Difference btw Merging and Summing

Hey everyone, sry if don’t get it, but what is the difference between merging to signals at one connector of a Node and summing of two signals connected to the two connectors of the Output Node?

Is it like that?


Signal 1 → Output = Signal Level
Signal 1 + Signal 2 → Output = (Signal 1 + Signal 2)/2 = Signal Level


Signal 1 → Output = Signal Level
Signal 1 + Signal 2 → Output = 2x Signal Level

What confuses me is, that in the ML10X Manual it is written, that the output node has a summing circuit, that the other nodes don’t have?

I don’t pocess a ML10X yet, because I am currently relying on the flexibility of a soundscultpure switchblade, controlled by a MC8. I wish I find a solution to use a ML10X so I can have a all morningstar workflow.

Yes, this is correct.

The output node has a summing circuit so you can route your delay trails etc to the output when you bypass those loops.

The Switchblade definitely has more features like individual gain control for each loop etc, but it is larger and more expensive. For the target size and price we want to sell the ML10X at, these were all the features that we decided to add.

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Could you talk this through in layman’s terms please? Can the ML10X do either sum or merge? Is this done by adding signal to one or more nodes? I wonder if I’ve attached my signal path correctly? and which does what?

The above is averaging the circuit together.

This is summing the circuit.

Only the Output nodes have summing circuits built in, because this is used for delay or reverb trails.

Send/Return ports can only average signals.

Hope that is clear! Please feel free to let me know if you have any further questions.

Thanks James for your answers!

So when I merge two signals to a send node, they both loose 6dB? Is this because of full scale limits of a digital environment or why is this happening?

I guess I don’t get the point how merging works. I mean it is still summing plus a divider right? But without a summing circuit?

The signal isn’t converted digital signals in the ML10X. It stays analog.

It’s just the way we designed the hardware, because without individual loop gain control, a summing circuit at each node will boost your volume 2x when you merge 2 signals, 3x if 3 (simplistically speaking)…

Example 1

Assuming that we used summing circuits instead of averaging.
In Preset 1 you have this:
and then you switch to Preset 2 which looks like this:

You’re going to get a (probably unwanted) volume boost each time you have a preset that sums multiple signals. With merging, your signal is averaged out and your volume level remains more of less the same.

Example 2

Unrelated to the above example. Now let’s say you have a Preset 1 like this:

and then you want to switch off the delay while leaving trails in Preset 2:
You’d want the delay trails summed at the output so you get the full delay signal.

I’ll just take this chance to give some clarity on the design process of the ML10X. The goal was just to introduce reordering capabilities to our loop switcher (ML5) while keeping the price point low and size similar to the ML5. We weren’t interested in adding phase inverters, gain control, vu meters etc in each loop. That will easily blow up the price and size. So our early MVP was the SIMPLE mode that you see now. There was no merging/splitting capabilities and ADVANCED mode didn’t exist. There was some crude splitting and merging circuit where you could only split one signal into two, and merge two signals into 1. Somewhere down the road we figured with some hardware tweaks and overnight hardcore dev jams we can allow for a signal to be split and merged multiple times and provide a UI in the editor (advanced mode) to allow that, which is how ADVANCED mode came about.

Just so I have this correct in my head:

Example 1: when the signal is averaged, there’s a 6dB decrease?
Example 2: when the signal is summed, there’s a volume increase?

Where did you get 6dB from?

The simple formula for merging would be output = (signal1 + signal2)/2. If merging 3 signals, (signal1 + signal2 + signal3)/3.

For summing, it’s just signal1 + signal2.

Try doing this and you’ll hear a volume increase:

This is because the input signal is split into 2 (both at 100% signal) and then summed back.

I got the dB from an earlier post in this thread, not from yourself.

Ah, so merging/averaging it’s unity gain but summing it’s literarily signal 1 + signal two volume.

Thanks so much for the explanation.

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Hi James.

I am running 3 parallel stereo effects through an ML10X as part of my wet signal chain. It is fairly simple to create an advanced preset for these but I am a little unsure how to have all 3 effects sum together at the output rather than merge.

My aim is to set the individual volumes of each effect separately and keep it that way in a single preset. If I merge them the problem is that as soon as I want to briefly bypass one of my 3 effects in that preset (all which have a kill dry function) the volume of the other 2 remaining effects in the chain increase and change the level of the effect mix that I established when all 3 were engaged

Your diagram above shows that to sum 2 signals you send one signal to the top node of the output block and the other signal to the bottom node which will cause them both to be summed rather than merged.

How would I therefore connect 3 effects (rather than 2) and be able to sum the outputs of all 3? Do the 2nd and 3rd signals both go to the bottom node and the first effect to the top node?

Is summing 3 effects even possible at the moment?

This is not possible. Summing is only available at the output, and the summing function takes 2 signals (there are 2 separate inputs at the Output mode in the editor).

If you really need to sum 3 signals, there is a crude way to do it if you are only using one output. I don’t recommend it but its just more of a FYI.

In the diagram, A Ring and C Tip are summed to Output Ring. If you connect the Output Ring port to the B Tip Return Port, you can sum B Tip and A Tip at the Output Tip node. This essentially sums A Ring, C Tip and A Tip together,

Hi James

Given the whole idea of the device being to allow flexible routing options to be created is this something that will be possible in a future update?

This seems like a limitation to just allow 2 of the 5 available stereo loops to sum when you freely allow all 5 to be connected in parallel.

The issue here is that you can never easily set independent effect levels in a parallel wet configuration for more than 2 effects.
You can bypass and set separate levels for 2 of the loops that are summed but as soon as the 3rd or 4th or 5th stereo loop are added which can only merge with the first 2 loops then every level of every loop gets changed and you are back having to adjust the first 2 loops again.
Or you have to stick with just using 2 parallel loops which defeats the purpose of having 5 loops available.

I understand you want to keep the device simple and do not include mixing and phase adjustment options etc but allowing the basic summing of all 5 loops at the output at least allows someone to use the effects to adjust the final blend which would be sufficient.

Depending how many loops are in use, a work around could be use merge two of the effects on a spare loop then sum with the third at output:

I am going into the ML10x in stereo and have 3 stereo pedals in the first 3 loops set up as parallel effects.

The best I seem to be able to do here with 3 parallel effects is to sum 2 of them and merge them with the 3rd which is what I assume you are suggesting.
This still leaves me with a problem as bringing in and merging the 3rd effect with the first 2 will shift the levels of how I have balanced the first 2.

I am sure I can tweak all 3 effect levels until I find a combined volume setting for the 3 parallel loops that works but the problem is whenever I need to make changes to a specific effect.
When that happens I will have to mute 2 of the 3 effects and therefore the level of that remaining effect will change as soon as I mute the other 2.
When I have finished tweaking my effect and unmute the other 2 effects the level balance between all 3 effects will change again depending what changes I made to that one effect meaning more work is needed to rebalance the 3 volumes again.

If this is truly meant to be a 5 loop stereo switcher and some (or all) of the loops can be run in parallel (which they can) then this needs a solution that allows all of the loops to run in parallel and to also be able to sum all of the loops at the output.
Just being able to sum 2 loops at the output is not enough and is a major issue for those that are running rigs using more than 2 parallel effects.

The ML10X is designed to merge signals. The summing circuits are available at the output because they are used for delay spillovers in simple mode. A software update will not be able to change the merging to summing. More info in the manual here: FAQ