nw2sio-2
straight1agallery2gallery3Optional rear-route cabling allows you to route the i/o  to another device behind your rack.

nw2s::io

$145.00$425.00

For far too long, your modular has lived in its own world. Crazy signal levels, Unbalanced connections, Odd cables, Disconnected sleeves? Or is that ring? Or should it be grounded? The nw2s::io lets you integrate your modular with your studio just as if it were another well-behaved piece of rack gear.

The nw2s::io is available either electronically balanced or passively unbalanced. Both versions provide 16 channels of i/o on 3.5mm tip-sleeve modular and TRS DB-25 Tascam-format in only 10HP.

To match studio levels, the balanced module provides 6dB gain reduction for audio from the 3.5mm jacks to the balanced DB-25. When routing in from the DB-25 to the 3.5mm jacks, the signal is increased by 6dB. This will keep your modular from clipping most line-level inputs and provides extra gain when bringing studio signals  into your modular.

The balanced version uses high-quality line drivers and receivers from THAT Corp which are individually laser trimmed to provide the best common-mode rejection and that run on a dedicated on-board high voltage power rail for headroom far above any signal that even your modular can generate.

The unbalanced version similarly provides a 6dB gain reduction for taming the signal path into the DB-25, but provides no additional gain returning into the modular. The passive conversion won't color your sound or limit headroom at all.

An optional rear-routed cable allows you to route signals behind your rack as well. Note that there is currently no rear panel option, as any rear mount will be a custom solution. If you want to connect directly to another device such as a multi-channel ADC/DAC that is mounted directly below your eurorack, you can get the 24″ version with male connectors. Otherwise, you will likely want either the 6″ or 24″ cable with female connector.

Since both versions of the 'io are DC coupled, it also works great as a CV/gate interface as well.

WHERE TO BUY

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Product Description

Specifications

Unbalanced/Passive

depth: 38mm

nominal current

+12V: 20mA

-12V: 5mA

Balanced/Active

depth: 48mm

nominal current

+12V: 150mA

-12V: 150mA

Balanced Version

The electronically balanced version uses precision THAT Balanced Drivers and Receivers. It is designed with SMT components and stacked PCBs, resulting in an extremely high-density module. The unbalanced modular inputs have a net gain of -12dB on the balanced DB-25 connectors. The DB-25 balanced line inputs have a net gain of +0dB at the unbalanced modular outputs.

In order to provide up to 27.5dBu output level and up to 21.5dBu input levels, the standard eurorack +/-12V power rails were insufficient. The ‘io contains it’s own on-board +/-18V power supply that runs off the eurorack rails.

The balanced kit includes all SMT assembly and only includes the through-hole devices unassembled.

Unbalanced Version

While artists working in studios and regularly interfacing with pro-audio gear will prefer the robustness of a balanced output, not everyone will require it, and some folks will appreciate the improved workflow and concise cabling without the cost of a fully balanced circuit.

The unbalanced version uses a passive circuit to convert the unbalanced modular signals to a DB-25 and visa versa. When converting unbalanced to balanced, the signal is connected to pin 2 (hot), pin 3 (cold) is connected to ground, and pin 1 (ground) is also connected to ground. This results in a 6dB loss of signal naturally. An additional 6dB pad is provided in-line which is bypassable using a set of jumpers on the rear of the module.

When converting from balanced to unbalanced, pin 2 (hot) is used, while pin 3 (cold) is left unconnected. Pin 1 is connected to ground. Note that this is the preferred connection for most electronically balanced circuits, but will not work for transformer balanced outputs. This is rare (and expensive), so if your gear uses transformer-balanced outputs, you’ll want the electronically balanced version of the ‘io.

Record directly to your DAW at optimal levels

Even with a padded DI, the signal coming from your modular can be too hot for the internal circuitry of the DI or the mic-pre. When padded enough, you’re attenuating it down to mic levels just so it can be re-amped to balanced studio levels.

The nw2s::io has enough headroom to directly convert your high-voltage modular audio signals (over 22V peak to peak) to line level +4dBu balanced signal that can be reliably routed through your studio so that your modular can be treated just as any other pro audio device.

Record Rich Patches with a Minimum of Hardware

With 8 channels of outputs and 8 channels of inputs per 10hp module, you will reduce the need to pre-mix signals before recording, allowing for greater flexibility at mix-time.

Integrate pro audio gear into your patches

Reverbs, delays, dynamics, EQ, distortion, anything else you can think of. Integrate your +4dBu studio gear into your patches with no special cabling or compromising unbalanced cables.

Treat your modular as a hardware insert for your DAW

Process audio with your DAW just as you would any other external effects processor. Along with a MIDI to clock converter, you can even get tempo synchronized processing, all at studio levels with balanced cabling.

Interface CV with your DAW

The nw2s::io is DC coupled, so you can integrate Silent Way into your studio without the need for special cables that defeat the noise-cancelling properties of balanced interfaces. Note that your audio interface will also need to be DC-coupled to support this. The MOTU line of interfaces are probably the most widely used for that purpose. Of particular note is that the Avid HD and 192 IOs are DC-coupled in that they have no capacitors in the audio path, but like the Jensen microphone preamps, they contain a DC-servo circuit that prevents DC from entering the circuit. Those topologies should not be used for recording CV.

A Word on Cabling

A common question is what cabling you should use on the other end of the DB-25 cable.

The simple answer is to use whatever your interface uses. For example, an Avid HD IO uses DB-25 as well, so you’ll want a DB-25 to DB-25 cable. Where things get a bit more complicated is when there are multiple options on your selected device. Many mixers provide both XLR and TRS. Read the documentation! Some may provide line inputs on the XLR connector when a physical switch is flipped, others may provide mic only on XLR and line only on TRS. Each case is different. If you have any questions, contact us either directly or on the MW forum with details about the connections you are trying to make.

Kit Contents

The following table lists the contents of the passive/unblanaced kit.

Discretes Count
Green LED 16
Shunt Regulator 1
Diode 16
Passives
2kΩ resistor 16
33kΩ resistor 16
300Ω resistor 1
1kΩ resistor 1
3.3kΩ resistor 1
10µF electrolytic capacitor 3
0.1µF ceramic capacitor 2
ICs
Bipolar Opamp 4
14 pin DIP socket 4
Electromechanical
Jacks 16
Jack hex nuts 16
Connectors
2×6 receptacle 2
1×8 receptacle 1
2×8 receptacle 1
2×8 headers 2
2×6 headers 6
1×8 headers 1
Power header 1
Jumper 8
Other
nw2s::io panel 1
Panel pcb 1
Main pcb 1
DB-25 connector assembly 2
DB-25 panel nuts 2
Eurorack power cable 1

 

Additional Information

Weight 0.5 kg
Dimensions 6 x 6 x 4 cm
Version

Balanced, Unbalanced, Upgrade

Assembled/Kit

Assembled, Kit