Boredbrain Music Xport: Unlock the Power of Balanced Audio Output in Your Eurorack Synth

Let's delve into the exciting world of eurorack synthesis with the Boredbrain Music Xport, an ultra-compact balanced audio output module. Designed specifically for synthesizer enthusiasts and professionals, this module unlocks the power of balanced audio in your eurorack set-up, bringing professional sound quality to your rig with the click of a button.

The Xport sets itself apart with its ability to convert eurorack audio to professional balanced line-level signals. Balanced audio is a fundamental requirement in professional audio applications, owing to its unparalleled noise rejection capabilities, particularly in long cable runs. These are often used with pro-grade interfaces, mixers, patchbays, and live sound equipment.

Implementing high-performance balanced line driver ICs over the traditionally larger isolation transformers, the Xport efficiently facilitates six channels through ¼-inch TRS jacks, labelled OUT 1-6. These output differential signals scaled to +4 dBu are capable of driving long cable runs loaded with high capacitance.

Here's the art! The core of noise rejection lies in balanced or differential signals. Each audio signal output witnesses the birth of its duplicate but with an inverted polarity. This duo-summoned original signal (SIGNAL +) and its inverted clone (SIGNAL -) are transmitted via a TRS cable, with SIGNAL + aligning with the tip (T) and SIGNAL - pairing with the ring (R). The twin transport within the cable ensures uniform noise if it's picked up across the cable. The sophisticated reversal of inversion at the balanced input combines these two signals and spurs a phase cancellation in the uniformly acquired noise. So, no hindrance — just clean and clear FINAL SIGNAL!

Despite housing six channels within the sleek 6 HP layout, signal integrity is no compromised. The meticulous construction of Xport allows the absolute isolation of all channel circuitry to erase any chances of crosstalk or channel "bleed." Each channel circuit operates with its own 0 V (ground) reference running independently towards the primary power connector.

Your audio inputs, IN 1-6, gladly accept eurorack level audio signals in the ±5 V (10 Vpp) range. Post the removal of DC-offset; these signals are thoughtfully buffered and scaled down before touching base with the balanced line drivers.

Making your interaction utterly transparent and user-friendly, the dynamic signal level of each channel is visually represented by the GREEN LED. If the RED PK (peak) LED lights up, it indicates a +6 dBu reach by the output signal.

In the vibrant world of eurorack modules, the Boredbrain Music Xport brings pro audio applications home. Providing unparalleled noise rejection and signal integrity, this compact module is a power-packed performer offering isolated channel circuitry and high capacitive drive. If you aim for noise-free, superior sound quality, it's time to plug-and-play with the Xport and ascend to your next music level.

Example Usage

Imagine you've just added the Boredbrain Music Xport module to your Eurorack setup. Let's explore a novice-level usage example to see how you can unlock the power of balanced audio output in your synth.

  1. Start by connecting your Eurorack audio sources to the Xport module. Use patch cables to connect the audio outputs of your modules to the IN 1-6 jacks on the Xport. Make sure to match the polarity of the cables correctly (e.g., tip to SIGNAL + and ring to SIGNAL -).
  2. Now it's time to connect the Xport module to your audio interface, mixer, or any destination that accepts balanced audio signals. Take a 1/4-inch TRS cable and connect the Xport's OUT 1-6 jacks to the corresponding inputs on your external device.
  3. Power up your Eurorack system and the external device. You should now have audio signals flowing from your Eurorack modules to the Xport and then to your external device.
  4. Keep an eye on the signal and peak indicators on the Xport module. The GREEN LED next to each channel will provide a visual representation of the dynamic signal level. If the RED PK LED lights up, it means the output signal has reached a peak level of +6 dBu.
  5. Experiment with different settings and patch configurations in your Eurorack system. As you explore new sounds and create complex audio arrangements, the Xport module ensures that your audio signals maintain their integrity by converting them to balanced line-level signals. This minimizes noise and interference, delivering pristine audio quality.
  6. If you encounter any issues with noise or interference, check your cables, as proper grounding and cable quality are vital for balanced audio operation. Additionally, ensure the Xport module is receiving adequate power to maintain optimal performance.

