Passive Multiples - DIY Quick Builds
In the world of modular synthesizers, multiples are a staple in any system. While there are many different manufacturers of multiples, their primary function remains about the same. They are used to duplicate a signal to send it somewhere else in your system. The most common type of multiple is known as the passive multiple, or quick multiple being that it does not require power to function. They are basically a bunch of jacks wired together with no circuitry between them. You plug in your input in one jack and it sends to a series of outputs. It is that simple.
Passive multiples not only come in a modular form (1U, 3U, 5U etc) but they come in other shapes and sizes. Jumper cables (or stacking cables), passive stars or trees are also other types of multiples. One of our featured previous builds was the Catwalk Series from Waveform Magazine. This was a very unique take on the passive mult being that it did not take up any space in our rack. It simply mounted on top of any other module to act as a quick bridging module. It is definitely one of our favorite passives to utilize. Basically, a passive multiple can be anything that can output to more than 1 output jack that takes no power.
~ Pure simplicity at its finest ~
Now, with all this talk of passive mults, there are some downsides to using them. Since they are not powered, unwarranted results could occur with internal circuitry or with throughput to other modules. Some modules have circuitry that is internally buffered and if you patch to one or more outputs, the output voltage could ultimately change causing a drop in signal or wave shape…. but we aren’t going to get too much into that.