Clouds Successor


#1

Like a lot of people, I’m very curious about how Cloud’s successor will turn out. I’ve been eyeing the Morphogene recently for its sos capabilities for performance (e.g. capturing loops in a manner that Cohen and Devine often employed). I’ve done something similar with Clouds with the freeze and mixing between full wet and dry in the past, although a larger buffer to scrub through would be welcomed. Then again, as per Olivier’s description of the unit, it’s not meant to be tape so perhaps the morphogene is the way to go.
Thoughts?


#2

I agree. In my understanding Clounds an PG/MG base on very different approaches – granular synthesis vs. musique concrète. Though of course with Clouds you can mimic what PG/MG does, but as you already notcied: not too good.

While MI is not keen to release modules which are basically already out there i wouldn’t expect Clouds mk2 (:sunglasses:) to fish in Morphagene waters.

Or: Is there something Morphagene couldn’t do that you want it to?


#3

Both units do what they do well. I was playing with the idea of capturing an extended piece of audio and layering which is a tried and true method for solo synthesists, so based on that, Morphagene is currently better equipped to this approach. Still, having Clouds and enjoying what it does, I may just wait to see if the freeze time is extended on the revision.


#4

I started my eurorack voyage with a Clouds. And not too long after I had the opportunity to buy a second one, which I instantly took advantage of. I also decided to pick up a Morphagene. At this point, I’m not sure I’ll be keeping the Morphagene. While it can record, it’s not nearly as integrated into the process as it is with Clouds-- and there have been several things I wanted to do with Morphagene that it seemed to fall short of.

On the other hand, I haven’t really explored setting up some kind of sequencing where it will bounce between record and playback in a useful manner. I wouldn’t say it incapable of it, but it’s not particularly straightforward as it is with Clouds. Also, trying to use a Morphagene as a triggerable sampler is not all that straightforward either. It can granularize, but easiest with pre-recorded, pre-prepared samples. And setting the splice points is difficult to do accurately as well-- in realtime it’s problematic and doing it on a computer beforehand isn’t well supported either. To try to get the splice points right every time for a live recording while recording the audio on the fly, isn’t really Morphagene’s forte I’d say.

All these things are possible but they’re not what I would call, convenient. In addition, it’s a bit finicky on the wav file format, not as forgiving as it should be. And the pitch control doesn’t support v/oct. In many ways it’s an overblown Radio Music. Or rather, a Radio Music is a poor-man’s Morphagene, that does about 90% of what I want out of such a device, and is completely open source Arduino so it’s quite hackable.

And what I’d like to see in a “better” clouds is bigger and multiple buffers, as well as more abilities in grain manipulation, such as combining grains from multiple independent buffers, assembling, selecting and overlapping them in more ways, etc…

I’ve just ordered a 4ms triggered sampler, which I think might provide better control and better wav compatibility as well as dual independent channels and simultaneous record capability. In my book, the jury is still out on the Morphagene-- if I find the 4ms can handle most of what I want to do I may very well sell off the Morphagene. But I can tell you I don’t plan on selling either of the two Clouds I have, and am very interested to see what MI comes up with next in that department. If it’s yet another Karplus-Strong/comb filter device, I may just pass on it, but if it does a better job at targeting grain synthesis, sign me up…

What I would like to see that none of these devices address as well as I would like is real-time granular ability. Morphagene may do granular a little better than the rest in some respects, but any “real-time” capability is clumsy to say the least. Actually, the 2hp Freez looks to be as good as anything in that regard and is way cheaper-- I’m planning on getting one or two of those once the dealers have them back in stock. And when I say “real-time,” I mean essentially, what Clouds does with the freeze/playback toggle, combined with its ability to chop up the buffer in interesting ways. When a device comes along that does more in terms of juggling grains while recording is in process, I’ll be right on board with that.

