Best Hardware Granular Samplers & Synthesizers!

9.Mutable Instruments Clouds

If you asked the Eurorack community in the last few years for a granular processor, one module was always mentioned: Clouds by Mutable Instruments. Clouds is not a granular sampler player like Nebulae or GXN but a realtime granularization tool for incoming audio signals that can create big amorphous textures.

The feature set is impressive: different grain modes: periodical, randomized or externally clocked, grain size from 16ms to 1s, up to 60 concurrent grains, transposition from -2 octaves to + 2 octaves, advanced grain envelope, CV inputs for all grain parameters, random panning, feedback and an internal reverb. It includes also a very handy freeze button with which users can freeze audio signals and dive deep in granular textures. These buffers can be stored and recalled in/from 4 memory slots.

What makes Clouds so interesting is its versatility. In addition to the official firmware of Mutable Instruments, users can also load other firmware to the module. One of the best known is Parasite from Matthias Puech that adds many new features to the module: Oliverb reverb, polyphonic resonator, more envelopes for the grains, smaller grains, and enhanced looping delay & time stretcher modes.

Not to forget is that Clouds is like all Mutable Instruments modules open source. Thus, musicians can assemble the module themselves in the DIY process.

The somewhat sad information at the end. Mutable Instruments announced early this year that Clouds will no longer be produced and no longer be continued. Whether a new Clouds will be released with new features is currently uncertain. But if you absolutely want to have the most popular granular tool for your Eurorack setup, you should keep an eye on the second hand offers, use replicas or even build one yourself.

But I’m almost sure that Mutable Instruments will create a new Clouds under a new name, size and with a lot of new features. Whether that be 2018 or 2019 is not yet known.

More information here: Mutable Instruments 

3 Comments

    • Yes! A pacarana or paca are still the most powerful granular synthesizers on this planet. And the symbolic sound implementation of granular synthesis sounds very good because of the technical background they have and how the algorithms are implemented on a real DSP plattform.

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