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Matrix mixers: Types, usages. What's yours?

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closedLoop
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Re: Matrix mixers: Types, usages. What's yours?

Post by closedLoop »

far wrote: Fri Aug 26, 2022 3:46 pm Bear Matrix and St Modular Matrico

Bear Matrix is perfect imo.
I just took a harder look at the Matrico, and I really like the look of it. Obviously Matrico has one less input and output, but other than that, what makes you like the Bear Matrix better? I like the smaller footprint of the Matrico, and it does look a bit more playable than the Bear. I don't love the mini pots on the Bear.
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far
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Re: Matrix mixers: Types, usages. What's yours?

Post by far »

closedLoop wrote: Sat Aug 27, 2022 9:54 am
far wrote: Fri Aug 26, 2022 3:46 pm Bear Matrix and St Modular Matrico

Bear Matrix is perfect imo.
I just took a harder look at the Matrico, and I really like the look of it. Obviously Matrico has one less input and output, but other than that, what makes you like the Bear Matrix better? I like the smaller footprint of the Matrico, and it does look a bit more playable than the Bear. I don't love the mini pots on the Bear.
Simply, the simplicity in the design of the Bear, everything lines up and is labelled well. No thinking involved. Matrico, even though a beautiful faceplate design, doesn't have this simplicity. I/p's and o/p's are both horizontal, pots aren't, constantly have to think which is which, what is doing what. The negative and positive LEDs are both red, also confusing (Bear doesn't have LEDs however)
The uni/bi switch labelling makes no sense, more than once I have to use an oscilloscope to see which mode I'm in.

So yeah, I find Matrico ruins my flow, I don't like thinking about what controls I'm using for such a simple module. However, if you can memorise, it'd be great. I've since purchased another ST Modular kit and have my mind on another. They have some very useful utilities.

There really isn't much difference in size of pots if that's your gripe, if anything they're more spread out on Bear as well as imo smoother pots to rotate.
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m12386
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Re: Matrix mixers: Types, usages. What's yours?

Post by m12386 »

Rebel Tech Mix 01, x2. Add more to make an ever bigger matrix. Configurable however you like.
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closedLoop
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Re: Matrix mixers: Types, usages. What's yours?

Post by closedLoop »

far wrote: Sat Aug 27, 2022 10:55 pm
So yeah, I find Matrico ruins my flow, I don't like thinking about what controls I'm using for such a simple module. However, if you can memorise, it'd be great. I've since purchased another ST Modular kit and have my mind on another. They have some very useful utilities.

There really isn't much difference in size of pots if that's your gripe, if anything they're more spread out on Bear as well as imo smoother pots to rotate.
That makes sense. The Bragi Matrix has a similar, slightly confusing layout. It’s good to hear someone echo my thoughts about the Bear Matrix.
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Re: Matrix mixers: Types, usages. What's yours?

Post by colb »

My most recent use is as a sequencer with gating...

Mixer is Doepfer A-138m
using an A-152 as a sequential switch to send the digi out voltage sequentially to the four inputs of the mixer.
Then using an A151 sequential switch to cycle between the first three outputs. So each time the input completes 4 cycles, the output moves along one place.
So far that's a 12 step sequencer.
The 'trick' is that the 4th output is sent to a comparator. I then use the output of the comparator to drive a VCA that gates the envelope of the voice. That way, each knob in the last column decides whether the three notes on that row play or are silent. (you could also use it to transpose, or to control a delay or whatever else)
You can then turn the knobs to drop/add sub patterns...
I spiced this up by sending an LFO to the other comparator input. The result is an interesting sequence that 'builds' in that as the ramp LFO ramps up, more of the rows are added to the sequence... The meta-sequence order changes when the last matrix column is wiggled

Another use is for ducking.
So e.g. a kick - either the envelope if its a patched kick, or sticking the output through an envelope follower. Then send that envelope to input one on the mixer. then input two, three and four get envelopes for other tracks (either for existing VCAs, or add VCA for this purpose). Then in (bipolar mode) turn the knobs on the kick row to subtract that envelope from the others. That way, their volume is reduced to make way for the kick.
You can also set this up using the first row unconnected as an offset voltage, second with the kick envelope, then the result goes to an extra VCA... or combinations of the two...
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Re: Matrix mixers: Types, usages. What's yours?

Post by starthief »

Matrix mixers I've had:

A-138m: Good layout, does the job. Leaks a little between channels. Has "proper" knobs but they are close together making them not as easy to wiggle as they should be.

