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Volca-sized mixer for Korg Volcas, small synths and external fx. Includes multiple power options and a unique hub for powering Volcas
Volca-sized mixer for Korg Volcas, small synths and external fx. Includes multiple power options and a unique hub for powering Volcas
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175 backers pledged $40,961 to help bring this project to life.

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$40,961

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STATUS

This campaign has successfully ended.  Orders can now be placed at KVgear.com.  Worldwide shipping is available.

Other mixers are in the works and will be announced at KVgear.com and KVgear.co.uk in the months ahead.  First up will be Eurorack-compatible versions of the Vixen.  After that, a mixer for Boutiques is highly likely.  And after THAT, other electronic devices are planned.

THE MIXER

This is the mixer Volca lovers have been wanting for years:  8 audio channels, panning, mutes, 2 aux sends/returns, and onboard power for 8 Volcas.  It can be powered by batteries or the included AC power adapter.  All this fits into the footprint of a single Volca!

The images below are of the special limited edition blue version.  The standard version will be black.  See more info at the bottom of this page.

KVgear Vixen Mixer
KVgear Vixen Mixer

 

KVgear Vixen Mixer
KVgear Vixen Mixer

The Vixen has 3.5 mm (1/8") mini jacks on each audio channel for easy connection to small synths without the need for adapters.  Your adapter-less existence continues as you connect to/from external effects boxes and monitors through standard 6.35 mm (1/4") jacks.

Jack sizes match the majority of small synths, fx, headphones and monitors
Jack sizes match the majority of small synths, fx, headphones and monitors

Visibility is important, whether you're in a dimly lit studio or outdoors in the sun.  All knobs on the Vixen have painted indicator lines.  Graphics on the control panel are crisp, clear and as large as possible.  The translucent top panel allows LEDs to be visible for Mute, Power, and VU meters.

All knobs have white indicator lines
All knobs have white indicator lines

The Vixen has the same footprint as a Volca, allowing it to fit into most Volca stands and racks.  KVgear stands such as the Lobe V3 and V4, Volc 45-2, -3, and -4, and Ramp Racks (3 sizes) are perfect matches for the Vixen. 

Vixen fits in Volca stands and racks.  KVgear Lobe V3 stands are used in this setup.
Vixen fits in Volca stands and racks. KVgear Lobe V3 stands are used in this setup.

 

Cables and jacks are arranged to give clear access to the controls
Cables and jacks are arranged to give clear access to the controls

The Vixen can be powered by any of three sources: external AC mains power supply (included), internal AA batteries (batteries not included), or an external mega battery that you provide.  All synths connected to the power hub (using optional power cables) can draw power directly from the Vixen, eliminating piles of batteries or wall warts. 

Specifications

AUDIO

Channels 1-6

  • Mono 3.5 mm input jack (accepts TR or TRS plug)
  • Mute button w/ LED indicator
  • Gain knob
  • Pan knob
  • Aux Send 1 knob
  • Aux Send 2 knob

Channel 7

  • Stereo 3.5 mm input jack
  • Mute button w/ LED indicator
  • Gain knob

Channel 8

  • Stereo 3.5 mm input jack
  • Mute button w/ LED indicator
  • Gain knob

Aux Send 1 and 2

  • 6.35 mm (1/4") mono jacks

Aux Return 1 and 2

  • 6.35 mm (1/4") jacks for L/mono and R
  • Stereo gain knob

Main Out (stereo)

  • Stereo gain knob
  • 6.35 mm (1/4") jacks for L/mono and R

Phones Out (stereo)

  • Stereo gain knob
  • 3.5 mm (1/8") stereo jack

POWER:  INPUT

The Vixen mixer can be powered from any of three sources:

  • External AC-DC power supply included with each mixer.  Depending on your shipping address, you'll receive a mains power cord for USA, UK, or EU wall sockets.  Customers with other wall outlet types can purchase their own IEC 320-C7 power cord.
  • Internal battery compartment for 6 AA batteries that you provide.
  • High capacity, rechargeable external 9 VDC battery attached to the power input jack on the Vixen.  You will need an adapter plug with a 5.5 x 2.1 mm barrel plug. Depending upon demand, KVgear might produce an adapter plug.
Power supply with enough juice to power the Vixen plus up to 8 Volcas.  Worldwide AC mains cords available.
Power supply with enough juice to power the Vixen plus up to 8 Volcas. Worldwide AC mains cords available.

 

 

Compartment holds optional 6 AA batteries
Compartment holds optional 6 AA batteries

POWER:  OUTPUT

Eight (8) jacks can provide a total of up to 3 amps (3000 mA) of 9 VDC center positive power to connected devices.  Connection between the Vixen and your Volcas will be through a set of optional cables that can be purchased on the KVgear website once the first batch of Vixens are ready to ship.

