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Introducing Expando Expandi

Last week, we took a look at Xer Mixa, our new stereo system mixer. This week, we’ll be taking a deep dive into its smaller friend, the Expando Expandi. Expando Expandi is, if you haven’t guessed, an expander for Xer Mixa: it adds 8 freely routable CV inputs to the module. Today, we’ll take a look at how routing works and some of the fun things you can do with CV!

Noise Engineering Expando Expandi

Creating modulations from inputs

Modulations are easy to create with EE. After you install an Expando Expandi, head to the Expander menu from the main Config screen on your Xer Mixa. Select the expander, then New Mod to add a routing to the routing list. This is where the fun begins: each routing has a number of parameters that change how incoming CV is routed, and to what parameter. Each input can be routed to multiple destinations, and multiple inputs can route to a single destination, too.

Xer Mixa default modulation



Jack and Channel select the CV input on the EE and destination on the XM respectively, and Parameter changes what function the incoming CV will modulate on that channel: at writing, the options are volume, mute, pan, send A level, and send B level. 

The Amount and Offset parameters allow you to attenuvert, amplify, and offset incoming CV. Expando Expandi’s CV inputs have a range of -5V to +5V, and these parameters make it easy to modulate things just how you’d like. 

Xer Mixa saves your routings as you go, so the mixer will be in the exact same state you left it if you power cycle your case. You can also use scenes to save and load different expander configurations if you create a few different routing settings you particularly like. 

Ducking with Xer Mixa

A great place to start modulating all the things is by creating a classic ducking patch. This sort of technique is excellent for keeping drums impactful in techno and dance patches, and traditionally takes a lot of HP to set up. However, Xer Mixa makes it easy: you just need a decay envelope and a few routings. 

Xer Mixa duck configuration

For each channel you’d like to duck, set the Jack as the input number that your decay envelope is patched to – in my case, input 1. 

Then, pick the Channel you’d like to affect; I’ll be ducking channels 1, 2, A, and B, so let’s start with 1.

Set the action to Add, and the Amount to taste in the negative range. Anything below -50 will create a noticeable ducking effect, and -100 is full-scale modulation, turning the channel all the way down. Going below -100 will create more extreme ducking as the envelope is clipped. 

Then, hit Back and create new modulation routings from input 1 to all the other channels you want to duck.

Using Xer Mixa as a VCA

If you need a final VCA for a voice, Expando Expandi is your friend. Just patch an envelope generator to an input and set up a simple routing! 

In the previous example, we used the Add action. This uses the current parameter setting as a starting point, and the incoming CV is summed with that value. In this case, we want to use the Scale setting: Scale makes a parameter act as an attenuator for incoming CV. That will allow the channel fader to still act as a volume control for our voice, but the incoming CV will still affect the level of the incoming audio, acting like a VCA.

Xer Mixa modulation configured as a VCA

The best part? You can combine this example with the last one! Modulation is summed internally, so you can duck and control the level of a single channel with multiple modulation routings. 

Creating Mute Groups on Xer Mixa

My personal favorite way to use Expando Expandi is with mute modulation. Create a modulation item, pick your jack and destination channel, set the Param to Mute, and keep the rest of the settings where they are. Now, if the channel is unmuted, incoming CV will mute the channel. 

Xer Mixa CV over mute to create a mute group

This is useful for a few things: first, if you create mute routings for a few channels from a single CV input, you can create mute groups with an external CV controller. My favorite use is with clock dividers and gate sequencers, though: route a slow-clocked gate pattern to the input, and any time the gate goes high your channel will mute. The mutes are clickless, so this is a fantastic way to create a complex musical arrangement in your system! 

Modulation galore 

Of course, these are just a few examples of some of the CV possibilities with Expando Expandi. Two Expandos can be connected to a single Xer Mixa, and you can create up to 32 modulation routings. That’s a whole lot of CV. 

Bundles? Oh, we’ve got bundles 

If you’re interested in getting a Xer Mixa and an Expando Expandi, they’re available in a discounted bundle – 10% off the price of both – from your favorite retailers and our webshop. You can also buy an extra Expando Expandi by itself if you need two, or just learn more about the Xer Mixa ecosystem here




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