I have a lot of FX processors that I would like to interface with a modular I've been planning (and half-built) recently, including both pedals and more fleshed out stuff like a TC Electronic M350, Electrix MoFX and Vermona Retroverb Lancet. Having narrowed down the decision of which insert module to go for to the above, was wondering if others could advise which to choose, because I simply cannot come to a decision.

-Both modules are 4HP
-ADDAC200PI will work with 2 external FX chains rather than just the one, which could be useful. Also, it has 1/4" IO, which would save me from having to buy several cables or adapters to convert 1/4" -> 1/8"...
-... But the SBG has more control such as send/return level and expression I/O. I'm unsure I have anything that could use the latter actually... But it could make it useful for more than just FX such as bringing in external sound sources. On the other hand, the SBG only supports a single signal chain.

I should say I'm somewhat of a newbie to all this and decided to finally go modular after trying an A100 system in a store early this year and realizing the unique and versatile sonic palette it can offer vs. the usual subtractive and semi-modular stuff I've used. I've had 84hp for a few months after a few more spent planning and evolving, so have a faint clue of how it all goes. If this is a stupid question, I'd be happy to learn what would be the right one!

Thanks for any advice!

I use the ADDAC200PI, works really good. Never had a problem with this module.

I use the ADDAC200PI, works really good. Never had a problem with this module.
-- Luis

Hi Luis,
Thanks for your response about the ADDAC200PI, if I can get it somewhat easy it looks like I will go with that now.
How did you find it to get hold of the ADDAC200PI? Did you buy direct from ADDAC System, or was it in stock somewhere else?
Thanks again for your advice!

I was in Portugal travelling, buy it direct in the Lisbon headquarters. Now I need a second one, yes its not possible to get it from stores. But i think is really easy to buy direct from ADDAC System.

Just go to www.addacsystem.com there is a way to buy their modules from them directly both in EU or US.

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would i be able to use this as a straight up external signal booster on one channel (mic to modular level, for example) while using the other channel as expected?

Define "as expected". The module boosts from instrument (not mic, instrument) level to modular level and attenuates from modular level down to instrument level. Two channels for each.

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Yuppers...case in point: I've got my justified and ancient Korg X-911 sitting to my immediate right, and it uses circuitry from Korg's MS-03, designed to step up levels from varying sources. The input stage has three preset gain levels: -20 dB, -35 dB, and -50 dB. In each case, the gain levels are meant for different uses, and give a good rule-of-thumb for what's needed for many of the primary gain levels needed in a studio.

-20 dB is 'line' level, albeit what's used for unbalanced levels. Balanced line levels (also known as 'pro' level) are +4 dB and there's even a +8 dB found in broadcasting applications. If you're feeding a preamp with a synth, drum machine, effects processor, this is your baseline gain level.

-35 dB is instrument level. This is where the baseline gain level should be for guitars, many pickups, and the like. A lot of (but not all!) 'stompboxes' run in this range so that the levels across a guitar FX chain are what a guitar amp wants to see as if just a guitar was plugged into its input. Hotter-level microphones also wind up in this range, such as condensers.

-50 dB is what you would use for an average microphone or some sort of low-output pickup like a piezo. Passive, unamplified devices tend to run in this range, which is why if you plug a dynamic or ribbon microphone into a mic preamp set for a hotter, active device such as a condenser mic you wind up not hearing the same, hot levels without adjusting the preamp's gain trim.

Now, what all this numeric nonsense means is that if you plug a basic microphone like a Shure SM57 into an input that's expecting a line or instrument level signal, you'll get not a whole lot in the way of sound. Remember: decibel levels follow a law of logarithmic change, and increases of 10 dB aren't what you might figure they are if you just look at the numbers. So a 15 dB difference gets you bupkis if the preamp wants a hotter signal, but conversely that same difference will result in some hideous overloading (and potentially circuit damage) if the preamp wants the input at a 15 dB lower level.

So, the basic answer is: no. To use a microphone in a modular synth environment not only requires a boost to synth levels, it requires the correct boost, and that ADDAC module isn't going to do that. You would have to increase the gain, then feed it to the ADDAC 200PI, which is sort of redundant.

Define "as expected". The module boosts from instrument (not mic, instrument) level to modular level and attenuates from modular level down to instrument level. Two channels for each.
-- ParanormalPatroler

I must've been a bit inebriated when I typed out my question, haha. I was probably questioning how 'independent' the channels are? The answer is obvious now, thanks PP.

No worries dooj88! Glad the info is cleared up for you. Also, I'd suggest you take a look at Ladik for other 4hp options.

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