Generative Mutable Synth/Companion

Greetings, dear Sound Wizards. :mage:

I need your help, please.

I am in the process of assembling my first eurorack synth from scratch, and I’ve been magnetized to do it entirely with Mutable Instruments gear.

I’m envisioning a sort of “artificial intelligence musician”, to whom I simply feed a key and a tempo (or chord, scale or basic pattern) [e.g. via Beatstep Pro], and it then self-generates both an ethereal pad/drone, as well as shimmering bell-like bubbles of sound. :satellite:

I would then pick up the guitar and the bass, and jam together with the “thing”. Ambient, cinematic, emotive.

The simpler this rig could be, the better—and I’m wondering what the fundamental MI gear is to create it.

Thank you very much for your help! :raised_hands:

Nice writing.

Welcome to the cult!
I think what you need is Marbles: it has a mode where you can play a scale, or a series of notes and it delivers infinite variations of these notes (or you can “freeze” the variation and play with it if you like it) .

I can recommend you to check the manual or watch the divkid video about it. What you get is 3 different occurrences of your series of notes, with different length and tempo etc. Of course you have a clock input to sync with your beatstep.

If it is chords you want to sync, maybe you should check the Stages. But I’ll let someone more experienced than me talk about that. With the last firmware update (qiemem) I think it may play variations of multiple Cv inputs.

About sound sources, pads and bell-like bubbles of sound I guess you could try rings, plaits and clouds. Something like Marbles, Stages, Rings, Plaits, Clouds/Beads would be a good start.
Hope it helped
Good luck!

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If someone was to force me to choose the least possible modules in my case for this it’d be:

Marbles: Clock/brain/triggers/smooth and stepped voltage
Stages: 6x LFOs or 3 AD envelopes or etc. etc. etc.
Plaits: Solid and totally flexible voice duties
Rings: Just because I love Rings so much I’ve got 2 of them and never tire of what they can do
Blinds: Again a module I’ve got 2 of because they are so damn useful for VCAing audio or CV, attenuating, offsetting CVs etc.

Obviously there’s gaps there so the ‘correct’ answer is all the MI modules you can fit in and maybe some things like Pam’s New Workout, Quantum Rainbow 2 and maybe a couple of filters for different flavours but you could get very far on the 5 I picked I reckon (ymmv).

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The bare minimum: Marbles (for CV/Gate melody recording/freezing/shuffling), Plaits (as a self-contained synthesis voice), Beads (to create layers).

Beads can turn whatever melody Plaits generates into a mushy pad/drone, or reversely, create little glittery percussive echoes from a drone.

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You can try most of the Mutable Instruments modules for free on VCVrack. This way you can become aware of what each thing does and use that experience to flesh out how you would want to set up a live hardware Eurorack.

https://vcvrack.com/

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I love Marbles, so I can’t quite believe I’m saying this…

If you’re already thinking of using a Beatstep Pro to sequence things within a set scale (with added randomisation), then you might not even need one! The BSP can also provide an array of differently timed triggers from the drum tracks too.

I’d go with Plaits, Beads and Rings. Ideally with a Stages to modulate those three. So many ways to combine those to give you what you’re after.

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They certainly compliment each other, but personally I kept Marbles, got rid of of the BSP and got a Keystep instead.

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Thank you all very much for taking the time to plug into, filter and process my query.

You are all too kind.

I will start with the “bare minimum” suggested by @pichenettes [Marbles, Plaits, Beads].

I love it: Just 3 modules to get started in the world of synths.

I also have a note to add Rings and Stages in the future, once I’ve gotten familiarized with the first 3 modules.

Hey @Mutantmoments, I’d be very much interested in knowing your reasoning for switching the BSP for the Keystep. Care to share? Thank you!

Thank you for your warm, welcoming signal.

I will definitely watch/absorb divkid’s presentations once I have the real, tweak-able, learn-able synth in front of me. Amazing, time-saving, educational content. Thank you!

My whole life I’ve heard that “Portuguese people see with their hands”, and I’m now starting to believe it.

Yeah, I had a BSP, and then I bought Marbles… and a whole new world of self generating melodies opened up to me. Then I bought Grids and ended up using the BSP as a master clock.

The BSP is superb, but it’s not for me. So the Keystep is handy as a master clock and I can use the keyboards cv/gate to play my modular.

I’ve also got Euclidean Circles, Reb Tech Tonic, Frequency Central Little Melody, TINRS Tuesday and hopefully I’ll be adding a Stochastic Instruments Stochastic Inspiration Generator. I really love sequencers that give you instant gratification :wink:

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Thank you! :raised_hands:t3: Lots of great suggestions that expanded my horizons.

“Sequencers that give you instant gratification” is sounding very much like home to me.

Cheers!

Just to double-check:

It’s Beads that can both “turn melodies into pads, and create glittery percussive echoes from a drone”, correct?

And if so, can a single Beads module perform both actions at the same time?

Many thanks for your input! :raised_hands:t3:

What would you feed it as input? delodies or mrones?

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Another question, please, regarding the case for this synth:

When it comes to the PSU, is there any advantage to the Dopefer A-100 LC6 over the LC-3 (for powering the MI modules)?

Thank you! :sunny:

:exploding_head: :sunglasses:

Got it. Thank you!

You may as well check out the alternative firmware for Stages. The alternative firmware includes random/chaos generators, turing machines, extended functions for the lfo’s…

Stages can do so much depending on how you patch it (Serge like “patch-programing”)

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When it comes to PSU, you need to sum the overall mA of all your modules and see if your PSU can deliver that. I am not aware that MI modules are sensitive (noise) to different power supply’s.
LC6 or 3 is from my view more a question of how much you will expand in the future.

you could as well use a 4ms 60 pod (powerd). This would fit Marbels, Beads, Plaits and Stages.

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Thank you very much for this juicy information on Stages, @pelang. :sunny:

Regarding the PSU, Doepfer equips their bigger cases with their top-tier PSU [which they call “PSU3”], and their LC3 cases with a less advanced one [called “PSU2”].

Size-wise, the LC3 case seems perfect to me. But I’m unsure if its PSU is MI-friendly, so to speak, or if I should go for a case with a better PSU.

Thank you for your help! :raised_hands:t3:

your welcome. And yes, your right regarding the PSU. The LC3 runs with an external transformer… I have two Doepfer cases ( Doepfer A-100LC9v Low Cost Case) running fine with MI modules and more sensitive modules.

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…or a Pod 64, so Kinks will fit! Lotsa good stuff that’ll make magic out of Marbles modulations.

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