Eurorack Losing One Of Its Most Influential Companies, Mutable Instruments

Mutable Instruments’ Émilie Gillet recently announced that there will be no new modules from the company and that production of the existing modules is ending.

Mutable Instruments has been one of the most influential manufacturers in Eurorack over the last decade, with thoughtful module designs that are technically brilliant, aesthetically gorgeous and great sounding. Gillet transformed people’s racks and transformed the types of music synthesists make with modular synthesizers.

On the official Mutable Instruments forum, Gillet posted:

“No new module is in preparation. Beads is the last module I designed, back in 2019.

Existing modules are going to be discontinued one after the other, when depends on hard to predict supply, production and sales patterns.

I won’t design new modules and production is progressively stopping. Modules are marked as discontinued when the last shipment is sent to dealers. I can’t predict when it happens as it depends on how fast a batch is made, and how fast it gets sold. It might happen in a week, in a month or in a quarter 175. There is no easter egg, no plot twist, no teaser.”

Gillet has hinted at these plans before. But the recent posts confirm that Mutable Instruments is shutting down production, and that Gillet plans to stop working in the area of music technology.

59 thoughts on “Eurorack Losing One Of Its Most Influential Companies, Mutable Instruments

    1. Émilie is not a “he”.

      Those of us who care to pay attention aren’t learning anything new here.

      She has told us many times that Beads would be the end.

      1. Not to split hairs here but it’s Sicilian (same difference I guess) but I’m gonna throw in the towel here because I won’t be a party to pretentious moderators who perceive previous comments as personal attacks and delete’m when they are clearly not in any way, shape or form where their content was grossly misinterpreted & construed to the point of amateur silliness kids good bye Synthtopia should’ve known better than to try to involve myself with this evocatively):-:(

  1. So Sad! What a wonderful ingenious company! I understand of course! Best of luck to all of them! I’ll miss there ingenuity!

    Thank you for all your wonderful work.

  2. Sorry had no clue not really into eurorack at all (I’m a Kurzweil guy¡!) …just seeing the post made me wonder why this person(apparently influential in it)was gettin out of this game which seems overglutted ATP but D-Ziam Bass on the Ytube is my favorite subscription (hope that’s the correct moniker) thanx dude

  3. Emillie created a lot of good hardware tools. then gave away all her code. now she is done and bows out.
    thats the way its’ done. i wont be racing to get the last of the modules because i didn’t race to get them the whole time they were out. i do have a few software versions of ported code and the devices sound great. some great work well deserved break and onto the next.

  4. If you noticed, the post doesn’t use pronouns, just the name even if it’s redundant. That’s my move, avoid gender pronouns all together cause even when you mean nothing by a mistake, it doesn’t matter. Be safe.

    1. Tell us more about these made up demons you’re fighting. Émilie has been one of the most influential figures in recent synth history. She will be missed.

    1. Exactly, honest mistake and I’m from this planet we call earth but I still don’t know who the hell she is geez my bad!? Guess I ‘m gettin’ educated here by u folks?!More power to ya dudes[ that a gender bias term tooo?¿]

    2. It doesn’t actually help that her name was retroactively changed in older posts about MI but then some of the male pronouns were left in.

      Also, names like Andrea and Simone etc. are common names for males southern Europe, so if this was an honest mistake, i for one completely understand the confusion.

  5. In the world I live in, there are a number of names that are used for either gender. It’s no surprise that someone might confuse them, especially where a different language is involved.

  6. You know a person that thinks of itself as male and that uses the name „Emma“ or some variation of that? ^^
    What language may that be?
    Neither Italian or Spanish.
    Spicola sounds Italian.

    1. Like the common French male name “Émile” you mean? Then again, the name is not derived from “Emma” at all, so the point is moot.

      Names like Simone and Andrea are used for both genders in the south of Europe, whereas here in the north those would be commonly female only. So I’d say Spicola’s confusion (if genuine) is understandable.

