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Today we’re applying some of the lessons of our previous Youtube videos to Mutable Instruments Braids to create evolving, glitchy drum sounds. Braids has become a one of the most popular digital oscillators in the modular sphere. With a huge collection of synthesis models and additional features, Braids is a formidable sound source. By employing a couple of these additional modes such as the internal Attack/Decay Envelope and the VCA, Braids morphs into a drum machine monster.
We’ve examined making Kick Drum sounds using an analog modular system, using a simple Attack/Decay Envelope to control the pitch on the Sputnik Oscillator as well as the Amplitude/Cutoff on the Make Noise Optomix. With this simple setup, we were able to generate some classic electronic Kick Drums as a starting point for our own sounds. We used that same routing model to transform the Roland Aira Scooper into a sort of Drum Machine and explored further creating FM Kick Drums in the Scooper, via the Aira Modular Customization app.
Now we’re using the same principles in Braids, enabling the internal VCA and Frequency Modulation functions to respond to the internal Envelope. Of course, the VCA makes it possible to control the Amplitude of the sound, while the FM mode allows for the envelope to control the Frequency (or Pitch).
In addition, we can enable Meta Mode, which refashions the FM input on the panel to control modulation of the different synthesis models in Braids, leaving the internal FM modulation to continue operating. This takes us directly towards some glitchy, Richard Devine -like results, sending the module flipping through wave shapes with exciting, possibly unexpected results. Sprinkle in some modulation (maybe some random voltages?) on the Timbre and Color controls, and Braids becomes capable of producing a vast array of complex percussive tones.
Mutable Instruments made a huge imprint on the modular market over the last couple of years. In 2015 alone, Mutable released some very popular modules, including Elements, Rings and of course, Warps (which we’ve written and made videos about before). With NAMM around the corner, there’s quite a bit of anticipation about what the French outfit will be announcing, especially considering the release of two major products within 2 months of the trade show.
If you’d like to follow our NAMM coverage, be sure to Follow us on Twitter at @VControlLab and Subscribe on Youtube to our Voltage Control Lab Channel. You might also want to Follow me on Instagram at @Computo, as I’ll be posting photos live from the show!
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