Minimal mixers

Tapage (not on this forum, but you can find him online) has been making a whole set of no-input mixers at STEIM, from what I remember he was building things like ringmods directly into the channel strips : )

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A good friend of mine (Richard Knight) does tons of no-input mixer, and on top of the faders he VERY ACTIVELY uses the sends/mute buttons, along with the gain/EQ.

This is from quite a while ago, but he did a no-input workshop for an organization I co-run and put together a leaflet for it:


timely reminder

he was mentioned in a cdm article a few days ago and i stumbled on this while researching

such an amazing idea

still need to check more of his work

thanks for that pdf!
i need to try mutes

gain/eq are essential while using a board as well…not sure how i forgot until you mentioned it

pan dials also create unexpected results so i recommend playing with that too

Vaguely related b/c consoles, faders, mutes.


[quote=“Rodrigo, post:51, topic:1897”]
[/quote]Just won an auction for a new mixer and in prepping for it’s arrival took time to scan this pdf again

which led to this


Thanks, @glia – this is great, and well worth the time. I liked the second half even better than the first.

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Interesting! i happen to be in the process (for almost two years now) of designing a compact mixer for those looking to integrate Hardware, Software, Modulars FXs… i’m doing that with Kahayan, an amazing technician and electronic engineer here in Madrid, bad side is we are both really busy and it makes it very difficult to concentrate on it. We are certainly looking into Acousta P100 and Studer 169 designs, looking into make it affordable but of really high quality and more compact than those designs.

BTW, in my opinion, the most interesting option right now, but not a cheap one, is the Speck electronics Lilo

Make a mixer !!!


Now that i own a mixer myself (mackie) i finally understand this discussion better. I like the functionality but i don’t like to use it… I don’t feel inspired and creative when using it, which i do feel when i use my grid. But maybe i’m spoiled by the level of the design and build quality of monome :slight_smile:

How about an Eurorack matrix mixer module that uses a Monome grid for control? Like 5 in, 5 out. One could set up different mixer settings, store these, recall them, have the levels slew as desired when switching between settings…

my experience with using apps like “64 faders” to control gain levels is that the grid is not precise enough… 16 discreet levels for gain is just not enough…
cheaper than the 5060,but Trident 80 series philosophy.

I agree. But such a module would not need to use the grid to set the levels. It could be more like the ES, so that you have real pots on the module for level control (and slew times), and use the grid to set the connections, switch presets, visualize levels etc.

For a 5 x 5 matrix mixer it could be anywhere between the minimum of 1 pot on the module to 5 pots on the module to have access to all levels of the selected row or column.

You could use some grid buttons to momentarily set the modes for the pots: default could be “absolute”, when pressing one button it is “relative”, when pressing another it is “catch” etc.


For use with modular instruments I think top or front input plugs are a must.

I would find it confusing and/or unusable if the inputs were in the back of the mixer: difficult/fiddly to patch live, and lacking the visual feedback for quick assessment of the signal flows.


Use the mixer upside down… hahaha. Actually that’s what a patch bay is for. you can get one relatively cheap. The cabling gets expensive if you have more than a few channels.

You might be able to achieve this with some digital mixers. A lot use a matrix mixer for their routing. Maybe with MIDI you can get control.

Is your concept a dsp mixer or a digitally controlled analog mixer?

Seems quite similar to some of these new mixing boxes that are mostly minimal but with an ipad to control.

That is true, but a mixer is more of a tool. I stand behind one almost every day and rarely do I feel inspired. It is wonderful for combining signals of a few mics, computer outputs, synths, guitars, and anything else. If you have a nice one, you have a ton of different ways to combine and send this signal around.

Lee Scratch Perry and the Scientist do interesting things with it because they are playing the mixer. They essentially created remixing and DJ’ing as we know it. If you are actively playing and creating your music, you can’t even spend that much time “playing” the mixer. Nor would I want to.

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These patchbays are neither programmable, nor do they allow level adjustment. Plus they require special cabling if I want to split signals to 2 or more destinations.

Is your concept a dsp mixer or a digitally controlled analog mixer?

I don’t care if it is a DSP based mixer or a digitally controlled mixer.

Seems quite similar to some of these new mixing boxes that are mostly minimal but with an ipad to control.

The problem with these is that they are not a Eurorack module, i.e. they are way to large, require a separate power supply, require an additional device, have different I/O levels than Eurorack, and don’t work with CVs.

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i found this to be excellent use of mixer as instrument:

also, off topic a bit: has amazing live gigs recordings


Love Vladislav Delay, and this performance is fantastic - thanks so much for posting it! Love how the audience just doesn’t know how to deal with the bizarre footwork jams halfway through…

It’s a great example of how one can perform with a mixer, but it really seems that he just needed a bank of volume knobs / faders. He touches the sends a handful of times, but the gain & eq seems like total overkill for that approach.

It makes me realize there’s not many large-format (say 12+ channels) with a stripped down signal flow. Every commercial mixer always seems to have a 3/4+ band eq, plus gain trim, 2+ sends & pan. I wonder if the ‘mixer performance’ market is large enough that a more stripped down / focused mixer could be viable.