Mutable Instruments - the lost levels

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pichenettes
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Mutable Instruments - the lost levels

Post by pichenettes » Sat Dec 19, 2015 9:31 am

Aeons/Dyes/Clouds

Let's start with a FFT buffer mangler... The idea was to capture slices of spectrum from an incoming audio signal; into one of 4 buffers, and then play them back pitch-shifted - with various ways of "blurring" the signal (blurring in time by averaging consecutive slices, blurring the various buffers...)

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Let's rearrange controls a bit... Add a way of saving snapshots in flash, add a control for random or unrolled-from-bin-instaneous-frequency phase.

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Starting to look familiar?

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The most interesting thing about this module is freezing! Let's make recording the default and freezing the triggerable exception then...

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Then I realized that very similar results could be achieved directly in the time domain through granular synthesis (if all you're doing is summing overlapping windows of the same stuff with a randomized phase, no point going and back and forth in the frequency domain...), I quickly worked on a time-domain version of the module, and it started to turn into Clouds.

All the code written so far was kept in a corner and became the "Spectral madness" easter egg.

Blooms (2012)

Dual OTA distortion with a single knob controlling pre/post amount (I think this is what the Moog "Multidrive" knob does). Discarded before I routed the PCB. Was 6-HP at the time (because of those jacks) and that was too much for so little function. Now it could be done in 4-HP.

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Cycles

It has never been in source control and I've never had a panel done, but this was a 4:4 switch with trigger inputs to control the permutation mapping inputs to outputs (cycle, reverse, randomize...)

Elements

The original layout had all the jacks on the right.

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Frames

The original proto had no illuminated knob.

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Out

Simple output module (one channel with VC-gain and VC-pan, auxiliary stereo input, balanced outs, headphones amp).

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Peaks

No drums, less HPs, but more explanations about what each knob does.

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Poles (2012)

4x one-pole VCA + VCF (HP or LP) with various chaining schemes for building larger order filters.

Too many uninteresting configurations.

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Poles (2015)

(No panel done for this one). Multimode filter with CV control on order (SLOPE), LP->BP->HP morphing (MODE) and "inversion" of response (TILT: LP becomes HP, BP becomes notch, HP becomes LP).

Rings

My initial sketch. No polyphony, only modal resonator. STRENGTH was a VCA on the audio input. PRE-FILTER activated a 2-pole LPF on the audio input coupled to BRIGHTNESS (this parameter is always on in the released version!).

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Tides

Different layout.

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Trails

Slope/slew thing. Initial sketch

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Final version

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Warps

Note that it was not possible to interpolate between all pairs of algorithms...

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Warps (2013)

Discarded CV/Gate generator from a 4-state HMM.

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Last edited by pichenettes on Sat Dec 19, 2015 2:13 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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pichenettes
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Post by pichenettes » Sat Dec 19, 2015 9:39 am

And what the module logos could have been...

Branches

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Elements

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Frames

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Peaks

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Rings

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Shades

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Shelves

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Warps

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sromanel
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Post by sromanel » Sat Dec 19, 2015 9:47 am

Poles (2015) - idea discarded? If so, why? For the same reason of Poles (2012)?

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Post by Matos » Sat Dec 19, 2015 9:48 am

Best post. Love how open you are and how much you share. Thanks!

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Post by schemawound » Sat Dec 19, 2015 9:48 am

Thanks for sharing :)

I love your work and it is very interesting to see how an idea changes over time.

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Post by Dogma » Sat Dec 19, 2015 9:50 am

Thanks oliver - dunno what else to say really :)
look up!

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pichenettes
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Post by pichenettes » Sat Dec 19, 2015 10:00 am

sromanel wrote:Poles (2015) - idea discarded? If so, why? For the same reason of Poles (2012)?
It would have been 14 or 16 HP. Intellijel Polaris covered almost all of it in only 10 HP - minus the morphing. The morphing was a constraint, which forced me to exclude interesting, exotic things that the circuit could do (like phasing) - just because they didn't belong anywhere in the mode/tilt/slope control map. Also, it required more sophisticated hardware (additional V2164 to mix taps, DAC to control it, processor to control tap mixing coefficient from UI controls) and would have been in the 300€ price range.

