no input mixer....

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Nelson Baboon
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no input mixer....

Post by Nelson Baboon » Tue Jan 18, 2011 9:58 pm

This is something that I've just discovered - listening mostly.

What I wonder about is this (if anyone here has ever done this seriously) - is there an advantage to using a 'mixing board' for this, rather than say, a modular system that is very happy with feedback loops - say, a Serge, but I"m sure others....if so, what is that advantage?

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Post by igormpc » Tue Jan 18, 2011 10:09 pm

a mixing board is cheaper. :hihi:

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Nelson Baboon
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Post by Nelson Baboon » Tue Jan 18, 2011 10:19 pm

not if you already have the modular.

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Post by stk » Wed Jan 19, 2011 1:06 am

Main advantage is you're 100% limited to internally-routed feedback loops, no distractions of from your other 99 modules. Zen thing.

Also, it's Punk as Fuck.

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Post by Johnisfaster » Wed Jan 19, 2011 1:27 am

All I know is this video is fuckin awesome.

I wish I could apply this kind of ingenuity to a proper modular, but maybe I'm just not that kind of genius.


[video][/video]
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Post by diophantine » Wed Jan 19, 2011 11:37 am

Most modular mixers are pretty simple: just inputs, an output, and attenuators.

Nearly all mixing boards (even the cheapest), however, will have EQ, panning, input gain, and various other inputs and outputs (Aux/FX out/in, control room, etc.) to create multiple & adjustable feedback loops (with different electronics behind them).

All of these either come in handy or are necessary to really do no-input mixing. You could get some results out of a modular mixer, I'm sure, but I doubt very much.

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Post by Nelson Baboon » Wed Jan 19, 2011 12:07 pm

diophantine wrote:Most modular mixers are pretty simple: just inputs, an output, and attenuators.

Nearly all mixing boards (even the cheapest), however, will have EQ, panning, input gain, and various other inputs and outputs (Aux/FX out/in, control room, etc.) to create multiple & adjustable feedback loops (with different electronics behind them).

All of these either come in handy or are necessary to really do no-input mixing. You could get some results out of a modular mixer, I'm sure, but I doubt very much.
Well, true - the Serge mixers for instance don't have eq within the mixer, but some have panning, you can change the gain coming in, and given the banana connections you can do all sorts of multiple connections and feedback loops with other components (eq, filters, phaser, delay, etc). And then ultimately, given the excessive modulation possibilities, it seems like you have a whole lot more than with a mixer.

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Post by Hi5 » Wed Jan 19, 2011 12:08 pm

all the no-input mixer thing is is feedback. sure a mixing board has eq and gain but your modular has waveshapers/folders, filters, phasers, VCA, etc... With these additional tools you could do a lot more than a typical mixer. Personally I find the no-input mixer thing horribly limiting and same sounding. Most performers who use the method end up augmenting the rig with delays and other effects anyway. Plus with the modular you will have a lot more headroom and range to work since you are not dealing with line-level signals. The only concern with the modular mixer though is that it will need to have gain somewhere as an attenuating mixer will not start singing very well.

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Post by Nelson Baboon » Wed Jan 19, 2011 12:12 pm

right - it all seems to work very well, and I was wondering whether there could possibly be something that I was missing...

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Post by diophantine » Wed Jan 19, 2011 1:10 pm

Yeah, if you are fine with incorporating other modules into it, then sure. It takes it a bit out of the range I'd consider "no-input mixing" and into purely Fun With Feedbackâ„¢ territory (no problem by me! done both plenty...), but I'm sure it could produce some interesting results.

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Post by shamann » Wed Jan 19, 2011 1:48 pm

Nelson Baboon wrote:right - it all seems to work very well, and I was wondering whether there could possibly be something that I was missing...
I think some of it has to do with interface--big gliding sliders instead of knobs. I think part of it has to do with the story--you're appropriating equipment designed for one thing to do another, making music with a device not intended to make music. In some cases, I think the more old and broke down the mixer is, the better, since a high noise floor and scratchy pots can help you out. And I think simplicity of means plays a part of it, you're just making electronic music with a mixer, which is a pretty spartan set up.