  7. I was never fond of mi designs, especially the preset synth modules but others liked them alot. I don’t know why she is getting out of the scene, but she doesn’t say so either, so there is not point in speculating…

    1. She made it pretty clear on multiple occasions that she was working towards disbanding MI and “getting out of the scene” because the scene and a significant portion of it’s members are toxic as fuck and the toll that was taking on her mental health simply wasn’t worth it.

  8. I really respect Émilie’s contribution to the music gear scene, such a rockstar. The open-source philosophy that she maintained throughout the project was inspiring, especially since her designs helped me with a couple of major DIY and gear making ventures I undertook. She was always very active on the mutable community forums and helped me get through some serious roadblocks I hit when I was building my own custom Alpha Juno controller; this was during the time she was developing the early euro-rack modules, so I’m so grateful she made time for helping novice gear makers on forums even during that busy schedule.

  9. Part of what reason?! I’m sorry but I think I missed the point of whatever’s goin’ on here I forgot even what I was commenting on originally forgive my naivety of a obvious eurorack pioneer & the cultural idioms & pitfalls that go along with it ATP I’m really just guessin’ se la vie kids

  10. I sent a couple of MI modules to Emilie for tweaking, which she did merely from the kindness of her heart, and she returned them to me at her own expense. I gather that she did this for customers quite often. So I can’t sing her praises enough. She has been one of the most forward-thinking Eurorack designers, with her feature-packed, beautiful modules, and I hope she does well in whatever field she enters now. The best of luck to her.

    1. She did the same for me. Fixed Stages for me after my cat knocked over my case. I offered to pay her for her time, but she refused. Instead, she sent me a bag of really nice cables with my repaired module.

  11. I do wonder, I know MI Code is open source, but I Gosh.. some modules are such Staples.. How long will they Live out in the world… Clone or otherwise? If the company and all of its current production is coming to a halt.. I wonder if anyone else will be able to make “copies” that include the original design elements ? or will those originals end up being relegated to Collectable artifacts that grow in value…. Like Fender guitars?

      1. With the glut of these devices available today l doubt there will be much fallout from MI going by the proverbial wayside folks?¿

    1. I severely doubt it ur gonna compare some flash in the pan eurorack company (MI) to Fender Guitars while ur at it why don’t U correlate’m with ARP or Oberheim which is even more of joke seriously come on man get a grip dude

      1. I kind of avoid them. Not that they are bad, but the sounds are already all over the place. ^^
        It’s kind of like preset sounds for modular now ^^

        1. Then you’re missing out, because there really isn’t such a thing as ‘the mutable instruments’ sound except for at most people who don’t know how to use more then the trigger input on rings or people who use clouds as an end of chain reverb.

          The idea that mutable instrument modules are like presets for modular is, imo, really dumb. Since when are filters, wavefolders, distortion, resonators, vcas, lfos, random, oscillators, attenuators, offsets, envelopes, sequencers or even granular ‘stuck’ to some specific sound? They’re entirely dependent on how you patch them and what you feed them. If you constantly feed them the same thing or patch th the se way: of course they will sound the same. If you haven’t used them and are just randomly judging based on YouTube videos of people jamming instead of actually trying to understand the module: dear lord why would you do that.

          In that sense, mutable instruments are no different from those from any if most manufacturers (would you say the same about make noise? Xaoc? doepfer? If not, why?) , I highly urge you to rethink this stance, because I can’t imagine it is based on actually interacting with the modules.

    2. Behringer have already knocked off Braids (Brains). Tubeohm is still producing kits of the earlier complete synths. The DIY world have made good use of the very generous open source code to make hardware reproductions of most of the modules and software versions are available for VCV rack, so Émile’s fantastic contributions to music will live on for some considerable time. Still going to be missed though.

  12. Well the silliness just absolutely abounds immensely now we’re going abdicate gold as an invaluable ivesticle comparable to synths (which btw contain more gold in them than one might think {contacts peripherals as such} at least half-way decent one’s do. Not like some cheap, clone knockoff don’t not to name names or initiate any personal attacks God forbid kids.

