Suggestions for Switchers / Routing Matrices

Been thinkin a lot lately about how to patch in ways to make the signal flow as variable as possible. Looking at a couple switchers and routing modules. I have two strong contenders I’m considering at the moment.

Doepfer A-150-8 Octal Manual / Voltage Controlled Programmable Switches

Seems like a very solid option for routing multiple sources around with manual and CV triggers. Different operation modes is a definite plus.

SSSR Labs SM010 Matrixarchate

Configurable I/O. Preset recall/programming. Have heard this works pretty well with video. Available (not at the moment) as a DIY kit.

If anybody has any recommendations I would love to hear them. Again the goal is to route a patch through a module to allow as much variability as possible. Thanks.

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There was talk at one point of WMD releasing a full video bandwidth version of this:

Bummed it never happened.

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I’ve used both and prefer the Matrixarchate. The Doepfer A-150-8 definitely blurs video signals more than the Matrixarchate but is fine up until a bit farther above V sync / audio range–it’s much less of a smear than other audio modules I’ve tried. I think it uses a DG409 for the switcher IC.

The switches operate into audio range so you can get scrolling horizontal bars between inputs. You might need a scaler to hit the switches’ voltage thresholds. The immediacy of programming multiple switches to actuate with one trigger with persistent memory and no need to save its configuration with a button combo is nice. Its layout felt more immediately playable out of the two.

Matrixarchate perceptibly blurs detailed external video by a couple of SD pixels so don’t expect to switch crystal clear portraits with it. It works perfectly fine for slightly less detailed SD images or lower frequency content still within H sync range down to DC. Beyond its better image fidelity, where it really shines is its doubled amount of inputs (these are bidirectional so can be outputs just like on the Doepfer A-150-8) and you can sequence completely different complex routings instantly without complex logic signals.

It uses a MT8816 for the switcher IC. You might need a scaler to use its Trigger input but I’ve had success with V sync square waves out of Prismatic Ray. It only responds up to somewhat low audio rates but you can get scrolling horizontal bars. Its button interface is okay but doesn’t feel quite as intuitive as the Doepfer A-150-8–there are a couple of function+button combos to remember.

If your goal is being able to reroute one physical patch with as much variety as possible, would definitely opt for the Matrixarchate.

It also speaks I2C so there are some interesting possibilities for dynamically accessing its matrix. Particularly curious if anyone can work out how to get Befaco VCMC’s I2C firmware talking to it. Mapping the faders and buttons to set/reset crosspoints for generative routing under voltage control would be fun.

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I’m pretty sure I put out this idea with a positive response previously…
How about a 19" rack video matrix like a Kramer or Extron unit - would they handle animation rate CV?

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Sweet! Thanks for replying in so much detail! I was thinking either module could be a bit off at the higher end of the frequency range. I sort of figured that some amount of blur would be unavoidable. With the Matrixarchate, the layout looks a little less than intuitive. I was hoping the save/recall function might be particularly useful but nobody I’ve talked to has said it’s especially great or anything. I am hoping the DIY kits pop up somewhere soon. I do also have the VCMC in my rack so that would be super sick to have them working together.

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Save/recall is super useful for editing/deconstructing one routing preset and instantly returning to it (F1 + Revert). I have several routing presets setup so I can quickly get the basis for a pattern synthesis or external processing patch going without having to set up the foundation for it everytime.

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You’d need something that translates CV → MIDI → RS-232. I think Tim Caldwell had something called transcribe in the works that would let you do this (at least the MIDI → RS-232 part).

I’ve spammed Extron matrix mixers with RS-232 commands through a USB->serial dongle in the past and recall it does have some slight lag on responding to each command.

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@wednesdayayay
How about posting the photo of the front panel of @Fox’s Passive Switcher (that you concepted, right?) that you’ve recently built? It’s a simple unit with no fancy bells & whistles but might be just the trick for some of us on here :metal:t3:

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this is a great little unit!

it is really nice to have the ability to go 2:1 or 1:2

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let me hit up fox i think ill have to snag one…

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Can you give more Infos on the module and how it works? 3 x 3 channel switcher?

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It’s a 4PDT passive switch.

So you can put 4 separate signals into the Circle jacks and 4 other signals into the Square jacks and switch whether all 4 of the Circle or Square jacks show up on the Triangle jacks. That’s basically 2:1 x 4.

The other route is feeding 4 signals into the Triangle jacks and switching between them showing up on the Circle or Square jacks. That’s 1:2 x 4.

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rempesm gave a great answer!
you could do a YRGB signal or just a bunch of different modulations
This kind of module allows for easy large changes within a patch without having to do a bunch of extra patching.

I’ve got a bunch of different styles of 2:1 / 1:2 switches in the system singles doubles and now 2 quads. They are so handy!

I like using the singles for switching between POS & NEG outs from polar fringe

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