Mutes: they’re not just for audio anymore
We make a mute module called Muta Jovis. It’s pretty fun. But its uses definitely aren’t limited to muting audio tracks. Let’s talk about some creative ways to use a mute in a performance-oriented patch.
Yeah, I know I just said that we don’t have to use MJ for muting audio. In fact, that’s not what it was originally designed for (more on that in the next section). It still does it pretty well, and there’s some cool stuff we can do with that as a concept. For instance, MJ’s inputs are normalled so that one input can be copied and muted/unmuted separately up to four times. We could do something interesting with this like have our original audio signal go to our mixer, and a copy go to an effect like a reverb. We effectively have a mutable aux send now, and since we’re muting the source, not the actual effect, it’ll sound really interesting in a patch. This can be great for adding layers in a patch, creating tension and builds, and so on. Here, we’re using Loquelic Iteritas Percido and muting a copy through our upcoming reverb, Desmodus Versio.
History lesson: When we designed this (with a bit of input from Kittyspit), this was the whole purpose of this module. We initially envisioned it sitting next to the Numeric or Zularic Repetitor in a patch.
In general, if I want to mute a part of a patch, I’ll mute the trigger or gate I’m sending it instead of the actual audio. This has a few advantages: first, it avoids any clicks and pops that may be created by cutting the audio quickly, and second, it allows the sound to decay out as it would have even if it wasn’t muted. This means it’ll generally sound more natural and less abrupt, which in a lot of cases sounds better.
I like to run my pitch CV through a mute, separate from the gate. This means that I can have my gate signal unmuted but mute my pitch CV, which can be useful for creating variation. I can have a sound play rhythmically on its root note, bring in the melody for a period, then have it sit on that root note again for a while which can also be useful for melodic development in a patch. Let’s try that out: we’re using Vox Digitalis for sequencing a melody and I’m muting the CV to add some variation to my voice line.
Of course, we can also mute modulation. For instance, we could have a sequence from Mimetic Digitalis that modulates something like Fold on a Basimilus Iteritas Alter. We could start a patch with that muted, and bring it in later when we want to add some variation to our drum part.
Not really muting: Switches
Sometimes in a performance it’s useful to have a parameter that, instead of being controlled by a knob, has two positions that we can quickly switch between. An easy way to do this is with MJ and something that can create a DC offset, like Lapsus Os. Let’s use the BIA again as an example. First, we can set the low position of our parameter on the panel, then run our offset through MJ to that parameter’s CV input. Tune the DC offset to sound good at a higher position, and we can now switch between to sounds with the flick of a, well, switch.
Some larger modules, like the Moog DFAM, have large patchbays with different ins and outs that’re designed to be patched into themselves to create different sounds. The Muta Jovis can add some interesting performability to modules like this by breaking connections in these sorts of self patches. Here, we’re using a DFAM alongside our MJ. The pitch sequencer goes into the first input on MJ, and is split back into different patch points on the DFAM. By muting and unmuting the different channels on MJ, we can mix up our DFAM patch on the fly.
Get creative, yo
If you make a cool patch using the techniques we talked about in this post (or just something you want us to see), tag us in a post on Instagram! We’re always looking for cool patches to repost.