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Do You Use A Mixer?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Modular Synth General Discussion Goto page 1, 2  Next [all]
Author Do You Use A Mixer?
folpon
Sorry, guys. This problem has just been driving me nuts.

Say you have:

1. A melody playing on a DPO/optomix.
2. Snare drum playing from a mutant snare.
3. A bass drum from an STO.
4. A counter melody from another oscillator.
5. Maybe toss in samples from a Morphagene or Radio Music.

How do you route all these signals to listen to them all at once?

I used to have a Sputnik 6-channel mixer, but it broke down. And now I'm thinking: should I just get a little external mixer to have next to my rack instead? Do people do it that way? eg: plugging the output of a VCA direct into a mixer --> mixer outs into my audio interface?

Should I just get two more Rosies? There's got to be a better way...

For some reason the Sputnik mixer never felt right to me and I've never been very satisfied with the amount of flexibility I've had on hand for mixing voices from my modular across a stereo field/with eq/etc. Is plugging into a mixer an okay idea?

My current rack, for reference:

mskala
If you just want to mix the signals, and then possibly do more stuff in the rack with the mixed signal, I'd suggest one or two basic in-rack mixers, like the Pittsburgh Mixer. That one in particular is nice because it allows the individual channels ot be pulled out and used as attenuators, but there are many similar modules.

But if you want to do stereo stuff, EQ, non-modular effects outside the rack, and so on, then I'd suggest an external mixing board. It'll be a much cheaper way of getting those kinds of features. Many people do go that way.
folpon
Thank you. Knowing that using an outside mixer is something people do is helpful, and I appreciate your advice about the in-rack mixer. I think I can find space for it.

For some reason this question just stresses me out. I don't really know anything about mixing boards, so the thought of choosing which one to get seems slightly unnerving, I guess.
kreiff
I use an external mixer. I think it makes the workflow a lot easier. I've got a Soundcraft Signature MTK 12. It has a standard mix out / headphone out so I can listen back via my studio monitors, but it also has USB out for all 12 channels so I can record all the tracks down separately via USB for a final mix or to tweak or add effects that I don't have in my rack.

It's also helpful for allowing your non-modular stuff to join the party. I have a beatstep pro as well - so I can sync patches on my modular to sequences on my standalone synths.
Randy
I use have quite a few mixers in my rack, 5 are I suppose first stage, for mixing within parts of the patch, one (a Ladik M-174 I think) is the final Euro mixer, and then that runs into a Behringer X-32, which is for mixing the whole studio.

There are lots of mixers available, and what you choose depends on your workflow. I wanted a basic final mixer for the Euro because I have the X-32, so no effects sends/returns, no headphones, etc. The Ladik is very basic, but gives me stereo outs (1/4") and manual panning on each channel.

Randy
folpon
Interesting. How is the sound quality on that Soundcraft mixer?

There are a couple of those new USB mixers (presonus AR series, new zoom) that offer per-track recording but I've never had a chance to test them out. Do you connect outs on your modular right into ins on your mixer or is there an intermediate of some kind?
pugix
You can certainly run multiple synth outputs to an external mixer. Any good small mixer will handle synth level signals on its line inputs. Get one that has an input level adjustment prior to the equalization. Behringer, Yamaha, Soundcraft, Mackie, Allen & Heath all make decent small mixers. I have an Allen & Heath ZED-14 in the studio. I chose the ZED-14 because of its four FX send mix channels, and the fact that the line inputs are separated from the mic preamps on each mono input channel.

If you typically mix to stereo, it's good to have a mixer module, too. I hear good reports about the L-1 VC Stereo Mixer. I currently use a Verbos Scan & Pan. I typically send stereo from the Scan & Pan through a WMD Pro Output over to the ZED-14. I have multiple synths with stereo outputs that can all patch into the ZED-14.
kreiff
folpon wrote:
Interesting. How is the sound quality on that Soundcraft mixer?

There are a couple of those new USB mixers (presonus AR series, new zoom) that offer per-track recording but I've never had a chance to test them out. Do you connect outs on your modular right into ins on your mixer or is there an intermediate of some kind?


I think the sound quality is quite good. I have had no issues with noise. The "British EQ" sound very nice to my ears.

I tend to connect my VCA outs (ALM Tangle Quartet & MI Veils) straight to the mixer inputs with 1/8" to 1/4" cables. That way I get some control over the volume going into the mixer - but you could run anything direct in - each channel has a gain control in addition to the mix control.
mskala
As for what I do myself - I use an external mixer, a Mackie ProFX8v2, but I don't use it exactly the way you're contemplating. I usually have only one signal, either mono or stereo, going from the modular to the external mixer. If I have more than one voice patched in the modular, I mix them there. I use the external mixer instead for combining the modular's one signal with other things - microphones, non-modular synths, and so on. In fact, a lot of the time I'm just using it as a USB sound interface for my computer, replacing the motherboard's poor-quality built-in audio. This mixer is to some extent overkill for the things I usually do with it, but I really wanted one with sliders, not knobs, for the per-channel fader controls, and it was the lowest-end external mixer that had those along with other features I wanted like decent-quality XLR microphone inputs. Building up a similar set of features out of Eurorack modules, even if I skipped over the parts of this mixer that I'm not actually using, would have cost much more.
rompler808
I would be lost without a decent external mixer. I have a small Yamaha MG82CX. I can run effects into it, standalone synths, plus modular systems and the odd guitar. I have it connected to some decent powered monitors. Only trouble is I find I'm outgrowing this one. May need to upgrade to a mixer with more channels soon (so I can get the FS1R and TX81Z in at the same time)!
Tronman
Since I cut my modular in half, I only have two voices...a sequencer voice and a lead voice. But I use a 12 channel Mackie external mixer because I need to mix other stuff.

