Chapter 13. Mixer

Table of Contents

13.1. Instrument Channel Strips
13.2. Component Channel Strips
13.3. FX Rack and LADSPA Plugins
13.4. Master Fader Strip
13.4.1. Humanization
13.4.2. Mixer Settings

Figure 13.1. The Mixer

The Mixer

The Mixer window can be opened by pressing Alt + M, by selecting Mixer in the View option of the Main Menu, or by clicking the Mixer button on the Main Toolbar.

The Mixer consists of 3 sections (from left to right): the one containing the Instrument Channel Strips and Component Channel Strips, the FX Plugin Rack, and the Master Fader Strip. The Hydrogen Mixer works very much like a hardware mixer does: it lets you set the volume, pan, FX and several other things for every instrument as well as the volume of all of these sources mixed together.

13.1. Instrument Channel Strips

Figure 13.2. The Instrument Channel Strip in the Mixer

The Instrument Channel Strip in the Mixer

  • Grey button with a filled black triangle pointing to the right. : lets you trigger the instrument at maximum velocity.


    This is quite handy for checking clipping.

    Right-clicking the button will stop all currently playing notes of the associated instrument.


    This is especially useful when dealing with long samples and Auto-Stop Note is disabled.

  • Vertical, grey LED-like object. : lights up whenever this instrument is triggered (e.g. by a note in a pattern).

  • Horizontal, blue LED-like object. : shows whether the instrument is currently selected (in both the Mixer and the Pattern Editor).


    If the Input Mode is set to Instrument, incoming MIDI events and Virtual Keyboard keys will trigger only (pitch shifted) sounds of the currently selected instrument.


    An instrument can be selected by interacting with its Instrument Channel Strip in the Mixer, by interacting with its associated row in the Pattern Editor, or by the corresponding MIDI or OSC command.

  • Grey button containing a black "M". : mutes all sounds related to the instrument (including the preview sound you hear when clicking on the instrument name in the Sidebar of the Pattern Editor).


    This button is sharing its state with the mute button of corresponding instrument in the Sidebar of the Pattern Editor.

  • Grey button containing a black "S". : solos the instrument.


    This button is sharing its state with the solo button of corresponding instrument in the Sidebar of the Pattern Editor.

  • Grey rotary widget with black background. On the widget there is a centered black circle and a black vertical line extending from the topmost point of the circle to its center. : sets a pan value affecting all notes played using this instrument.


    For a detailed description of how this pan value does interact with the note pan and the Pan Laws in the Mixer please see Pan.

  • Grey and round widget containing a grey and centered circle as well as a short grey line to indicate the position. : the four pre-fader FX send knobs that determine how much of this instrument will be sent to the effect plugins in the FX Rack.

  • Fader: the fader next to the instrument's name allows you to adjust the volume of the instrument which will be applied on top of all the individual note velocities, layer gains etc. In the background of the fader a volume unit (VU) meter is included representing the instrument's signal level. The display above shows its peak value.


    You can adjust the falloff speed of the peak values in the display in the Interface tab of the Appearance tab in the Preferences.


If the Create per-instrument outputs option in the Audio Engine tab of the Preferences was selected for the JACK audio driver, Hydrogen will register ports for each instrument. All the options described above will only take effect if in addition the Track output option in the same tab as set to Post-Fader.

This allows you to route the individual instruments directly into any other JACK enabled application, like Ardour, and gives you a lot more flexibility.