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> Tascam M-3500 Mods, Need mods for M-3500

kml23956
post Sep 16 2008, 07:13 PM
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I just received my "new" M-3500 and so far everything seems to work fine. I bought it to modify if and was wondering if anyone had any insights to share about their mods of the M-3500 or 3700? I think that most of the parts are the same?

Before the console arrived I ordered the manual from Tascam for $50. It seems to be very detailed. So, what should I look out for before I begin?
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Shorty
post Jan 6 2010, 09:51 AM
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QUOTE(kml23956 @ Sep 16 2008, 07:13 PM)
I just received my "new" M-3500 and so far everything seems to work fine.  I bought it to modify if and was wondering if anyone had any insights to share about their mods of the M-3500 or 3700?  I think that most of the parts are the same?

Before the console arrived I ordered the manual from Tascam for $50. It seems to be very detailed.  So, what should I look out for before I begin?
*



I just snagged one for modding as well.

Here's where I am going to start.

1) Replace 2 line power cable to PSU with grounded 3 prong and internally ground to chassis. Also distribute this to multiple points on the PSU PCB to supply sufficient grounds on the far runs of the PCB (Done)

2) COMPLETELY rebuild power supply with audio grade components, same values, just higher quality. Easy and cheap via Mouser or Digikey

3) Consider replacement of PSU transformer with something higher quality, maybe a Toroidal, or just something nicer

4) ReCap all channels and master section with audio grade caps

5) Consider higher quality pots and faders, something nicer than the ALPS, perhaps even cheap P&G's

Here's where I get a bit more technical

Because of poor/faulty designed grounding scheme:
6) Run a 1" x 1/8" copper strip the length of the board, inside, on bottom, on standoffs. Branch grounds to multiple points on each channel strip to improve grounding scheme and evenly distribute sufficient ground.

7) Also branch to the master section as well.

Also consider tying this copper strip to a chassis ground lug on the rear of the unit, strap that down to the existing ground lug on the PSU, but go further and internally strap the chassis lug on the PSU directly to the ground lead of the power cable as well. The original ground leads from the PSU through the power cable to the mixer are very small gauge and DEFINITELY insufficient to support the ground load of the board.

Note: about 70% of the noise in this board is from poor grounding, in my opinion.

This leads to the next noisy stage of the board.

8) Parallel the entire buss section.

The buss section PCB's are noisy and insufficient, and provide too much resistance.
I started already but am not done yet. Buyt a spool of solid copper wire. Not braid.
Strip the insullation off, and cut lengths to lay directly on top of the traces of the Buss PCB's.
Bend the copper wire into humps over the pins for the wiring, and solder all the points in between and at the ends.
This provides a cleaner, lower resistance bridge down the PCB.
Do this on the Buss PCB's that plug to each strip, and also the main buss PCB's that are on the bottam plate of the mixer, AS WELL AS the master section buss PCB

9) Replace all the pigtail wiring between the buss PCB's with quality copper strand cable, and copper or gold plated headers/crimp connectors/pins.

This will beef up the buss section and make it virtually silent.

10) Consider the same method of ground distribution, via copper strap down the board, but use plastic standoffs, and distribute power to all channels.

Use solid copper, then strand to strips where applicable.

The + side of things is a bit lacking as well, though not as bad as the ground scheme.

I did this with a Trident MDR32 (Basically a high end 65 series) and made it dead silent.

I have started work on the 3500 and already know I can make this board virtually silent, even short of recapping everything (Other than where needed).

The noise co9mes from the buss section and improper/innadequate grounding.

I tested some areas by temporarily ground strapping multiple points throughout the bus and master, and noticed HUGE improvement, even with just a few in place.

After all this work, consider the following:

11) Remove the opamps from a pair of channels, and solder IC sockets in their place.

Buy a pair of Burr Browns, THAT Corp, and other OpAmps for testing.

Being that you soldered in a socket, you can quickly and easily test a slew of OpAmps and A/B them against stock channels

When testing, be sure to mod, and A/B agains stereo pairs of channels (ie, 1&2 with IC Sockets and different OpAmps to test, Panned 1L and 2R, vs 3&4 Stock OpAmps panned 3L and 4R)

Now you can test a variety of OpAmps quickly and easily and decide what to go with.

Burr Browns will run you $900 for this board. I'll tell you if it would be worth while once I'm done with mine.

I don't think I'll be going with the Burr Browns, as they're nice, but THAT Corp also supplies some good equipment, as do many others.

I imagine I'll find OpAmps that sound every bit as good as Burr Browns, for the entire board, for $300

12) Consider modding EQ's to your needs.

This would take a book, and it is very generic info not particular tho any particular board, rather EQ's as a whole, so you could google it.

That would all be enough to make this board SPANK a stock TOFT or Trident 65 series for sure.

I've messed with enough high end boards to know that there are areas of improvement open with any console, and the 3500 definitely has mad potential.

I will photodocument and start a new 3500/3700 mod thread once I'm done, or mostly done.

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zog
post Jan 12 2010, 06:11 AM
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This post has been edited by zog: Jan 12 2010, 06:13 AM
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zog
post Jan 12 2010, 06:13 AM
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QUOTE(Shorty @ Jan 6 2010, 05:51 PM)
QUOTE(kml23956 @ Sep 16 2008, 07:13 PM)
I just received my "new" M-3500 and so far everything seems to work fine. I bought it to modify if and was wondering if anyone had any insights to share about their mods of the M-3500 or 3700? I think that most of the parts are the same?

