Beads - release announcement

I am curious as to what speed the built-in random(s) run at? Slow, medium, fast, etc…

Is the built-in random related to the current settings, or is it always running at the same speed?

Is there any way of influencing the speed of the built-in random?

Your question seems to imply that there exists somewhere in the module an internal random signal generated with some properties (like rate or speed).

This is not the case.

Whenever a grain starts, and if the attenurandomizers are set at positions that require some randomness, a random value is sampled. The notion of a “speed” for this random signal doesn’t matter because the grain parameters are never modulated continuously: they are just selected at the beginning of the grain, and stay constant over the duration of the grain.


Great, I get it now. This had been puzzling me.

Ben’s video is great but doesn’t he make a mistake with the attenurandomizers (at 4’44 and further in the video) ? The uniform/peaky randomization knob direction is inverted compared to the manual (or the graph as I understood it).
I pointed out in comment but want to be sure I correctly understood those awesome attenurandomizers.


I noticed that too. It sounded like he just mixed up the words “peaky” and “uniform”, because the graphics and written descriptions for each direction were correct.

Maybe it’s just a semantic confusion. I could imagine someone interpreting “peaky” as “more extremes”, and uniform as “more balanced” (whereas I understand “peaky” as “having a central probability peak” and “uniform” as “random across the entire range”).


Ah! I thought I myself had gotten that wrong. Thanks for pointing that out.

Morphagene breaths a sigh of relief in the background.

Yeah I figured it was something like needing to fill the buffer. Not complaining. Just curious to how other devices work.

Didn’t think it worked like that, so you can add multiple different freeze sessions into one. Interesting.

Mg lets you record however long you want, and cut that recording up to pieces which saves to different buffers, from which you can choose in different ways.

It is quite different from beads, so if you have the space and finances, they compliment each other very nicely.

1 Like

They’re predicated on quite different definitions of granular synthesis.

Thinking about this, I think you could clock however long your sample is (either with pulses sent at the beginning while looping the sound or by tapping seed manually at the beginning and end. Then you could set the knob/attenurandomizer of time to only work within the bounds of the buffer.


ui, nooo, definitly not. …(cancel: I´m verry sorry then ! )
edit: i mean: please take my apologies then ! (better english :wink: )

edit: just saw the update, made my post obsolete

Thank you VERY much for taking care ! thats super awesome to hear !

This small excerpt looks quite interesting, what’s the title of the book?

A fantastic textbook from San Jose State University in the early 1970s.
“Electronic Music; Systems, Techniques and Controls”, by Allen Strange. For a long time it was the semi-unofficial manual for the Serge - at least we always pointed people in that direction when they asked about a manual. Long out of print now, with insane prices on the internet, but if you come across one, a really great book.



Hello. I just want to say thanks so much for all of your work. Just picked up Beads and I have to say it is easily one of my favorite pieces of music gear that I’ve owned.

I just noticed this. When something is fixed is there some way to update the module to apply the fix or does that mean it is only fixed for modules manufactured after the fix was made?

One other question. I noticed that if I leave something patched to the input but then leave it alone and don’t pass any audio through for a while (Maybe like 30sec to a min) then come back and try to play audio again, it will start super quiet, and then gradually go through the auto gain adjust over a period of maybe 10 seconds or so before it stabilizes. During this adjustment, the light doesn’t seem to blink as fast as it does when it initally calibrates after patching to the input jack but it does blink in response to each audio pulse.

I’m wondering if this is how it’s supposed to behave? Reading the manual it seemed like it should only go trhough the gain adjustment when I patch to the input or hold the A key.

Typically fixes like this are made as firmware updates, and a new version is made available to everyone via the Mutable website; you would then perform the software update on your previously purchased module, and reap all the benefits of the enhancements pinchenettes is working so hard to create for us.

Firmware updates for Beads will be available on the Beads page on the Mutable website.

1 Like

This is the intended behavior.

First thing first, the module can’t sense when you plug/unplug the cable on the other end. Only when you plug/unplug a cable in its inputs.

In addition to being activated with a fast response time during 5s when a patch cable is inserted in the module (visualized by a blinking LED), the autogain also remains active active all the time, although with a much, much slower response time.

1 Like

i have a question in regards to the feedback knob:
is this a Full CCW is 0% and full CW is 100% setup or anything other ?

i wonder, since i have to crank the knob usually to 2 or 3 o´clock (iirc) to get to be in the area where the things begin to happen.
while it feels like nothing would happen from noon to CCW.

also have i recognised that Ben used to set the feedback also to somewhere around 2-3 o´clock when he dialed in some Feedback (iirc).
it looks like noon is the zero point setting.

also was i never having porblems with full (problematicly) blooming Feedbacks.

some more insight about the whole feedback setup would be very welcome.

while i understand that each mode has another ffedback behave. …guess thats mainly some damping ?

Nothing happens… for the material and settings you are currently using!

But what about other input material or other settings?

Depending on the density of grains, their envelope, and the TIME setting, the output can have an amplitude almost equal to the input (like a delay), or an amplitude that is really small:

  • Case 1: If you have 400ms long grains with a bell envelope, seeded every 200ms, and if the input signal has a constant amplitude, the two grains will overlap and the output of the granular processor will have the same amplitude as the input.
  • Case 2: you send a ping every second, and seed a short grain every second with a TIME such that it catches the tail of the ping. Your output signal will be small.

As a consequence, I have taken three decisions for the feedback knob:

  • The feedback can go well over 1 (the maximum value is 3), to get a more pronounced effect in case the grains are too sparse or catch some material unrelated to the input.
  • In the case the grains end up being as loud as the input, there’s no point wasting 2/3 of the course of the knob to excessive feedback amounts. Thus, the response of the knob has been adjusted to have a quadratic law. At noon the feedback is 0.75.
  • Another consequence of allowing feedback above 1 is that something has to be in place to tame it. This something (a limiter, or soft clipping, or a limiter that distorts) depends on the quality setting.