By incorporating the Boredbrain Music Xport module into your setup, you can take advantage of its balanced audio output capabilities, allowing you to connect your Eurorack system seamlessly and professionally to external audio devices. Enjoy the enhanced signal integrity and noise rejection provided by balanced audio, and let your creative ideas come to life with a cleaner and more reliable audio output.

In this intermediate-level example, let's explore how the Boredbrain Music Xport can be used to connect a eurorack synthesizer to a pro audio interface for recording purposes.

To start, connect the audio output of your eurorack module to one of the Xport's six audio inputs using a standard patch cable. Ensure that the input signal falls within the ±5V range to prevent distortion.

Next, connect one of the Xport's balanced outputs, let's say OUT 1, to one of the line inputs on your pro audio interface using a ¼-inch TRS cable. The balanced output signal from the Xport will provide a noise-free and high-quality audio signal for recording.

Now, open your preferred recording software on your computer and select the appropriate input channel where you connected the Xport. Make sure to set the input level correctly to avoid clipping and distortion.

As you start playing your eurorack synthesizer, you will notice the green LED on the Xport corresponding to the active channel lighting up, indicating the dynamic signal level. Keep an eye on the red PK LED to ensure the output signal does not exceed +6 dBu to prevent any unwanted distortion.

With the Xport's balanced output and precise level scaling, your eurorack audio signals will be converted to professional line-level signals with exceptional signal integrity. This will allow you to capture pristine recordings of your modular synthesis experiments directly into your audio interface.

Remember to experiment with different channels on the Xport and utilize its six outputs to send audio to different inputs on your pro audio interface for added flexibility in your recordings.

By harnessing the power of the Boredbrain Music Xport, you can unlock the potential of balanced audio output in your eurorack synth and elevate your recording capabilities to professional standards.

Further Thoughts

In a live performance setup, the Boredbrain Music Xport proves to be an invaluable asset in ensuring pristine audio quality and eliminating unwanted noise. Let's explore a creative usage example that highlights the module's capabilities:

Imagine you are performing a multi-channel live electronic music set using your eurorack synthesizer system. You have carefully crafted a complex patch that combines several sequenced melodies, percussive elements, and ambient drones. Each element deserves its own channel to maintain clarity and control during the performance.

With the Boredbrain Music Xport, you can effortlessly route each element of your patch to individual channels of a professional audio mixer, providing balanced line-level signals. This enables seamless integration with the larger audio setup, including effects processors, outboard gear, and PA systems, all while maintaining exceptional signal integrity.

To add depth and texture to your performance, you decide to send the sequenced melodies from your eurorack system to a separate hardware effects unit. With the Xport, you can easily route the output of the sequencer module to one of the balanced outputs, ensuring a clean and noise-free signal transmission for processing.

Furthermore, the Xport's peak LED indicators prove useful in monitoring the output levels of each channel, allowing you to ensure that the signals are hitting the sweet spot without any undesirable distortion. This feature becomes particularly valuable when working with dynamic sequences or percussive elements that require tight control over levels.

Additionally, thanks to the Xport's compact design, you maximize your eurorack space without sacrificing functionality. Its efficient use of high-performance balanced line driver ICs instead of larger isolation transformers allows for a 6-channel layout in just 6 HP. This means you can dedicate more space to sound-generating modules, effects, or other utilities, ultimately expanding your creative possibilities within the limited eurorack real estate.

In summary, the Boredbrain Music Xport not only provides reliable and noise-free audio conversion from eurorack to balanced line-level signals but also enhances the overall performance experience. Whether you are a live performer, studio artist, or sound designer, this module unlocks the power of balanced audio output in your eurorack synthesizer, allowing you to effortlessly integrate your modular rig into professional audio environments while preserving the utmost sound quality.