Before the console arrived I ordered the manual from Tascam for $50. It seems to be very detailed. So, what should I look out for before I begin?
*



I just snagged one for modding as well.

I've messed with enough high end boards to know that there are areas of improvement open with any console, and the 3500 definitely has mad potential.

I will photodocument and start a new 3500/3700 mod thread once I'm done, or mostly done.
*



hi, is this a trend? - i just bought a euro M3700 this weekend to mod and just saw your post! hero! - but please kindly explain a tad more!

i would like to ask a thousand questions, but... before i do... although I have studied electrical and electronic engineering i am really a noob at audio consoles - computing is me

i bought it mainly to sum an ever increasing number of synths for dance music - got sick of tracking synths individually and then waiting to see what the computer does with them during itb mixing, now i can have it all together with ease, but much less space!

question1: is the grounding an issue with the euro version? it uses a grounded iec plug, or have i missed the point completely

question 2: i would like to add tubes/valves to the mixer 4 channels at a time, is this pointless without working on the main/grp buses first? i.e. work on making the main and group buses valved & perfect then work on the individual channels?

question 3: i have the service manual and full meter bridge, i believe it is -10... how can i make this +4 balanced too

question 4: can i ship it to you to mod?!? economies of scale!!!!! (in england!)

question 5: how do i recap and with what parts? i know i should rtfm - i will soon but this isn't well discussed on the net

question 6: would love motorized faders controlled by my daw - key reason for purchase is that i can musically mix with these faders, although haven't worked out the midi yet

question 7: can the eq be upgraded? if i turn the pots quickly, it sometimes squelchs and overloads the channel, this does not happen if i move the eq slowly -
i would rather upgrade the eq's to the best poss 4 at a time along with valves if feasible

question 8: what would be the best or key tests to do on the desk to help identify any problems - i am yet to test all the channels - seems a daunting task

question 9: photos please!!!!

question 10: how long and how much would the mods you list above take/cost?

any help would be much appreciated!!!



This post has been edited by zog: Jan 12 2010, 06:30 AM
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Shorty
post Jan 13 2010, 01:30 PM
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Quick Update.....

Ok, so I had a M3500 already, and a couple days ago picked up a M3700

I don't have detailed pics yet, but I will show a couple really crappy camera phone pics of where I'm at temporarily

The pics show a stage of dissassembly of the M3700

Automation kit was removed (With the exception of the faders and bridge PCB's)

I don't need the automation kit in it, as I would never use it.

It would have been nice to be able to assign midi to allow the faders to control faders in Pro Tools, however, even by programming that, I would be limited to 8 faders, if I'm not mistaken, as there is only the one Midi out.

Automation will be covered by our Control 24...... or by other means soon to come.

I would have just used a second M3500 but the 3700 was available locally at a good price and included the full meter bridge.

The power supply needs to be rebuilt, as I am lacking voltages across the buss, but that will be easily completed this weekend.

(So I have an automation kit available for sale to someone with a 3500, but I would need your faders..... as the motorized/automated faders would replace yours anyway, and I would need them for mine.)

Anyway....

I completely dissassembled the 3700. Completely. To a skeleton. You could look right through it.

The rear I/O panels were off, and the bottom trays were out.

I swapped the orientation of the rear trays to accomodate a left sided layout.
So the buss/master pan is now on the left, and the channel pans are shifter right.

I did this to accomodate only minor needs for drilling.

Second, I did the same thing with the rear I/O panels, so the buss/master panel is on the left, and the channel panels are shifted right.

Then I swapped the sides of the meter bridge.

I will still need to dissassemble further to get the VU's, buttons, and 8 meters all swapped, so that this bridge will be symetrically mirrored to the standard layout.

Attached Image
Attached Image
Attached Image


The pics of the board sitting back together show it in 'close to' it's new layout.

The 3700 is now a buss/master LEFTHAND layout, and the 3500 is standard RIGHTHAND.

Attached Image
Attached Image

Once finalized, I will combine the consoles seamlessly, so that the buss/master sections are against each other, and I'm going to chop the fader plate of the 3500 to allow moving the master to the right, which will allow both masters to be in the center of the board.

This will be a combined split design console, 64 Channels, 16 buss.
As of right now they are both independant of each other.
What I am going to do, is combine the audio tracks of the PCBs from both boards to the 3500 buss/master on the left side, so all 64 channels can buss to groups 1-8 and aux's 1-6 on both, and master 1/2 ~ master of the 3500
Then I am going to add parallel pushbuttons to each channel strip to accomodate seperate routing to the buss/master of the buss/master in the 3700, for groups 9-16, and Master 3/4 ~ master of the 3700
Auxes will remain at 6, but tied to both boards buss/master sections, so the outs on each will simply be a duplicate of each other, still 6 auxes.
Someday I may add another 6, but there is such limited realestate that it would not provide for a stock look to add them..... a decision I'll make later
Returns will likely be arranged to provide for all to be used, rather than in duplicate

Now, this was all my original intention from the beginning, to combine the boards and make a 64 Channel 16 Buss, 6 Aux, 1/2-3/4 Master

The actual modifications to the technical ends of the board are just now beginning.

I took a crappy pic of the Buss/Master PCB part way through modification (My phone got ran over by a motorcycle, but blackberry's rule, so it still lives, it's just that the camera sucks now)

Attached Image

What it shows is how I ran solid core copper wire across the factory insufficient tracks, and soldered them in.

