log 013

 Starting the second year on my MA I realised I wouldn’t have the opportunity to present the original installation idea I had been working towards. There is only so much you can learn on your own within a very limited timeframe. I had dived into the sea of electronics and building without any prior knowledge just to make music. And I  must say, as a beginner I believe my stupidity and stubbornness got me through these years more than anything else and I have been ready to quit more than once BUT I am no quitter. Anyway.. I decided to build a passive matrix mixer since I wanted the visitor to interact with a version of the tape loop installation I now had in mind. It still consisted of one long tape loop but I dropped the idea of multiple inputs recording and focused instead on outputs. That lead me to the idea of using physical speaker objects. I ended up using some piezo discs as transducers but since the signal  is so weak I also needed a pre amp… as the pringles commersial put it..once you pop the fun don’t stop…or the horror…

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                My output idea grew…

a bit too complex and I would need a mixer with 4 buses. Once again I needed to rethink and downscale. I needed something that that could handle a variety of inputs and outputs and be super easy to use by a child. Something that invites to play. That’s where the matrix mixer comes in handy. Below is the pre amp; 4 in, 4 out running on 4.5V adapter or battery. I ended up ordering the amp/pot part since I already was behind schedule.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Back to the matrix mixer. Why passive? I had never built anything freehand before (or hardly anything at all) and the beauty with a passive matrix mixer is just that, it is passive; meaning it has no active components. It just sends signals in and out without interfering with signal levels. But it gives you the possibility of mixing different soundsources together. It is more basic than a DJ mixer but more versatile at the same time since you can mix more than two sources at once. It uses no electricity wich means you can use it anywhere and is supersafe. If you can read schematics this is no problem for you to put together but if you are like me and sort of read them but haven’t the understanding of how the parts actually assembles practically it is a bit more difficult.

I found some info here: http://mickeydelp.com/blog/passive-matrix-mixer

and in Nicolas Collins book – Handmade Electronic Music

 

 

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