no mixer input sound design Asbjoern Andersen


For his latest SFX libraries, Stuart Keenan from Glitchedtones explored the No-Input Mixer sound design technique. And in this special A Sound Effect guide, he shares how you can start using this creative approach to creating new – and surprising – sounds.

He’s also generously giving away 40 premium recordings made with the No-Input Mixer technique, for free! Here’s Stuart Keenan with more on all this:

The No-Input Mixer technique turns any regular mixer into an instrument which generates sound by connecting the output of a mixer into one of its inputs, resulting in a feedback loop which can be played and controlled using the mixer’s knobs, faders and routing options.

Most-famously used by pioneering Japanese noise musician Toshimaru Nakamura and aptly described by Canadian musician Christian Carrière as ‘the sound of the circuits inside the mixer singing’, the No-Input Mixer has a wealth of both beautiful and anarchic audio waiting to be uncovered and is a useful, versatile instrument to add to the sound designer’s arsenal of sound generating techniques.

By introducing the instrument to the creative process, the sound designer is opened up to a multitude of unique audio possibilities. Unsettling soundscapes suited to science fiction, dystopian and horror projects, impacts, interference, broken transmissions, drones, malfunctioning machinery, future technology sounds and glitch elements are just a few of the fruits of the No-Input Mixer.

A plethora of twisted tones await anyone willing to unearth the sonic treasures of the signal gone ‘wrong’

While a single output into an input brings instant results, it’s when multiple outputs and inputs are connected that the fun really begins. When coupled with guitar effects units or anything else which will affect the signal, a plethora of twisted tones await anyone willing to unearth the sonic treasures of the signal gone ‘wrong’.


An example of sounds created with the no-input mixer technique

Please note that caution should be applied when creating feedback loops as there is some potential to damage equipment. We are, after all, connecting things ‘incorrectly’. Also, things can get loud, very loud. Having said that, I haven’t managed to break anything just yet and have recorded numerous sessions using a No-input Mixer. It’s best to get used to using your master volume as a panic control if things get a little out of hand.

10 No-Input Mixer Tips and Tricks

1: When starting out with the No-Input Mixer, it is perhaps best to not use headphones in case of any unpleasant surprises. With speakers, start off at a low volume until you are comfortable with how it all works. However, a limiter can always be used to reduce the risk of any unwanted audio nightmarescapes!

2: Keep things simple to begin with. A single channel feedback loop with no effects can produce plenty of great source material to work with and is the simplest way to get acquainted with the mixer being used as an instrument.

3: Use very short movements when tweaking your mixer controls, the smallest increment may produce a fantastic sound which could be missed if you are a little too quick on the knob or fader.

4: It is a good idea to have an EQ in the signal path as your mixer’s EQ controls will no longer be operating in their usual way due to the feedback loop. Tweaking the EQ as you go can help you sculpt a huge range of sounds from a raw feedback loop.

5: If you come across a sustaining sound that you like, let it run for a while without changing any of the mixer controls. The feedback will sometimes just stop by itself, but can often evolve into some really nice (or nasty) variations of the initial sound.

6: For a variety of drones, consider using an octaver, or simply pitch down an octave or two with software afterwards. Adding distortion will create harsher drones, which can easily be toned down and shaped with some filtering and EQ.

7: Science Fiction effects and atmospheres come easy with the No-Input Mixer, particularly, when delay units are included in the signal path. Try using a high feedback setting on the delay and experiment with the device’s settings, manually tweaking the delay time often brings a decent array of sounds, too. It’s also worth noting that when using a stereo delay, a feedback loop within a feedback loop can be created by connecting one of the delay’s outputs to its input.

8: When using battery powered guitar effects pedals, don’t worry if batteries are running low as this adds sonic artefacts which won’t be there when the power is at full, which is a nice little bonus!