It is currently only half done, cause my soldering iron crapped out and I need to pick up a replacement...... can't just get it anywhere, I need a nice HOT variable temp one for the work I do in mods.

I will finish it by continuing the same method across all exposed tracks on the PCB, which are all POWER. +48v, +15v, 0v/Grnd, -15v, and +12v.

All the coated tracks are audio signal across the buss.

Once all PCB's are reinfoced, I will run a star ground throughout the entire board.
A copper ground rail, with leads coming off to the 2 ground tracks on each of the PCBs in order to reinforce ground, and power distributed from buss bars, also leading to their corresponding tracks on each PCB

This will ensure sufficient distribution, and uniform distribution throughout the board.

Once all that is done I will tackle the OpAmps, and then beefing up the power supply to ensure that heavy EQ, routing, and channel count during use will not cause the board to suffer insufficient power from the PSU.

PSUs are very often underpowered for larger consoles, and so as you add channels in use, progressively down the board, and add heavy EQ, particularly in the lows, previous channels will start to lose their kick-lows-presence-quality.

This will be remedied by beefing up the supply or completely building a new one for each board. I will have to study the PSU to decide which approach to take, I just havent had time yet.

Hope this show ya I'm not clownin or talkin crap.

I'l have the 3700 done by the end of this weekend, and the 3500 within a week after.

Then after I've photodocumented, created a new thread for the mod, and explained all this in detail, I'll drop the suprise.... dead last. You can't see it till it's completely done.

Let's just say I truly am building a poor mans SSL.

smile.gif

This post has been edited by Shorty: Jan 13 2010, 01:31 PM
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zog
post Jan 14 2010, 06:31 AM
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QUOTE(Shorty @ Jan 13 2010, 09:30 PM)
Automation kit was removed (With the exception of the faders and bridge PCB's)

I don't need the automation kit in it, as I would never use it.

It would have been nice to be able to assign midi to allow the faders to control faders in Pro Tools, however, even by programming that, I would be limited to 8 faders, if I'm not mistaken, as there is only the one Midi out.

Automation will be covered by our Control 24...... or by other means soon to come.

I would have just used a second M3500 but the 3700 was available locally at a good price and included the full meter bridge.

The power supply needs to be rebuilt, as I am lacking voltages across the buss, but that will be easily completed this weekend.

(So I have an automation kit available for sale to someone with a 3500, but I would need your faders..... as the motorized/automated faders would replace yours anyway, and I would need them for mine.)
*



shock horror! the automation was a key reason for me!

hi shorty - never say never! although i don't have motorized faders

i got 3700 <-> daw midi control working in a couple of minutes yesterday tho:

1. set dip switches under flap to midi synch (up, down, up, up)
2. set up daw to send midi out synch to 3700 (i use ableton)
3. assign midi control to any number of ableton control (hit midi in ableton, select an ableton fader or control, push the 3700 fader) - repeat for mutes/channel on/off, eq on off, solo

this provided me with 32+9 midi controllable faders and approx 41 x 5 buttons that i can use to control ableton - ~250 midi controllers in all!!! - which i guess you will have double the amount of control available if you put your automation back in!

which leaves me with a pretty good ableton (or any other daw) midi control surface - i previously used a novation remote zero sl to mix - the jump from 8 short plastic sliders to 41 real faders is priceless, esp. for a poor mans ssl!

now with a novation launchpad and the 3700 i have a crazy performance front end being able to control any track or device or effect in ableton and able to record the performance - and edit it as necessary

a test which i am about to do is to compare an ableton itb mix to a 3700 automated mix

1. (itb) record an arrangement in ableton using the 3700 faders - so 3700 only used for midi out into ableton - no audio from/to 3700 not used - bounce to stereo file

2. (otb) re-record arrangement thru 3700 using the VCA automation, using the audio from pc into 3700, then send mix back to pc to record mix

3. repeat 1. adding use of the ableton eq

4. repeat 2. adding manual use of 3700 eq - sound check

5. compare the mixes and see if an automated vca mix is better/worse than the itb mix

i dunno how you work but automation is a key feature for me!
and at times more important than the analog mixing!

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Shorty
post Jan 14 2010, 09:12 AM
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QUOTE(zog @ Jan 14 2010, 06:31 AM)
QUOTE(Shorty @ Jan 13 2010, 09:30 PM)
Automation kit was removed (With the exception of the faders and bridge PCB's)

I don't need the automation kit in it, as I would never use it.

It would have been nice to be able to assign midi to allow the faders to control faders in Pro Tools, however, even by programming that, I would be limited to 8 faders, if I'm not mistaken, as there is only the one Midi out.

Automation will be covered by our Control 24...... or by other means soon to come.

I would have just used a second M3500 but the 3700 was available locally at a good price and included the full meter bridge.

The power supply needs to be rebuilt, as I am lacking voltages across the buss, but that will be easily completed this weekend.

