matrix mixer constructed

I’ll fill you all in on my new Ouroboros Orchestra project later on, but suffice it to say that the first two test runs will take place in Copenhagen and Tartu (Estonia) in the first two weeks of February. The project takes its inspiration from David Tudor’s “Rainforest”, work with the Buchla 200-series synth at EMS in Stockholm, the graphical scores of Iannis Xenakis, the world of no-input-mixer improvisation and all the feedback-based works that I could simply never realize using the computer.

The heart of the project is an 8×8 matrix mixer, which I completed last week. It allows DC voltage and audio signals to be routed from 8 inputs to 8 outputs. Eventually, 8 players will sit around this mixer, each playing a self-made audio circuit (Schmidt-Trigger square wave oscillators with a vactrol FM input), and their signals will be routed to each other according to a projected graphical score.

Some photos and audio from this new mixer follow. Thanks go to Ken Stone/CGS in Australia for providing some of the PCBs used and Katrin Heidorn in Berlin for help with metal fabrication in the case. The case itself is salvaged from my very first synthesizer, an SN76477 pinballgame-based sound generator that I constructed in 2001 when I was supposed to be writing my English thesis. Metal sourced and cut at Modulor.

My interest in this mixer comes from two areas. One is the ability to create dense interconnected drones, and the other is to be able to cross-modulate tiny, unique sound events. The following track is an example of the latter, and involves 4 oscillators and a digital delay run through the matrix mixer as well as my cheap Behringer desktop console. “Skinned Teeth” is in honor of the mild food poisoning I had at 6am today, and is what my mouth feels like as I write this…


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