Bastl Instruments

Aikido is a performative quad VCA mixer with flexible submix routing and two styles of integrated envelope followers. Clever normalization allows ready-to-go sidechain compression, expansion, and rapid routing experimentation.

Clickless mute switches and level faders make for immediate performability, while dedicated attenuverters on each channel make Aikido a powerful and flexible quad VCA. The main mix output is accompanied by individual VCA outputs with patch-programmable cascading mix routing. The Side Chain envelope follower offers 3 different response curves, while the Spectral Follower can be set to focus on treble, mid or bass frequencies.

Sidechain and Spectral Follower

The Side Chain envelope follower input is normalized to input of Channel A, but can be overridden by plugging in any external signal. Its output is normalized to the CV paths, so you can start compressing instantly. Patch a kick drum to Channel A and use the attenuverters to compress (CCW) or expand (CW) other signals. The switch lets you select the envelope follower response time.

The Spectral Follower listens to the Channel D output (which can also be your mix output, thanks to the cascade mixing), and you can select with a switch whether it focuses on high, mid, or low frequencies. Patch it anywhere to make a spectral compression!

Several Aikido units can be daisy chained to create larger cascading mixers.


  • 4 VCA channels, each with:
    — clickless mute with light indication
    — level fader with 6dB boost
    — CV input with attenuverter
    — input (DC coupled)
    — output (DC coupled) cascaded mixing

  • Mix output (AC coupled)

  • Side chain envelope follower
    — input (normalized to A input)
    — output (normalized to CV inputs)
    — switch to select response time

  • Spectral envelope follower
    — input taken from Channel D output
    — patchable output
    — switch to focus the follower to low, mid, or high frequencies

  • Backside jumpers
    — select whether direct VCA outputs are pre/post Mute
    — cascaded mixing input and output (joins 2 Aikidos to 8 channel mixer)
    — main mix input and output (for chaining the normalized MIX outputs), chainable with BUDDY



24mm Depth

+12V <120 mA

-12V <120 mA