(So I have an automation kit available for sale to someone with a 3500, but I would need your faders..... as the motorized/automated faders would replace yours anyway, and I would need them for mine.)
*



shock horror! the automation was a key reason for me!

hi shorty - never say never! although i don't have motorized faders

i got 3700 <-> daw midi control working in a couple of minutes yesterday tho:

1. set dip switches under flap to midi synch (up, down, up, up)
2. set up daw to send midi out synch to 3700 (i use ableton)
3. assign midi control to any number of ableton control (hit midi in ableton, select an ableton fader or control, push the 3700 fader) - repeat for mutes/channel on/off, eq on off, solo

this provided me with 32+9 midi controllable faders and approx 41 x 5 buttons that i can use to control ableton - ~250 midi controllers in all!!! - which i guess you will have double the amount of control available if you put your automation back in!

which leaves me with a pretty good ableton (or any other daw) midi control surface - i previously used a novation remote zero sl to mix - the jump from 8 short plastic sliders to 41 real faders is priceless, esp. for a poor mans ssl!

now with a novation launchpad and the 3700 i have a crazy performance front end being able to control any track or device or effect in ableton and able to record the performance - and edit it as necessary

a test which i am about to do is to compare an ableton itb mix to a 3700 automated mix

1. (itb) record an arrangement in ableton using the 3700 faders - so 3700 only used for midi out into ableton - no audio from/to 3700 not used - bounce to stereo file

2. (otb) re-record arrangement thru 3700 using the VCA automation, using the audio from pc into 3700, then send mix back to pc to record mix

3. repeat 1. adding use of the ableton eq

4. repeat 2. adding manual use of 3700 eq - sound check

5. compare the mixes and see if an automated vca mix is better/worse than the itb mix

i dunno how you work but automation is a key feature for me!
and at times more important than the analog mixing!
*



Well, I guess I'll have to re-install the automation kit and test, when I re-assemble the board, but I will still be lacking key features I need in automation, like banking out to additional sets of faders..... 32 will not cover many of our sessions, so I will need bank, or a second 3700 smile.gif

I also need automation of aux sends and pans, transport, and some other things would be nice as well.

The 3700 automation kit will not provide controls for many of these things.

I will automate though..... just, in a way many of you will not be expecting smile.gif

At any rate, I'll test the automation kit with Pro Tools.

Do you also run Pro Tools? Are you able to assign all 32 'channels' of controls?
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zog
post Jan 14 2010, 09:54 AM
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QUOTE(Shorty @ Jan 14 2010, 05:12 PM)
QUOTE(zog @ Jan 14 2010, 06:31 AM)
QUOTE(Shorty @ Jan 13 2010, 09:30 PM)
Automation kit was removed (With the exception of the faders and bridge PCB's)

I don't need the automation kit in it, as I would never use it.

It would have been nice to be able to assign midi to allow the faders to control faders in Pro Tools, however, even by programming that, I would be limited to 8 faders, if I'm not mistaken, as there is only the one Midi out.

Automation will be covered by our Control 24...... or by other means soon to come.

I would have just used a second M3500 but the 3700 was available locally at a good price and included the full meter bridge.

The power supply needs to be rebuilt, as I am lacking voltages across the buss, but that will be easily completed this weekend.

(So I have an automation kit available for sale to someone with a 3500, but I would need your faders..... as the motorized/automated faders would replace yours anyway, and I would need them for mine.)
*



shock horror! the automation was a key reason for me!

hi shorty - never say never! although i don't have motorized faders

i got 3700 <-> daw midi control working in a couple of minutes yesterday tho:

1. set dip switches under flap to midi synch (up, down, up, up)
2. set up daw to send midi out synch to 3700 (i use ableton)
3. assign midi control to any number of ableton control (hit midi in ableton, select an ableton fader or control, push the 3700 fader) - repeat for mutes/channel on/off, eq on off, solo

this provided me with 32+9 midi controllable faders and approx 41 x 5 buttons that i can use to control ableton - ~250 midi controllers in all!!! - which i guess you will have double the amount of control available if you put your automation back in!

which leaves me with a pretty good ableton (or any other daw) midi control surface - i previously used a novation remote zero sl to mix - the jump from 8 short plastic sliders to 41 real faders is priceless, esp. for a poor mans ssl!

now with a novation launchpad and the 3700 i have a crazy performance front end being able to control any track or device or effect in ableton and able to record the performance - and edit it as necessary

a test which i am about to do is to compare an ableton itb mix to a 3700 automated mix

1. (itb) record an arrangement in ableton using the 3700 faders - so 3700 only used for midi out into ableton - no audio from/to 3700 not used - bounce to stereo file

2. (otb) re-record arrangement thru 3700 using the VCA automation, using the audio from pc into 3700, then send mix back to pc to record mix

3. repeat 1. adding use of the ableton eq

4. repeat 2. adding manual use of 3700 eq - sound check

5. compare the mixes and see if an automated vca mix is better/worse than the itb mix

i dunno how you work but automation is a key feature for me!
and at times more important than the analog mixing!
*



Well, I guess I'll have to re-install the automation kit and test, when I re-assemble the board, but I will still be lacking key features I need in automation, like banking out to additional sets of faders..... 32 will not cover many of our sessions, so I will need bank, or a second 3700 smile.gif

I also need automation of aux sends and pans, transport, and some other things would be nice as well.

The 3700 automation kit will not provide controls for many of these things.

I will automate though..... just, in a way many of you will not be expecting smile.gif

At any rate, I'll test the automation kit with Pro Tools.

