Saturnworks’ wide variety of mixer and summer pedals lets you combine signals of all tastes and textures.
Check out our FAQs, or the bottom of this page, for more detailed information on the differences between passive and active summers/mixers.
A handy little passive splitter/summer pedal that allows you passively sum or split two or three channels, depending on the version.
Unlike Y-cables, which simply wire the jacks together, the Saturnworks splitter/combiner utilizes summing resistors to minimize crosstalk. In other words, the level of one channel will minimally affect the level of the other.
The 2-channel patch bay + summer/splitter variation has a toggle that lets you switch the pedal between a 2-channel patch bay, or a passive summer/splitter.
The XLR summer/splitter works the same way as the regular version, but with XLR jacks.
The stereo version passively sums or splits one pair of signals into two pairs, or vice versa. The channels on the stereo summer/splitter can be used individually for mono summing/splitting.
Passive 2-Channel Mini Mixer, 2-Channel Mixer with Switches, 3-Channel Passive Summer w/ Switches
A simple passive mixer to combine two signals into one, with controls to fine tune the levels.
The Saturnworks passive mixers and summers take two or three inputs and combines them to one output with volume control for each channel to allow fine volume trimming. The versions with switches adds on/off switches to each channel. The ABC summer is comparable to the Morley ABC combiner.
The passive mixers and summers use summing resistors to minimize crosstalk between channels.
Active Summer, Active Summer + Phase
Please note: All our active summers feature our ‘bass mod,’ which allows lower frequencies to enter the circuit without cutting any highs. Our active summers are ready to combine signals from guitars, basses, synths, drum machines, etc.
An active summer/combiner pedal combines either two or three signals into one without any tone loss or crosstalk between channels.
The Saturnworks active summer combines two signals into one, using active circuitry to eliminate crosstalk and balance mismatched impedance. Unlike Y-cables, which simply wire the jacks together, or passive summers, which can’t completely get rid of crosstalk, the Saturnworks active summer utilizes active electronics to eliminate crosstalk—in other words, the level of one signal affecting the level of the other. The circuit also helps with mismatched impedance.
The active summer + phase adds a phase inverting circuit/toggle. This version can flip the phase 180 degrees on one of the channels. This setup can help with out-of-phase issues.
Please note: All our active mixers feature our ‘bass mod,’ which allows lower frequencies to enter the circuit without cutting any highs. Our active mixers are ready to combine signals from guitars, basses, synths, drum machines, etc.
Using active electronics to balance the signals and eliminate crosstalk, the Saturnworks 2 and 3 channel active mixers blend two inputs into one output. Saturnworks mixers combine inputs from various instruments with differing impedance. Saturnworks active mixers are also perfect for the mixer section of a parallel pedal chain setup.
While inexpensive and simple, passive mixers cannot isolate the channels. If you turn down one channel on a passive mixer, the other gets slightly softer as well. This is known as crosstalk. The active version fixes crosstalk problems by using active circuitry to isolate both channels. This means that one channel’s level doesn’t affect the level of the other(s). The active circuitry also balances mismatched input impedance.
Saturnworks active mixer pedal comes in 2, 3, and 4 channel versions as well as versions with or without independent footswitches for each channel.
The versions with the MP3 mod modifies one of the inputs of the mixer to accept a low-impedance TRS input from an MP3, computer, or phone. The pedal mixes both the stereo MP3 input and the guitar input into a single mono (TS) output. The MP3 mod versions come with a 1/4″ – 1/8″ adapter to make plugging in an Mp3 player a breeze. Please note: the MP3 input does not work well for a standard guitar input. It should be used as a dedicated MP3 input only.
The active mixer with a phase switch adds an active phase reversal circuit + toggle switch, which can help with out-of-phase issues when summing.
Saturnworks summers and mixer pedals include high quality features and components including:
- Durable cast-aluminum enclosures – the black versions feature black powder coated finishes.
- Heavy duty Neutrik jacks – the black versions feature premium Switchcraft jacks.
- All Saturnworks pedals are handcrafted and bench-tested in the USA.
- A one-year warranty against defects.
Saturnworks pedals can be upgrade with a variety of premium upgrades and customizations, including our phenomenally smooth, quiet, and extremely durable soft click latching switch. Contact us for details.
Passive vs Active
While the array of summers and mixers we offer may seem daunting, Saturnworks mixers come in two basic flavors: passive and active. Read on to learn more.
Passive and active mixers/summers both have their advantages and disadvantages.
If you just wire two signals together (like a y-cable, for example), they essentially become the same circuit. Being simply hooked together, whatever you do to one side you do to the other. With nothing to prevent interaction between the two channels, if you turn one side down the other will get softer as well. This is called crosstalk. Passive mixers are a step up from a y-cable in that they use summing resistors to combine the signals. This reduces (but does not eliminate) crosstalk. Depending on the types of signals being mixed, with a passive mixer, if you turn one side down completely the other side gets around 20% softer. While you can minimize crosstalk with a passive mixer, you cannot eliminate it altogether.
Passive mixers can have problems when trying to mix signals with different impedance. If you’re trying to mix a standard high-impedance guitar signal with a low-impedance signal from a keyboard or MP3 player, for example, the stronger low-impedance signal can cancel out the guitar signal altogether. So while inexpensive and simple, passive mixers work best when you’re okay with some degree of crosstalk, and you’re combining signals that have more or less the same impedance.
Active mixers/summers are often a bit larger, more expensive, and require power to function. However, they do offer some key performance advantages. Active mixers and summers eliminate crosstalk between channels. This means that you can turn one channel down without affecting the level of the other(s). Active mixers/summers also balance mismatched impedance so that you can combine a wider range of signal types.
The right mixer for you?
Of course the question is what type of mixer you need. The type of mixer/summer that will be best for you depends on your setup, the types of signals you’d like to combine, the features you might like, and your budget. Passive mixing/summing works well in many cases, and Saturnworks has provided passive mixers/summers to many thousands of happy customers. From a technical perspective, active summing/mixing is the best way to combine two signals. However, the mixer you select depends on your specific needs and budget.
You may want to go passive if you want to:
- save on cost and space.
- use a mixer that doesn’t require power.
- combine similar types of signals, e.g. guitar + guitar, or synth + synth.
You may want to go active if you want to:
- use a technically superior mixer with no level loss or crosstalk.
- combine different types of signals, e.g. guitar + synth.
Feel free to contact us if you have more questions.
Please note: The pedals in the images are stock photos and not the actual pedals you will receive. The pedals you receive may vary in their graphics, knob colors, and/or LED colors, where applicable. We have our graphics options here.