Unleashing Creativity: The After Later Audio Bartender - A Comprehensive Guide

Immerse in the rhythmic fusion and auditory harmony brought about by the After Later Audio Bartender, a stereo performance mixer that is far from ordinary. Designed for eurorack enthusiasts, this extraordinary mixer takes your sound manipulation and performance control to a whole new level. Let's take a detailed overview of the features and functionalities that make the Bartender, a versatile and expandable mixing system for your modular synthesis.

Primarily, the Bartender serves as a centerpiece in your mixer system, offering four stereo channels. Each channel comes equipped with a mono mode where both channels can be mixed, thus providing you with an expansive eight-channel mono blend. With the use of the pan control to control the crossfade between each channel, and the mono output, you have an instant mono mix for maximum control and flexibility.

Adding a dimension to its performance is the built-in cueing system. With this feature, you can readily monitor channels in your headphones and control the blend with the main output, adding a professional touch to your live performances or recording sessions.

The Bartender provides more than just mixing. Each channel is packed with CV inputs for panning and level control. It also comes with two send buses which allow each channel to be routed to one of the two send buses. And if you're worried about disruptive clicks, the Bartender comes equipped with a mute function that uses a capacitor to slow down the mute action, offering a mostly click-less operation.

The Bartender is designed to complement your setup with its mains section. Here, it offers two stereo sends outputs and two stereo returns, which can also be used to directly insert into the main. The main stereo outputs, level controlled with the slider and stereo VU meter, and a main mono output work together to create the perfect blend.

One unique feature is the cue section. It offers a 1/4" headphone jack with level control and fader control, which lets you listen to the main mix, cue mix, or an adjustable mix of the two. This dedicated cue section is perfect for tuning into specific channels or elements of your mix.

What makes the Bartender an exceptional choice for your eurorack case is its expandable nature. The Bartender can be simply cascaded with another unit to create 8ch, 12ch, or even 16ch mixer, providing a broad range for creativity. When connected, the main level control on the 'expander' Bartender acts as a group control. The expandability extends to the Barback which, when added, can introduce 2ch to your mix.

Other compatible modules like DVCA, Cast Iron, Mingles, and USB-2CH can also be connected with Dupont cables via pin headers on the back of the modules. By connecting the in and out pins, you essentially send/receive the audio into the next module, resulting in a seamlessly integrated sound-making machine.

Unleashing creativity with the Bartender isn't just about having the right tools; it's a way to broaden the horizons of your musical journey. Its versatility, expandability, and robust features make it an indispensable part of any eurorack setup. Discover the power and potential of the Bartender, and you'll find a world of sound possibilities at your fingertips.

Example Usage

In the mixer section, each channel offers the flexibility of operating in stereo or mono mode, with dedicated CV inputs for both panning and level control. You can route channels to two send buses, choosing whether the send comes before or after the level/panning settings. The mute function features both latching and momentary options, designed to minimize clicks with a capacitor-based operation. Additionally, channels can be directed to the cue bus for monitoring purposes.

Moving to the mains section, there are two stereo send outputs and returns that can also function as direct inserts into the main mix. The main stereo outputs are controlled by a slider and visualized through a stereo VU meter. Moreover, the main mono output allows for an 8-channel mono mix configuration by utilizing channels in stereo mode, adjusting levels with the level control, and using the pan control to manage channel levels effectively.

The cue section includes a 1/4" headphone jack with a dedicated level control, alongside a fader for switching between the main mix, cue mix, or a customizable blend of the two.

The expandable nature of the After Later Audio Bartender shines in its ability to cascade multiple units for an expanded mixer setup of 8, 12, or 16 channels. Barbacks can be integrated to add extra 2 channels, and they too can be cascaded to achieve a mixer setup with up to 16 channels. For additional control, Send-VCA can be incorporated to enable CV manipulation of send levels.

Furthermore, modules like DVCA, Cast Iron, Mingles, and USB-2CH can be interconnected using Dupont cables via pin headers on the modules' rear. This connectivity allows for seamless audio routing between modules, enhancing the versatility and creative potential of your eurorack setup.

In an intermediate-level usage example, let's explore how to utilize the After Later Audio Bartender to create dynamic stereo mixes and incorporate external modules for added flexibility and creativity.

Assuming you have a setup with multiple sound sources and effects modules, the Bartender can serve as the central hub for mixing and blending different audio signals. Begin by connecting your stereo sound sources to the four stereo channels of the Bartender. You can choose to work in either stereo or mono mode, depending on your setup and creative vision.

Take advantage of the CV inputs for precise panning and level control of each channel. By utilizing the two send buses, you can route specific channels to different effects processors or external modules for further manipulation. Experiment with pre- and post-level control send options to achieve the desired sonic textures.

The mute function on each channel provides flexibility in shaping your mix, allowing for both latching and momentary mute actions. Utilize the cue bus to monitor specific channels in your headphones before blending them into the main mix, ensuring a smooth transition between different elements of your composition.

Explore the expandability of the Bartender by cascading multiple units together or adding Barbacks for additional channels. You can create complex mixes with up to 16 channels, leveraging the main level control as a group control for seamless integration.

For those looking to incorporate external modules, the Bartender offers the flexibility to connect Send-VCA, DVCA, Cast Iron, Mingles, and USB-2CH modules using Dupont cables. This enables you to integrate additional control options and expand the sonic possibilities of your Eurorack setup.

By leveraging the versatile features and expandability of the After Later Audio Bartender, you can unleash your creativity and craft intricate stereo mixes that push the boundaries of electronic music production.

Further Thoughts

To take full advantage of the After Later Audio Bartender's extensive capabilities, consider expanding your setup with additional Bartenders or a Barback module to increase your channel count. By cascading Bartenders, you can create mixes with 8, 12, or even 16 channels, with the main level control acting as a convenient group control. Additionally, adding Send-VCA modules can bring CV control to your send levels, enhancing the dynamic range of your mixes. Experiment with connecting various modules like DVCA, Cast Iron, Mingles, and USB-2CH using Dupont cables to explore new sonic possibilities. Embrace the modularity and flexibility of the Bartender system to unleash your creativity and take your mixing performances to new heights.