Do you also run Pro Tools? Are you able to assign all 32 'channels' of controls?
*



i think there are three ways to use the automation:

1. for sequencer to control the 3700's VCA's - analogue mix automation
2. for 3700 to control midi in sequencer - daw mix automation
3. both 1 & 2 above - hybrid mix automation

i'm really using 2. above only at the moment
as soon as i get some more I/O from my computer I will be able to go more hybrid

i see now - 3500 has no automation - i thought it did, hence me saying you have double the automation i have

sorry, i'm not clear on what you mean by banking out to additional faders...
do you mean controlling many faders on console or daw from a single fader - e.g. one fader movers 8 faders? you can do this within the daw

transport you can use any midi button - i use a novation remote sl which has all the buttons

as for automation of pans, aux etc - this is what i want too - but eq too!
was thinking about an sticking an arduino device in it for starters and build up from there - i really do not want to spend more than 1000 on this to get it up to spec!

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Shorty
post Jan 15 2010, 12:02 PM
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QUOTE(zog @ Jan 14 2010, 09:54 AM)
QUOTE(Shorty @ Jan 14 2010, 05:12 PM)
QUOTE(zog @ Jan 14 2010, 06:31 AM)
QUOTE(Shorty @ Jan 13 2010, 09:30 PM)
Automation kit was removed (With the exception of the faders and bridge PCB's)

I don't need the automation kit in it, as I would never use it.

It would have been nice to be able to assign midi to allow the faders to control faders in Pro Tools, however, even by programming that, I would be limited to 8 faders, if I'm not mistaken, as there is only the one Midi out.

Automation will be covered by our Control 24...... or by other means soon to come.

I would have just used a second M3500 but the 3700 was available locally at a good price and included the full meter bridge.

The power supply needs to be rebuilt, as I am lacking voltages across the buss, but that will be easily completed this weekend.

(So I have an automation kit available for sale to someone with a 3500, but I would need your faders..... as the motorized/automated faders would replace yours anyway, and I would need them for mine.)
*



shock horror! the automation was a key reason for me!

hi shorty - never say never! although i don't have motorized faders

i got 3700 <-> daw midi control working in a couple of minutes yesterday tho:

1. set dip switches under flap to midi synch (up, down, up, up)
2. set up daw to send midi out synch to 3700 (i use ableton)
3. assign midi control to any number of ableton control (hit midi in ableton, select an ableton fader or control, push the 3700 fader) - repeat for mutes/channel on/off, eq on off, solo

this provided me with 32+9 midi controllable faders and approx 41 x 5 buttons that i can use to control ableton - ~250 midi controllers in all!!! - which i guess you will have double the amount of control available if you put your automation back in!

which leaves me with a pretty good ableton (or any other daw) midi control surface - i previously used a novation remote zero sl to mix - the jump from 8 short plastic sliders to 41 real faders is priceless, esp. for a poor mans ssl!

now with a novation launchpad and the 3700 i have a crazy performance front end being able to control any track or device or effect in ableton and able to record the performance - and edit it as necessary

a test which i am about to do is to compare an ableton itb mix to a 3700 automated mix

1. (itb) record an arrangement in ableton using the 3700 faders - so 3700 only used for midi out into ableton - no audio from/to 3700 not used - bounce to stereo file

2. (otb) re-record arrangement thru 3700 using the VCA automation, using the audio from pc into 3700, then send mix back to pc to record mix

3. repeat 1. adding use of the ableton eq

4. repeat 2. adding manual use of 3700 eq - sound check

5. compare the mixes and see if an automated vca mix is better/worse than the itb mix

i dunno how you work but automation is a key feature for me!
and at times more important than the analog mixing!
*



Well, I guess I'll have to re-install the automation kit and test, when I re-assemble the board, but I will still be lacking key features I need in automation, like banking out to additional sets of faders..... 32 will not cover many of our sessions, so I will need bank, or a second 3700 smile.gif

I also need automation of aux sends and pans, transport, and some other things would be nice as well.

The 3700 automation kit will not provide controls for many of these things.

I will automate though..... just, in a way many of you will not be expecting smile.gif

At any rate, I'll test the automation kit with Pro Tools.

Do you also run Pro Tools? Are you able to assign all 32 'channels' of controls?
*



i think there are three ways to use the automation:

1. for sequencer to control the 3700's VCA's - analogue mix automation
2. for 3700 to control midi in sequencer - daw mix automation
3. both 1 & 2 above - hybrid mix automation

i'm really using 2. above only at the moment
as soon as i get some more I/O from my computer I will be able to go more hybrid

i see now - 3500 has no automation - i thought it did, hence me saying you have double the automation i have

sorry, i'm not clear on what you mean by banking out to additional faders...
do you mean controlling many faders on console or daw from a single fader - e.g. one fader movers 8 faders? you can do this within the daw

transport you can use any midi button - i use a novation remote sl which has all the buttons

as for automation of pans, aux etc - this is what i want too - but eq too!
was thinking about an sticking an arduino device in it for starters and build up from there - i really do not want to spend more than 1000 on this to get it up to spec!
*



What I mean by Banking is:

When you press bank up or down, the 'scene/page' flips..... making all 32 faders jump from 1-32, to 33-64, and so on

Most of our sessions are beyond 32 tracks, in which case 32 would not suffice.

I will mess with the automation some more after I get the other mods completed, and I may leave it installed, and get another 3700 for the left, but I still intend to add the additional automation trick I have up my sleeve smile.gif
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zog
post Jan 16 2010, 08:43 AM
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QUOTE(Shorty @ Jan 6 2010, 05:51 PM)
11) Remove the opamps from a pair of channels, and solder IC sockets in their place.