Channel
1 - guitar amp mic
2 - bass guitar direct
3 - modular sequencer
4 - modular lead
5/6 - Hammond SK1 organ
7/8 - DSI Prophet 6
9/10 - Mellotron 1
11/12 - Mellotron 2
eewee
I have a small 3U 19inch rack that contains an 8 channel stereo mixer, a cheap lexicon fx unit, and a patch bay. All my voices end up as separate inputs to the mixer, whether stereo or mono. Various mixer outputs go to headphones, computer, speakers, and back into modular.
Unless you want to do fancy stuff like VC panning, or fx send control, this is a very flexible setup. Especially once you get the hang of the patchbay.
PatchMonger
Hello there, first post here nanners
I have a MOTU 828 audio interface (quite old, bought it for £200) and it has 8 Ins, then I route them all to ableton live which is great because I can then directly record them and apply EQ/effects in the DAW.
However you may want not to use any computer but I think that is extremely efficient to do it that way.
Cool system by the way!!
Eichburger
folpon wrote:
For some reason this question just stresses me out. I don't really know anything about mixing boards, so the thought of choosing which one to get seems slightly unnerving, I guess.


I feel your pain folpon. Agonised for my first couple of years over getting a mixer.

Eventually invested in one and never looked back. I would never, ever, ever do music without one now.
funky catsmell
I've been using this circuit for mixing sounds before final output
calaveras
I used to just route all my stuff to one of my 828MKII interfaces. They do not need to be plugged in to a computer to pass sound.
But I kept running into situations where signals where wildly different levels. So I went and grabbed an old Mackie 1202 off of ebay. It was $50 or so. Plenty of inputs.
As a plus I patched the oscope to one of the aux sends, so now I can kind of cue what the oscope hears aside from what I hear.
sduck
I've got a bunch of mixers - several modular 3>1 type things, one sort of main 4 channel panning mixer in the modular, and an external mackie 12 channel one for everything else. Mixers are like VCAs - you really need a bunch of them.
moremagic
you can run 4 signals into rosie, i often run a moddemix into a and another into b and a delay on each side of the fx return Miley Cyrus
memes_33
For me, it's a question of modulation. If you don't have/need any control other than fades or minor tweaks, go external. If you want cv control or plan on "playing" it more, go internal. Nice thing about modular mixers is, most of the time, you can mix CV too.

I've found generally sound craft and Mackie mixers are cool with euro levels. Others distort too much.

Another advantage of external mixers is being able to route non-modular signals in and out easily. Also, fx sends and feedback loops without having to sacrifice modular space.
richardisabelle
I use a Soundcraft EPM8. No problem with euro levels, and couldn't do without the EQ. Also built like a tank; in case you travel with it.

http://www.soundcraft.com/en/product_families/epm-series
starthief
I use a Focusrite Saffire Pro 40 interface, with 8 inputs. Most of my EQ and other effects happen in the box.

Also a little Behringer mixer just to have some hardware-based stereo panning and easy "live" level tweaking for a couple of those inputs, or if I want to noisily pre-amp something (like my Crank Sturgeon Perpetual Spring Device or a contact mic).

Some basic in-the-rack mixing in 3xMIA or Frames or my VCAs (Zlob Dual and Sputnik Quad both have mix outputs) if it's not end-of-chain stuff.
mirth23
I have a similar modular setup as yours, folpon, and my external mixer is invaluable. At a minimum, using eq to split drums from other voices goes a long way to improving the mix. The Mutant Snare in particular needs some extra oomph, and it's often a good idea to isolate your bass and kicks.

A bit of panning also helps distinguish instruments from each other, which is a lot cheaper to do in a mixer than in Eurorack. You can also set up CV-controlled panning with LFOs, inverters, and VCAs in your Eurorack (of course, if you do a lot of that sort of thing, then you might want one of the several great Eurorack mixers out there).

I also sometimes like to use AUX and FX sends from my mixer to feed back into effects modules like Rainmaker.
calaveras
mirth23 wrote:

A bit of panning also helps distinguish instruments from each other, which is a lot cheaper to do in a mixer than in Eurorack.

I was really pining for the Doepfer performance mixer. The model with the basic panning and level plus the standard output module.
But then I realized I can accomplish the same, with bigger knobs and more flexibility using a Mackie 1202.
The downside is that I don't have great compatibility for processing the entire stereo mix in Euro. As I have Stab-Frenzy's mid-side module.
I really need to finish building my extra case so I can populate it with my overflow of DIY and storebought modules.
mortal3
I have 9 in rack mixers... ( but I am counting a couple of mutable veils and a blinds, and a doepfer a135-1 *vcas*... Not counting links or frames....) have multiple Percussion sounds to mix, as well As voices, samples and cv's.., then individual rack mixers go out to my main mackie
Koa
I picked up a mackie 12 channel for my porting into and out of mixing duty!

Inside the rack, I had good success with mults, shades, blinds etc.
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