Eight 9 VDC center-positive output jacks can power Volcas or other compatible devices
Eight 9 VDC center-positive output jacks can power Volcas or other compatible devices

 

Optional power cables (sold separately at KVgear.com) will connect to your Volcas or other compatible devices
Optional power cables (sold separately at KVgear.com) will connect to your Volcas or other compatible devices

The power hub and cables will be compatible with the following:

  • ARP Odyessey
  • CLIPHIT
  • electribe, electribe sampler
  • KAOSS PAD KP3+
  • KAOSSILATOR PRO+
  • KR mini
  • KROSS
  • microKORG XL, microKORG XL+
  • microSTATION
  • minilogue
  • monologue
  • monotribe
  • MS-20 mini
  • Pitchblack Pro
  • RK-100S
  • tinyPIANO
  • Volca bass, beats, fm, keys, sample, sample OK GO edition, kick
  • WAVEDRUM Global Edition, WAVEDRUM Mini

A note about noise:  The power hub is a simple daisy chain circuit.  In many cases this type of arrangement is low noise.  But in some circumstances, one or more devices in the chain can cause noise due to differential ground voltage.  There are many solutions to ground hum noise.  One simple solution is to resort to battery power.  Fortunately, the Vixen can power itself and all connected devices using its onboard AA batteries or an external battery pack.  This will allow your recordings to be as quiet and noise-free as possible.

PROTOTYPE PROCESS

This project has been structured to be as lean as possible.  In the interest of moving development along quickly, initial circuit prototypes were constructed with readily available components and improvised sources for circuit board substrates.

Initial proof-of-concept circuit board.  A few key issues were discovered and the circuits were immediately revised as a result.  This approach isn't pretty or impressive, but it's effective.
Initial proof-of-concept circuit board. A few key issues were discovered and the circuits were immediately revised as a result. This approach isn't pretty or impressive, but it's effective.

 

A second proof-of-concept circuit board followed shortly afterward.  Additional refinements and improvements came about from this experience.  The base PCB was borrowed from another project from a few years ago.
A second proof-of-concept circuit board followed shortly afterward. Additional refinements and improvements came about from this experience. The base PCB was borrowed from another project from a few years ago.

A final prototype printed circuit board with components has been built.  After a few tweaks and adjustments it passed all tests.  The design is now updated and ready for production.

Final Vixen PCB prototype
Final Vixen PCB prototype

 

Just for fun, here's a shot of the bare circuit board.  If you're wondering why the Vixen doesn't feature EQ or why aux sends aren't available on channels 7 and 8, the dense layout shows there isn't room for more.
Just for fun, here's a shot of the bare circuit board. If you're wondering why the Vixen doesn't feature EQ or why aux sends aren't available on channels 7 and 8, the dense layout shows there isn't room for more.

PROTOTYPE DISCLAIMER:  A few issues with the prototype PCB can be seen in the video and photos.  The following corrections will be made in the production version:  aux 1 and 2 send knob rotation will be correct (clockwise = increasing send level), all of the potentiometers will be of the same style and diameter with white indicator lines, the light pipes on top of the PCB will be of a different type. 

 

COLOR & APPEARANCE

Two color options are available for this campaign.  A limited number of Vixens will be produced with bright blue housings with white inlayed markings.  They will look nearly identical to the photos shown on this page.  While beautiful, this is a very time-consuming and therefore expensive process.  All other Vixens in this campaign will be black and will most likely have a high quality multi-layer Lexan decal for the front panel markings.  The decal will be similar to what is used on the Moog Sub 37. 

CAD image showing production color and logos
CAD image showing production color and logos

 

Risks and challenges

Technical risk for this project is very low. The KVgear Vixen mixer is built on tried and true technology. Engineering development of the Vixen is being accomplished by electrical and mechanical engineers with decades of experience in new product development. Manufacturing of the Vixen is being divided between carefully selected outside vendors and the internal KVgear workshop. All of the outside vendors are well known to the members of the KVgear development team. KVgear has been steadily growing for 4 years and is dedicated to providing useful accessories for synths and synthesists. All of these things combine together into a very low risk project.

The only risk is schedule. Negotiations are underway with suppliers to ensure that components can be available in sufficient quantities to meet the schedule. There is a small chance that the schedule might slip by a few weeks. Regular schedule updates will be given to keep all supporters notified of our progress.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    A Friend Indeed

    Give a five to help bring this mixer to production. Thanks for your support!

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    Pledge $49 or more About $49

    KVgear Stiletto Stand

    Help support this project. As a "thank you", you'll get an adjustable KVgear Stiletto Stand to hold your Vixen or other small gear anywhere. Choose from angled or flat versions.

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $199 or more About $199

    Vixen Kit

    DIY enthusiasts can put their skills to use. The Vixen Kit will include a fully populated SMD circuit board, a full set of potentiometers, switches, jacks and connectors to be manually soldered into place, a battery pack, AC power adapter, and a housing case. The build can be accomplished with traditional tools and soldering equipment. No surface mount soldering required.

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $219 or more About $219

    Vixen Mixer

    Get a full production mixer, including an AC power adapter. The mixer will be black (not blue) per the CAD image at the bottom of this campaign page.

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  5. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $245 or more About $245

    Blue Fox

    Special limited edition. Get a full production mixer with a brilliant blue case with inlayed white text. This is the same as what's shown in the photos in this campaign. This option is for a limited batch of mixers only. Includes an AC power adapter.

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Funding period

- (30 days)