Buy a pair of Burr Browns, THAT Corp, and other OpAmps for testing.

Being that you soldered in a socket, you can quickly and easily test a slew of OpAmps and A/B them against stock channels

When testing, be sure to mod, and A/B agains stereo pairs of channels (ie, 1&2 with IC Sockets and different OpAmps to test, Panned 1L and 2R, vs 3&4 Stock OpAmps panned 3L and 4R)

Now you can test a variety of OpAmps quickly and easily and decide what to go with.

Burr Browns will run you $900 for this board. I'll tell you if it would be worth while once I'm done with mine.

I don't think I'll be going with the Burr Browns, as they're nice, but THAT Corp also supplies some good equipment, as do many others.

I imagine I'll find OpAmps that sound every bit as good as Burr Browns, for the entire board, for $300



Hi, I have been looking at replacements op amps - can you recommend any? the best of course!

have been looking at OPA 627 and LM4562 and LME49870 for a start, i don't want to get into the fun of trying out all the different op amps - i know i should tho - good thd is what i have told myself to go on

i am also thinking of putting valves/tubes in at the same time

ideally, i would like to have:

dac on each channel & bus so i can send audio from pc etc into M3700
adc on each channel & bus so i can send audio from M3700 into DAW
dsp on each channel & bus so i can insert effects/dynamics
analog eq on each channel - want to be able to switch between analog and digital
valves on each channel with gain control
additional set of pots and buttons for external midi control - e.g. to control external eq

but much of this may be/IS a dream - but i am keen as it seems it could cost over 3000 to get the channels into a computer with a number of high i/o soundcards
- with 2 x motu 24 i/o interfaces

but if i can get decent opamps and decent valves and diy dacs/adc's adhoc, i am on a start

alternatively, i thought about making 32 usb dacs and using a giant usb hub and asio4all, silly, but easiest i think
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zog
post Jan 22 2010, 05:53 AM
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QUOTE(zog @ Jan 16 2010, 04:43 PM)
QUOTE(Shorty @ Jan 6 2010, 05:51 PM)
11) Remove the opamps from a pair of channels, and solder IC sockets in their place.

Buy a pair of Burr Browns, THAT Corp, and other OpAmps for testing.

Being that you soldered in a socket, you can quickly and easily test a slew of OpAmps and A/B them against stock channels

When testing, be sure to mod, and A/B agains stereo pairs of channels (ie, 1&2 with IC Sockets and different OpAmps to test, Panned 1L and 2R, vs 3&4 Stock OpAmps panned 3L and 4R)

Now you can test a variety of OpAmps quickly and easily and decide what to go with.

Burr Browns will run you $900 for this board. I'll tell you if it would be worth while once I'm done with mine.

I don't think I'll be going with the Burr Browns, as they're nice, but THAT Corp also supplies some good equipment, as do many others.

I imagine I'll find OpAmps that sound every bit as good as Burr Browns, for the entire board, for $300



Hi, I have been looking at replacements op amps - can you recommend any? the best of course!

have been looking at OPA 627 and LM4562 and LME49870 for a start, i don't want to get into the fun of trying out all the different op amps - i know i should tho - good thd is what i have told myself to go on

i am also thinking of putting valves/tubes in at the same time

ideally, i would like to have:

dac on each channel & bus so i can send audio from pc etc into M3700
adc on each channel & bus so i can send audio from M3700 into DAW
dsp on each channel & bus so i can insert effects/dynamics
analog eq on each channel - want to be able to switch between analog and digital
valves on each channel with gain control
additional set of pots and buttons for external midi control - e.g. to control external eq

but much of this may be/IS a dream - but i am keen as it seems it could cost over 3000 to get the channels into a computer with a number of high i/o soundcards
- with 2 x motu 24 i/o interfaces

but if i can get decent opamps and decent valves and diy dacs/adc's adhoc, i am on a start

alternatively, i thought about making 32 usb dacs and using a giant usb hub and asio4all, silly, but easiest i think
*




okay analog is very addictive. I battled justifying the purchase - in terms of cost vs. a newish digi mixer.

i have bought a bunch of opamps - and a stereo opamp pcb kit from maplins - so i can test out opamps outside the mixer - and practice my soldering skills

what i would like is the circuit diagram to die for

i have the service manual

what i want to do is devise 3 phases of upgrading the channels - basic servicing (replace caps, opamps- get back to standard) then digital connectivity allowing basic routing in and out of a computer, then if viable, full digital including effects

but one thing that is bugging me... is how many opamps do i need to replace?

i read somewhere that there approx 19 opamps per channel - shock - i thought there was only one to change .... on the micpre !

if i were to prioritise, which opamps should be changed first (i mainly use the line inputs only for now)

also, replacing caps - which ones and what manufacturer's caps are best for the longrun?

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Shorty
post Jan 27 2010, 09:46 AM
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QUOTE(zog @ Jan 22 2010, 05:53 AM)
QUOTE(zog @ Jan 16 2010, 04:43 PM)
QUOTE(Shorty @ Jan 6 2010, 05:51 PM)
11) Remove the opamps from a pair of channels, and solder IC sockets in their place.

Buy a pair of Burr Browns, THAT Corp, and other OpAmps for testing.

Being that you soldered in a socket, you can quickly and easily test a slew of OpAmps and A/B them against stock channels

When testing, be sure to mod, and A/B agains stereo pairs of channels (ie, 1&2 with IC Sockets and different OpAmps to test, Panned 1L and 2R, vs 3&4 Stock OpAmps panned 3L and 4R)

Now you can test a variety of OpAmps quickly and easily and decide what to go with.

