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
 
  • Hum, Buzz & Glitches Feedback Loop FX & Atmospheres Play Track 200 sounds included $10

    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 artefacts.

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

    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

    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.

    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:
 
 
  • Animals & Creatures Tasmanian Devils Play Track 50+ sounds included $10

    Meet the Tasmanian devil! Recorded in the Copenhagen Zoo, this library features huffs, sniffs, growls, barks, bite and chewing – and those eerie and weird critter screams.

    If you need strange animal or monster sounds, do check out this library:

    Add to cart
  • Destruction & Impact Destruction Play Track 1700+ sounds included From: $119

    Ah, destruction sound effects! We tried to feature every aspect of devastation in our brand-new SFX library DESTRUCTION which will be the baton for your own destructive masterpiece. Start with a small car crash where crushed metal meets hard rock. Imagine the fateful sound of a stressed glass pane right before it bursts into pieces. Think bigger – like a wooden cabin that gets smashed under a falling tree. Think of collapsing skyscrapers that crumble into dust. A whole ship moaning and groaning before it bursts and breaks into pieces – your possibilities are countless.

    With DESTRUCTION, we deliver you the perfect toolkit to easily design those kind of scenarios. The CONSTRUCTION KIT holds more than 7 GB high-quality source recordings and the DESIGNED version comes with 300+ pre-designed, “ready to use” sounds. The BUNDLE not only allows full flexibility, but also gives you a benefit in price. Leave your audience gasping for air and take them right into the center of DESTRUCTION.

  • Animals & Creatures Animal Hyperrealism Vol I Play Track Over 1300 sounds included $170

    Animal Hyperrealism Vol I is a library containing sounds themed animal vocalisations, from real to designed creatures totaling more than 1300 individual sounds in 290 files.

    The sounds were partly recorded with animals trained for media production, partly recorded in zoos and wildlife centers. The asset list includes but is not limited to: african lions, bengal tigers, horses, donkeys, cows, exotic birds, owls, bobcats, pumas, dromedaries, wolves, dogs, geese, lemurs, gibbons and many more.

    All the content has been recorded at 192KHz with a Sanken CO100K plus a Sennheiser 8050 for center image and a couple of Sennheiser MKH8040 for stereo image. All files are delivered as stereo bounce of these for mics, though in some instances an additional couple of CO100K was added to the sides.

    The resulting ultrasonic spectrum is rich and allows for truly extreme manipulation of the content.

    Bonus: Two extra libraries included for free:
    This library also includes two additional releases from Mattia Cellotto - for free: Crunch Mode delivers 230 crunchy sounds made with a variety of vegetables, fresh bread, pizza crust and a selection of frozen goods. The Borax Experiment gets you 158 squishy, gory, slimy and gooey sounds.
    Add to cart
 
Explore the full, unique collection here

Latest sound effects libraries:
 
  • Ambisonics Ambisonic – Transportation Play Track 68 sounds included, 314 mins total $136 $99

    Ambisonic – Transportation is a great collection of ambisonic ambiences recordings performed at various transportation scenarios.
    It is aimed to provide you with great spherical content to wrap your dialogue or main focus content, allowing you to create a conniving and immersing soundtrack.
    You will find recordings such as a Train car interior, Jumbo jet interior, multiple cars interior under different driving conditions,
    Bus interior, public transportation stations and much more.

    This collection is great for post-production, VR/AR interactive sound-design, game developers and any real-time 3D audio engine.
    All files are tagged and categorized for your convenience – supporting multiple tag filtering browsing applications.

    A Sennheiser Ambeo microphone paired with Zoom H8 was used to create this product.

    This package includes 68 Samples – 136 Files.
    A total 2h 37m of content.
    First Order AmbiX B-Format and Stereo @ 96Khz / 24bit.

    Download a Demo here:
    Want to hear an example of the included recordings? Download the B-format Demo Here

    27 %
    OFF
    Ends 1574204399
  • Foley Footstep Loops II Play Track 663 sounds included $75 $49

    Editing footsteps in audio post-production can be time-consuming. Footstep Loops II is a sound library that delivers a comprehensive kit of footstep sound effects made to ease your daily work.

