Mutable Instruments Beads A ‘Reinvention’ Of Popular Clouds Module

Mutable Instruments today introduced Beads, described as the ‘reinvention’ of the popular Clouds Eurorack ‘texture synthesizer’.

The new module is redeisgned from the ground up to provide a broader sound palette, more control, better playability, and direct access to new features.

Beads’ improved specifications allow for higher audio quality, a longer buffer, the use of better interpolation and anti-aliasing algorithms, and for key DSP blocks to run at a faster rate.

Granular processing can also now go into new territory, such as formants, wavetables, hard-sync-like sounds, or crispy noise.

Here’s what else is new:

  • Parameter response to the turn of a knob or a CV modulation bas been refined, with new possibilities such as reverse playback or percussive envelopes.
    Control – To trigger or schedule grains, Beads provides new features to divide or randomize an external clock or trigger stream, spray bursts of grains in response to a gate, or get the grain rate to track a V/O CV or the frequency of an external oscillator.
  • Chaos – Each key parameter of a grain comes with its own ‘attenurandomizer’, which allows direct CV control, CV control of the randomization (spread) of this parameter, or internal randomization using some of Marbles’ algorithms.
  • Character – Beads provides four audio quality settings, which go well beyond buffer sample rate and bit-depth: they affect the clock of the converters, the amplitude limiting and saturation of the signal path, the tone of the reverb, and additional media-emulation effects.
  • Beads can operate as a delay without the need to switch to a different mode: just ask it to play a never-ending grain. Its DENSITY, TIME and SEED controls are repurposed to allow various features such as tap-tempo, beat slicing, time-stretching, or comb-filtering at rates tracking V/O.
  • Without any audio input, Beads will granularize 8 internal banks of wavetables.
  • All parameters have a dedicated knob.

Here are some hands-on demos of the Mutable Instruments’ Beads Eurorack module:

Pricing and Availability

The Mutable Instruments Beads is priced at €299 / $359 USD. See the MI site for details.

Videos via midcentury modular, Tom Leclerc and Robin Rimbaud

11 thoughts on “Mutable Instruments Beads A ‘Reinvention’ Of Popular Clouds Module

  1. Don’t like the small pot for dry/wet control. But overall this is a hit) What I don’t get yet is if it makes Clouds obsolete, i.e. surpasses it in all ways.

    1. In my opinion it does. I loved my Clouds before I sold it, but my biggest gripe was it’s somewhat lo-fi audio quality. The new demos of Beads sound much clearer to me.

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