Plaits is the spiritual successor of Mutable Instruments’ best-selling voltage-controlled sound source, Braids. Not just a mkII version: its hardware and software have been redesigned from scratch.
Just like its predecessor, it offers direct access to a large palette of easily tweakable sounds, covering the whole gamut of synthesis techniques. What has changed is the interface: gone are the screen, menu system, hidden settings, and the long list of somewhat redundant synthesis models.
Thanks to additional CV inputs, and to the use of 3 timbre-shaping parameters per model, Plaits is straightforward to use, and much closer to the ideal of one synthesis technique = one model. What were fragmented islands of sound in Braids are now part of a continuum of sounds.
The module is very easy to use as a stand-alone voice or percussive source: its built-in low-pass gate allows the module to be operated without a VCF or VCA, and an internal decay envelope is normalled to some of the CV inputs.
Great care has been taken regarding audio quality, anti-aliasing, and CV interpolation, resulting in a richer, cleaner sound.
All this for less HP, mA, and €/$ than the original!
8 synthesis models for pitched sounds:
* Two detuned virtual analog oscillators with continuously variable waveforms.
* Variable slope triangle oscillator processed by a waveshaper and wavefolder.
* 2-operator FM with continuously variable feedback path.
* Two independently controllable formants modulated by a variable shape window (VOSIM, Pulsar, Grainlet, Casio CZ-style resonant filter…).
* 24-harmonic additive oscillator.
* Wavetable oscillator with four banks of 8×8 waves, with or without interpolation.
* Chord generator, with divide down string/organ emulation or wavetables.
* A collection of speech synthesis algorithms (formant filter, SAM, LPC), with phoneme control and formant shifting. Several banks of phonemes or segments of words are available.
8 synthesis models for noise and percussions:
* Granular sawtooth or sine oscillator, with variable grain density, duration and frequency randomization.
* Clocked noise processed by a variable shape resonant filter.
* 8 layers of dust/particle noise processed by resonators or all-pass filters.
* Extended Karplus-Strong (aka Rings’ red mode), excited by bursts of white noise or dust noise.
* Modal resonator (aka Rings’ green mode), excited by a mallet or dust noise.
* Analog kick drum emulation (two flavors).
* Analog snare drum emulation (two flavors).
* Analog high-hat emulation (two flavors).
I/O and controls:
* 2 model selection buttons, with 8 bicolor LEDs displaying the active model.
* Main frequency control, 8 octaves.
* Three dimensions of timbre control: harmonics, timbre, morph.
* Attenuverters for the timbre, morph, and frequency modulation CV inputs. These CV inputs are normalized to the internal envelope generator.
* Model selection, harmonics, timbre, morph, FM CV inputs.
* Main V/O CV input, with a large input range (-3V to +7V).
* Trigger input, triggering an internal D envelope, or the exciter for the physical/drum models.
* Level CV input, controlling the internal digital low-pass gate, or acting as an accent control for the physical/drum models.
* CV inputs: 100k input impedance, 4kHz, 16-bit.
* Audio outputs: 48kHz, 16-bit, DC-coupled.
* Cortex-M4 ARM processor.