    > If it doesn't have to sound good, there are a whole lot of CMOS based
    > digital stepped controls. I'm not sure I would risk putting one into
    > a feedback loop,

    This is because you are clueless about analogue design. At least you
    know your limitations.

    >but you could try it. Check the Maxim Semiconductor
    > catalogue out for a bunch of them.

    Oh dear...cmos pots can easily perform as an audibly straight piece of
    wire with gain in the appropriate circuit.

    If resister strings are tapped into the feedback negative point via cmos
    switches, the distortion of the switches are essentially zero. The
    negative input feedback point is high impedance, so essentially, there
    is zero volts dropped across the cmos switch as the current through them
    is essentially, zero. The feedback ratio is simply due to real
    resisters, which is linear.


    Kevin Aylward
    informationEXTRACT@anasoft.co.uk
    http://www.anasoft.co.uk
    SuperSpice, a very affordable Mixed-Mode
    Windows Simulator with Schematic Capture,
    Waveform Display, FFT's and Filter Design.
  36. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    Bob Cain wrote:

    > Pooh Bear wrote:
    >
    > > If you can live with 1dB steps TI's PGA2500. Rather a good mic amp in
    > > its own right. Gain is controlled by an SPI interface.
    >
    > _Very_ nice part, thanks. I'd like to control it with a
    > pot, though, and that will take a little thought. Maybe
    > there's a PIC that can do the job with a single chip.
    >
    > Definitely a go-to part for a pre/ADC.

    What I would do is to use a simple microcontroller ( I prefer the 8031
    family myself ) and use a rotary encoder - as opposed to a pot - to adjust
    gain. Would be dead easy to include a readout of gain on a couple of 7
    segment displays too.


    Graham
  37. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    Pooh Bear wrote:
    >
    > Bob Cain wrote:
    >
    >
    >>Pooh Bear wrote:
    >>
    >>
    >>>If you can live with 1dB steps TI's PGA2500. Rather a good mic amp in
    >>>its own right. Gain is controlled by an SPI interface.
    >>
    >>_Very_ nice part, thanks. I'd like to control it with a
    >>pot, though, and that will take a little thought. Maybe
    >>there's a PIC that can do the job with a single chip.
    >>
    >>Definitely a go-to part for a pre/ADC.
    >
    >
    > What I would do is to use a simple microcontroller ( I prefer the 8031
    > family myself ) and use a rotary encoder - as opposed to a pot - to adjust
    > gain. Would be dead easy to include a readout of gain on a couple of 7
    > segment displays too.

    I like it! I was just looking at the dsPIC but that's
    overkill even tho they're cheap. It would be nice, however,
    to have some reserve capability and bond with what looks to
    be a very interesting part. I assume the 8031 could
    generate the required select and serial control stream to
    the PGA2500 without any jelly beans.

    Are shaft encoders Gray code or base 2? OST, the 8031 could
    do away with any possible intermediate states that would
    cause glitches.


    Bob
    --

    "Things should be described as simply as possible, but no
    simpler."

    A. Einstein
  38. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    Bob Cain wrote:

    > Pooh Bear wrote:
    > >
    > > Bob Cain wrote:
    > >
    > >
    > >>Pooh Bear wrote:
    > >>
    > >>
    > >>>If you can live with 1dB steps TI's PGA2500. Rather a good mic amp in
    > >>>its own right. Gain is controlled by an SPI interface.
    > >>
    > >>_Very_ nice part, thanks. I'd like to control it with a
    > >>pot, though, and that will take a little thought. Maybe
    > >>there's a PIC that can do the job with a single chip.
    > >>
    > >>Definitely a go-to part for a pre/ADC.
    > >
    > >
    > > What I would do is to use a simple microcontroller ( I prefer the 8031
    > > family myself ) and use a rotary encoder - as opposed to a pot - to adjust
    > > gain. Would be dead easy to include a readout of gain on a couple of 7
    > > segment displays too.
    >
    > I like it! I was just looking at the dsPIC but that's
    > overkill even tho they're cheap. It would be nice, however,
    > to have some reserve capability and bond with what looks to
    > be a very interesting part. I assume the 8031 could
    > generate the required select and serial control stream to
    > the PGA2500 without any jelly beans.

    Absolutely. The only bits you'd need are a few pull up Rs and the like.
    Everything including the LED drivers would fit into an 87C51 ( internal Eprom )
    nicely.

