Free Update For Mutable Instruments Plaits Adds DX7-Compatible 6-Operator FM Synth & More

Mutable Instruments has released a free firmware update for the Plaits that adds a DX7-compatible 6-Operator FM synth and 7 more synthesis models.

Here’s what’s new in the updated Plaits firmware:

  • Fixed a spurious retriggering of the internal envelope when entering/leaving the speech synthesis model.
  • Reduced the amount of software filtering on the TIMBRE and MORPH knobs, to increase their responsiveness.
  • Reduced the amount of hysteresis in the quantizer responsible for converting a voltage into discrete settings (for example, for model selection with the MODEL CV input, or chord selection with the HARMONICS knob and CV input). This makes the relationship between a voltage and a specific setting more consistent when controlled by a sequencer.
  • The filters used for band-limited wavetable synthesis have been improved, eliminating the amplitude drop observed for the highest notes.
  • The frequency range selector has a new mode: octaves. In this mode, the right button and FREQUENCY knob combo adjusts the root note, then the FREQUENCY knob transposes this root note up or down.
  • Pressing both buttons simultaneously for a short time enables or disables an alternative way of selecting a synthesis model: the first button selects the previous model, the second button the next one.

This new -/+ control scheme gives access to an orange bank of synthesis models for pitched sounds:

  • 1) Classic waveshapes with filter (HARMO: resonance and filter character – gentle 24dB/octave CCW, harsh 12dB/octave CW, TIMBRE: filter cutoff, MORPH: waveform and sub level, OUT: LP output, AUX: 12dB/octave HP output)\
  • 2) Phase distortion and modulation (HARMO: distortion frequency, TIMBRE: distortion amount, MORPH: distortion asymmetry, OUT: carrier is sync’ed (phase distortion), AUX: carrier is free-running (phase modulation)).
  • 3, 4, 5) 2-voice, 6-operator FM synth with 32 presets (HARMO: preset selection, TIMBRE: modulator(s) level, MORPH: envelope and modulation stretching/time-travel). The two voices are alternatively triggered whenever a trigger is received on the TRIG input. When the TRIG input is not patched, a single voice plays as a drone, and the MORPH knob allows time-travel along the envelopes and modulations. The LEVEL input is repurposed as a velocity control – controlling loudness or timbre depending on how each preset is programmed. Each model corresponds to a different bank of 32 presets among basses/synths, keyboards/plucked strings/percussions, organs/pads/strings/brass.
  • 6) Wave terrain synthesis with continuous interpolation between eight 2D terrains (HARMO: terrain, TIMBRE: path radius, MORPH: path offset, OUT: Direct terrain height (z), AUX: Terrain height interpreted as phase distortion (sin(y+z)).
  • 7) String machine emulation with stereo filter and chorus (HARMO: chord, TIMBRE: chorus/filter amount, MORPH: waveform, OUT: voices 1&3 predominantly, AUX: voices 2&4 predominantly).
  • 8) Four variable square voices for chords or arpeggios (HARMO: chord, TIMBRE: arpeggio type or chord inversion, MORPH: PW/Sync, OUT: square wave voices, AUX: NES triangle voice, TIMBRE attenuverter: envelope shape). Plug a trigger input to clock the arpeggiator.

The module can also now receive audio data on its TIMBRE input to load custom data into a synthesis model (only one synthesis model can be altered at a time). This new feature is available for the following models:

  • 6-operator FM: transfer of 32 custom patches in DX7 SysEx format. They will replace one of the built-in banks.
  • Wave terrain synthesis: transfer of a custom wave terrain.
  • Wavetable synthesis: transfer of 15 custom waveforms and customization of bank 4’s wave map.

The update is available now at the MI site.

17 thoughts on “Free Update For Mutable Instruments Plaits Adds DX7-Compatible 6-Operator FM Synth & More

  1. “6-operator FM: transfer of 32 custom patches in DX7 SysEx format. They will replace one of the built-in banks.”

    Can anyone give me an excuse why I shouldn’t get at least one?

    Is this something we might see on the million other Plaits clones as well?

      1. only if she publishes the code – new versions can change licensing. anyway, has not happened yet – Beads SW was never released either.

    1. Well, not an excuse to not get the update, because it’s great, but do note that it is 2-voice polyphony, so not like getting a whole DX7 in your Plaits.

      1. So what’s the ‘best’ module in euroland to chain a couple of these modules?

        I have a Reface DX + RDX which sounds awesome but that can’t handle dx7 patches.

      2. fwiw, a DX7 has a lot of weird buggy behavior folks expect now. a “DX7 6-op compatible synth”, says nothing other than it can eat DX7 patches, not whether it conforms to all the DX7 behavior we’ve grown to know and EXpect.

        as for me, I don’t really like much FM work, and I already have a TX816. Rather I prefer many other synthesis methods much better.

  2. i just got a 2nd Michigan Synth Works – Beehive like a week ago, for stereo sounds. This new firmware update is like a revelation. You can instantly tell some of the original banks are cleaned up and that 3rd tier is fantastic!! Even down to the new way you move through the banks is awesome (up and down instead of just down). So exciting!!

  3. 3rd (orange) bank (after Green & Red) is awesome!
    Update my clone form Antumbra and really love this 1.2 update…

    So… MI site is moved all Modules to ARCHIVE. No More actual modules and future production.

  4. It’s been on my list forever and something finally made me pull the trigger on one (non-clone) not two days ago. Destiny I guess – I had no idea about this (did anyone?) Nothing beats a bonus right off the bat! =]

    1. I have one real version, one on order to try these new modules out, and one Behringer Brains. I hope she releases the changes for this module, I would love to add some of them to my Prologue Plaits work. waveterrain looks like fun to play with polyphonically.

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