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Could someone explain to me how you use Matrix mixer
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Modular Synth General Discussion Goto page 1, 2  Next [all]
Author Could someone explain to me how you use Matrix mixer
Cfcarter
I dont get it. 4 in and 4 out, for example. Whats the purpose of that? seriously, i just don't get it

What do you use it for? Give me some inspiration!!
Pelsea
Think of it as a patch bay with knobs.
cptnal
I use mine mainly for audio routing. Up to four sound sources and destinations and each can go to any other (including feedback) under modulation. You can also get funky modulation combos, trigger patterns, waveforms... Once you start to get it your head starts to spin with the possibilities. I'm still working on it. This is fun!
MarcelP
I use mine mainly for CV routing. Various Batumi outputs up 3 or four inputs, you get four shades of wobbliness on the outputs - mix to taste. Then (as noted above) feed some of that wobbliness back up the Batumi inputs. Start subtle, get bonkers. It’s a sort of CV junction/exchange sat in the middle of a patch.
mskala
It can do basically the same thing that people call "sends" in the context of external mixing boards. You've got four audio sources, you've got four effects or other destinations; you can choose how much of each audio source to send to each destination.
Rex Coil 7
It's like having four separate mixers, each mixer having four separate inputs.

Or perhaps four, 4ch mixers.

Maybe this diagram I made up will help. Each ~dot~ is a level control knob. So IN-A is connected to 4 mixers. IN-B is also connected to 4 mixers. And so on. Each mixer can have it's own mix of all four input signals.

Pelsea
Here's an excerpt from my class notes:



Quote:
The matrix mixer is an antique design that has recently regained favor in the modular community. The layout is simple, just rows and columns of knobs. The rows represent inputs and the columns connect to outputs. Raising a knob connects the associated input and output. Many synthesists use them as a kind of patchbay, because it is quick and easy to reroute a signal during a performance. Back in the days when this was the only kind of mixer available, studio engineers developed a set of tricks to make complicated operations easy.

• An entire row or column can be turned off by running your thumb along the edge of the knobs. (With some knobs you might have to do this twice.)
• Two knobs can be “locked” together with a rubber band. Thus turning one turns its partner.
• If the rubber band is in a figure eight, turning one knob down will turn the partner up. This is the way to perform pans.



The first studio I worked in had an enormous matrix mixer for the console, it was about five feet wide and had 24 columns of 8 3" knobs. It was mounted in a table. Anyone doing mixes had to run rubber bands everywhere.
MarcelP
Brilliant! Last time I put an elastic band round my knob - well never mind, this seems a much better idea! Thanks for the tip!
cptnal
MarcelP wrote:
Brilliant! Last time I put an elastic band round my knob - well never mind, this seems a much better idea! Thanks for the tip!


lolspew
Cfcarter
Cheers! Grateful for all the answers!!
ersatzplanet
A couple of uses I use mine for (I have two 4ms VCAM):

One is for quadraphonic mixing. Send any of the four inputs to one or more of the corners of the room (or between). Use a quadrature LFO (I have the Doepfer one) to pan the sound around the room.

To simulate a vector synthesizer. Fours sources that fade between each other like a WaveStation does, They can be different waveforms on a VCO (or VCOs) or other sources. I use outputs from sample loop players. You can use a quad envelope generator that has a EOR out to cycle through the four EG in order to program how the sounds fade into each other. Also I use a Doepfer Morph controller which allows using a slider or Joystick to do it.

A standard stereo mixer with two Aux sends. I do this with the Aux feeding a Echophon and Z5000. It allows rhymic echo sends (only certain notes of the sequence get echo'd) and dynamic echo sends (echos or reverb that swells at the end of phrases or at the end of the bar)

They are big modules typically but well worth it to me. I also have a Doepfer quad VCA mixer which does the WaveStation thing well too in a smaller space.
starthief
You can set up a matrix mixer to arrange how one input goes through three effects -- changing the order, creating feedback paths, and wet/dry all based on knob turns.

With a bipolar 4x4 matrix mixer you can convert L/R to mid/side and mid/side to L/R.

You can feed it gates, and then set the knobs so that each gate contributes a different voltage level to the outputs -- sort of a tunable DAC with 4 parallel outputs, or a 16-step sequencer (if used with a clock distributor and sequential switch).

All kinds of uses smile
mt3
Matrix mixer should be one of the first modules owned. One use/way to view it is as a modulation permutation distribution module.
WMD SSM is one of the best modules ever invented.

Another way to look at it is how they are employed in many software synths for routing modulation to various synth parameters.
Sinamsis
I use the SSM as well. I like having four smoothed random inputs going to four different destination, and slowly sequencing through them for abrupt jumps in the modulation. Otherwise routing four audio inputs to four separate outputs. Routing gate and CV inputs pair to different destinations. Precision adder. Also built in comparator. There's so much the SSM can do. I think a matrix mixer that can be sequenced is just so versatile and useful. That said, the SSM is very different than something like a VCAM or other mixer matrix where you can do more than unity mixing.
mt3
Sinamsis wrote:
That said, the SSM is very different than something like a VCAM or other mixer matrix where you can do more than unity mixing.


Can't believe I forgot that crucial detail.
I agree with your other points, especially the comparators. The SSM Expander is crucial as well. Multidimensional polyrhytmic possibilities.
milkshake
Rob Hordijk has an active matrix.
It is simular to the picture Rex coil has posted, but every node (crossing of input and output) has not a potmeter or switch, like on the modules mentioned. It has an insert point.
This allows you to add your own potmeters or switches and anything else you can come up with.
In practice, I use it most as simply an active multiple, this allows me to for instance route pitch cv to multiple sources without loss.
But I also very often insert vca's into the nodes for mixing with other cv signals. Or insert stomp boxes into the synth. Or invert signals. Or use a quantizer. Or a wavefolder. Or a filter. Or... you get the picture.

