Using DJ Mixers with modular

Live patching, designs, and techniques that push the performance envelope.

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witchbutter
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Using DJ Mixers with modular

Post by witchbutter » Mon Aug 14, 2017 4:35 pm

I started as a DJ before I began composing electronic music, so I have a strong familiarity with DJ equipment. I am now using 2 eurorack cases each with their own character and I'm beginning to wonder about integrating these 2 with a DJ mixer. DJ Mixers have performance oriented features like simple filters, eq kills etc which are not on studio type mixers and are typically more tightly spaced. So given that I have enough pre-mix capability in my eurorack cases already is there anyone out there using a DJ mixer effectively for performances? What about integrating eurorack, ableton and a dj mixer together? What limits do you encounter?

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Post by moremagic » Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:54 pm

ive never used ableton, but i do love using my dj mixer with my synths. one fun thing is to patch up something on my euro to be played with the keyboard on my mono/poly, then feed the korg and the modular to the dj mixer and play the crossfader. its kinda like super basic 2 channel vector synthesis and i find it a lotta fun

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Post by nickgrys » Thu Sep 07, 2017 5:30 pm

I use a Xone 92 with my 6U rig and TR-09 - 3 mixer channels for the modular and 1 channel for the drum machine. I use the aux sends/returns with guitar effects pedals.

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Post by ben_hex » Fri Sep 08, 2017 2:38 pm

Check out phil "VCOADSR" using the new Allen & Heath / Hawtin Play differently.

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Post by witchbutter » Fri Sep 08, 2017 9:54 pm

That mixer model 1 is a beautiful piece of machinery, even at $3200. I have a Pioneer DJM-S9 I'm currently working with, hoping I can make use of the sampler buttons.

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Post by dubonaire » Fri Sep 08, 2017 10:38 pm

ben_hex wrote:Check out phil "VCOADSR" using the new Allen & Heath / Hawtin Play differently.

Performance -


Rig rundown -
I was thinking the Model 1 would be an excellent performance mixer for hardware.

I feel sorry for VCOADSR though - nothing worse than playing to a rigid audience, I guess the place didn't really have a dancey vibe.

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Post by ben_hex » Mon Sep 11, 2017 7:18 am

dubonaire that was Modular Meets Leeds. So a big synth nerd event. Not really a crowd for "getting into" any particular style. The reception afterwards was great. Funny though as I imagine a lot of the crowd were really into what he was using and how he was doing it as much as the music. Where as in a club he'd have the opposite effect.
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Post by docsample » Sun Jul 01, 2018 6:04 pm

Would be good to know how he routes the audio into the mixer, including the send and returns. Like is it straight up, vca to audio in or what? Don't want to nuke my xone 92.

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Post by dubonaire » Sun Jul 01, 2018 7:17 pm

docsample wrote:Would be good to know how he routes the audio into the mixer, including the send and returns. Like is it straight up, vca to audio in or what? Don't want to nuke my xone 92.
The gain trim pot on the Xone 92 can attenuate level by -10dBU which should adequately reduce your euro inputs. Actually manual says -15db in one place and -10db in another. You should be OK. If you want to be careful select post-eq cueing, turn down your trim pot fully, turn down your eqs, turn down your fader. Connect a signal from your eurorack and gradually turn up the eqs and watch for redlining on the channel meter. Then with the EQs at 0db adjust the trim pot until you get the right amount of gain so that you are +/5db around 0 on the meter.

But you should have at least a limiter between your euro signals and the mixer to avoid out of control peaks. I think VCOADSR is using an ER-301 as a limiter.

Personally I would use in/out amplifier/attenuator modules but that's just me. I would be happier with that in a live rig. I know a lot of people feed their euro signals straight into audio cards.

I think the PLAYdifferently mixer accepts hotter signals than the Xone 92.

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Post by docsample » Mon Jul 02, 2018 10:27 am

awesome thanks for the reply! that helps a lot and i will check the manual.

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Post by dubonaire » Mon Jul 02, 2018 3:10 pm

docsample wrote:awesome thanks for the reply! that helps a lot and i will check the manual.
you're welcome, let us know how it goes.

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Post by Ypsi Kid » Wed Jul 04, 2018 2:12 pm

Hey man,

I started out as a DJ as well and then moved into production. Used Ableton since about 2000 and now am using Ableton, my modular and the Roland MX-1. While not really a DJ mixer per say, it has functions like a DJ mixer and I use it as such when playing with the Modular. So I think I'm doing something similar to what you are doing and loving it. Brings the familiarity of the DJ mixer so I can fall back to cutting EQ's, Channels and efx for performance and it works great! I have a thread here - viewtopic.php?t=202449 - where I'm documenting my journey to putting a live set together. It will give you an idea of the sound of what I'm doing anyway.

I use Ableton mostly for efx and some grouping of tracks for side-chaining and other efx. Ableton works as a master clock as well for everything. I'm sequencing completely outside of the box along with all my sound sources and modulation. So Ableton is really just acting as throughput for everything into the Roland MX-1 (along with efx). I will most likely also use it to fire off some loops (drums) in the future, but I find the BitBox is like my rack version of Ableton - it plays the part for samples and loops (and it can record perfectly cut loops, although I'm not using it for that.... yet!).