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Post by Hi5 » Wed Jan 19, 2011 2:36 pm

shamann wrote:
Nelson Baboon wrote:right - it all seems to work very well, and I was wondering whether there could possibly be something that I was missing...
I think some of it has to do with interface--big gliding sliders instead of knobs. I think part of it has to do with the story--you're appropriating equipment designed for one thing to do another, making music with a device not intended to make music. In some cases, I think the more old and broke down the mixer is, the better, since a high noise floor and scratchy pots can help you out. And I think simplicity of means plays a part of it, you're just making electronic music with a mixer, which is a pretty spartan set up.
Interface aside though it is still just feedback. If it is in a mixer or not really doesn't change the basic principles of operation. Sure, a crappy behringer is going to have its "tone" but crappy farty sound quality can be done on the modular as well as a host of other possibilities. Every performance I have seen with just a no-input mixer ends up being the most mundane application of feedback and sonically flat. The instances where it has been interesting, people (aka toshi nakamura) have used other processing gear to get something more out of the feedback. think of how a simple vca could open up possibilities. In Nakamura's case he brings out his mixer and a couple U of rack gear(delay/modulation stuff) in an SKB case. 1 single serge panel or 2 m-class modules would get you equivalent(or more) range and be smaller/lighter. I get that mixers are cheap and this is why the no-input mixer specifically became something but if one's goal is the most bang out of a rig the modular feedback system is more viable. Claims that it is somehow different because it isnt a typical low cost mixer board comes from a lack of understanding of the basic principles involved.

drool:
go with the Serge rig and you will get a wider palate that sounds better.

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Post by Johnisfaster » Wed Jan 19, 2011 2:47 pm

I genuinely feel that the no input stuff in that video sounds great.
I also feel that adding 2 or 3 guitar pedals could make the sonic pallette HUGE.

If one doesnt like it I think its likely because they have expectations for it to sound a certain way, and it doesnt meet those expectations. I think a certain degree of the art is deciding to enjoy what it is for what it is.
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Post by shamann » Wed Jan 19, 2011 3:10 pm

Hi5 wrote:Interface aside though it is still just feedback. If it is in a mixer or not really doesn't change the basic principles of operation. Sure, a crappy behringer is going to have its "tone" but crappy farty sound quality can be done on the modular as well as a host of other possibilities. Every performance I have seen with just a no-input mixer ends up being the most mundane application of feedback and sonically flat. The instances where it has been interesting, people (aka toshi nakamura) have used other processing gear to get something more out of the feedback. think of how a simple vca could open up possibilities. In Nakamura's case he brings out his mixer and a couple U of rack gear(delay/modulation stuff) in an SKB case. 1 single serge panel or 2 m-class modules would get you equivalent(or more) range and be smaller/lighter. I get that mixers are cheap and this is why the no-input mixer specifically became something but if one's goal is the most bang out of a rig the modular feedback system is more viable. Claims that it is somehow different because it isnt a typical low cost mixer board comes from a lack of understanding of the basic principles involved.

drool:
go with the Serge rig and you will get a wider palate that sounds better.
I wasn't discounting the use of the Serge mixer, just pointing out some of the context of no-input mixer music and its emphasis on the concept rather than specifically the sonic results. Stuff like Arcane Device, making electronic music in a way that was unlikely was very much at the heart of what he was doing.

I think Serge mixer feedback would be excellent, no question.

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Post by Hi5 » Wed Jan 19, 2011 3:21 pm

Johnisfaster wrote: If one doesnt like it I think its likely because they have expectations for it to sound a certain way, and it doesnt meet those expectations. I think a certain degree of the art is deciding to enjoy what it is for what it is.
People can not like things without any expectations. The first time I saw a no-input mixer performance I didn't like it because the sound palate was 1D and a-typical feedback sounding.

The 2nd one I saw was a lot better but the performer was using external processing devices which allowed for a much more dynamic instrument.

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Post by apfEID » Wed Jan 19, 2011 3:26 pm

toshimaru nakamura is the best.
Te Occidere Possunt Sed Te Edere Non Possunt Nefas Est
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Post by Hi5 » Wed Jan 19, 2011 3:28 pm

shamann wrote: ...... just pointing out some of the context of no-input mixer music and its emphasis on the concept rather than specifically the sonic results.
this is probably the biggest problem with experimental music and free-improvisation currently. if the goal is to make 'music' who cares how it is made as long as it sounds good. choosing concept over the end musical output is an unfortunate mistake if you ask me. opinions as always.

