One of the coolest features of the Minimoog is its feedback capability.  The External Input Volume effectively feeds the output back into the mixer for further processing by the filter and amplifier sections that just filtered and amplified it.

The result is a new, grittier layer of sound that can be worked into the patch with stunning results.

This same feature can also be accomplished with many other synthesizers all through a single patch cord!  It may sound obvious but give it a try…. connect the Headphone output of your synthesizer to the Audio In input.

Your ability to perform this trick is, of course, dependant on your synthesizer having both Headphone output and Audio In features.  Fortunately many do so it’s an easy thing to test out and see if you like.

I have an Arturia MiniBrute synth that is great for bass lines and leads.  I sometimes run the synth through an MXR ’78 distortion or an Electro Harmonix Big Muff PI to add some crunch.  This time though I fed the output back to the input.  Here’s a photo of the complex wiring…

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The middle cable is the main audio output.  Headphone Out jack connects to Audio In

Once this connection has been made you will (likely, depending on your synth) have two controls to affect the sound;  Headphone Volume and Audio In Volume.

Experiment with driving the headphone volume at very high or low levels.  Then mix those sounds into your patch through the mixer.  The results can be very cool.  The following patch has a very gritty distortion but no external processing was added.

 

Here are the settings used to create the sound…

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It’s a simple trick you can try in less than a minute with a patch cord that’s probably lying around near your gear already.  Give it a shot and expand your sonic pallet!

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