analog Mixing Console
Inline Input/Group Module
The inline input and group module TM402 offers the same basic functions as the input module TM401 but adds the features of a large format inline console to the ToolMod mixing console system. Apart from comfortable and easy operation of the track oriented inline structure it offers the feature to feed two signals into the main mix bus and the group rails, which doubles the number of available input channels in a console at low cost.
TM402 Features in Brief
- 3 balanced inputs for external mic-pre, DAW output and an additional line level source.
- The inline structure of the module allows connecting another DAW output to the line inputs to process two tracks with one module.
- 2 balanced and buffered, switched insert points with extensive routing facilities.
- 6 mono auxiliaries and 1 stereo cue send.
- Group bus amp can be connected to one of the 16 group rails of the system.
- The group output is available on the connector panel and can be used as input signal as well.
The major difference between the mono input module TM401 and the inline input module TM402 is the internal signal flow. In combination with many additional swtich functions it is possible to process two input signals at a time. The two signal chains are called 'Tape Chain' and 'Record Chain'. The Tape chain defaults to the DAW return and drives the main mix bus using the main fader and the pan. All inserts and sends are assigned to the tape chain. The record chain input is either the line or the mic input. It uses the 'Rec' fader and drives the input of a track thru the group routing or the direct output. Inserts and sends can be assigned to this chain by the corresponding 'Rec' switches of the particular element.
Due to a couple of additional switches, the internal signal routing can be modified in many ways. Since the group routing matrix has an additional 'MIX' switch, it is possible to send the record input signal to the mix bus independent of the tape chain signal. In addition, the Group Routing switches 1/2, 3/4, and 5/6 are also existing in the tape chain, which makes possible to use these groups as stereo sub groups, while the remaining groups can still be used for recording or additional auxiliaries.
The group bus amp can be switched to the input of the tape chain. Using the module as sub group master is possible. The FLIP switch reverses the inputs and sends the tape chain input to the record input and vice versa.
The output section allows routing into the groups and the main stereo master for both signal chains. The MON switch in the routing section makes possible to feed the routing matrix from the DAW when the module is used as group master. PFL, Solo in Place, and a 3-color peak-present level indicator are included as well as access to the two mute groups.
The default tape chain input is the 'Mon' input that is normally used for the output of a DAW. The GRP switch selects the internal group bus amp alternatively. MIC and LINE select the corresponding inputs for external pre-amps for the record chain. All inputs are electronically balanced and can handle input levels of more at least + 30 dBu.
Two independent gain controls with +/- 20 dB range and calibrated center detents are active with the selected input of the particular signal chain.
The FLIP switch sends the mic/line input of the record chain to the internal tape chain, while the mono or group signal is send to the internal record chain. This input reversal allows adapting the work flow to the task in a very flexible way.
The TM402 inline module has two independent insert points. Both inserts, INS A and INS B are buffered and electronically balanced. Like all other inputs and outputs, the inserts can handle levels of more than + 30 dBu. Each insert has its own On-switch that activates the particular insert.
Both inserts default to the tape chain. The REV switch reverses the order of the two inserts. Pressing REV moves INS-A post INS-B. The INS B TO REC switch moves the second insert to the record chain alternatively. In this mode, the REV switch assigns INS-A to the record chain while INS-B is switched to the tape chain.
Due to the two independent insert points, it is possible to install two processing devices, e. g. equalizer and compressor and reverse the order of both without that patching or reconfiguration is necessary. Alternatively, two eq's or other processing units can be installed and assigned to the tape chain or the record chain, depending on the setting of the switches.
The TM402 inline module has 6 mono aux sends and a stereo cue send. The 6 mono sends default to post main fader. The PRE switches move the particular sends pre fader. An internal jumper determines if the aux sends are muted by the solo in place system when switched pre fader. AUX1 to AUX4 have additional REC switches that assign the particular send to the record fader. In this mode, the pre/post switches select pre or post record fader.
The stereo Cue send has independent level and pan controls. In the default position, Cue is pre main fader, pre solo. The POST switch puts the Cue section post main fader. The CUT switch mutes the entire Cue Section. The REC switch assigns the cue send to the record send. The additional switch TO 9-16 switches the output of the cue section to the group routing switches 9-16. This splits the routing matrix into two blocks of 8 groups. The groups 9 to 16 can be used to build floating mono or stereo auxiliaries while mixing. In this mode, the cue cut switch mutes only the cue bus but not the group busses.