So at present, I haven’t yet given up on Morphagene. I’ve also got a Pamela’s New Workout on the way, which I think might be able to set up the kind of sequencing necessary to make better use of it. And once the triggered sampler is here as well, I’ll give them all some time and re-asess what I want to keep going forward. Certainly the Morphagene is a unique and interesting take on it, and given that, I’ll not dismiss it lightly. But as of yet, I’ve not found that it was the “go-to” module for anything other than random experimentation looking for lucky accidents. When I have a plan for what I want to do, I’ve found Morphagene so far, didn’t really make things any easier…

Sync


#5

Is it the only thing I do, really? There’s Elements (Full voice) and Rings (only the resonator). Why would there be any need for another module in that department?


#6

The Braids->Plaits transformation is already giving some good hints: higher audio quality (better hardware, smarter DSP algorithms), less mA/HP/€, very few button combos or navigation required, additional dimensions of control or settings going further or sounding better when they go further, removal of features that can be easily delegated to external modules or that are off-topic, a variety of behaviours or internal modulations that are intelligently chosen depending on what is patched and what is left unpatched…

Things that are not going to happen: SD-card/sampler-like behaviour (there are already tons of modules doing that… while the CPU/memory bandwidth-heavy mangling of a live audio stream is still rare), hours long buffers (hey, it has to be “scrubbable” with the POSITION knob!), and a UI-only upgrade like the Supercell (just like for Plaits, I’m rewriting everything from scratch and the code is so flexible and pretty now that it can be made to do new interesting things).


#7

Olivier, forgive the blunt question but is the new clouds gonna be released with the first group until june or is it coming in the second half of the year?


#8

I didn’t mean you/Mutable Instruments specifically. Please don’t take offense-- I recently got a Plonk, a Rainmaker & of course I already have two Clouds which can do KS as well- so I just happen to be up to my ears in plucked-string options.

Sync


#9

Re: Clouds replacement hints: Sounds good- I don’t need the SD card, I agree there-- and I generally like your take on things, like I said, the Clouds module is what pushed me over the edge to get into Eurorack. Up until I discovered that, the barrier to entry given the need for the rack and I/O to get going seemed not worth the expense.

So given what you’re saying, I fully expect to be an early adopter of the Clouds replacement. And I don’t have a Braids, but the Plaits is on my must-buy list, pretty much at the top. The only real question is if one will be enough for me, given my setup is oscillator-poor at the moment. I’ve been eyeing the Shapeshifter too, but I don’t favor huge kitchen-sink modules over smaller better focussed ones. Then again, morphing can push the boundaries nicely, which bigger modules might more readily provide. But I’m going to start with a Plaits and add from there…


#10

The processor used in Clouds 2 is not currently mass-manufactured by ST.


#11

I had a hunch the STM32H7 was gonna end up in your modules…


#12

Thanks for the feedback all.
Sync, it was interesting to hear your take on the Morphagene.
Eh, I’ll continue exploring what I’ve got and wait for the new Clouds module.


#13

There is no other eurorack module I’m looking forward to more than the Clouds successor! I sold my original version as I was broke, now I’m flush and want to be one of the first to own the new Clouds :smiley: Can I pre order directly from MI?


#14

Nope


#15

From the hints and rumours i’ve picked up here i doubt it will be released this year…
But that’s only my guessing of course


#16

I don’t sell direct (it’s much, much easier from an automation/accounting point of view to deal with the same set of 100- dealers who pay by wire transfer than an ever-growing collection of people).

And owing something to people who have given me their money puts an awful amount of pressure on me. What if I decide to postpone things to benefit from a new, improved processor? What if something wrong happens during production and everything is delayed by 6 months?


#17

There’s a great benefit to how small the modular market is: there are quite a few dealers that are very open and friendly with their customer base - I often chat with mine and have continued buying stuff from him (almost exclusively) for more than a year now. You could always try talking to your dealer to keep one aside for you :smiley:


#18

Thats what i do usually as well.
Erwin of RawVoltage in Vienna is an awesome guy who i consider my friend.
If theres some new stuff coming i want i just drop him a message asking to reserve one and im on the safe side :ok_hand:t2:


#19

Always wanted to check out RawVoltage since it’s one of the shops I could actually visit sometime (though two countries away). I also consider Jason from Signal Sounds to be a friend. Marbles was on hold for me even before I knew for sure what it was going to be, because I was speculating that I’ll like it a lot.


#20

@pichenettes, do you have an expectation for the width of the new module at this stage in development?