Mutable Instruments Clouds
Clouds Texture Synthesizer implements a whole new world of granular audio processing. Instead of having memory banks of recorded sounds for granular processing, Clouds focuses on real-time audio manipulation, providing left and right input channels for full stereo effects processing. Incoming audio is saved into a buffer and is accessible through little pieces of the sound, called grains. These grains can be layered upon each other to create rich textures, similar to the water vapor in the sky coalescing into clouds. The density of the texture is manipulatable with the density control knob, and is independently controllable from the texture grain envelope, as well as the grain size and position in the audio buffer. The audio buffer can capture up to 8 seconds of audio (at the lowest audio quality settings), and up to 1 second of audio at the highest audio quality settings.
Other surprises have been packed into Clouds, including a looping delay, and pitch-shift as well as time-stretching modes. It even contains a spectral buffer with freeze and glitch options.
This is just the main program of Clouds. Because it is a digital module, three other programs are accessible from a factory standard Clouds, and with the Clouds Parasite program, six different "modules" are available, with more being invented by ingenius users.
Mutable Instruments Clouds Features
- Recording buffer duration: 1s (32kHz, 16-bit, stereo) to 8s (16kHz, 8-bit Q-law, mono). 4 quality settings.
- Grain size: 16ms to 1s.
- Maximum number of concurrent grains: 40 to 60 depending on recording buffer resolution.
- Grain generation time-base: periodical, randomized, or externally clocked.
- Grain envelopes: continuously variable between boxcar, triangle, Hann.
- Playback modes: granular, microlooper/buffer-lock, time-domain pitch-shifter/time-stretcher (WSOLA).
- 4-AP diffuser to post-process the granularized signal.
- Post processing (blending) settings: dry/wet balance, random panning amount, feedback amount, reverb amount.
- 4 memory locations for "frozen" recording buffers.
- Stereo inputs and outputs.
- 1V/Oct input for pitch control.
- Freeze button and CV input.
In this demo we fed live electric guitar though Mutable Music Things Ears for amplification, and then fed that into Clouds. We took modulation coming from Frames in Sequencer mode and Peaks in LFO mode to modulate all the parameters of Clouds.
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- Input impedances: 100k.
- CV range: +/- 5V. CVs outside of this range are simply clipped.
- Internal processing: 32kHz, 32-bit floating point. RAM Recording buffer uses 16-bit (high quality) or 8-bit µ-law (low quality) resolution.
- Open-source hardware and firmware.
- Easy firmware updates through an audio interface.
- Cortex-M4 ARM processor.
- Current consumption: +12V: 120mA ; -12V: 10mA.
- Head in the Clouds Review by Atmos-fear
I ended building a DIY Clouds after purchasing one, though I’d recommend against attempting to do the same unless you have a lot of experience building projects that involve surface mount components. Having multiple clouds in your modular setup is nothing short of amazing though. (Posted on 6/14/16)