So to answer your question, definitively possible and I would say recommended if you have a background as a DJ. Let me know if you have any questions.

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Post by dubonaire » Wed Jul 04, 2018 7:33 pm

Yep I also use an MX-1 with a small live set up. It's great to use but let down by the number of inputs.

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Post by witchbutter » Wed Jul 04, 2018 8:56 pm

Since I've started this thread I've tried a lot of configurations, but I've really settled into the WMD performance mixer. For my rack it helps all my levels gel using a familiar layout for a DJ, with ways to input pedals and outboard gear. I do still want to integrate my DJ mixer but at this point when I want to take the rack out live I don't really need it. I think most likely if I use a two channel mixer I might have to two separate racks with 2 wmd performance mixers in them run into each side of the DJ mixer, but we'll see.

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Post by Selstrom » Sat Jul 07, 2018 2:32 am

dubonaire wrote:Yep I also use an MX-1 with a small live set up. It's great to use but let down by the number of inputs.
Me too, and yes I don't have any other Aira or USB equipment so 4 channels are just sat redundant. Although, the powered USB socket comes in handy to power the analog to digital converter that I use to utilise the digital channel.

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Post by moremagic » Sat Jul 28, 2018 4:24 am

witchbutter wrote:I might have to two separate racks with 2 wmd performance mixers in them run into each side of the DJ mixer, but we'll see.
when you pst pics :twisted:

why not have the modular on one side, WMD Performance and all, and something totally different on the other side, like a poly or sampler maybe

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Post by marcmuon » Sat Sep 15, 2018 3:29 pm

My live performances are typically sandwiched between DJ sets in a techno club environment. I've been sub-mixing the modular out to the Mackie Mix 8 and then taking that output to one channel of a DJ Mixer, usually either Pioneer or Xone 92. Been working great so far and easy to setup quickly.

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Post by dekemcculo » Sat Dec 22, 2018 6:47 pm

the party mix module from casper/bastl seems cool for live/performative mixing (seems exciting to be able to chain them and combo with dark matter too, also in the video)

[video][/video]

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Post by dekemcculo » Sat Dec 22, 2018 6:48 pm

(neither are out yet but hopefully soon) ~

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Post by 13isaacz1 » Mon May 27, 2019 2:07 pm

Just out of curiosity are any of you guys mixing your modular stuff into live DJ sets (Hybrid Sets). I've heard Traktor can send a midi-clock out which I'm thinking would allow me to mix between tracks on Traktor and then play along and add sequences etc. on the modular. Anyone have experience with this type of rig? Would love to hear what works and what doesn't!

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Post by dubonaire » Mon May 27, 2019 4:29 pm

13isaacz1 wrote:Just out of curiosity are any of you guys mixing your modular stuff into live DJ sets (Hybrid Sets). I've heard Traktor can send a midi-clock out which I'm thinking would allow me to mix between tracks on Traktor and then play along and add sequences etc. on the modular. Anyone have experience with this type of rig? Would love to hear what works and what doesn't!
I've mixed hardware into vinyl just by getting the hardware clock tempo close enough and adjusting the pitchfader.

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Post by versipellis » Mon May 27, 2019 11:41 pm

13isaacz1 wrote:Just out of curiosity are any of you guys mixing your modular stuff into live DJ sets (Hybrid Sets). I've heard Traktor can send a midi-clock out which I'm thinking would allow me to mix between tracks on Traktor and then play along and add sequences etc. on the modular. Anyone have experience with this type of rig? Would love to hear what works and what doesn't!
Yup, I run hybrid sets when I'm too lazy to lug out my entire live set rig. Half-Traktor, half-eurorack, mixing down into a Xone 96 with a single Traktor D2 juggling 2 track decks and 2 remix decks.
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Post by Kent » Tue May 28, 2019 6:58 am

I use the Mackie d4•Pro. It is great for the described purpose although very hard to find on the used market. The blue LEDs, under the EQ knobs, do burn out over time. Don't worry about this as it is a common, and largely cosmetic, flaw.

Click the picture to read a bit about it:


Image

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Allen &Heath Xone23 3.5mm breakout pods

Post by col » Wed Dec 25, 2019 11:07 pm

Here are some photos of a modded Allen & Heath Xone23 for modular synth usage. The Xone23 sounds superb are reasonably priced and have a very convenient cutout in the sides that can be utilized for adding breakout pods stuffed with 3.5mm jacks. You can even utilize the mic-pre with an 3.5mm to XLR adapter 8-)

Using it with a pair of Doepfer A-138p, one each side of the crossfader. Only thing I haven't worked out yet is how to use the send and return effectively. It tends to cross bleed. (for some reason the photos got arranged back-to-front..)

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dubonaire
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Re: Using DJ Mixers with modular

Post by dubonaire » Thu Dec 26, 2019 12:40 am

Interesting. On some of the other Xones eg the Xone 92 you don't need to use a soldering iron the cards have simple jumpers to remove.

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