The external fader module can be the mono version of the standard audio fader TM451 or the mono vca fader with automation interface TM455. Even without automation system installed, the four vca groups can be used, if one of the vca group master modules TM461 or TM462 are installed. The CUT switch is included with the fader module.
... more on the Audio Fader Module TM451
... more on the VCA Fader Module TM455
PFL, Solo, Peak-Led, Mute-Groups
PFL and Solo in Place are independent systems that are both available with the TM402 inline module. PFL only affects the control room section. Solo in place mutes all input channels that are neither switched LOC(al) - which is equivalent to 'safe from Solo' - nor in Solo Mode. Solo mutes the entire channel, which makes it possible to listen to the channel(s) in solo with the original level and pan and, if required, with reverb, echo, and any other effect that is driven from an aux send. Separate PFL switches for the main fader and the record fader allow easy control of the two signal chains. The Peak-Present level indicators, which are also installed for both faders, read the fader input signal. The 3-color led's light up green when the level is above - 20 dB and turn to yellow at 0 dB. With higher levels, the color changes from yellow to orange and red. With red color, the remaining headroom is 5 dB. The two mute groups CUT GR A and CUT GR B can be selected independently with two push buttons. The mute groups are assigned to the main fader. If a vca fader module is used as main fader and the optional vca group master module is installed, it makes more sense to assign the mute groups to the record fader, which is possible by internal jumpers on the module pcb. The mute group master switches are installed in the master module TM411. Cut from a mute group works not different from a local Cut.
The metering can be installed in additional frames that can be mounted on top of the mixing frame or in a rack. Each channel has two meter sends that can be configured by jumper blocks on the module pcb. The meter send 1 can be set to the calibrated DAW return input, the selected input pre input gain, pre main fader or pre record fader, which is equivalent to the signal that drives the group routing. Meter send 2 reads the channel output, the main fader output, the record fader output, or the group output. It is up to you to install single or dual meters or to omit the entire metering. High-resolution LED PPM's and VU meters are available. The meter sends are unbalanced and buffered and can drive any external meter with an appropriate level range. The meter outputs are available on a 9-pin D-sub connector per channel.
... more on the ToolMod Console Metering
Pan Pot, Mix Bus and Sub-Groups
The Mix Pan Pot in the tape chain is driven from the main fader output. It is implemented as standard mono to stereo pan with 3 dB center attenuation and center detent. The output of the pan pot drives the main stereo bus if the MIX switch is pressed. In addition, the groups 1 to 6 can be switched to the pan pot output in stereo pairs with three additional switches that do not alter the routing section. These groups can just used with both signal chains of the inline module at a time, which makes possible to use up to 3 stereo sub groups with both signals of the particular channel.
The routing matrix has 8 switches for the 16 mono groups, arranged in stereo pairs and a second MIX switch that feeds the record chain signal to the main stereo mix bus. The input is driven from the REC level and pan controls. The input of the rec fader default to post main fader. PRE selects pre main fader instead. The REC switch assigns the record fader to the record chain. By default, only the odd numbered groups are driven. Pressing EVEN selects the even numbered groups. In both cases, the routing is fed in mono from the output of the REC fader, which has a calibrated center detent at 0 dB. Pressing PAN switches over to stereo drive and inserts the routing pan pot.
The MON switch is active when REC is pressed and connects the REC fader to the DAW return input 'Tape'. This features allows to feed the track output to a group or directly to the mix bus, using the REC fader and the RTG PAN for level and pan control, while the channel is used in group mode. Electrically, the MON switch is located pre the insert section, which makes possible to use the insert in this mode for processing the track signal.
When using the record fader pre or post the main fader, the routing can be used to build additional mono or stereo auxiliaries, using unused groups. In combination with the CUE TO GR 9-16 features, there are many powerful ways to add auxiliaries during the mix.
The signal at the channel output depends on the position of the DIR switch. If DIR is not pressed, the output of the internal group bus amp drives this output. With DIR pressed, a jumper determines if the channel output is driven from the output of the main fader or the output of the record fader.
Group Bus Amp
The internal mono group bus amp of the TM402 inline module can be assigned to one of the group busses by a jumper block on the module pcb. The bus amp output is available on the channel output if the DIR switch is not pressed. In addition, internal group return rails make possible to access the group bus amp outputs in other modules as well.