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Post by Johnisfaster » Wed Jan 19, 2011 3:34 pm

Hi5 wrote:
shamann wrote: ...... just pointing out some of the context of no-input mixer music and its emphasis on the concept rather than specifically the sonic results.
this is probably the biggest problem with experimental music and free-improvisation currently. if the goal is to make 'music' who cares how it is made as long as it sounds good. choosing concept over the end musical output is an unfortunate mistake if you ask me. opinions as always.
Doing it the way you want to do it because you enjoy doing it that way, in my book, is far more important than achieving "quality" results.
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Post by Nelson Baboon » Wed Jan 19, 2011 3:59 pm

All of my knowledge pointed me to that, but you know - I thought that maybe someone 'knew something' that I didn't.
Hi5 wrote:
shamann wrote:
Nelson Baboon wrote:right - it all seems to work very well, and I was wondering whether there could possibly be something that I was missing...
I think some of it has to do with interface--big gliding sliders instead of knobs. I think part of it has to do with the story--you're appropriating equipment designed for one thing to do another, making music with a device not intended to make music. In some cases, I think the more old and broke down the mixer is, the better, since a high noise floor and scratchy pots can help you out. And I think simplicity of means plays a part of it, you're just making electronic music with a mixer, which is a pretty spartan set up.
Interface aside though it is still just feedback. If it is in a mixer or not really doesn't change the basic principles of operation. Sure, a crappy behringer is going to have its "tone" but crappy farty sound quality can be done on the modular as well as a host of other possibilities. Every performance I have seen with just a no-input mixer ends up being the most mundane application of feedback and sonically flat. The instances where it has been interesting, people (aka toshi nakamura) have used other processing gear to get something more out of the feedback. think of how a simple vca could open up possibilities. In Nakamura's case he brings out his mixer and a couple U of rack gear(delay/modulation stuff) in an SKB case. 1 single serge panel or 2 m-class modules would get you equivalent(or more) range and be smaller/lighter. I get that mixers are cheap and this is why the no-input mixer specifically became something but if one's goal is the most bang out of a rig the modular feedback system is more viable. Claims that it is somehow different because it isnt a typical low cost mixer board comes from a lack of understanding of the basic principles involved.

drool:
go with the Serge rig and you will get a wider palate that sounds better.

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Post by Nelson Baboon » Wed Jan 19, 2011 4:01 pm

Johnisfaster wrote:
Hi5 wrote:
shamann wrote: ...... just pointing out some of the context of no-input mixer music and its emphasis on the concept rather than specifically the sonic results.
this is probably the biggest problem with experimental music and free-improvisation currently. if the goal is to make 'music' who cares how it is made as long as it sounds good. choosing concept over the end musical output is an unfortunate mistake if you ask me. opinions as always.
Doing it the way you want to do it because you enjoy doing it that way, in my book, is far more important than achieving "quality" results.
I'm not sure that you're disagreeing.

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Post by slow_riot » Wed Jan 19, 2011 4:05 pm

lots of this stuff that I've heard is simply 'hey look, no hands!', like some kid riding a bike and impressing his friends.

I've heard good stuff, though.

If you can afford proper gear don't fuck around with this stuff. Just use the gear... if you wanna take inspiration from no input mixing, just be extra careful to push everything to it's absolute limits and try every possible combination of modulations, cables, feedback etc etc etc.

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Post by shamann » Wed Jan 19, 2011 4:09 pm

Hi5 wrote:
shamann wrote: ...... just pointing out some of the context of no-input mixer music and its emphasis on the concept rather than specifically the sonic results.
this is probably the biggest problem with experimental music and free-improvisation currently. if the goal is to make 'music' who cares how it is made as long as it sounds good. choosing concept over the end musical output is an unfortunate mistake if you ask me. opinions as always.
I think a conceptual approach has its uses, just not to the point of making the concept into dogma. There's a reason it's thought of as a "no-input mixer" and not just "musical feedback device," but that's more just historically interesting and shouldn't bind anyone to a specific way of doing things.

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Post by Johnisfaster » Wed Jan 19, 2011 4:46 pm

"hello fello cave man. Would you care to join me for some drum and flute music around the camp fire tonight?"

"I think its a mistake to emphasize how the music is made."
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Post by stk » Wed Jan 19, 2011 4:51 pm

Johnisfaster wrote:I genuinely feel that the no input stuff in that video sounds great.
I agree. I like the minimal onedimensional aspect.
It's also conceptually very cool, which wins points with me.

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Post by Hi5 » Wed Jan 19, 2011 5:12 pm

shamann wrote: There's a reason it's thought of as a "no-input mixer" and not just "musical feedback device," but that's more just historically interesting and shouldn't bind anyone to a specific way of doing things.
What is that reason is that exactly?
Toshi started using the term mainly just to have a name for his "instrument" just like Sachiko M and her nonsense no-sample sampler. It makes things more marketable and appear "new". Feedback is feedback is feedback. Just because you use a mixer doesnt mean it is special. Stockhausen was doing the same thing and had no need to denote anything beyond the technique being employed.

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