Maze: Lacks the immediacy of an analog matrix mixer. Has some sequencing tricks up its sleeve. Does not maintain the exact voltage in and out so it's troublesome when used with pitch CV.

AI008: Compact and cheap. The layout is much less intuitive than the Doepfer and that bothered me a lot. Color coding helps (I used Befaco Bananuts and whiteboard pinstriped tape, but Thonk Tall Trimmer Toppers would also work well). The A+B+C output was never useful for me.

CVilization: As a matrix mixer, if you stick to the basics it's surprisingly friendly to use. It also has quantization, clock division and a bunch of other stuff... and three other modes besides. For those you'll need the manual and/or cheat sheet and there's way too much to memorize IMHO. Pricey. Being digital it does introduce a very short amount of latency, which can affect feedback patching, although it rarely matters in a practical sense.

If I were going get to get a matrix mixer again I'd probably go for the Bear. It seems like an improvement on the A138-m because there's more finger room as well as a smaller design.

-------------

Personal usage:

I originally had a Frames, and realized I was almost never using it to its fullest, instead just for attenuation and occasional mixing. So I went for the A138-m instead.

I used that one a lot for attenuation and mixing. Occasionally I had it turning sets of gates into unquantized pitch CV, or for feedback patching.

I found myself using it a lot less when I got a 16n Faderbank (mostly to send MIDI CC to control levels in the DAW) and had sufficient small attenuverter/offset/mixer options to handle other things. I started looking for more compact options, then eventually decided I didn't actually need a matrix mixer in my particular setup.
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Re: Matrix mixers: Types, usages. What's yours?

Post by jsu »

Wow, looked up the Rebel Tech Mix series and they are extremely nice. 04 module is 220 euros and only 10hp.

The Mix 04 is very similar to the 4ms VCA Matrix with 16 VCA's, and 4 in / 4 out.
- no attenuation knobs
- no mutes
+ saves 16hp!!!!

That is a compelling option, especially when chained with the other modules (which can supply attenuation and panning)

edit: should also be possible to chain the 4MS VCA Matrix and Rebel Mix 04 together since they both support basic jumpers on the back for chaining... if anyone can confirm this please do let us know.
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Re: Matrix mixers: Types, usages. What's yours?

Post by grrrwaaa »

jsu wrote: Mon Aug 29, 2022 5:18 pm Wow, looked up the Rebel Tech Mix series and they are extremely nice. 04 module is 220 euros and only 10hp.

The Mix 04 is very similar to the 4ms VCA Matrix with 16 VCA's, and 4 in / 4 out.
- no attenuation knobs
- no mutes
+ saves 16hp!!!!

That is a compelling option, especially when chained with the other modules (which can supply attenuation and panning)

edit: should also be possible to chain the 4MS VCA Matrix and Rebel Mix 04 together since they both support basic jumpers on the back for chaining... if anyone can confirm this please do let us know.
Had my eyes on this for a while but it never seems to be in stock anywhere.

The pins on the back letting you wire in normalled inputs/outputs make it very attractively flexible. I wish more modules offered IO pins like that.
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Re: Matrix mixers: Types, usages. What's yours?

Post by flo »

I'm using a Hinton SwitchMix with a Trimmer in front of it. It's the center of my system and I use it in every patch (except some ridiculously simple ones that need only a few cables), mostly for CV routing and macro controllers. For me, the crucial features are:
  • 8x8 minimum, I could often use more (particularly more inputs).
  • Mixing is essential, otherwise it's just a large cumbersome mult.
  • Precision is necessary, I want to be able to route pitch CV.
  • Manual muting of the nodes is a key aspect of how I use it.
I had a 4ms VCAm before, that was cool but I always felt limited by the low number of I/O, and at the same time overwhelmed by the number of node VCAs requiring tons of modulation sources (and also a lot of offsets and mixers, since the VCAm knobs become attenuators rather than offsets when CV is used). I thus mostly ended up using it as an audio mixer, using the additional outputs for sends and / or feedback patches. For me, the simplicity but also larger size of the Hinton (remember, an 8x8 matrix is quadruple the area of a 4x4, not twice) is much more useful. I am temped to add a 15x15 PinMix to expand it all :hihi: :love:

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Re: Matrix mixers: Types, usages. What's yours?

Post by Ebotronix »

4ms VCAMatrix!
Last edited by Ebotronix on Wed Aug 31, 2022 10:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Matrix mixers: Types, usages. What's yours?

