Mutable Instruments Clouds Review – Master of Granular Texture Effects

  • By: Thorsten Meyer
  • Date: Wednesday, 27 April 2022
  • Time to read: 5 min.

Mutable Instruments Clouds Review

One of the most anticipated new Eurorack module releases in 2019 is “Clouds 2”. In today’s review, we are looking at the popular Clouds module developed by Mutable Instruments. The module Clouds is a granular audio effect unit unmatched in the market. 

Granular audio effects are becoming increasingly popular in the world of music production, and the eurorack unit is a great way to add this type of effect to your arsenal. Unlike most other types of audio effects, granular effects operate on a very small scale, often manipulating individual grains of sound.

This can produce some really fascinating results, ranging from subtle shifts in timbre to complete sonic transformations. The eurorack unit is a great way to add granular audio effects to your setup, and it’s also relatively affordable compared to other options on the market.

If you’re looking for a way to add some new and unique sounds to your productions, a granular audio effect eurorack unit is definitely worth considering.

Mutable Instruments Clouds panel front
Mutable Instruments Clouds Review

Mutable Instruments is one of the most recognized and leading Eurorack boutique manufacturers. The company is known for innovative eurorack modules. The modules extend your rack with an extensive variety of functions at a fair price. Many Clouds versions are available as DIY modules.

For some of the most famous ones like the original Cloud the used market is the only way to get one.

All will change when “Clouds v2” launches in the future. Clouds as a Mutable Instrument module were terminated in 2017. Today it is still one of the most successful modules in Eurorack, original version or DIY based on Open Hardware. After the end of the sale of Clouds the used market stayed at relatively high prices for the original module.

DIY models have come down to a still medium to high price level Further developments like Grayscale Supercell are sold at a premium price. Émilie Gillet is Mutable Instruments’ product designer, hardware/software engineer, salesperson, and customer support representative in person – she is a genius.

Beads vs Clouds

Mutable Instruments has come out with a new module called “Beads” which is a reinvention of their Clouds module. The Clouds module was a granular audio effect unit that was unmatched in the market.

However, the company has discontinued sales of the module and has come out with a new version called Beads. The new Beads module is a bit more expensive than the Clouds module, but it offers a few new features that make it worth the extra money.

The Beads module offers two main modes of operation: Granular and Wavetable. In Granular mode, the Beads module acts like a traditional granular synth, with all of the controls present on the original Clouds module.

In Wavetable mode, the Beads module offers new features such as wave sequencing and granular synthesis. Overall, I would say that the Beads module is definitely worth checking out if you’re looking for a powerful granular Eurorack synth.

If you’re looking for a great granular synth, I would highly recommend checking out the Beads module from Mutable Instruments. It’s a bit more expensive than the Clouds module, but it offers a few new features that make it worth the extra money. Thanks for reading!

Mutable Instruments is one of the most recognized and leading Eurorack boutique manufacturers. The company is known for innovative eurorack modules. The modules extend your rack with an extensive variety of functions at a fair price.

Many Clouds versions are available as DIY modules. For some of the most famous ones like the original Cloud the used market is the only way to get one.

Mutable Instruments Clouds  – Sound

Mutable Instruments Clouds is a granular texture synthesizer supporting plenty of different modes. Clouds produce an instant granularization of the audio signal. The module transforms sound into shapeless textures.

The created Grains are adjustable in size, pitch, and envelope. Grains are extracted at controllable time offsets from the input signal.

Clouds over Bavaria

The module works excellent with many sound sources, I do regularly feed Rings, Black VCO, Rainmaker, and many distinct modules into Clouds. Even in my hybrid setup using AE Modular, Semi-Modular, and sound from the BOX (DAW) travels into Clouds.

When feeding a sound from Black VCO/Rings through my Rainmaker into Clouds combination, I get a perfect foundation for ambiance and pads sounds. 

Clouds Alternative Firmware

Besides the original Clouds firmware, you can also install Parasites and Kammerl. The new firmware adds new features to the module.

Some cases of bricking have been reported. Mutable Instruments will not support unbricking. A helpful Clouds Parasite V2.0 cheat sheet is also available. Supercell and similar modules like 1979’s (1979 is a brand/company name) version called Stereo Microsound Processor (Buchla Granular synthesis for 4U systems) are available at a premium price (1979 sells the unit for $850).

Clouds is already a processing module of a unique character. It receives the incoming signal and uses granular technology to produce new origins. Granular means breaking up sound into small tiny mini grains that are repeated.

In Clouds, you force the grains into new time slots and you halt the sample to obtain new sounds from the grains. Composer and professional sound designer create astonishing sounds with the module. To truly unlock the magic of this module you need to work with CV modulation—it’s a Eurorack module after all.

Clouds DIY Module
Clouds DIY Module

Conclusion

The Mutable Instruments Clouds module is a granular synth Eurorack module that is known for its innovative features and textures. The module can be used in Granular or Wavetable mode and offers a variety of controls to create unique sounds.

Mutable Instruments Clouds is a powerful new tool for sound design. With its unique combination of analog and digital processing, it offers a wealth of possibilities for shaping sound.

The hidden modes add even more depth and flexibility, providing an unprecedented level of control over the sonic spectrum. The stereo ins and outs allow for two-channel processing, giving you even more options for creating rich, lush soundscapes.

Whether you’re looking for new ways to bend sound or create unusual textures, Clouds is sure to become an essential part of your sonic arsenal.

Rating: Five Out of Five Stars

Mutable Instruments Clouds is a modern classic eurorack effect module that sounds like no other. Clouds is excellent for drones and textures. Many performers have an unabashed love for Clouds and it is an integral part of their musical performance setup.

I use two Cloud modules as my personal creativity booster. One full size and one with a smaller HP footprint.

When it comes to designing sounds with tons of character and depth, you can’t beat the Mutable Instruments Clouds multi-effect unit.

With a wealth of powerful controls and parameters right at your fingertips, Clouds makes it easy to dial in complex textures and malleable sounds that will inspire your musical creativity. Whether you’re looking for classic reverbs shimmery delay effects, truly unique sound design possibilities, or just about anything else in between, Clouds has got you covered.

And thanks to its built-in randomization features and deep editing options, there’s no limit to what you can create with this versatile effect unit. So why wait? Treat yourself to a truly top-notch mutable sonic experience with Clouds today!

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