Mutable Instruments has introduced Anushri – a new DIY monosynth that they say is ‘like no other’.
In addition to its analog VCO/VCF/VCA and digital modulation sources, it includes a fun and immediate note sequencer with step-by-step recording, and a gritty 8-bit drum machine with a ‘truly original’ control interface.
- Raw analog power – Anushri’s audio generation and processing chain is analog. The main sound source is a VCO with sawtooth and pulse-width waveforms, coupled with a sub-oscillator – a simple formula that made the success of the Roland SH-101 and MC-202. Following the VCO comes a multimode VCF, whose 12dB/octave slope provides a refreshing change from the rounder and cleaner 24dB/octave Moog-style filters. The band-pass and high-pass modes provide additional filtering flavors. Anushri’s secret weapon of sonic destruction is a switchable fuzz circuit inserted between the VCF and VCA – which bring a heavy dose of nasty distortion.
- A digital twist – The VCO is enriched with an auxiliary digital oscillator, which can be used as a FM source, a sync signal generator, or an additional detuned audio source for fattening the VCO sound. This brings many of the sonic benefits of a dual-VCO setup, while keeping the construction simple enough for a DIY project.
- Built-in sequencer and arpeggiator – Anushri’s built-in arpeggiator easily transform chords into complex basslines and acid patterns with accent and slides. The built-in sequencer offers a ‘refreshingly simple interface': press rec, input notes on the MIDI keyboard or press the rest/tie buttons, press rec to finish, then start. The sequence can even be transposed from the keyboard.
- Built-in drum machine – Anushri comes with a built-in rhythm section, using 8-bit analog-style synthesis with integrated bit-crusher. Original in interface, too, since it is “programmed”, or rather sculpted with knobs rather than x0x style switches and LEDs. How does it work? 2 knobs control morphing through different structures of drum patterns, and 3 knobs control how sparse/dense the pattern is for bass drum/snare drum/hi-hat, allowing you to create fills and variations at the twist of a knob.
- Modular capabilities – In addition to its standard 6.35mm audio output / input, and MIDI connector (with sequencer/drum machine output), Anushri comes with twelve 3.5mm I/O connectors on its front panel, for easy integration with a modular setup. Filter the drum section through an external unit, route the VCO CV to a second VCO and bring back the signal to the mixer; or add extra modulations on VCF, VCA, VCO frequency and pulse-width…
- Eurorack – Anushri can even be easily mounted behind a 42HP Eurorack panel, and accepts power from a standard 2×5 pins connector.
- Open – With its open source software and hardware, the availability of CV connections and extra shift register pins on the PCB, and its case/board layout leaving enough room for mezzanine expansion boards, Anushri is a good project for developing mods. Another VCO? An analog drum section? Extra trigger/gate I/O? Surprise us!
Here are Anushri audio demos:
Here’s another demo:
The Anushri is available now as barebone PCBs, starting at €50.00, and as a full kit (minus enclosure) for €199.00. See the MI site for details.