Super hyped!! You can get a D3MIX diy kit at Exploding Shed: https://www.exploding-shed.com/diy-kits-overview/diy-kits/.
The D3MIX is a passive module I developed in dialogue with Pedro Eustache, and it is as simple as radical in its approach. At its core, there are three interrelated attenuators that can drain CV and audio signals and/or forward them to another output/a common mixer node. What’s unique here in contrast to conventional attenuators is that by the simple flick of a switch you can toggle between pre-set proportions and relations of signals…
The what now….? In basic terms, you can set this module up for utility tasks such as multing, attenuation, a/b switching and serving as a passive 3-1 mixer/distributor. Since the D3MIX does not differentiate between a signal input and output, it also offers some wonderfully weird signal feng shui that allows for asymmetrical modulation and controlling audio level plus FX send at the same time with one single knob. If you connect channels, you can up that game considerably and have a 1-9 distributor with different levels per 3 outs, a 3 preset modulation matrix, and even more.
Before explaining more, let’s start with some easy demos with the D3MIX used as a signal router. In the first clip you hear an LFO modulating two different VCOs via the D3MIX – note how VCO1 starts modulating earlier and faster and then VCO2 modulation enters the game:
In the second demo, you hear my Acidlab bassline going through the D3MIX with splits the signal and sends one channel to a dry mixer channel and a second channel through reverb. The further left my knob, the dryer and silent the signal. Turning up, first increases dry level, then adds reverb.
More demos soon!
Now, let’s have a closer look at the different ways in which one single D3MIX channel works. Each of the three individual channel modes is set by the little switch on the right hand side.
Switch in the middle: the “least exciting” channel mode is A is hardwired to A. Lame in itself, this setting is crucial as a bypass mode when using B and the de-mix knob in other settings.
Switch up: A is connected to A and both are fed to the knob wiper. Turn the knob left for draining the signal to ground. Turn it to the right for forwarding signal A/A to B. Having two hardwired As is crucial here – think of this: feed an LFO signal to the upper A and forward that LFO signal to filter cutoff modulation from the lower A. By turning the knob left, you drain the modulation intensity of that LFO to your filter cutoff. Now, plug your B to the pitch input of a VCO simultaneously and turn the de-mix knob slowly from hard left to hard right. First your cutoff will vibrate, then your pitch too. That’s the asymmetrical modulation thing I mentioned earlier. There’s a lot room for exploration by using the switch for bypass action or sending your modulator into B and feed your modulation targets from both As. or flick the switch down and…
Switch down: Both As and B form a hardwired multiple. Using the switch, a first cool trick here is that you can set up per knob three different modulation amount relations between As and B: off/as-set-per-knob/full. Think precisely dialled in intervals between two VCOs and such stuff. There’s more, however – turning the knob to the left now does not drain your signal but mixes it into the single socket called node. When you set up all three D3MIX channels with the switches down, this gives you a 3-1 mixer. Or, if you send your source signal INTO the node, a 1-3 (or 1-9) distributor that allows you to switch in and out individual strands.
Backstory and claim to fame and all…
When I modded his Behringer 2600 for The World of Hans Zimmer tour in 2022, Pedro and I got talking about attenuation principles and how some synthesisers start behaving in a (good) funny way when you feed them odd proportions of signals (by splitting the signal and using it as a sound source and modulator at the same time, for instance, or splitting and starving signals and such things). That’s how the core of the D3MIX was born, really, and by teh time we saw Pedro play in Munich, I gave him the first proto, which he was rocking two days later already in front of some 12k people.
Well, a couple of months later, Pedro by then had used this and a second proto at Synthplex 2022 and for the soundtracks of The Mandalorian, and for Avatar: The Way of Water, as it turned out later, I though the heck, why not do a small run with proper PCB and all, so hey, here you go… that doesn’t make this module, me or you as cool as flute guy, I guess, but hey, if some of his enthusiasm for playing music is somewhat passed on through this, at least indirectly, win-win, no?