Burr Browns will run you $900 for this board. I'll tell you if it would be worth while once I'm done with mine.

I don't think I'll be going with the Burr Browns, as they're nice, but THAT Corp also supplies some good equipment, as do many others.

I imagine I'll find OpAmps that sound every bit as good as Burr Browns, for the entire board, for $300



Hi, I have been looking at replacements op amps - can you recommend any? the best of course!

have been looking at OPA 627 and LM4562 and LME49870 for a start, i don't want to get into the fun of trying out all the different op amps - i know i should tho - good thd is what i have told myself to go on

i am also thinking of putting valves/tubes in at the same time

ideally, i would like to have:

dac on each channel & bus so i can send audio from pc etc into M3700
adc on each channel & bus so i can send audio from M3700 into DAW
dsp on each channel & bus so i can insert effects/dynamics
analog eq on each channel - want to be able to switch between analog and digital
valves on each channel with gain control
additional set of pots and buttons for external midi control - e.g. to control external eq

but much of this may be/IS a dream - but i am keen as it seems it could cost over 3000 to get the channels into a computer with a number of high i/o soundcards
- with 2 x motu 24 i/o interfaces

but if i can get decent opamps and decent valves and diy dacs/adc's adhoc, i am on a start

alternatively, i thought about making 32 usb dacs and using a giant usb hub and asio4all, silly, but easiest i think
*




okay analog is very addictive. I battled justifying the purchase - in terms of cost vs. a newish digi mixer.

i have bought a bunch of opamps - and a stereo opamp pcb kit from maplins - so i can test out opamps outside the mixer - and practice my soldering skills

what i would like is the circuit diagram to die for

i have the service manual

what i want to do is devise 3 phases of upgrading the channels - basic servicing (replace caps, opamps- get back to standard) then digital connectivity allowing basic routing in and out of a computer, then if viable, full digital including effects

but one thing that is bugging me... is how many opamps do i need to replace?

i read somewhere that there approx 19 opamps per channel - shock - i thought there was only one to change .... on the micpre !

if i were to prioritise, which opamps should be changed first (i mainly use the line inputs only for now)

also, replacing caps - which ones and what manufacturer's caps are best for the longrun?
*



If you have the service manual, you should have the diagrams.

Mine has EVERYTHING. Worth every penny of the $50

I have the manual for the 3500 and the 3700

Sorry I haven't put up any new updated info. Studio is busy, so trying to work on one of, either of, the boards is problematic.

I'll get to it soon, I'm sure we'll have an open weekend soon.

Interestingly......

My M3700 has a Star Ground system installed to the Bus Cards (Master Bus Card, and Main Bus PCB's)
So, the start ground runs from the input power connector at the rear, runs to a ground strip (Bus Bar), and branches to the Bus PCB's in the pan, and to the Master Bus PCB on the master section.
They didn't branch to the Bus PCB's on the 4 Channel Banks, which I may do just to improve that system a bit more, though I don't really see it being necessary.

Now, my M3500 DOES NOT HAVE THE STAR GROUND, but interestingly, the cards have the 'holes/machining' and Screen Printing on them for the connectors for the star ground system! smile.gif Odd that they would NOT install it.

So at any rate, I'll get to it soon on the 3500, and was happy to find that I don't need to on the 3700

I meant to be a lot further along this project, but we didn't want to stall clients, so we are booking. Kind of a pain cause I really wanted to get this done ASAP.
But, I do have the 3700 reversed to a lefthanded layout, bridge and all.

Worked really well. Looks great, feels great, workflow is nice, and the only current downfall I see is the buses being seperate. Meaning 1-32 on the 3500 go to the 3500 master section and 1-8 buses, and 1-32 on the 3700 go to the 3700 master section and 1-8 busses , rather than any channels being able to be sent to any of the 16.

I do not want to simply combine the busses, cause then it's a 64 channel 8 bus.... I much prefer the 16 busses.

After star grounding I'll build the buttons and harness for sending all channels to any of the 16 buses, which will make it far more versitile.

As far as the Auxes go, I don't think I'll combine, or install additional pots on every channel . Simply not enough realestate. And I really don't need that many auxes. I simply use them for headphone mixes to the talent in the booths, so I will really only run 4 from each board to each booth, and I am using small mixers for the talent to adjust levels of what I send them (A poor mans headphone mix and distribution setup, but extremely versitile). Someday, it might be nice to make a seperate pot and harness setup like what I am going to do for the buses, but for now it is simply not needed. But... again, I am trying to determin wether to continue using the auxes for this, or switch to using the tape returns......

All I really need is a free weekend and I should have it mostly done.

Not a 700 or 5000, but by the time I'm done it might as well be smile.gif

I am also going to balance my Subgroup outs.

Neither of my boards have the balanced kit, so I am going to balance my subgroup outs, by paralleling off the inside connections to the RCA's, balancing, then to a DB25 breakout mounted in the blanks that plate off the lack of the balance kits.

Then I'll go through and do the same thing for all the channels.... eventually, but again, it's really not needed for what I am doing..... might be of minor benefit for the tape returns, but they would only be used for headphone mixes, and as far as the direct outs, I'm not really using them, and only would for tracking more than the 16 subs/buses at once, in which case I'd branch off the direct outs.... and I haven't looked yet, but I'm hoping I can set them to post fade, so I can actually use the channel strip , ie - eq, etc.....

