Multiple Inputs To One Output

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by KennyC, Apr 20, 2004.

  1. KennyC

    KennyC Auditioning

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    My apologies in advance for being a newbie and probably asking a dumb question, but... How would you go about hooking up more than one audio source to one audio output and be able to have all the sources playing at the same time? In other words... i know you can hookup many audio sources to a reciever all at once, but you have to switch between them--you have to choose which source to use. I want to be able to use more than one of them at once. Is this a feature I should be looking for in a reciever? Are there Y adapters for combining two audio sources? Any help would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. Chuck Schilling

    Chuck Schilling Stunt Coordinator

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  3. KennyC

    KennyC Auditioning

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    hmm... are there mixers available that are made more for home theater stuff? The audio sources i'm using are in 5.1 surround, along with my reciever, so i wouldn't want to sacrifice that... It looks like the mixer you linked to wouldn't support surround sound. am i right?
     
  4. Nathan Stohler

    Nathan Stohler Second Unit

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    Kenny,

    Yes, I think you could use Y-adapters. I don't know if this is what you're trying to do, but let's say you want to play output from two DVD players at once. You could use the 6 analog outputs from each DVD player, combine them with a Y-adapter, and connect to the multi-channel inputs on your receiver. But keep in mind that level settings, bass management, etc. is now done in the DVD players.

    I think this would work [​IMG]
     
  5. David_Rivshin

    David_Rivshin Second Unit

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    You do not want to use plain Y adapters to combine outputs from different sources, this results in impedance mismatches as one device tries to drive the output of the other device, as well as the input to your amplifier. If you use Y adapters with resistors in each leg then you can get away with it, however. There have been threads on this in the past, you should be able to find more detailed information by searching for "Y adapter", perhaps in the Connections forum.

    In general what you want is a mixer, which gets it's name because it mixes different inputs into a single output. Most real mixers have separate volume controls for each input, as well as a master output volume control, so you can level match your sources as desired. Most mixers have 1 channel per input, as they are primarily designed for use with microphones, but it's not hard to find mixers with stereo inputs/outputs these days. You could synthesize a 6 channel mixer by taking 6 mono or 3 stereo mixers in parallel, with the caveat that you should be careful to make sure the volume controls are in identical positions (an big inconvenience if you want to modify the level often). You should be able to do the same thing in one box with a 3 bus stereo mixer, but that'll cost you alot as those are more professional level machines.

    If you have only a single 6 channel source and multiple stereo sources then it's easier, as all you really need is a stereo channel mixer for the fronts, and run the center/surrounds/sub direct. But be careful in that case to make sure the mixer is set to unity gain all the way, or you'll have level matching problems between the fronts and the other channels.

    Behringer makes some decent simple mixers that aren't too expensive, check out their UB series. If you're on a tighter budget, or need/want more/different features then you can always build your own mixer. They're really pretty simple devices, consisting largely of 1 or 2 op-amps per channel, some variable resistors for volume control, and the input/output connectors. All you need is some web research and moderate skill with a soldering iron.

    Hope this helps,
    -- Dave
     
  6. KennyC

    KennyC Auditioning

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    hey, thanks for all the help everybody! Building a mixer definitely sounds like my kind've style... especially since all the mixers with enough channels for my needs seem on the expensive side. whew! i didn't realize this was going to be such a big deal! it makes since now, though--thanks again for all your help! lemme know if you have anymore suggestions!
     

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