Easter Eggs & hidden modes in Mutable Instruments modules

While everyone is busy looking at NAMM, maybe Olivier can slip us a little something to help us towards Rings metaegg, I’m stumped.

MI Easter eggs turn up in all sorts of strange places…

This is just a quick demo (apologies for appalling iPhone video and sound) of work-in-progress on a port by Patrick Dowling (@pld) of the quadrature LFO code from the Mutable Instruments Frames module to Max Stadler’s excellent Ornament + Crime (O+C) DIY eurorack module. Patrick created an “app” framework for the module which allows several apps to be installed (currently five), and switched on the fly (only one app runs at a time) - details here. The “oscilloscope” display shows each of the four quadrature CV outputs in a quadrant of the OLED screen. More to be done on this app (including addition of CV control over LFO frequency and 3 of the 4 LFO parameters), but a nice demonstration of re-use of open-sourced code. Some aspects of the O+C hardware borrow from another Mutable Instruments module (Yarns) as well, and Braids quantiser and scales code is used in some of the other “apps” for O+C.

Porting the Lorenz attractor Easter egg code from Streams is an obvious next step, but the O+C platform should be suitable for implementation of a “Rossum” multi-segment envelope generator “app” as well, or rather, a quad multi-segment envelope generator.


Just an update on the other lives of Mutable Easter egg code: the Lorenz attractor code has been successfully ported to the O+C module mentioned and shown in the post above - in fact, two instances of the Lorenz generator, each with independent CV control over rate and rho. And although it isn’t Easter egg code, it is worth mentioning that the Peaks envelope generator code has also been ported as yet another “app” to the same module (O+C) by Patrick Dowling (@pld), complete with a very nifty graphical display of the envelope type and shape (which changes in real-time as the type (AD, AR, ASR, ADR, ADSR, ADSAR etc) and parameters (A, D, S and R) are adjusted). And yes, A to D at the top of the display in the photo below refer to the four independent channels - so four independent envelopes. Voltage control (4 channels) yet to be added.

Breaking news!

Rings: Secret Handshake

The real riddle (seriously, this one leads to the gold) is over on Soundcloud.

Sounds amazing, so rich! Very BoC.

Can’t wait to read what the sequence is to imitate this mode.

Hey, it sounds almost as good as this thing! :wink:

john_somatix> Can’t wait to read what the sequence is to initiate this mode.

The clues for the settings/sequence needed to trigger the Easter egg are in the poem (which I think has been composed for the purpose - extra props to @fourhexagons if it is a published poem, but googling suggests not, but I could be wrong).

Think I might have figured this out – perhaps someone in the know can chime in and confirm?

Based on the poem and image here: https://soundcloud.com/fourhexagons/rings-secret-handshake I believe it’s entirely related to knob positions.

First, set the knobs as follows:
Frequency: fully ccw
Structure: fully cw
Brightness: fully ccw
Damping: centre
Position: fully cw

Attenuator knobs as per the image:
Brightness: fully ccw
Frequency: fully cw
Damping: fully ccw
Structure: fully cw
Position: fully ccw

Once knobs are positioned, a long press on the polyphony button (the mode button seemingly works as well?) initiates an orange/red flashing pattern on both the polyphony and mode leds, and voila, some very nice organ/string machine sounds.

Another long press on polyphony/mode button initiates a red/green led sequence to exit.

Last but not least, there appear to be three different modes of organ/string machine accessed via the mode button!

@chrisharrisx, Olivier posted these notes about the 3 modes for the draw-bar organ Rings Easter egg on MW:

1 = fat chord (8 notes), but when a new chord starts (trigger on STRUM or a change on V/Oct), it cuts the previous chord.

2 = slimmer chord (6 notes), but when a new chord starts, the old chord can still be heard.

4 = even slimmer chord (3 notes), allowing several consecutive chords to overlap (very obvious with DAMPING near 3 o’clock).

Brightness scans through various arrangement of the drawbars, sorted by brightness. The available registers are 8’ “dark square”, 4’ “bright square”, 2’ “bright square”, 8’ saw, 4’ saw, 2’ saw. “dark square” and “bright square” are the round (low-passed square) and reedy (high-passed square) waveforms found in divider organs. Big big influence was the Roland RS-09. And disasterpeace. So yes, that’s 72 oscillators smile

Disasterpeace…definitely edgy.

Ah, thank you, @BennelongBicyclist. Missed that.

This was worth the wait – it sounds fantastic!

It’s not been mentioned over here, but there are alt modes of the Easter egg modes too, same procedure as normal to get to them.

@BennelongBicyclist, that would be amazing if I had just been able to find a published poem that ‘riddled’ the secret handshake. Would really make one wonder which came first, the chicken or the (Easter) egg.

And yeah, the clip was a total BoC ripoff. That wasn’t the intention, but it surely turned out that way. The chord voicing is from the chord tables I created for the egg. They were just pushed to Github for anyone interested in checking them out. Once the new firmware is officially released, I’ll probably post a chart in western musical notation comparing the original tables with mine.

Has anyone figured out what the alt modes for the easter egg in rings actually do? I see the leds flash but its hard to notice a big difference. It seems like it may just unlock slightly less harmonious chords like the alternate mode for the resonant string algorithm? I noticed that holding the left button also unlocks another mode, havent figured out what it does but it seems like the sound changes a little bit over time.



I’m fairly new to modular and only recently discovered the beauty that is MI :slight_smile: Elements was my first purchase and I was really interested in reading about the easter egg…followed the instructions and got my golden yolk. Only I began missing my blows and bows but I’ve found that if I repeat the process as suggested on the link to the muffwiggler thread it does not return to modal synthesis firmware. I’m trying not to panic. If any one can suggest it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!


I have a question: How difficult would it be to create, or has anyone by chance already created a firmware where Streams’ easter egg handshake isn’t so long? Would love to use the attractors with a more friendly interface…


I’ve put them in Peaks (added to Dead Man’s Catch) :slight_smile: - along with a load of other attractors… (I need to clean up the code and upload it to GitHub)

541-modular_mi_peaks 540-modular_mi_peaks


I don’t have an oscilloscope (yet!) so I put the coordinates from tides/easter_egg/plotter_program.h into a Processing sketch to draw out the plot. Nice image. :slight_smile:

I’ve just managed to get a Tides v1 secondhand so I think I’m going to play with this to see if I can do other things with the plotter code (high gate to start recording a shape, V/Oct and FM to record X and Y when a trigger comes in, low gate to stop recording a shape, maybe, I dunno? :slight_smile: ).

The actual Easter egg is that it’s a programming exercise :smiley:


Instead of just drawing the shape in Processing, I’ve now written a “fake” oscilloscope which draws the shape over time as well, based on your tides/plotter.cc code.

Was really fun to do, though I did have a few “umm, why is it doing that?!?” moments. :smiley:

I’m not sure if and how I should share the Processing sketch as (1) I don’t want to ruin the surprise for other people if they want to do something similar and (2) not sure how the licensing would work (e.g. if I should include the notice from the top of plotter.cc when / if I put the sketch on GitHub).

Anyway, thanks!

Thx mate