Options options.

I took it on as a project, for it to be a project, and build something more custom taylored to my needs, short of buying another more expensive board. The mods I am planning for the pre's, master section, and eq's, combining the boards, etc, will probably make these A better BOARD than other comparable options, short of an AMEK, NEVE, SSL, API, etc.

I'm just not really diggin the Control 24 and outboard racks on its own.... not really versitile enough for me...... So I'll sit on it until this is done, then sell..... and eventually get a NEVE VR or AWS900, or the like.

Should be in the budget by the end of next year, so for now I'll just have fun smile.gif
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post Feb 24 2010, 10:05 AM
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Well, made a bunch more progress.

I should have the console done in a couple weeks and then I'll start a new thread detailing the mod.

Had some hang ups with other stuff, and lotsa work coming through,
limited time for the project, but the left side is up and running and we're actively working

What I can say is that I'm impressed with how clean these things CAN be,
with some very simple, very inexpensive mods, mainly in the power scheme alone.

I haven't even gotten to Caps or OpAmps.....
Caps are obviously straight forward, just a lot of em,
I have two spare banks of channels so I'll start with those, then the ones they replace, and so on.

I tracked some vocals, and some drums through it and was very pleased.....
Normally, our vocals are coming through outboard pre's/comps straight into interfaces,
I just wanted to test it out....... was useable.

The drums were fairly fat yet smooth.
BUT Definitely gonna swap Ops.
Need a little more action out of the channels
There are a TON of options here,
I like BurrBrowns, but they can get spendy in a hurry.
I think I'm gonna start with THAT Corps Ops, since I've used their stuff in the past successfully

When I get to that point.... (Probably a month) I'll post my results with some A/B audio comparisons

I'm also gonna mod EQs.... just not diggin em.
I think I'm gonna get the schematics for a Midas or the like and model something to make the mod easier

I'll update soon smile.gif

She's getting there.

I had a client in last week....... that asked if it was an SSL........
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAA
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Shorty
post Feb 24 2010, 10:07 AM
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By the way.

I put the automation kit back in the 3700

Not gonna use it in the way you might expect. smile.gif
But it is going to be used.

Also, got the crazy SECRET mod ready too.
No info on that until finished.
Actually very simple, but crazy dope looking, and awesome functionality.
Works flawlessly..... smile.gif Very simple, so no reason it wouldnt..... smile.gif
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kml23956
post Jul 23 2010, 02:07 PM
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Have you told anyone about the balancing mod?


QUOTE(Shorty @ Feb 24 2010, 12:07 PM)
By the way.

I put the automation kit back in the 3700

Not gonna use it in the way you might expect. smile.gif
But it is going to be used.

Also, got the crazy SECRET mod ready too.
No info on that until finished.
Actually very simple, but crazy dope looking, and awesome functionality.
Works flawlessly..... smile.gif Very simple, so no reason it wouldnt..... smile.gif
*


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Shorty
post Jul 23 2010, 02:14 PM
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Have you told anyone about the balancing mod?

Ha. Too funny. No, not here, just you and the people following my/our thread over at prodigy-pro.

Didn't realize we had met here too smile.gif

I sent the pcb art to dude there. Waiting on pcb pricing
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kml23956
post Jul 23 2010, 05:35 PM
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Me either. I was googling Tascam M-3500 mod and found this tread.
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post Aug 30 2010, 01:12 PM
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QUOTE(kml23956 @ Jul 23 2010, 05:35 PM)
Me either. I was googling Tascam M-3500 mod and found this tread.
*



Well, you are welcome to spill the beans, or maybe we wait until my beast is done

I'm gonna hollar at you by phone in a bit... if I can find your number again...

I wanna email you a pic of where I'm at....

2 weeks TOPS and I'm done, I know it's been a long time, but I had major label work to finish and no time to play modding

did the most wicked part of it over the weekend, 14hrs to do it... done smile.gif

Now I just need to finish fixing the 3700 master section and replace a regulator in the PSU and all that's left will be a couple blank panels and tadda!!!!!
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post Sep 3 2010, 09:00 AM
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Jim Williams had some sweet mods for the mic pres,(6000 V/us. slew rate! op- amp),EQ section,and master section which REALLY opened up the sound at the stereo and monitor outs.I have 2 channel strips,modded per Jim,using the insert sends as the output.100HZ. and 10 KHZ shelving work at 80 and 12KHZ now,direct coupled EQ section, wider sweep.D.C. coupled output with very low DC offset.Great on Acoustic guitar,anything with fast attack transients.I don't know if he is on this forum,I know he's on Gearslutz and Prodigy forums.


--------------------
I fix stuff...
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Shorty
post Oct 4 2010, 01:21 PM
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Finally! Entire console is up and rockin!

Some minor stuff to do, but mostly finished. Used the final assembly all weekend and all was well!

I'll post an entire write up with photos of the build after this weekend.

Gotta get some good final pics before I unleash the entire story smile.gif

SWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEET!!!!!!!!!!

One of the coolest custom projects I've seen short of a complete build from scratch, or super super high end build.

smile.gif
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jayadelic
post Nov 6 2010, 12:49 PM
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Hello, I am a new registerd user here & was wondering if ya finished! I was trying to see the star ground mod pic but it says it is no longer available! Thanks for this thread BTW! Very useful info.
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