A little heads up - what's next at Mutable Instruments

After careful considerations, I have decided to progressively ramp down the production of most of Mutable Instruments’ DIY line.

The reasons

  • Some of these products are getting old and/or are not as successful as I thought they would be, and it doesn’t make much sense to keep them in inventory when only a couple units are sold in a month - while their cost has been decided at a time they were produced in batches of 100s.
  • There’s little overlap in the way Mutable Instruments’ as a maker of modules, and Mutable Instruments’ as a maker of DIY kits operate; to the point that it really feels like I’m running two companies; dealing with two groups of suppliers, two ways of managing accounting or keeping track of stock etc. Some decisions related to growth (small things like formalizing procedures through software, or big things like relocating or hiring…) can’t really be done in a way that would serve both missions. I have reached a size at which a choice must be made, and the ratio of things I like to do / annoyances is lower when it comes to the kit business.
  • I no longer agree with some of the design decisions (be they aesthetic or technical) defining these products. It just feels wrong to me to sell products I would not personally buy.
  • I’d like to explore a few (non-music and/or non-electronics and/or non-DIY) projects and I badly need to make room in my life for that.

The consequences

I do not plan to produce new batches of the following products:

  • MIDIpal. There are currently 55 units left in stock. I’m keeping a small stash to serve warranty requests. As time passes, I’ll get rid of them (without warranty).
  • Shruthi XT kits. There are currently about 50 kits left in stock.
  • Anushri (as a kit and as a PCB set). There are currently about 100 kits left in stock. I only have 40 Euro panel sets, so I might do a small run of them to prevent the last kits from being sold naked.
  • Shruthi filter boards. I have in stock (or on order for the Polivoks and Yellow magic) about 50 pairs of filter boards. The digital filter board is already out of production.
  • Ambika (as a kit and as bare PCBs). I currently have 50 kits being sorted, which will be available as a bundle with Adrian’s case in november or early december. I still have a big stash of PCBs - so this one will take more time to disappear.

I do plan to produce new batches of the following products:

  • Shruthi kit. There’s really nothing quite like this little beast. I might narrow it down to one or two flavors (like vanilla = kit+plexi case and vanilla-caramel-choco-chips-cookie-dough = 4PM kit + metal case).

The fate of the following products is unknown:

  • CVpal.
  • Module tester.

This forum will continue to exist of course!

And after that?

Some of you might want to organize mini-runs of PCBs on this forum to keep one of these products alive - just as it has been done for the sidekick. I’m fine with that, but obviously I won’t provide any support. Keeping the DIY line alive through a commercial initiative is something that requires more thought. If this happens, and I am currently exploring several paths for this to happen, this has to be done in a way that does not involve the Mutable Instruments name, or only as a sort of quote or tribute.

The business is yours to do as you feel necessary, and I appreciate you sharing your insights with the forum. I’m also not surprised you are going in this direction, it seems like the only way to really grow your business and make a nice living for yourself and your family.


Can we keep the forum? :wink:

“This forum will continue to exist of course!”

Good open-source products, whether they are software or hardware, or both as in the case of the Mutable Instruments products, never completely die. They persist as spores in cloned Git repositories forever, and someone, somewhere, will always be bringing one of them back to life.

Can’t say that I’m surprised, but I guess my resistance to change and fun times in past makes me a bit nostalgic. That said, I think and hope that this move gives you more time and space to pursue the modular stuff, other interests and gives you time for your family.

At any rate, thanks for the fun times and the DIY products you brought to the table! I hope and trust some great modular goodness will see continue to see the light of day :slight_smile:

“I have reached a size at which a choice must be made”

Which in itself is something you should be very proud and happy about !

With the Sidekick as an example, you’ve seen that your designs won’t die, even if you stop selling the PCBs etc. yourself. So the choice should not be seen as too hard, especially if you keep the forum going (thanks for that !).

Good decision!
Long live Mutable Instruments… Can we throw a goodbye party?

Can´t say I am surprised.

I think this is good for Olivier and, in the end for all of us too in a way.

I love that the Shruthi will live on, and I imagine there will be exciting new (maybe non-DIY) MI products down the pipeline that will take up all the time MI spent on supporting the DIY side of the business.

And I personally appreciate Pichenette´s openness on his future decisions.

@shiftr A “Goodbye DIY” song compo?

Well, there is no goodbye, the Shruthi lives on!

There is more than enough of a critical mass of heads to keep this going for a long time.

Yes i’m sure this will live for a long time! And hopefully it will even grow as there are still new filter boards being developed.
But we can have a party anyway :slight_smile: song compo sounds good! I hope to finally participate in one.

I’m not going to run any compo this time. Or maybe a modular noodle compo…

I’d be very up for a modular noodle compo… Maybe it’s nice for around christmas time.

Exciting times, indeed. Despite the shift in focus, I think this is a testament to Olivier’s hard work and dedication to his mission. The shruthi-1 lives on, as it should - quite a unique and amazing synth. The modular side of MI has been taking the world by storm, so it makes sense to focus the efforts there. I think we, as friends and consumers, will only benefit from this. Plus, there are so many helpful users here who can help with the troubleshooting of kits and DIY stuff. I know I appreciate it! Good luck, Olivier, I’m glad to be an observer during this moment of transition.

s. A modular noodle competition closer to Christmas would be cool. I should have enough modules in my modest case by then (and maybe even a clue about what to do with them)!

To me, very sad. I found MI from searches for DIY synths and have really enjoyed that aspect. Not being a Eurorack guy, there is not too much left for me :frowning:

I knew this was coming for some time.

The tipping point for me to officially recognize when the DIY would be limited was when someone replaced their diodes with “equivalent” wire.

I think the two Shruthi kits are a good idea. I say cut it back to just the 4PM personally.

I am very excited for the new projects. I can’t wait to see that new synth you hinted at in an interview earlier this year.

The end of an era and the beginning of a new one. I glad I took the plunge into DIY when I did and I am glad I hopped on the modular train. I’m sure this will continue to be a great DIY forum. Just ordered my last two Ambika filter boards.

I totally get this change, especially the business aspect. It’s quite clear that Olivier have made MI a well deserved success. From my egotistical perspective it’s a bit sad, since I’m not into modular stuff. I love the Ambika. Good to hear that the Shruthi will live on.