Deaf/Blind patching

Today I caught myself doing something that has become an ingrained habit. I frequently plug my pedals and electronics together “blind”, with no signals passing thru before I turn everything on and listen/record.

There are two main reasons I fell into this method:

  • In the past I was fond of making diagrams and lists depicting signal flow and control (as a
    rapid form of notation) before I owned much equipment. Now I occasionally do the same thing when
    ideas spring to mind away from my gear or when i’m too busy/tired to actually carry the thoughts out.
    It became logical to make the links and connections before listening to ensure that i wouldnt be
    sidetracked midpatch without testing the theoretical arrangement.

  • Many (unnecessary?) steps in my process are artifacts from years of trying not
    to disturb neighbors, roommates, and family while creating. I’d check levels and
    balance the mix only after the patch was built.

After todays’ experiences I wonder…Does anybody else do this? Perhaps within a software environments or while coding?


A lot of the time my workflow involves capturing an instrument via mic and either repeating that musical phrase or sequencing a set of captured musical phrases. Then, setting up a ‘blind patch’ on my modular for processing that loop real-time which isn’t heard until I start raising channel levels on the modular’s mixer. Afterwards I often record that processed audio into a new loop and repeat the above steps.

I like this method of exploring because it pushes me to expand on an idea which I probably wouldn’t have preemptively created a recipe for in my head. It also keeps the improvisation vibe pretty strong :wink:

1 Like

yeah, i do this often, especially when doing a ‘conceptual’ patch as i know i’ll just get lost in tweaking it midway through otherwise. and always interesting to compare what it sounds like to what you imagined it would sound like.

now, i ought to do it all the way and actually record a performance without hearing it. this would actually be a great task for Disquiet Junto…