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Post by Luap » Sat Dec 19, 2015 10:03 am

Interesting stuff. Thanks for the insight Olivier :)
One thing I noticed even before this post, was that the layout of your modules are often very symmetrical (I like symmetry). Then I was looking at my Peaks, and thought "Except that one!" So it's interesting to see that the proto of Peaks was actually completely symmetrical (I also like that the knobs were well labeled on that proto ;) As thats one of my few gripes about the Peaks I have)

Oh, and Frames is definitely better for the blinken lightz knob too 8-)

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Post by exper-ish » Sat Dec 19, 2015 10:14 am

Fascinating post. Totally forget about the mysterious 'Bokeh' knob from early teases.

That warps sequencer is killing me though. Makes me wonder just what you will release as a sequencer then. :)

And Trails. Wish that was still happening!

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Richard Devine
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Post by Richard Devine » Sat Dec 19, 2015 10:29 am

Whoa, incredibly interesting. :-)

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Post by ben_hex » Sat Dec 19, 2015 10:40 am

Very cool, appreciate you sharing it's really interesting insight into some of the ideas.
All DivKid video series to be found here!
http://www.youtube.com/divkidvideo

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CeeJay
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Post by CeeJay » Sat Dec 19, 2015 10:49 am

I love these inside views of the development processes! Thank you!
How much love for every small detail (module logos)!

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Post by Daisuk » Sat Dec 19, 2015 10:53 am

Damn. :eek: why wasn't the sequencer released? Looks very interesting .

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pichenettes
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Post by pichenettes » Sat Dec 19, 2015 10:55 am

Daisuk wrote:Damn. :eek: why wasn't the sequencer released? Looks very interesting .
Too many HP and UI controls for too few possibilities.

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Torn n Frayed
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Post by Torn n Frayed » Sat Dec 19, 2015 10:57 am

Thanks for posting this, very interesting to see your work progress!

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Post by rossanderton » Sat Dec 19, 2015 11:08 am

Thanks for sharing Olivier, really interesting to see what might have been!

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mqtthiqs
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Post by mqtthiqs » Sat Dec 19, 2015 11:21 am

Fascinating! Thank you Olivier.

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Post by mwvm » Sat Dec 19, 2015 11:33 am

pichenettes wrote:
Daisuk wrote:Damn. :eek: why wasn't the sequencer released? Looks very interesting .
Too many HP and UI controls for too few possibilities.
I feel HP isn't really an issue with most people.

I've had many a discussion ref clouds and most say it should be bigger to allow more access to "hidden" parameters

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Post by Stollmeister » Sat Dec 19, 2015 11:39 am

Thank you! That was a great read.

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Post by Krater » Sat Dec 19, 2015 11:43 am

Thank you! very interestig. It´s good to see these stages of development are not lost on a hard drive.

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Post by taylor12k » Sat Dec 19, 2015 11:49 am

fascinating!

you really do need to release a module with a BOKEH parameter, though... best parameter name ever.

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Post by skipperdean » Sat Dec 19, 2015 12:12 pm

taylor12k wrote:fascinating!

you really do need to release a module with a BOKEH parameter, though... best parameter name ever.
So very true.


Thanks for sharing, Oliver!

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Post by thelizard » Sat Dec 19, 2015 12:44 pm

Out of all of these, I think Trails is the most unique lost design! Most of the others ended up in a more refined release state (Clouds, Elements, Warps, etc.) or cancelled due to a competitor release (Poles).

It looks like Trails does cyclical Trapezoid envelopes. I didn't realize how much I love trapezoid cycles until I built one myself in Reaktor. In cycle mode, changing the bottom hold time allows spacing the envelopes without affecting the length of the rest of the envelope, which is perfect for grain manipulation.

It also looks like it has a built-in burst generator! That's also very useful for creating individual grain structures and groupings.

Here's hoping that it's simply going through further refinement instead of complete cancellation.

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Post by danielraffel » Sat Dec 19, 2015 12:57 pm

it's such an honor to have the opportunity to support people like olivier. bonus points: i get to own and play with his creations and discover what others do with them too! not only is he building some of the most interesting things but he's sharing his work in ways that open it up for others to extend (and now even understand how some of his projects started and ended.) absolutely fascinating. i could totally read more...hope he considers publishing more in book format! ;) can't wait to see what's in store for 2016 and beyond.

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Post by ChevChelios » Sat Dec 19, 2015 1:07 pm

Awesome. This is one of the most interesting posts i've read on muff's. My system consists of about half MI modules and half modules from another manufacturer, I'm really close to selling off half and going all Mutable!

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