Future Sound Systems’ FSS MTX-8 An EMS Synthi Style Pin Matrix For Your Studio

The latest loopop video offers an in-depth look at the Future Sound Systems’ FSS MTX-8, an EMS Synthi style pin matrix for your studio.

Instead of moving patch cords, like you would with a patch bay, you create connections using pins.

The MTX8 is also designed to be written on, to make it easier to understand your connections. A dry-wipe pen is included, as well as a set of ten pins. For more permanent installations, an alcohol-based permanent pen can be used, and then erased using isopropyl alcohol.

Topics covered:

0:00 Intro
0:30 Overview
4:20 Preamp test
6:30 Setup
8:00 Basic routing
9:30 Re-routing
11:20 Parallel chains
11:35 Splits, layers
13:00 Pros, cons

Pricing and Availability

The MTX8 is available now for ÂŁ409.00 (incl. 20% VAT). Details are available at the FSS site.

13 thoughts on “Future Sound Systems’ FSS MTX-8 An EMS Synthi Style Pin Matrix For Your Studio

    1. I think it’s the active circuitry that’s non-trivial. Not sure that was really covered in this tutorial. If you didn’t need that you could buy a patchbay for a tenth of the price or make a passive one of these for even less.

      Seems to me a slightly niche device. I mean, most people probably wouldn’t really use the active circuitry, and also once you’re on a stereo signal path you’ve only got four devices after which you’re back to repatching (or somehow chaining these together).

      There’s a lot of enthusiasm in the youtube comments. Maybe people didn’t spot the price or maybe there are more people who need active circuitry than I thought.

    1. I agree. This thing is cool but one of the big flaws with the pin matrix idea is the lack of attenuation on the inputs and outputs, which isn’t an issue at all with matrix mixers

  1. What are the advantages compared to a normal, inexpensive patchbay…?
    On first glance it seems like such an unneeded, elitist product to me.

    1. I’ve long been saying somebody needs to integrate the patchbay concept into a pedalboard.

      Patchbays aren’t super popular anymore, so there’s only a couple brands making them, but they are due for a comeback. Maybe 1/4 in the back for your pedals, but 1/8 in the front like eurorack patching. The concept could certainly be reapproached in a more modern way.

    2. – you just need to insert/remove one pin, and the connection is done/gone
      – you can route several inputs to one ouput (or vice versa)
      – you don’t have a ton of cluttered cables hanging around, connections are clear to see

  2. Pro:
    1. visualization of the connections
    2. Easy to send more then one destination for each source (possible with patchbay but harder to accomplish)
    3. Can sum channel and maintain the output amplitude (since it’s an active device)
    4. No need for extra cables
    5. Desktop instead of the 1u
    6. You can write the names of the inputs and outputs freely with erased pen ,Great idea!
    7. It is more fun 🙂
    8. looks nicer, easier to color coding with the pins.

    Con:
    1. Expensive
    2. Active, So it may introduce noise
    2. Limited number of channels for the size
    3. May be a cable mess on the desktop
    4. You can run out of pins
    5. 2mm banana plugs are a not the most durable
    6. It’s unbalanced

    The ideal Matrix will be digitally controlled but analog with recall/Presets, Preferable with a menu on the machine itself and maybe controllable with MIDI/USB/Plug-in. Buttons instead of pins, one knob to control the send amplitude of each. Preferably with -5-0-+5 (to invert CV’s).
    I hate to say this but something like Arturia did on there matrixbrute.

    1. Nice summary. It doesn’t work with as many hardware inputs/outputs* but the iPad app “ApeMatrix” pretty well nails this in software. You can drag on the connection points to set attenuation. Same developer made the iVCS3 app. https://www.apesoft.it/apematrix/

      * I think it’s limited to 4 hardware I/O ports but don’t quote me on that.

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