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Sunday, October 18, 2009

Volume and Balance Controls Circuit Using Op Amp

The designed by Peter Baxandall of feedback tone control fame, amongst many other designs, there is also an active version of the 'Volume and Balance Control', which uses an op amp and a pot in the feedback loop. The log law is almost identical to that for the passive design above, but it can provide gain as well as attenuation. This circuit is using TL072 as op amp the signal input and output of the circuit. This is the figure of the circuit.

The input buffer enables the inverting stage (needed so the circuit can work) to have a very high input impedance. This would otherwise not be possible without the use of extremely high value resistors, which would increase the noise level considerably. The maximum gain as shown is 10 (20dB) and minimum gain is 0 (maximum attenuation). The input impedance is variable, and is dependent on the pot setting. At minimum gain, input impedance is the full 50k of the pot, falling to about 27k at 50% travel, and around 4k at maximum gain. These impedance figures are very similar to the simple passive version (if a 100k pot is used), and again, a low impedance drive is required or the logarithmic law will not apply properly. The actual value for VR1 does not matter, and anything from 10k to 100k will work just as well, although it will influence the input impedance. The error at 50% of pot travel is less than 5% with values from 10k to 100k.

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