  13. in emilies tweet it doesn’t sound like existing modules are ending:

    Mutable instruments @mutable_instrum • 4h
    People. Please. Don’t freak out. I’m going to continue producing and selling
    whatever makes sense to stay in the catalog, and whatever entered the
    production pipeline earlier in the year. Providing support. Repairing stuff.
    It’s not like the website is going blank tomorrow.

    There’s a lot more details in the synth anatomy post for those who are interested in it.

  14. It feels like the end of an era. On the other hand the wonderful MI creations and designs will live on for a long time in some shape or form thanks to the generous open sourcing.

  15. I want to thank you Emiliè, for some of the modular worlds best modules. Most of my absolute favourite modules comes from your hands. It started with Elements, then Clouds. I quickly found that those two together was able to create an ensemble of instruments. I wish you luck in your new endeavours whatever they may be 🙂

    1. Nah, I doubt it. You’re internalizing. I think its one of those moments you can respect, when someone walks away on top. “Leave em wanting more”.

  16. I’m super grateful for what Émilie has contributed to music technology. While being sag about her leaving, I respect her decision and wish her all the best

  17. I’m not an eurorack user but i have followed the scene a bit last years. Sounds a bit like the same when Intellijel or Erica would announce to stop producing modules. So, realy pitty.

  18. Understandable, I guess the Eurorack wave is also soon over and when other companies clone your work and knock the price with 50 %, then you come to the question of “Is it worth to invest time and energy into this”?

    1. Agree. There was no way to sustain the business model when people started selling knockoffs of modules that were still in production for half the price. Note that the source files for Beads are still not public.

  19. OK, so one of he foremost (and most creative) eurorack producers announces they are leaving the market and all people can talk about is how they address themselves??? Give them a break and focus on the amazing work they’ve done for the modular community.

  20. Émilie designed some of the most satisfying Eurorack modules with signature character these past years. And I appreciate the open source code that keeps on giving from VCV rack style software to hardware clones. Émilie leaves us with her class-act legacy of showed how business can be done with care for customers, talented ingenuity and innovation, and remarkable dignity. Total respect for a life lived in service to our community.

  21. Mutable is legendary, a whole kind of ambient genre has been birthed out of ‘Rings into Clouds’ alone. they are one of the pillars of modular and will be sad to see them eventually go.

  22. Hopefully she doesn’t leave the synth world altogether, though she’s suggesting she will, but continues to collaborate with other makers.

  23. Plaits, Elements, and a few other will live on on Prologue, and a few other places. it they do a reasonable 2.0 even more can fit. beautiful work Émilie has done regardless of politics. best utility modules ever!

  24. Émilie’s approach to open source is admirable. It’s fun to pop open her designs and see how she achieved things; you can see the learning curve from a decade ago to now, as things became progressively more streamlined. It became a learning experience that we could all share, and she has always been quick to answer questions and take suggestions to heart.

    The dark side of open source is large, established companies have made significant profit from her work; Arturia based an instrument around her oscillator design, and Behringer flat-out copied her work. I don’t think either attributed her work, they definitely didn’t open source their versions.

    Anyway, enough doom and gloom. Her little company was a brilliant success and if it’s time for her to move on, I wish her the same success in her future endeavours.

  25. It must be hard to maintain a profitable tech company, especially after the pandemic. Mutable made some great stuff, and I hope she rides off into the sunset. 🙂

  26. I have the last version of Braids, I don’t understand the ‘Preset’ comment.

    Every patch I make with Braids as on oscillator always sounds different, due to modulation, processing, mixing and modular synthesis in general.

    Can see myself buying more, probably Braids

    1. It looks like some people are confused about how Mutables’ multi-function modules, like Braids, work.

      Some people see screens or read digital and think that you’re somehow ‘cheating’ and using presets in your modular, when modules like Braids are really just making intelligent use of your HP.

  27. After asking a few Eurorack dealers it was clear that the opensource business model was stumbling, with orders way down. Some dealers were even selling the clones or micro versions! Maybe the whole thing was kind of naive but it was also a gift to the world and they surely made millions of Euros over the years.

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