    > Are shaft encoders Gray code or base 2? OST, the 8031 could
    > do away with any possible intermediate states that would
    > cause glitches.

    The encoders I'm familar with ( the cheap and cheerful consumer types ) have
    'quadrature' outputs.

    You hook one of them up to a hardware interrupt line and the interrupt reads 0
    or 1 on the other output which means clockwise / counterclockwise. You need to
    be careful about contact bounce of course.

    It would make sense also to have a tiny serial EEprom to store gain data so that
    the unit powers up with the same gain in effect as when it was powered off.

    Graham
  39. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    Very simple, been doing it for years, in a variety of formats including
    PIC and 80x1 implementations.

    The TI should do a reasonable job, but it looks like it's sort of
    strangled by noise, or at least that's what I see in those graphs of
    gain vs noise. Not front end noise, but digital noise getting
    into the system.

    I know you can do better, but not easier. It'll sound like an SSM-2017
    or any other variation of hybrid instrumentation amp done passably well.

    Clean, edgy, gutless, and lifeless.


    Pooh Bear wrote:
    > Bob Cain wrote:
    >
    >
    >>Pooh Bear wrote:
    >>
    >>>Bob Cain wrote:
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>>Pooh Bear wrote:
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>>
    >>>>>If you can live with 1dB steps TI's PGA2500. Rather a good mic amp in
    >>>>>its own right. Gain is controlled by an SPI interface.
    >>>>
    >>>>_Very_ nice part, thanks. I'd like to control it with a
    >>>>pot, though, and that will take a little thought. Maybe
    >>>>there's a PIC that can do the job with a single chip.
    >>>>
    >>>>Definitely a go-to part for a pre/ADC.
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>What I would do is to use a simple microcontroller ( I prefer the 8031
    >>>family myself ) and use a rotary encoder - as opposed to a pot - to adjust
    >>>gain. Would be dead easy to include a readout of gain on a couple of 7
    >>>segment displays too.
    >>
    >>I like it! I was just looking at the dsPIC but that's
    >>overkill even tho they're cheap. It would be nice, however,
    >>to have some reserve capability and bond with what looks to
    >>be a very interesting part. I assume the 8031 could
    >>generate the required select and serial control stream to
    >>the PGA2500 without any jelly beans.
    >
    >
    > Absolutely. The only bits you'd need are a few pull up Rs and the like.
    > Everything including the LED drivers would fit into an 87C51 ( internal Eprom )
    > nicely.
    >
    >
    >>Are shaft encoders Gray code or base 2? OST, the 8031 could
    >>do away with any possible intermediate states that would
    >>cause glitches.
    >
    >
    > The encoders I'm familar with ( the cheap and cheerful consumer types ) have
    > 'quadrature' outputs.
    >
    > You hook one of them up to a hardware interrupt line and the interrupt reads 0
    > or 1 on the other output which means clockwise / counterclockwise. You need to
    > be careful about contact bounce of course.
    >
    > It would make sense also to have a tiny serial EEprom to store gain data so that
    > the unit powers up with the same gain in effect as when it was powered off.
    >
    > Graham
    >
  40. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    Dan Kennedy wrote:

    > Clean, edgy, gutless, and lifeless.

    Yeah, probably true of any amplicator where the output is
    only a scaled version of the input. :-)

    (Amplicator is a word that just was coined in comp.dsp by
    someone that isn't a native English speaker. I just love
    the word for what it implies!)


    Bob
    --

    "Things should be described as simply as possible, but no
    simpler."

    A. Einstein
  41. Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

    Dan Kennedy wrote:

    > Very simple, been doing it for years, in a variety of formats including
    > PIC and 80x1 implementations.
    >
    > The TI should do a reasonable job, but it looks like it's sort of
    > strangled by noise, or at least that's what I see in those graphs of
    > gain vs noise. Not front end noise, but digital noise getting
    > into the system.

    Really ? How did you come to that conslusion ?

    I have a PGA2500 EV board currently so I'll be making some checks soon anyway.

    > I know you can do better, but not easier. It'll sound like an SSM-2017
    > or any other variation of hybrid instrumentation amp done passably well.
    >
    > Clean, edgy, gutless, and lifeless.

    What would you suggest for added 'life and guts' ?


    Graham
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