Post by vidret »

jsu wrote: Mon Aug 29, 2022 5:18 pm Wow, looked up the Rebel Tech Mix series and they are extremely nice. 04 module is 220 euros and only 10hp.

The Mix 04 is very similar to the 4ms VCA Matrix with 16 VCA's, and 4 in / 4 out.
- no attenuation knobs
- no mutes
+ saves 16hp!!!!

That is a compelling option, especially when chained with the other modules (which can supply attenuation and panning)

edit: should also be possible to chain the 4MS VCA Matrix and Rebel Mix 04 together since they both support basic jumpers on the back for chaining... if anyone can confirm this please do let us know.

Just keep in mind that the VCAs all have an exponential response, and flank it with some offsets to help it out.
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Re: Matrix mixers: Types, usages. What's yours?

Post by jsu »

vidret wrote: Tue Aug 30, 2022 9:13 am Just keep in mind that the VCAs all have an exponential response, and flank it with some offsets to help it out.
Well said. Which modules would you recommend to pair for offsets?
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Re: Matrix mixers: Types, usages. What's yours?

Post by vidret »

jsu wrote: Tue Aug 30, 2022 10:34 am
vidret wrote: Tue Aug 30, 2022 9:13 am Just keep in mind that the VCAs all have an exponential response, and flank it with some offsets to help it out.
Well said. Which modules would you recommend to pair for offsets?
I used the 2 hp fader from instruo, but would def check out wmd 4tten so you can attenuate cv going into it as well.

Good thing about the 2f from instruo is it has a small notch at the middle of the sweep where it hits 5 volt (if set to 10v on the back), and 5 volt just so happens to be unity for the mix04!

Comes in handy when patching feedback as that notch is basically just about the threshold for crazy.

I like the wmd 4tten for what it does but it outputs 5v maximum so you can’t overload the mixer as easily.

There are however trimmers on the back of the mix04 if you want it to go crazier, I’ve tuned mine to easily go into distortion.
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Re: Matrix mixers: Types, usages. What's yours?

Post by sacguy71 »

I have a 4ms VCA Matrix mixer and love it. Great for mixing and mute combos plus can modulate patterns.
My other case has a Livestock Electronics Maze which also is great and smaller size with preset capable options but more complex to use.
WMD Matrix mixer looks amazing as well.
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Re: Matrix mixers: Types, usages. What's yours?

Post by abelovesfun »

I also humbly use my own AI008 Matrix Mixer. Stereo version is in prototype.
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Re: Matrix mixers: Types, usages. What's yours?

Post by Silentnotes »

is there any additional boost on the inputs of the doepfer matrix mixer?
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Re: Matrix mixers: Types, usages. What's yours?

Post by Garnoth »

I have an A-138m. What sets it apart for me is the unipolar/bipolar switch and that unpatched the first row generates offsets. This made it very useful for CV duties for me.
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Re: Matrix mixers: Types, usages. What's yours?

Post by DJMaytag »

These are more matrix routers/switchers than mixers, unless you are OK with unity gain “mixing.” Both are pretty cool units.

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Re: Matrix mixers: Types, usages. What's yours?

Post by Llouwelyn »

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Re: Matrix mixers: Types, usages. What's yours?

Post by namon »

Man I would love a Hinton matrix set up like that...
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Re: Matrix mixers: Types, usages. What's yours?

Post by DJMaytag »

Llouwelyn wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 10:10 am
“If you talk about improper grounding 3 times, Graham Hinton appears!” -djs
:doh:
You gonna do it 2 more times? 🤣
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Re: Matrix mixers: Types, usages. What's yours?

Post by clwilla »

I’m excited about the Ritual Electronics 5x5 matrix mixer coming early next year.
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Re: Matrix mixers: Types, usages. What's yours?

Post by vidret »

For a medium/larger system the aranea looks great, yeah
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Re: Matrix mixers: Types, usages. What's yours?

Post by Willy Naylor »

vidret wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 6:53 pm For a medium/larger system the aranea looks great, yeah
still unreleased?
agree it looks the goods though. The extra outs open so many modulation doors which is mostly my matrix usage. Similar idea to the tiptop MISO of which I am a big fan.
Currently use a 138m and no complaints- typical 'as advertised' Doepfer but can see adding Aranea to the mix in the far future
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Re: Matrix mixers: Types, usages. What's yours?

Post by dubonaire »

Another 4ms VCA Matrix user here. The VCA design really makes it a lot more than just a matrix mixer.
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