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Eurorack Mixer Guide – Tannhäuser Gates Eurorack Mixer and Quad VCA by Animal Factory Amplification

One of the key components of a Eurorack modular synthesizer system is the mixer module. Eurorack mixers allow you to combine multiple signals in your synth patch, blending different sound...

Eurorack Mixer Guide ‒ Using the Tannhäuser Gates Quad VCA by Animal Factory Amplification
One of the key components of a Eurorack modular synthesizer system is the mixer module. Eurorack mixers allow you to combine multiple signals in your synth patch, blending different sound sources into a cohesive mix.

A Eurorack mixer module is an essential part of a Eurorack modular synth setup. Usually located towards the end of the signal chain, a mixer module allows you to sum the various audio signals in your rack with precise control over their volume. This makes a Eurorack mixer indispensable for fine control of your mix. In a sense, the mixer is the final meeting point of your synth patches before they leave the rack. Thus, a versatile Eurorack mixer is essential for creating complex and cohesive soundscapes with your modular synthesizer setup.

Tannhäuser Gates Eurorack Mixer Module by Animal Factory Amplification


The Tannhäuser Gates is a feature-packed 20HP Eurorack mixer module offering creative sound shaping opportunities with room for almost limitless expansion as your needs grow. Let's take an in-depth look at the Tannhäuser Gates' functionality below:

Tannhäuser Gates Eurorack Mixer Features

Tannhäuser Gates Eurorack Mixer features overview. The Tannhäuser Gates Eurorack Mixer features 4 individual VCAs, stereo outputs, and send-return effects loop.

Eurorack Stereo Mixer

Tannhäuser Gates Eurorack Mixer module signal paths. The Tannhäuser Gates’ features four independent VCAs, expansion inputs and outputs, master left and right outputs, and stereo send-return jacks for external effects loops.

The Tannhäuser Gates’ master left and right stereo outputs bring the spatial dimensionality of stereo to your final mix. Panning controls for each channel allow you to finely tweak where each channel lies in the soundstage and create a sense of depth. Combined with the module’s master left and right effects loops, the Tannhäuser Gates offers the potential to experiment with external effects such as delay and reverb to create a physical sense of movement in the mix.

4 Channel, Expandable Eurorack Mixer

The Tannhäuser Gates features four channels each with its own independently controllable VCA. Mute switches are provided for cutting each channel in and out of the mix as needed. Up to 4 Tannhäuser Gates can be daisy chained to offer 16 channel mixing capability. With each module offering 4 VCAs, you will find a multi Tannhäuser Gates setup to be incredibly liberating in terms of the creative routing possibilities offered.

Eurorack Mixer with Independent VCAs

Tannhäuser Gates Eurorack Mixer Chanel Signal Flow. Each channel features an independent VCA, followed by EQ and pan controls before the channel's independent output. The output is also summed into the master left and right channels according to the pan control's setting. The VCA takes a CV input which is followed by scaling and offset controls and a mute switch.

Each channel features its own VCA with CV input. Gain, offset, and CV attenuverting controls for each VCA allow for creative effects and techniques such as ducking. In addition to the summed master left and right outputs, the Tannhäuser Gates also provides independent audio outputs from each VCA. This makes the Tannhäuser Gates a quad VCA as well as a mixer for Eurorack. Having four independent VCAs in one module makes it easy to mult signals and apply different CV sources and EQ to each VCA for interesting effects. Each VCA output can also be muted with the channel’s respective mute switch.

Eurorack Quad VCA with Master CV Control

The Tannhäuser Gates features a master CV Input for simultaneous control of each channel’s VCA. The master CV input is normalised to each channel’s individual CV input. This lets you easily experiment with some interesting stereo effects by panning different channels left or right and using the CV attenuverters to fade channels in and out of the soundstage. The Master CV control also can be used to experiment with polyphonic patches by feeding multiple oscillators into each input and simultaneously applying an envelope to them via the Tannhäuser Gates’ master CV input. Note that plugging a patch cable into a channel’s individual CV input disconnects the master CV input from that channel’s VCA CV Input so it can be independently controlled.

Eurorack Mixer with Tilt EQ

Frequency response graph of Tilt EQ

An EQ control for each channel allows you to fine-tune the sound of each channel in your mix. Turning a channel's EQ control clockwise boosts that channel's upper frequencies while cutting the lower frequencies. Turning the EQ control counter-clockwise boosts that channel's lower frequencies while cutting the higher frequencies. The tilt EQ boosts one end of the frequency spectrum while symmetrically attenuating the other, this helps maintain a more balanced overall tonality as opposed to a conventional tone control and lets you finely shape your sound. For example, you could mult a signal into two separate channels and fine tune the lows and highs separately with precise control for the mixed output.

Eurorack Mixer with Send-Return FX Loop

The Tannhäuser Gates provides independent send and return jacks for the summed left and right master outputs. This makes the Tannhäuser Gates ideal for working with effects modules like distortions, delays, and more. A return-level control allows you to fine-tune the level of effected signal in your mix. The stereo FX loop is another feature of the Tannhäuser Gates that facilitates creating atmospheric, spatial patches by playing with stereo imaging.

Eurorack Mixer with Rich Distortion

If distortion is what you desire, the Tannhäuser Gates delivers with Animal Factory Amplification's renowned sonic breakup – although not as extreme as our other modules. The Tannhäuser Gates gives a rich transistor overdrive sound reminiscent of vintage mixer consoles when driven hard. Jumpers for each channel on the back of the Tannhäuser Gates allows you to engage Zener diode clipping for a different flavour of distortion when the channel is driven hard.

Versatile Gain Control

DIP Switches for gains setting on the Tannhäuser Gates eurorack mixer and quad VCA.

In addition to each VCA's individual gain control and the master volume control, DIP switches on the back allow you to further reduce each channel's gain in the master left or right outputs.

Tannhäuser Gates Eurorack Mixer Tips and Techniques

Tannhäuser Gates Eurorack Mixer and Eurorack Quad VCA

Ducking on Eurorack

Ducking is an electronic music technique in which one or more signals are momentarily attenuated in response to another. For example, you can enhance your kick drum's punch by ducking rest of the mix in response. To duck a channel on the Tannhäuser Gates, turn up the offset and set the attenuverter control counter-clockwise to invert the CV input, perhaps from an envelope generator triggered by your kick or other sound.


Audio-Rate Modulation on Eurorack

The individual audio outputs and CV inputs on each VCA open up the possibility of experimenting with audio rate-modulation: a technique in which one audio signal is used as a CV to modulate the amplitude of another. This introduces interesting frequency "sidebands" around the modulated signal, creating some unique sounds in the process.

Eurorack Performance Mixer

Tannhäuser Gates Eurorack Performance Mixer with Stereo Output

The Tannhäuser Gates' versatility makes it a must-have tool for performing live with your Eurorack modular setup. Its independent VCAs, stereo outputs, panning controls, and channel mutes allowing for complete real-time control as you dynamically transition between patches. The stereo capability including the full stereo effects loop open up spatial sound sculpting possibilities in your performances.

Tannhäuser Gates Eurorack Stereo Mixer and Quad VCA by Animal Factory Amplification

Tannhäuser Gates Eurorack Mixer and Eurorack Quad VCA.

The Tannhäuser Gates is an extremely versatile tool for your modular setup. Get your Tannhäuser Gates module now and take control of your patches – in full stereo.

Tannhäuser Gates – Buy Now on the AFA Store

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