9: Record everything! Many tones can be missed if record is not enabled while experimenting, so it’s best to get in the practise of capturing everything the instrument outputs from the very beginning, as it can be difficult to reproduce a sound exactly.

10: Finally, have fun, experiment, improvise and look at the No-Input Mixer as a unique sound generating tool you can delve into whenever you want a break from the more traditional sound design techniques. Also, playing with feedback and noise is just incredibly satisfying!

Get 40 premium No-Input Mixer recordings - for free!
 
Stuart Keenan has compiled a special selection of 40 sound effects (548 MB total!) from his ‘Feedback Loop FX & Atmospheres’ and ‘Signal Interference’ SFX libraries – and he’s giving those away for free, as a taste of what’s in the full libraries.

Here’s how to get them:

Just enter your name and email address below to get the download link + the much-loved A Sound Effect newsletter:

 


Sorry, the offer is currently not available - but the A Sound Effect newsletter comes with free sounds in every issue (+ exclusive stories, interviews, guides, audio jobs, audio events, sound highlights and more). Get it right here.


 
NB: If you don’t receive the email with the download link, please check your spam folder. Oh, and existing newsletter subscribers can of course get the sounds too.
Cable FX 07.wav
Cable FX 09.wav
Cable FX 15.wav
Drone 03.wav
Drone 04.wav
Feedback FX 02.wav
Feedback FX 15.wav
Feedback FX 17.wav
Feedback FX 22.wav
Feedback FX 29.wav
Feedback FX 33.wav
Feedback FX 34.wav
Feedback FX 36.wav
Feedback FX 50.wav
Harsh Noisescape 06.wav
Harsh Noisescape 09.wav
High Frequency Feedback 05.wav
High Frequency Feedback 10.wav
Hum 04.wav
Interference 04.wav
Interference 05.wav
Interference 14.wav
Interference 18.wav
Interference 19.wav
Low Frequency Noise Atmosphere 02.wav
Machine Gone Wild 02.wav
Machine Gone Wild 10.wav
Machine Gone Wild 14.wav
Machine Gone Wild 18.wav
Signal Interference 08.wav
Signal Interference 09.wav
Signal Interference 11.wav
Signal Interference 13.wav
Signal Interference 17.wav
Signal Interference 29.wav
Signal Interference 30.wav
Signal Interference 34.wav
Signal Interference 38.wav
Signal Interference 40.wav
Wobble Drone 06.wav
 
 

Two SFX libraries created with the no-input mixer technique:

Feedback Loop FX & Atmospheres
 
  • 200 sounds from no-input mixer recording sessions featuring cable & pedal noise, drones, harsh noisescapes, high frequency feedback, hum, interference, low frequency noise atmospheres, machines gone wild and a multitude of general feedback effects.

    For inventive navigation tones, future technology sounds, glitch elements, horror atmospheres, corrupted audio flows and more, this original sound collection will serve as a versatile palette for sound designers/editors/artists, music producers and anyone looking for interesting audio artifacts.

    All files are 24 Bit/96 kHz with embedded metadata.

    50 %
    OFF
    Ends 1543618800
    Add to cart
'Feedback Loop FX & Atmospheres' by Glitchedtones is a collection of atmospheres born out of interference. With 200 sounds, this library features hums, drones, feedback and more which can be used in several scenes and genres. Perhaps the navigational system is on the fritz while en route to Mars, or the radio has lost its signal while the hero is stranded in a dark forest. From classic scifi to modern horror, these sounds can emphasize the uneasy loneliness of your characters.
 
Signal Interference
 
  • Hum, Buzz & Glitches Signal Interference Play Track 40 sounds included, 40 mins total $10 $5

    Signal Interference contains 40 feedback loops generated from a no-input mixer, each running for 1 minute for a total of 40 minutes of audio corruption. These unique sonic textures feature crackles, hums, buzzes and glitches to suit a wide array of multimedia projects which require the sounds of malfunctioning machinery, twisted signals and future tech gone wrong.

