VOGONS


First post, by ChrisTOTG

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I currently have a modern desktop with good speakers, and I have my main retro PC sound card connected to its line-in.

...but I also have an MT-32 and an SC-88Pro, which is a total of three devices with audio output. I could fiddle around with the Windows mixer, but it's a headache. I can use the input on my SC-88Pro but that means I'm still missing one. When I find the right powered speaker set for my old PC I won't be able to use the Windows PC as a mixer any longer, and it will be even worse when I add another retro box!

Do any of you guys just use a basic mixer with a bunch of inputs and one or two outputs? I can find things like that all over town, but I have never used one so I don't know what I need to know.

Reply 1 of 13, by chinny22

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ChrisTOTG wrote on 2022-11-25, 01:53:

it will be even worse when I add another retro box!

It actually makes things easier!
Currently I have about 10 PC's setup about half of them with multiple sound cards. Each PC has a purpose, If I want to use the SC55 then it means I'll use the DX2, If I want AWE then its the 5x86 (for example)
You still end up with your favorites but it does force you to use multiple PC's once you start getting them.

But what I do is run an audio extension cable from the back of each PC to somewhere convenient and manually plug the speakers into the cable of the PC I'm using.
It's not perfect and an audiophile would cry , but it's cheap, takes up no space, allows me to switch the headphones and no way could I afford a mixer with that many inputs.

But many people do use proper mixers if you want something a bit more formal and it does get mentioned here every now again, this was the first I found
Audio mixer recommendation?

Reply 2 of 13, by Shponglefan

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I have two setups with multiple audio devices.

For my 286 system with multiple sound cards, I use a Rolls MX42 Stereo Mixer.

For my Pentium system with external sound modules, I hook up the external modules to an A/V switch box (by Audio Authority), then I route the output from the switch box to my sound card's (GUS Extreme) line-in for mixing. This allows me to toggle which sound module I want to use, then mixes with the audio from the GUS.

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Reply 3 of 13, by Sphere478

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Retro rig into main rig line in. Is how I do it

Sphere's PCB projects.
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Reply 4 of 13, by dionb

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I use two Behringer Eurorack RX1602 mixers (16 mono/8 stereo inputs each), one for my vintage PCs, one for MIDI modules (and overflow from the PCs).

Reason it escalated so quickly was multiple sound cards in PCs. Yes, you can theoretically Daisy-Chain them, but controlling noise and volume levels is a pain. I also use a MIDI patchbay to share all modules with all systems. I like comparing stuff, which is a pain with dedicated PC+sound combos.

Reply 5 of 13, by RandomStranger

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Recently I picked up a cheapo Nedis audio switch for my 2 active duty rigs and connected it backwards.

Details

LD0005410329_2.jpg

Now instead of switching between speakers/headphones for 1 PC, I can switch between 2 PCs for one speaker. Just pay attention to ground loop.

sreq.png retrogamer-s.png

Reply 6 of 13, by Sphere478

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Couldn’t you make a Y splitter with diodes?

Sphere's PCB projects.
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Sphere’s socket 5/7 cpu collection.
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SUCCESSFUL K6-2+ to K6-3+ Full Cache Enable Mod
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Tyan S1564S to S1564D single to dual processor conversion (also s1563 and s1562)

Reply 7 of 13, by RandomStranger

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My initial idea was making it myself, but give how cheap this was it just didn't make sense to waste time on it. At the same time I also bought a laptop/tablet stand I would have bought anyway so technically shipping was free.

sreq.png retrogamer-s.png

Reply 8 of 13, by vutt

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I'm using Maker Heart mini stereo mixer. Version I'm using is now replaced with Loop line Neat part of new line is you can daisy chain them so there is expansion path available. Also I can see that potentiometers design is improved. Old one with exposed slides is very prone to dust.

However for my next mixer I will pick one which has also channel mute button. Current one does not disconnect completely when turning channel volume down.
That Behringer Eurorack RX1602 looks sexy. Hm..

And one more warning to consider. With 2 sound cards connected to same mixer I managed to create some sort of resonant antenna. All mouse movements in Windows 98 generated steady audible crackling noise regardless of volume/mute positions. No issues when sound cards were connected one at the time. I fixed it by using Orpheus I SPDIF output exclusively with external DAC. Second card remained analogue.

Reply 9 of 13, by Shponglefan

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vutt wrote on 2022-11-26, 19:43:

With 2 sound cards connected to same mixer I managed to create some sort of resonant antenna. All mouse movements in Windows 98 generated steady audible crackling noise regardless of volume/mute positions. No issues when sound cards were connected one at the time.

Sounds like a potential ground loop issue.

I've had similar issues on various PCs including my main music studio PC. In the latter case I ended buying a USB ground loop isolator for my audio interface which completely eliminated the problem.

Tandy 1000 TL build
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Ultimate Windows XP build

Reply 10 of 13, by BloodyCactus

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rolls rm203 10 stereol channel mixer into my mixing desk (mixwizard 14:4:2).

this is the behringer chinese clone version;

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/RX160 … ount-line-mixer

$110.

feed your soundcard and all your modules into it, and feed the master out to whatever amp etc or use headphones.

--/\-[ Stu : Bloody Cactus :: http://kråketær.com :: http://mega-tokyo.com ]-/\--

Reply 11 of 13, by ChrisTOTG

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I wound up finding a pair of Bose Mediamate desktop speakers that have two inputs on the back and a Mix knob on the front. $30 covered my speakers and 2-channel mixer with a period-appropriate look. Heck of a good find.

It's missing the knob on the Mix potentiometer, but I can spin it with a thumbnail, so it's not all that bad. I wonder if I could find a replacement somewhere?

Reply 12 of 13, by TamaMan

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I've been using RME's various Fireface products for years successfully. Currently using a Fireface 802 for mixing 4-5 vintage sound sources for easy recording and monitoring to modern studio monitors. This saves also space as no separate mixer/console involved.

"High fidelity recordings of 90s MIDI and DOS/Windows game soundtracks on real hardware (AdLib, Sound Blaster+CMS/Pro 2/AWE32/AWE64, UltraSound, Roland MT-32/SC-55/SCC-1/SC-7)"
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiSJ_UFogOYTKcBKHwXz3lA

Reply 13 of 13, by megatron-uk

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Hill Audio 16 channel rackmount mixer and a manual, push-button 12 channel rackmount phono switcher for other sources.

Y-cables are a waste of time. Get a mixer and you can attenuate the different levels properly.

My collection database and technical wiki:
https://www.target-earth.net