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Mutable Instruments Clouds Granular Modular Synth

Code: 224439    Manufacturer Part No: Clouds   
Mutable Instruments Clouds Granular Modular Synth Image

(5 reviews)


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€285.38 (euros)

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Clouds Granular Modular Synth description:

The Mutable Instruments Clouds Granular Modular Synth is a granular audio processor – with a couple of twists.

Unlike granular sample players, Clouds is focused on the realtime granularization of incoming audio signals, and the acquisition of textures from them.

Classic controls such as grain position, size, and pitch are provided. Clouds can superimpose many grains simultaneously (at least 40, depending on the CPU used by its other features) and thus create thick textures. Control over texture density, independently of grain size, is thus provided. An external trigger input allows grains to be seeded in sync with LFOs or rhythmic generators.

To provide a richer variety of timbres, Clouds allows the shape of the grain’s envelope to be morphed – from sharp rectangular edges to a smooth bell curve. In addition, a diffusion network can further dissolve the edges of grains into blurry textures.

Finally, to cover various applications of granular synthesis without the need for additional modules, Clouds’ comes with four “blending” settings for mixing and re-routing its output signal: dry/wet balance, random panning amount, feedback amount, and reverberation amount. Voltage control over one of those four parameters is possible.

Clouds’ delay memory ranges from 1s to 8s depending on audio quality settings.

Other surprises have been packed in Clouds, including alternative looping delay and pitch-shift/time-stretch modes… and a very strange spectral buffer freeze/glitch.

The main features of the Mutable Instruments Clouds Granular Modular Synth include:

  • Recording buffer duration: 1s (32kHz, 16-bit, stereo) to 8s (16kHz, 8-bit µ-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.
  • Freeze push-button.
  • Blending setting (or audio quality) selection button.
  • Load/save button.
  • Grain position, size and pitch knobs.
  • Input gain knob, -18dB to 6dB.
  • Grain density and texture knobs.
  • Multi-function “Blending mode” knob.
  • Buffer freeze gate input.
  • Grain generation trigger input.
  • Grain position CV.
  • Grain size CV.
  • Pitch-shifting/transposition 1V/Oct CV.
  • Dry/wet CV (or feedback, balance, reverb amount – depending on blend mode).
  • Grain density CV.
  • Grain texture/timbre CV.
  • 2-channel audio input (line-level, with pre-amplifier/attenuator).
  • 2-channel audio output (modular level)

MPN: Clouds

Manufacturer: Mutable Instruments

This page first created on: 16/10/2015

Customer Reviews

Expertise/Experience: Have a face.
Biggin Hill GB

Almost didn't get this because I was trying to stay purely analogue, so glad I decided to go for it, the most fun I have had on the modular so far! So useful in so many ways...

This customer purchased the product in June 2016

leeds GB

I know that the modular community tends to rave about this thing, but I guess I'm not the typical eurorack type - as a GRM tools user I'm already accustomed to this kind of effect, and in terms of sound, it's never going to compete with the various GRM plug ins. The sample rate and memory limitations mean that it doesn't have that crisp elegant feel, although it does seem to give you the option of slightly more lo-fi sounds.

However, where it does come into it's own is in terms of usability - being able to send CV to various parameters means that it's fairly simple to get evolving, semi rhythmic noises out of this thing, and I seem to be spending a lot of time just sitting in front of it waiting to see what happens next, especially when I send LFOs to the freeze control! As someone who's been using the GRM stuff in a multi channel environment, I've already wondered what it would be like to have two of these...

So -

Pros - very usable, a nice way to sprinkle a little digital sparkle into an analogue synth; well built; I can see it becoming rather habit forming...

Cons - sonically, it's not GRM tools; some of the controls are a bit vague, which I know can lead to happy accidents, but this means that manual reading is involved; it's pricy for a glorified delay pedal, so do make sure that the slightly gnomic interface is for you!

This customer purchased the product in February 2016


This module is a total war machine. Great fun to play about with a good for constructing a wall of noise.

This customer purchased the product in June 2017


Really incredible. Even as a relative modular beginner, I was able to get amazing sounding reverbs / delays / ambient soundscapes. Possible to use as a kind of wavetable/oscillator as well. Very playable as an effect at the end of a chain, or as a part of a more complex patch.... ecosystem...

This customer purchased the product in October 2016


I've only used it for a few hours and I can't get enough of it already. Processing Monomachine percussion makes instant Autechre!

This customer purchased the product in January 2017