    All files are 24 Bit/96 kHz with embedded metadata.

    50 %
    OFF
    Ends 1543618800
    Add to cart
'Signal Interference' by Glitchedtones contains 40 feedback loops that crackle, hum, buzz and glitch to give you layers that will enhance many scenarios, from sci-fi machinery malfunctions to futuristic robotic haze. Each track is a minute long and contains the phasing and twisting that suggest mechanical confusion and disconcertment.
   

Please share this:


 


 
 
THE WORLD’S EASIEST WAY TO GET INDEPENDENT SOUND EFFECTS:
 
A Sound Effect gives you easy access to an absolutely huge sound effects catalog from a myriad of independent sound creators, all covered by one license agreement - a few highlights:
 
 
  • Drones & Moods Singing Bowls Play Track 151 sounds included $10 $7.50

    Rich tonal singing bowls played, sustained, and hit. Two octaves of an A Bowl and a D Bowl. Recorded and edited at 96kHz.

    25 %
    OFF
    Add to cart
  • Wind Elements – Interior is 75 minutes/2.43 Gb of howling, blasting and fluttering wind, recorded from inside various buildings. 90 separate files – recorded in 24bit/96kHz using Sennheiser MKH & Primo EM172 microphones, and mastered in X/Y stereo.
    This collection is the bigger, badder sequel to bestseller Howling Winds – Interior, with more of everything: fresh recordings, more types of wind, more locations and just more variation.

    Everything from violent blasting and howling, to gentle, caressing wind. Some with sleet and rain, cracking and creaking of window frames and roof materials, others with faint sound of rustling leaves or urban buzz.

    You get both long ambiances from various locations, as well as plenty of short files to sweeten up your mix.
    Some sounds have been eq'ed aggressively to enhance the feeling of being indoors, but very little processing has been applied otherwise. You'll hear a bit of hiss here and there; I left it in because I felt noise reduction would take away too much character in those specific cases.

    You get:

    • Indoor wind sounds
    • Howling, blasting, fluttering – a bit of sleet & rain too
    • Lots of variations of each sound
    • Searchable file names
    • BWF Metadata embedded – with more included in CSV and ODS (OpenOffice) formats

     

    11 %
    OFF
    Ends 1542409200
    Add to cart
  • Fire Fire, Sizzles & Ignites Play Track 68+ sounds included $40 $20

    Need the sound of burning fire, flames, fizzles, ignites, melting, crackling, rumbling, fire popping, or flame hissing?

    This library is hot stuff in every sense of the word, delivering a range of burning sounds from a wide range of sources, including branches, black powder, burning bags, butane torches, celluloid, deep-frying batter, flares, gas stoves, frying pans, matches, sparkling candles, boiling water, huge torches and much more.

    50 %
    OFF
    Add to cart
 
Explore the full, unique collection here

Latest sound effects libraries:
 
  • Animals & Creatures Western Play Track 200+ sounds included $50 $25

    The Audio Hero Western collection features 200 professionally recorded sound effects, ready for use in your productions.  Included in this library are guns and pistols, horses, stagecoaches, steam trains, jail cell doors and much more!  These sounds are all hand-picked from the Hollywood Edge Burtis Bills' Sounds of the American West sound effects collection.

    50 %
    OFF
  • Drones & Moods Infiltration Play Track 161 sounds included, 39 mins total $30 $20

    Welcome to “INFILTRATION”, a collection of 161 sound effects aimed to be used in modern espionage/infiltration productions.

    From intense low frequency atmospheric elements to powerful synth movements this 1.4 GB pack can be your secret tool to enhance trailers, movies, games or musical compositions. See it as a powerful kit to create a modern espionage feel in your production.

    As a bonus I included the sources (24 sfx) used to create some of the sounds in the library.

