Programmer, vs xt, vs multiple shruthis?

Hi Mutables-

I’m kinda new to this community, so I’m sure all this has been discussed many times before, but I’m having trouble finding where. Trying to figure out what the pros and cons are of trying to get my hands on/build a shruthi programmer version, xt, or simply get multiple shruthi.

I like the idea of multiple filters, and I read somewhere on here that you can fit up to three filter boards in a programmer version. How does that work? I’m guessing you just keep all the way open and no res on whichever one you don’t want ‘on’ at a given moment?

Also, how is the programmer diff from the xt? I notice from pics that the xt has a few more buttons as opposed to knobs, are there other substantive diffs, and has anyone found one or the other better in practice? Wtf is a jam button? I’m guessing the xt only allows for one filter board?

I’ve also read that you can control multiple shruthi’s from an xt and/or programmer’s controls via midi. True?

Thanks in advance for the input! The options are kinda baffling, despite very few of these things still in active production from MI.

While I’m at it, having trouble telling the real sonic diff between the diff 4 pole filters. I’d like to get one that sounds fat, warm, and Moogish, largely for bass and leads. Is that the 4P Mission, Tubeohm Transistor Ladder, or one of the other ones I’m not thinking of (ie: diode, SSM, IR, there’s lots of info on the other filters, these ones not so much)?

Fat and moogish is the ladder filter…
For a start just go for a simple SMR4 kit. I’m sure you’ll be really happy with it.
You don’t need the XT or the programmer it works really well without. You can always extend with a XT later. Don’t use multiple filterboards, use multiple shruthi’s!
The filters without much info are old obsolete designs. All the new designs do those things too, maybe even better and without the need for hard to get expensive vintage IC’s.

> I like the idea of multiple filters, and I read somewhere on here that you can fit up to three filter boards in a programmer version. How does that work?

It doesn’t work.

1/ The Shruthi is designed to send only one pair of cutoff / resonance control signals, so if you wanted to build a Shruthi with several filters, they would all have the same cutoff / resonance. So it would only make sense in a “send the same signals to different filters in parallel and use a switch to select the one you like best”.

2/ Most “advanced” filter boards (like the 4PM) require digital control signals sent by the control board - for configuring options like filter modes. So it’s impossible to use two or more “advanced” filter boards with a single control board.

3/ Some filter boards require specifically “skewed” CVs, so it’s not possible to use them in conjunction with another filter board.

As a result, there are very few filter board combinations that actually work - most of them being the SMR4 + another one.

It’s just SO much easier to build 2 or 3 Shruthis than to build half-working multiple filter boards monsters.

> Also, how is the programmer diff from the xt?

The programmer was born as an unofficial “hack”, so the hardware/software was very simple. Some of the limitations include:

  • only supports potentiometers (some parameter requiring you to scroll through a long list of values like the oscillator waveform are a bit difficult to adjust with pots).
  • slow refresh rate with firmware >= v1.00
  • requires wiring.

The last point can be seen as a huge advantage since it allows to build the synth into any kind of case you like - and lay out the controls as you wish.

The XT integrates everything on a single PCB, uses a more robust hardware/software design that allows for a faster scan rate, has some +/- switches for the parameters for which it makes sense, and does not require any messy wires.

> Wtf is a jam button?

It allows you to trigger notes / sequences / arpeggios without requiring an external MIDI keyboard.

> I’ve also read that you can control multiple shruthi’s from an xt and/or programmer’s controls via midi. True?

Yes.

Search for me, Randy Piscione, on Soundcloud if you want to hear a bunch of Shruthis. I have XTs and non but if you are building up a poly shruthi you really dont need an XT. They are easy to edit.

thanks so much for the in depth answers! I’m still a noob at diy/mutable related stuff, this was so helpful, and while I know all the answers are somewhere here on the forum, just scrolling through pages and pages looking for the right answer takes hours and even though you often don’t find it. many thanks for restating what must at this point be obvious to y’all, especially Olivier! :slight_smile: