Feedback Synthesis – John L. Rice’s ‘Rear Window 3’

Sunday Synth Jam: This video, Rear Windows 3 by John L Rice, explores the idea of using ‘feedback synthesis’ – using mixer loops to create sound using controlled feedback.

Here’s what Rice has to say about the piece:

All sounds you are hearing in the first part of this video were created by manipulation of feedback resonance/howl in the mixer and the effects pedals and was done as you see it here, a real-time experimentation (with some edits to chop out the less interesting sections).

Equipment list in order of connection:

  • Mackie 802-VLZ3 mixer effects loop output
  • TC Electronic Hall Of Fame Mini reverb pedal
  • MXR/Dunlop Octave Fuzz pedal
  • Electro-Harmonix Ravish Sitar pedal
  • TC Electronic Flashback delay pedal
  • TC Electronic Hall Of Fame reverb pedal
  • Mackie 802-VLZ3 mixer stereo channel input

In the second part of the video, Rice adds:

  • Novation Ultranova keyboard synth (lead/melody noodles)
  • Korg microStation keyboard synth (ambient rhythm and piano notes)

5 thoughts on “Feedback Synthesis – John L. Rice’s ‘Rear Window 3’

  1. I’ve done this a few times with a cheap Realistic mixer and some guitar pedals. The results can be quite pleasant…or unbelievably horrifying. Depends on how you throttle the feedback. Always a fun thing to experiment with 🙂

  2. Brilliant beginning, but the jam went south as soon as the beats kicked in. Must we always have to have beats?

    1. Heh, thanks and no, we don’t always have to have drum beats! In fact, if you were to watch all of my over 330 videos so far (please do! 😉 you’ll probably find that a majority have no drumbeats at all. You may like the first two installments, Rear Window and Rear Window 2 since they are similar to the first part of Rear Window 3.

  3. Well I think JLR sorta threw that in but no doubt one of the hardest parts of drones is where to take them. The video really demonstrates the creative use of a mixer..

    1. Yes, exactly! I was trying to work on that last part as a separate piece. It was getting really late and when i realized that I failed to record the direct audio on that take I was too tired and frustrated to try again. (and that setup needed to be moved off my bed before I could sleep! 😉 I was just going to forget that take altogether but listening to it the next day I kind of liked it so I added it as a “B side” bonus.

      Thanks for your kind words too! 🙂

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