Mutable Instruments Blades is a fully analog dual multimode filter paired with a wave folding overdrive circuit that forms it to a unique multi-functional module.
The year 2020 is almost finished but only almost.
Mutable Instruments today surprisingly presented a new module. Blades is Emilie Gillet’s take on the dual analog filter and this has a lot of neat features that make it unique. It is based on two clean 2-pole (12db/octave) self-oscillating multimode filters supercharged with a CV-controlled 2-stage overdrive circuit capable of wavefolding.
Mutable Instruments Blades
One thing is certain. Blades does not join the large number of new stereo analog filters of 2020. Emilie’s new exciting development takes a different route. It’s mainly a multi-function module for advanced filtering, mixing, and distorting signals. A highlight here is that you are not limited to a filter setup. Mutable Instruments has designed and optimized its new dual filter design so that you have everything in one module.
Emilie takes away the decision whether to use a fixed filter setting (lowpass or highpass) or in serial or parallel. All this is melted in a continuum ready to be explored at the twist of a knob or with CV. This opens up new filtering possibilities.
The filter response is continuously variable between low-pass, band-pass and high-pass, and delivers intermediate shelving responses, for more nuanced spectral coloring. Thanks to a built-in dual crossfader circuit, you can route between the two filters to smoothly vary from single to parallel to series.
Blades is not just a dual “stereo” analog filter. It’s a multi-functional module. Besides filtering, it can act as a dual distortion unit with spectral control. Great to add character to your signals. It also works as an oscillator mixer with crossfading, wavefolding, and filtering capabilities. Useful to merge signals, add character, and move them in new sonic directions.
Both filters are self-oscillating and clean across the audio range. This means you can also use it as a voice module. Here, the first filter acts as an oscillator including distorting/folding. The second remains here a filter. It also works as a complex oscillator with FM, PM, and AM. Everything possible in one module. How it works depends on how you patch it. The faceplate has a clever layout, offers hands-on control and a lot of CV power.
The module is fully analog and is based on the V2164 quad VCA chip. Interestingly, Mutable Instruments clearly indicates that it is not a stereo module, although it has two inputs for signals. Yes, that’s just a mini part of it. It has more clever routing options such as easier distribution in the stereo image.
An extremely exciting filter at a glance, possibly also the filter module of the year 2020. Especially because it shows that you don’t have to do the same thing over and over, but can also innovate in the filter market. Brilliant job Emilie!
Mutable Instruments Blades is available now for 299€/$359 USD.
More information here: Mutable Instruments
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