Main Channel | KiCAD Project
The main channel takes inputs from the various busses and sums them, as each output has a 10k resistor on the end of it any number of channels can be connected to the amplifer and they will be summed equally.
The summed main bus is then sent to two buffered voltage dividers to allow a user to set two independent output levels: monitor, and main outputs. Typically one would be connected to a small monitor speaker for the DJ, and the other to the sound system.
The previous two signals are both unbalanced and line level, which is probably fine for use at home, but a balanced output is usually needed for a big rig. So, the master output is also connected to a circuit that generates the required balanced signal. On the example schematic, all outputs are to 2.54mm headers and need connecting to RCA / XLR sockets.
The cueing circuit takes the sum of everything on the cue bus, plus an amount of the main determined by a voltage divider. This allows a DJ to add N% of the main output into their headphones to help mix when there is a poor/non-existent monitoring set up.
Having originally built a transistor push-pull amplifier to drive the headphones, I've found that it's simpler and easier (JLCPCB will even fit it) to use a high current op-amp that has built in short circuit protection - the Texas Instruments OPA1688. Inserting/removing headphones shorts the output and has caused me transistor problems.
The VU meter on the main channel is only for the main mix bus, and is unaffected by any of the controls on the module. It follows the same LM391x schematic as the isolator channel, but with a seperate meter for each stereo channel rather than a summed signal.
Again, it works, but there are some changes that could be made:
- Upgrade the potentiometers
- Alternate LED driver for the VU meter. No modern chip exists, so either swap to a SOIC-16 LM3916 clone or use a microcontroller