MATRIXSYNTH: Mutable Instruments to Ramp Down DIY

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Mutable Instruments to Ramp Down DIY

via Mutable Instruments

"Please take the time to read this...

After careful considerations, I have decided to progressively ramp down the production of most of Mutable Instruments’ DIY line.

=== The reasons ===
* Some of these products are getting old and/or are not as successful as I thought they would be, and it doesn’t make much sense to keep them in inventory when only a couple units are sold in a month - while their price has been decided at a time they were produced in batches of 100s.
* There’s little overlap in the way Mutable Instruments’ as a maker of modules, and Mutable Instruments’ as a maker of DIY kits operate; to the point that it really feels like I’m running two companies; dealing with two groups of suppliers, two ways of managing accounting or keeping track of stock etc. Some decisions related to growth (small things like formalizing procedures through software, or big things like relocating or hiring…) can’t really be done in a way that would serve both missions. I have reached a size at which a choice must be made, and the ratio of things I like to do / annoyances is higher when it comes to the kit business.
* I no longer agree with some of the design decisions (be they aesthetic or technical) defining these products. It just feels wrong to me to sell products I would not personally buy.
* I’d like to explore a few (non-music and/or non-electronics and/or non-DIY) projects and I badly need to make room in my life for that.

=== The consequences ===
I do not plan to produce new batches of the following products:
* MIDIpal. There are currently 55 units left in stock. I’m keeping a small stash to serve warranty requests. As time passes, I’ll get rid of them (without warranty).
* Shruthi XT kits. There are currently about 50 kits left in stock.
* Anushri (as a kit and as a PCB set). There are currently about 100 kits left in stock. I only have 40 Euro panel sets, so I might do a small run of them to prevent the last kits from being sold naked.
* Shruthi filter boards. I have in stock (or on order for the Polivoks and Yellow magic) about 50 pairs of filter boards. The digital filter board is already out of production.
* Ambika (as a kit and as bare PCBs). I currently have 50 kits being sorted, which will be available as a bundle with Adrian’s case in november or early december. I still have a big stash of PCBs – so this one will take more time to disappear.

I do plan to produce new batches of the following products:
* Shruthi kit. There’s really nothing quite like this little beast. I might narrow it down to one or two flavors (like vanilla = kit+plexi case and vanilla-caramel-choco-chips-cookie-dough = 4PM kit + metal case).
The fate of the following products is unknown:
* CVpal.
* Module tester.

=== And after that? ===
Some of you might want to organize small community-runs of PCBs to keep one of these products alive – just as it has been done for the Sidekick. I’m fine with that, but obviously I won’t provide any support.

Keeping the DIY line alive through a commercial initiative is something that requires more thought. If this happens, and I am currently exploring several paths for this to happen, this has to be done in a way that does not involve the Mutable Instruments name, or only as a sort of quote or tribute."

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