MATRIXSYNTH: New Mutable Instruments Beads Texture Synthesiser Eurorack Module

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

New Mutable Instruments Beads Texture Synthesiser Eurorack Module


1. Mutable Instruments Beads - exploration and tutorial by Tom Leclerc
2. Mutable Instruments Beads (no input) by Robin Rimbaud-Scanner
First play with the Mutable Instruments Beads texture synthesiser. And here's a wonderful surprise - if you leave both audio inputs unpatched, then after 10 seconds it begins to granulise a collection of stored raw waveforms taken from Mutable Instruments Plaits wavetable module. So here's a piece using Beads as the lead voice on this cinematic piece, with no other inputs. I added other instruments afterwards for rhythm and bass, and the singular pulse that holds throughout is from the Make Noise Mysteron. This is just an idea to show Beads in a very musical context
3. Heidi Concrète (featuring Mutable Instruments Beads) by Robin Rimbaud-Scanner
An experimental piece using Mutable Instruments Beads, the texture synthesiser, processing an audio file. No addition effects or processing were used. This is simply a live exploration of a single audio file with Beads. The original voice introduces and closes the piece so you can compare the two sonic worlds before and after Beads. The voice is taken from a scanned phone call in the early 1990s that features on my Delivery (1997) album.
4. A Little Beat with Mutable Instruments Beads (Wavetable Mode) by midcentury modular
This is Beads running in the internal wavetable mode (and a kick drum from plaits). I've got a gate going into freeze that acts as a mute when the kick comes in (sort-of side-chain like), and I'm also manually pressing it to mute and sustain the random sequence.

The pitches are not from an external cv source but generated internally with the peaky random distribution into the time knob. The pitch changes with this parameter seem to be somewhat harmonically related (though I'm not sure what specific scale) to the root set by the pitch parameter.
5. Overdriven Ambient Looping with Mutable Instruments Beads by midcentury modular
This video is some improvised choir sounds (from the Ableton Operator synth, played with a midi keyboard) ran into Mutable Instruments Beads in the delay/looper mode (with "sunny tape quality") Throughout, I add to the buffer by tapping out of freeze mode and back in. When the feedback is up, things stick around, so you can progressively add more and build up the buffer. I'm also experimenting with overdriving the input (by turning up the audio level going into beads from ableton with the top left 1U knob)
6. Mutable Instruments Beads (Scorched Cassette Mode) and Ciat-Lonbarde Plumbutter Deerhorn by midcentury modular
This patch is my attempt at using Beads to add some Cocoquantus-like magic to the Deerhorn. I think the downsampling, lower-bitrate and whatever other DSP tricks are happening in the Scorched Cassette mode are crerating a somewhat similar vibe to the 8-bit dolby loopers in the Coco, and I think this adds some really nice fizzy textures to the warm, raw-oscillator tone of the Deerhorn). Beads is also pitching down the two tones from Deerhorn to add a bit more melodic content.

There is some very subtle modulation coming from the orange out on Deerhorn, but it's not really doing a ton and could probably be left out and you wouldn't be able to tell much of a difference. There is some audio-rate modulation coming out of one of the white deerhorn outputs into the density input, which is modulating some of the AM stuff going on when density is high towards the end of the track.

No idea why the snapping gesture with the density knob caused the "knock on wood" sound, but I think it was a pretty cool accident!
7. Noisy Experimenting with Mutable Instrument Beads, Blades Ripples and Plaits
This patch (at least as much as I remember it...been a while since I made this) is Beads and Blades in a sort-of feedback loop. Blades is over-driven and self-oscillating, and the outs are sent to control seed and freeze on Beads (which is using the internal wavetable generator as audio input). After trying out various ones, I found these two control inputs on Beads the most interesting with audio rate signals. The outs of Beads are going into the audio inputs of blades. Both modules outs are multed out and into veils which is acting as a stereo mixer. Ripples (which is getting some noise into its cutoff modulation input from Plaits) is providing some audio rate modulation to some of the Veils channels.

"Beads is a reinvention of Mutable Instruments’ Clouds.

The concept is the same, live granular processing of an incoming audio signal, and the labels on the panel remain familiar.

The similarities stop here. The hardware and software have been redesigned from the ground up, with several goals in mind: a crisper and broader sound palette, more control, better playability, and direct access to exciting new features.


Beads’ vastly improved specifications allow a higher audio quality, a longer buffer, the use of better interpolation and anti-aliasing algorithms, and key DSP blocks to run at a faster rate. Granular processing can now go to new territories, such as formants, wavetables, hard-sync-like sounds, or crispy noise.

The range of parameters, their response to the turn of a knob or a CV modulation have all been refined, for new possibilities such as reverse playback or percussive envelopes.


Control. To trigger or schedule grains, Beads provides new features to divide or randomize an external clock or trigger stream, spray bursts of grains in response to a gate, or get the grain rate to track a V/O CV or the frequency of an external oscillator.

Chaos. Each key parameter of a grain comes with its own attenurandomizer, which allows direct CV control, CV control of the randomization (spread) of this parameter, or internal randomization using some of Marbles’ algorithms.

Character. Beads provides four audio quality settings, which go well beyond buffer sample rate and bit-depth: they affect the clock of the converters, the amplitude limiting and saturation of the signal path, the tone of the reverb, and additional media-emulation effects. From a pristine digital device to a dirty cassette, through a mode reproducing some of Clouds’ characteristics.


Beads can operate as a delay without the need to switch to a different mode: just ask it to play a never-ending grain. Its DENSITY, TIME and SEED controls are repurposed to allow various features such as tap-tempo, beat slicing, time-stretching, or comb-filtering at rates tracking V/O.

Without any audio input, Beads will granularize 8 internal banks of wavetables.

All parameters have a dedicated knob."

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