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Mutable Instruments Elements is a whole new synthesis realm for Eurorack modular synths. It uses a synthesis technique called Modal Synthesis, which attempts to physically model certain instruments by an exciter module being fed into a resonator module. The exciter part of the module is a complex noise generator that produces common types of noise:
All of these types of noises can be mixed, as well as modulated for a wide variety of natural noises.
The noise generated by the exciter can then be fed through the Resonator section, which also has physical models of resonator types ranging from harmonic type resonances, such as strings, to inharmonic type resonances like that of metal tubes, bells, or glass. The resonator type is controlled with the Geometry knob. The damping control decides how "resonant" the resonator section would be. At full resonance, it drones like a string being constantly bowed, or a horn being constantly blown. At lower levels, it will ring out like a bell or cymbal, and at its lowest level, provides some timbral character to the noise. The brightness control is a lowpass filter to apply a dampening if necessary.
The position control has a similar effect to changing the location of where the string is plucked, or where the drum was hit on the head. More towards the end, or sides, gives higher harmonics more presence, with the fundamental slightly dulled, and as it moves more into the "sweet spot" of the instrument, resonates the fundamental with less higher harmonics. It has a built-in "wavetable" envelope, with many shapes internally saved. These envelopes are changed with the Contour knob, and triggered with either the Play button, or a gate input. The Space knob adjusts its stereo spread and reverb amount.
Due to the digital nature of Mutable Instruments Modules, Elements has the ability to be reprogrammed. These programs include other resonator types (modeled from those of the Rings module), as well as a Dual Operator Mono FM synth voice called Ominous Mode. See Mutable Instruments website for more details.