Minimal mixers

just gonna put this here…


i’d almost buy it blind at this point

really curious

i have this fantastical dream of performing with only monome gear…so let that be your rationale if you need a catalyst


I think i’d probably buy a monome mixer too! Im in love with the minimalist aesthetic :heart_eyes:

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These look pretty special too;

Am I the only one here who love faders? Feel lost amongst all these rotary mixers ^^


i love faders

hopefully tehn’s mixer proto has encoders and faders for different functions

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i love faders, too. it’s one of my favorite aspects of the buchla music easel design.


Count me in the fader love camp. Especially for a performance mixer, it’s difficult to adjust more than two knobs at the same time, but ten fingers/ten faders is a pretty useful proposition.

let me link one of the most outstanding performances on the easel



i shot that video – that’s my wife!


oh I see!
the world is smaller than what one thinks

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Rem Xi
Re Mix
Ex Rim
Ex I Mr

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Curious if anyone has any video examples (or even artist recommendations) where part of their performance is using multiple faders simultaneously. This could be just mixing levels, or something more like midi faders controlling a max patch.

I’ve definitely done this (and seen this) in the mixing context, but never in a performance context. I’ve also learnt, mostly out of necessity, how to turn multiple (2 and sometimes 3) knobs with one hand due to the nature of my performances. This is not to talk down on faders - I really like them in some contexts (mixing, and modulation matrixing like on the easel) but I’ve just never really considered them a ‘performance’ tool.

I think a lot of this comes from the DJ experience, where the ability to cut&fade quickly with a fader is much more performable than a knob, while more nuanced than a simple switch. I rarely see DJs use faders for level setting in a club context though, preferring to use the Gain control to level match, then just fade in/out on the fader. All this being said I did just recently see Virgo Four DJ and exclusively use the crossfader to blend between tracks, though I can’t say I was impressed by the sonic outcome - it felt like he didn’t have enough control over the ends of the fader - a situation where a knob would likely have been a better tool.

I know four tet used to (and probably still) have a fader mixer at the center of his performance rigg, fed with signals from ableton, a monome 64 playing mlrv or synchronized beats, 2 loopers (that are themselves fed with parts of the whole tracks or seperate leads and transformed into loop FX send or other weird stuff), and a small old computer just running a basic programm to mangle manually with samples. Most of the performance consist in juggling with all that through a little mixer which allows him to improvise from a prewritten canvas.

Now that’s something I remember but there must be other examples, a mixer is a wonderfully musical thing, even if (or because) it’s very basic, I used it a lot live with my previous bands/projects.

you’re thinking of this

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I happened to see this one earlier this week:

The mixer performance starts at around 5:10. And this one is only 4 sliders since it’s with a four track, but maybe it’s in the ballpark:

I’ve done it live, but I haven’t played out in several years and there’s no video of me that I know of. I could never muster much accuracy turning more than one knob per hand simultaneously, particularly if I wanted one to go up while the other went down. And I generally found faders helped with visualizing what was going on mid-set. Downside can be it’s easier to slip and bang a fader out of place. And knobs can make for a much more compact mixer, which is a compelling compromise for less control.



I was going to grab a few videos but in each one i found my memory was faulty and the artists were using the pots not faders for performance

I couldn’t find any good videos (quickly) but there’s a huge performance practice in live diffusion of acousmatic music. Basically using (typically) 8 channels on a board (or a custom controller of some kind) to dynamically spatialize the (typically 2 or 4 track) audio across a huge (typically 40+) speaker system.

I suppose it’s part of the nature of that performance practice to not document the diffuser, as it’s a purposefully disembodied (no stage/lighting) performance practice.

Having seen much of this kind of (acousmatic) music “performed” live I can say that it’s a very flowing/intricate/virtuosic approach to fader controls, full of subtle and dynamic movements.

A talk from Dennis Smalley about space in music :

Actually here’s a more modern example in a composed context by Dan Tramte. You can see the notation he’s used for the fader/mixer movements:

A full performance with score following:

And more about the piece/notation:


i end up tweaking pots/encoders simultaneously all the time but rarely need multiple faders
on the few songs when I’ve used that technique, i admit, the results were unique and enjoyable but there’s no video evidence

after surveying my room:
the two mixers i currently use on every song only have rotary controls (mackie 402 and aleph)

the two mixers i use occasionally as vca’s are split…but i rarely use the knobs after setting them once (vestax 06 and cold mac)

my largest mixer (mackie 1402) has both types of control and when i move past utility mixing to perform a song, i usually route the aux and feedback into channels so that I can play the faders instead of the knobs

In the past i’ve also treated certain fx like mixers to perform and, again, it has been split: the way i use the hexacomp is all about the faders, but both the peq and ptd have very playable oversized pots

based on all that, i feel like like I could live with less faders than knobs (or no faders) especially if that would keep production costs lower or reduce the footprint of the enclosure


It really all depends on what you’re doing with your gear in the end, most of my music / musical performances are based on several atmospheres that I merge together or isolate, and most of my FX rootings tend to take into account the volume of the other tracks because they’re inter-dependant and for that, the immediate visualisation of faders allow me to know right away where I am in my general balance and it feels better to me than knobs even with light visualisations or finished course. Then again, I’m pretty sure you could do all that just as well with knobs, but yeah, I’m a Fader person (see I didn’t even know I was before this thread!).

PS: I still couldn’t live without knobs either though.