    Sounds included:
    Atmospheric element_Low • Fx_Alert • Fx_Synth_Drop • Drone_Pulse • Fx_Snare_Synth_Tension • Fx_Transition • Fx_Movement • Fx_Distant_Atmospheric • And More

    33 %
    OFF
    Ends 1543532400
  • The Vocal Pack 01: Human Male contains over 29 minutes (451 files) of high quality human male exertion vocalisations from 2 different actor types.

    The assets have been designed for use with computer game media that demands high asset variations, however this pack is suited for all forms of audio media.

    All assets have been recorded & produced at 96kHz/24bit.
    Included in this pack:

    • 2 actor ID sets, mid ranged & deep voicing
    • Individual vocal designed assets
    • Sets of individual vocal designed assets (e.g. 4+ individual designed assets in one file)
    • Exertion Types included: Attack, Breath, Cheer/Roar/Taunt,  Death, Final (Death) Breath,  Jump, Land, Pain
    • ID set 02, features a basic generic set of dialogue lines
    • Bonus content: Actor ID03 – Designed Generic adviser/narrator messages for basic in game actions as if delivered via walkie-talkie/radio. Also a basic adviser construction kit is included of the original vocal recordings
    33 %
    OFF
  • AudioHero's Cartoon collection Volume 3 features 200 professionally produced sound effects, ready for use in your productions.  This library includes everything you need to turn your production into a cartoon masterpiece!  These sounds are all hand-picked from the Sound Ideas Cartoon Express and Hollywood Edge Cartoon Trax 1 and 2 sound effects libraries.  Included are musical accents, bells, boings, hits, skids, honks, squeaks, bounces, crashes and more.

    50 %
    OFF
    Ends 1543618800
  • Weapons The Range 20 Guns Play Track 3581+ sounds included $120 $100

    This library by Nathan Smith delivers the sounds of 20 guns, 20+ casing/mags/weapon impacting 20 different surfaces, and studio Foley. Files were recorded at 96kHz sample rate (48kHz to 192kHz), 24 bit resolution.

    Weapons included:

    5 Pistols:

    Kimar Cal 6mm, Kimber 9mm, MP Shield 9mm, H&K USP .40 S&W, H&K P30

    14 Rifles:

    22 LRG Rifle, 22 Lever Action, 22 Magnum Henry. Springfield M1A, Springfield M1A SOCOM2, Steyr AUG A3, Sig 551 A1, AR 15, COLT AR 901 semi auto .308, CMMG AR15, Remington 700 Bolt action .308, Uzi full auto IMI model b, AAC MPW full auto, Colt M4 full auto, Barrett M82 A1

    1 Shotgun:

    12 gauge Mossberg

    Bullet casings: Impacts, Handling, Foley

    Surfaces (20): bone, carpet, concrete, dirt, drywall, grass, glass, marble, metal auto, metal grate, metal plate, plastic, rock, rubber, sand, tarp, Tarpaper, tile, wood

    Casing Types: 9mm, 223 – 5.56, 308, 40 S&W, 30.06, 40.75GOV, 357MAG, 45 ACP, 303, 50 BMG, 12 gauge

    Other: Pistol, Rifle, AR, Grenade, Artillery, M1 Garand clip, AR mag metal, AR mag plastic, M1, Pistol mag small, Pistol mag large

    Gun Cleaning Foley: H&K USP and AR15

    Targeted for sound designers – 96kHz, 24bit (multi ch A1, A2, A3 channel layout). All files have been cleaned and organized for easy use for your projects, including detailed Soundminer metadata.

    17 %
    OFF
    Ends 1543532400
 
FOLLOW OR SUBSCRIBE FOR THE LATEST IN FANTASTIC SOUND:
 
                              
 
GET THE MUCH-LOVED A SOUND EFFECT NEWSLETTER:
 
The A Sound Effect newsletter gets you a wealth of exclusive stories and insights
+ free sounds with every issue:
 
Subscribe here for free SFX with every issue

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

HTML tags are not allowed.