    The collection contains footstep sounds of various shoes and surfaces, recorded in different paces and edited to continuous but lively 30-second sound loops.

    VARIETY

    The Footstep Loops II Sound Library covers a wide range of different footsteps:

    Barefoot, Socks, Slippers, Flip-Flops, Sneakers on Wood, Sneakers on Concrete, Boots on Wood, Boots on Concrete, Heels on Wood, Heels on Stone;
    Grass, Gravel, Forest, Foliage, Dry Foliage, Stones, Puddle, Mud, Snow;
    Stairs up + down: Wooden Stairs, Metal Stairs, Stone Stairs



    PACE

    Each type of footsteps is available as a set of 13 sound files that represent a range from walking very slowly up to very speedy. Paces are sorted by Footsteps per Minute (FPM):

    Ground Footsteps: from 40 FPM to 160 FPM
    Stairs Footsteps: from 60 FPM to 180 FPM (up) / from 80 FPM to 200 FPM (down)



    LAYERS

    Since all (ground) footstep loops have the same FPM paces, they can be layered easily. E.g. you can add a puddle sound element to sneakers walking on concrete etc.



    CLOTHING

    You can add clothing as a layer to make the movements sound more natural. The sounds of jeans & jacket fit to all ground footsteps. Furthermore, versions with well-balanced clothing sounds of all main footstep loops are already included as ready-to-use files!



    ADDITIONAL ELEMENTS

    Some experimental elements are also included in the library:
    2 layers of floor creaks and one layer that adds the sound of keys in the pocket while walking.



    TIME-COMPRESS

    Paces of the sound loops included in the Footstep Loops II sound library increase in steps of 10 FPM each. If you need a value in between, time-compress the file just a tiny bit – the quality loss is almost inaudible in modern digital audio workstations.



    ONLINE FOOTSTEPS GENERATOR

    To get an impression of what you get with the Footstep Loops II sound library, go HERE and play around with footsteps online.


    • 663 audio files
    • 331 minutes total runtime
    • all files contain meta-data / keywords for easy search


    All sounds from this library are included in:
    Diversity

    35 %
    OFF
    Ends 1574204399
  • Environments Stream River & Waterfall vol.2 Play Track 88 sounds included $59 $46.20

    43 locations from various perspectives.

    STREAM / RIVER & WATERFALL features WATER MOVEMENT from JAPAN and NEW ZEALAND.
    Each STREAM and RIVER have their unique flows, and varieties of topographies gives each its characteristic sound – and WATERFALLS from small to medium adds nature feeling to it.
    In addition, the library also features places where SPRING WATER GUSHES in Japan, and huge ELECTRIC WATER PUMP from New Zealand and more.

    Recorded @ 24 Bit / 96 kHz with ortf, spaced omni, XY and carefully edited.

    22 %
    OFF
    Ends 1574204399
  • Cars Renault Master IV 2.3 DCI 165 Play Track 80+ sounds included, 88 mins total $130 $117

    The Renault Master IV 2.3 DCI 165 sound library features 76 high-quality files recorded with a multi-mic setup. The engine was recorded in sync with cabin interior ambients, and you can expect different styles of driving, from casual city driving, through accelerations on a highway up to rpm ramps and constant rpm loops for game audio.

    In addition to engine recordings, this sound effects library features exterior passes, whooshes and other road-related sounds recorded in mono and stereo. Last but not least, different foley recordings covering exterior and interior sound effects.

    10 %
    OFF
    Ends 1574204399
  • Destruction & Impact Rock Brick and Dirt 3 Play Track 500+ sounds included, 17 mins total $27

    Rock, Brick and Dirt 3 is the third of the series! This bundle includes all remastered sounds from RBD 1 and 2. With more than 100 new files recorded and designed. It’s a package of impact, Smash, Crumbling, Scratching, Landfall and more rock debris sounds. The library contains 333 files of various recording texture and perspective.

    A good package to add a dirty texture to your production.

    Each sound has been meticulously edited individually, All files were recorded and are delivered in 24bit 96kHz Broadcast Wave files, all embedded with metadata information for easy import and ensure fast and easy workflow.

 
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.