It's the heart of the system, I couldn't live without it.

Why doesn't every modular synth have one?
lisa
Pelsea wrote:
Think of it as a patch bay with knobs.

I get that logic. However, a four channel patch bay? That’s almost pointless, isn’t it?

Many seem to use matrix mixers more like happy accident machines. Stick some random stuff in there, connect all the outputs to random inputs, turn the knobs randomly until something cool happens. Some matrix mixers have saved states that you can switch between using CV= even more random.
cptnal
milkshake wrote:
It is simular to the picture Rex coil has posted, but every node (crossing of input and output) has not a potmeter or switch, like on the modules mentioned. It has an insert point.


The Rebel Tech Mix 04 is similar. Great fun but it eats modulation. woah
starthief
lisa wrote:
Pelsea wrote:
Think of it as a patch bay with knobs.

I get that logic. However, a four channel patch bay? That’s almost pointless, isn’t it?


Nope! For example, given an incoming mono signal and an outgoing mono signal, a 4x4 matrix will let you rearrange, mix, and patch feedback and wet/dry among three different effects without moving patch cables. If it's something like Maze or the upcoming u-He CVilization which stores the routings, so much the better. Guitarists pay through the nose for that kind of utility on their pedalboards.

More typically I just use mine for wet/dry/feedback with one effect and maybe two inputs and a DC offset I can dial in.
cptnal
mt3 made the point about software synths, but this functionality is baked into hardware synths and we don't even think about it. Look at all the synths where you can send the same LFO or envelope to the filter, VCA, PWM...
milkshake
cptnal wrote:
milkshake wrote:
It is simular to the picture Rex coil has posted, but every node (crossing of input and output) has not a potmeter or switch, like on the modules mentioned. It has an insert point.


The Rebel Tech Mix 04 is similar. Great fun but it eats modulation. woah

That is a very cool module.
It has a cv input on every node to control the vca of that node, if I'm not mistaken. And that would indeed take a huge amount of modulation sources. I also like it that you can (a)symmetrically distort the signal, that is very clever.

But the Rob Hordijk matrix is quite different, it has on every node both an input and an output, I wasn't clear about that. And therefore you need to use a trs cable, just like the inserts on most prosumer mixing desks. The accompanied node processor module has bipolar vca's, quantizer, waveshaper, 20dB gain module, potmeters (or midi, if you want that), that also accepts trs cables. Of cause you can also use a trs to 2 ts cable to insert anything else you can think of into a node, or one of the node processor modules.
If you want to unity mix signals, you can insert 2 trs plugs that have the tip and ring connected inside. If you want to mix - 3dB or - 6dB or anything else, you just solder the appropriate resistor into the plug, just like on the EMS Putney synth pinmatrix.
If you insert a ts cable into a node, then the input is available and the output path is shorted to ground. In this way it functions as a buffered multiple.
It sounds complex, but it's very intuitive to use and doesn't eat modulation sources.



You are also completely right that most synths have a matrix mixer build in. Some are even named after that function, Oberheim synths come to mind...
peripatitis
One thing I do often with the matrix (livestock's maze), is to use it along a few oscillators for changing the fm routings between them.
Another option is to use it with a multiPoleoutput filter (like the vdl6, hdl6, etc) to derive different filter types and interpolate between them.

And of course cv modulation, you could have 4 different mixes of cv control and interpolate between variations.
For example let's say you have a couple of envelopes and lfo's as inputs. You could save a preset where output 1 is only receiving one lfo, two lfo's, one lfo and an envelope and the whole lot and move between them manually or with cv.

It does take some preparation, but it is an easy way to add a bit more complex movements.

p.s
waldorf is probably one of the few synth makers that almost always incorporated a central matrix along mathematical operations, logic, etc and that has always been on of their biggest "weapons". However it was not for everyone..
dooj88
peripatitis wrote:
livestock's maze


i am obsessed with this module! it looks like endless possibilities for fun. i am slightly torn though, by not having a knob(s) for immediate fade/cross-fading like on doepfer's matrix mixer. it seems like to get this same functionality i'd set up a morphing preset?

either way, the enhancements are well worth the tradeoffs of immediacy.
memes_33
peripatitis wrote:
One thing I do often with the matrix (livestock's maze), is to use it along a few oscillators for changing the fm routings between them.


i did this last night on my buchla 258r dual oscillator, routing each oscillator to the (205r) matrix ins, then matrix outs to each oscillator's FM input. cool stuff indeed. routed other outputs to a delay and then to monitor and spent about an hour doing some cool drone-y stuff just messing with those parameters.

i use the 205r matrix mixer for dub-style routing as well, with sources being available to send to delay, reverb, distortion, etc. i even put red, yellow, and green (and black) knobs on the pots to make routing more intuitive and give a nod to the Jamaican dub pioneers!
peripatitis
dooj88 wrote:
peripatitis wrote:
livestock's maze


i am obsessed with this module! it looks like endless possibilities for fun. i am slightly torn though, by not having a knob(s) for immediate fade/cross-fading like on doepfer's matrix mixer. it seems like to get this same functionality i'd set up a morphing preset?

either way, the enhancements are well worth the tradeoffs of immediacy.


Yes, it doesn't have those knobs for imeddiate action, you can howver select a number of rootings and change all their values with the encoder at the same time.
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