Modular Diary

I thought I’d gotten through all the Hordijk Modules, but of course there’s always one more thing…

Hordijk’s Mini Matrix – Node Proc

Inspired (like much else with Hordijk) by the EMS Synthi/Putney he gives his own take on the use of a matrix within a modern context.

Hordijk’s innovation is to use the well established technique of using a stereo cable to provide an insert point, here applied to each node in the matrix. This means that instead of a simple on/off connection, a level control or other kind of (more complicated) effect/processing can be applied to each node. Hordijk includes two level knobs as well as some ‘node processors’ alongside the matrix ready to be patched in for this purpose, but external sources can but used just as well. Concerning the size of the matrix itself (and the balance between flexibility and usability) he finds that a 6 x 4 grid is well suited to a typical 12 module (4 panel) Hordijk system since connections can also be made directly without necessarily having to go through the matrix.

I’ve been experimenting with how to set up something similar in Audulus: Stereo cables, the key element, are possible in Audulus, but unfortunately only in a single direction, i.e. it isn’t possible to use a single cable for both a send and a return. This means that one has to resort to manually making both parts of the connection, which is not quite as elegant as a single stereo cable and can easily get visually messy and confusing, even though it does open up even more possibilities for routings. (One trick that I’ve found useful to check on which connections have been made, is to zoom out slightly so that one shifts out of connection mode on iOS.)

Following Hordijk’s example, I’ve included 4 bipolar VCAs (using @RobertSyrett’s Audio Attenuator) for the ‘node processing’ – bipolar for the ring modulation and echo-like effects that they make possible, as with the Dual Fader. In my version VCAs 1 & 2 have controls to adjust the amount of modulation applied via the modulation input1, and 3 & 4 have controls to adjust the offset, which also makes them useful for scaling unipolar modulation signals.

As Hordijk points out a matrix can be useful not only for mixing signals, but also distributing them (multiples2), as well as creating complex (multiple) feedback loops.

I’ve posted a simple demo on the Audulus forum, as well as a basic version without the node processors.

  1. This follows the version demonstrated in the Mallorca video – in the later NOVARS tutorial it appears the it is the modulation signal that can be inverted with a straightforward (non-centred) level knob for the VCA. 

  2. Through clever use of mono and stereo cables Hordijk’s matrix can be used to mix signals as well as create multiples. 

Modular Diary: I thought I’d gotten through all the Hordijk Modules, but of course there’s always *one more thing…* Hordijk’s Mini Matrix – Node Proc

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Rudiger Meyer is a composer interested in the play between traditional concert music and new media.

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