PATCHABLE 0022

MIXING IN MODULAR

While many musicians like to refer to January as ‘Jamuary’ – NYMS might have to rename the month Mixuary. We recently announced a special show with Steady State Fate to celebrate the release of their new character mixer, Vortices, with performances by NYMS favorites and renowned electronic musician Boys Noize. That’s on Saturday January 23rd at 4pm, and is NOT to be missed. In anticipation of this event, we made this month’s Patchable all about mixing too! 

Mixers and mixing techniques in modular are stupid cool! While most musicians consider the mixer an essential tool to simply get sound into your audience’s ears, in eurorack it can mean so, so much more. In addition to regular ol’ logarithmic response audio level mixers we have:

  • Linear DC coupled mixers for CV
  • Character mixers which offer an added layer of sound design
  • Matrix mixers for combining and mangling multiple audio and CV sources
  • Mid-side processors to extract another image of your sound, and widen stereo field
  • Spatializers / frequency balancers which boost your EQ
  • Polarizers and signal inverters to negate and reverse your voltage’s polarity

The list is practically endless. However, the real beauty about modular is that, while buying new modules to help with these tasks is always fun, recreating them with what you have and some patch cables is even better! 

THE CHALLENGE

This month’s challenge is to experiment with some mixing techniques you perhaps have yet to embrace in your patches. Use a mixer you already have and get creative! Explore your system and create some new ways to manipulate, route and process both your sound and CV. Here are a few thought-starters for anyone interested:

Instead of audio, mix some CV:

This is a simple one. Route multiple CV inputs into a DC-coupled mixer and manipulate the attenuation of each channel. The result will be a distinct CV signal that can be modified on the fly, and offer your patch some seriously unique modulation. 

Feedback patching:

In its simplest form, feedback is achieved by routing the output of a module back into its input. Try sending the final output of your mixer back into a single channel, then on the other channels add and subtract new frequencies and listen to how your sound alters or distorts. Experiment.

Frequency Balancing:

Often known as EQing – there’s no shortage of ways to create better depth of sound in your eurorack patch. Easy enough is to just use filters. LP, HP, BP and Notch outputs can all place your signal in various bands of the frequency spectrum. Mixing them together will give you a cleaner, overall less muddy output. Add some panning variance to each signal to give yourself a nice stereo field playground! No Soundstage required! 

Dry/Wet Mixing:

Mult your audio signal. Send one copy to an effect module and then into the mixer. Another directly into the mixer. Now you have a means of layering your sound, and controlling dry/wet – simultaneously. This same concept can also be used to give a mixer send/return duties. 

HOW TO PLAY

THIS PATCHABLE RUNS FOR THE MONTH OF JANUARY – DEADLINE JAN 31.

  1. Create an original piece of music. It does not have to be a complete track. Ideas are welcome.
  2. Include the suffix PATCHABLE-0022 in the track title and the number of the patchable you chose. A completed track title would look like this: ReturnToSender PATCHABLE-0022
  3. Upload your track to soundcloud by end of day, January 31st. 
  4. Include a link to your track and patch notes in the comments below.

PLAY YOUR PATCH LIVE

Thursday Jan 28 is our Patchable Performers live show. If you would like to play that show please contact @saddleuptherobots on Discord to apply for a time slot. Once confirmed prepare a 15-20 minute performance using this month’s Patchable. Don’t forget to press record (!) and then post your set after the show.

A note about Patchable Performers: this show is curated for the NYMS community to showcase their art and creativity. We book only after a Patchable’s unveiling and not in advance. Other NYMS shows are booked mostly through February and March. If you are interested in playing live on our Twitch channel, we highly recommend you inquire to play Patchable Performers, and show off your ideas! 

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Ethan James Startzman

https://soundcloud.com/brain-basement/spring-summer-autumn-winter-wav
Patch notes:
Buchla Music Easel and CS-L to first mixer, to Erbeverb, to Tapographic Delay, to X-Pan (controlled by Quadrax with Tangle Quartet), to Boss RC-5, to Eventide H9. 3rd stream is Arp-2600, 4th stream is OB-6 module.
CS-L is using internal modulation routing and also going to Optomix with strike inputs triggered by Tempi.
Buchla CV: Envelope to Waveshape and Timbre, Random to Timbre stacked. Envelope to both Low Pass Gates. Random to Pitch of both oscillators stacked with Sequential voltage. Random to Modulation.

theBigHaitch

https://soundcloud.com/harry-woodell/mixing-inside-the-box-patchable-0022 All mixing done inside the case. Top Intelijel Quadratt is left bus, bottom Quadratt is right bus, Eurorack Hardware AMIX does effects send and Make Noise XOH serves as stereo effects return and master. No outboard mixer is used except to route final stereo mix by XOH into Tascam DR-100 for recording. This means very little ability to mess with CV, which is a serious handicap. I made do. Mutable Instruments Grids provides master clock and most rhythmic elements. Grids kick lane feeds two channels of Befaco Percall for kicks. Snare lane triggers Ginkosynthese Seeds for solo voice through… Read more »

Last edited 7 months ago by theBigHaitch
xruns

https://soundcloud.com/xruns/untitled-patchable-0022

Patch notes
This patch explores stereo image mainly through Frap Tools Quad Stereo Channel, an external mixer, and SSF Vortices. Main sound source is Verbos Harmonic Oscillator mix channel going to Erbe-Verb then stereo out to QSR, modulated with SSF Spectrum. Some harmonic outputs are being multed and patched to Vortices for further stereo processing, and also to NE Imitor Versio. A lot of parallel processing is happening in the external mixer via two mono aux busses with separate fx chains each. Clocked via ES8/3 from Bitwig for synced modulation.

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