Mutable Instruments Beads A ‘Reinvention’ Of Popular Clouds Module

Mutable Instruments today introduced Beads, described as the ‘reinvention’ of the popular Clouds Eurorack ‘texture synthesizer’.

The new module is redeisgned from the ground up to provide a broader sound palette, more control, better playability, and direct access to new features.

Beads’ improved specifications allow for higher audio quality, a longer buffer, the use of better interpolation and anti-aliasing algorithms, and for key DSP blocks to run at a faster rate.

Granular processing can also now go into new territory, such as formants, wavetables, hard-sync-like sounds, or crispy noise.

Here’s what else is new:

  • Parameter response to the turn of a knob or a CV modulation bas been refined, with new possibilities such as reverse playback or percussive envelopes.
    Control – To trigger or schedule grains, Beads provides new features to divide or randomize an external clock or trigger stream, spray bursts of grains in response to a gate, or get the grain rate to track a V/O CV or the frequency of an external oscillator.
  • Chaos – Each key parameter of a grain comes with its own ‘attenurandomizer’, which allows direct CV control, CV control of the randomization (spread) of this parameter, or internal randomization using some of Marbles’ algorithms.
  • Character – Beads provides four audio quality settings, which go well beyond buffer sample rate and bit-depth: they affect the clock of the converters, the amplitude limiting and saturation of the signal path, the tone of the reverb, and additional media-emulation effects.
  • Beads can operate as a delay without the need to switch to a different mode: just ask it to play a never-ending grain. Its DENSITY, TIME and SEED controls are repurposed to allow various features such as tap-tempo, beat slicing, time-stretching, or comb-filtering at rates tracking V/O.
  • Without any audio input, Beads will granularize 8 internal banks of wavetables.
  • All parameters have a dedicated knob.

Here are some hands-on demos of the Mutable Instruments’ Beads Eurorack module:

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Pricing and Availability

The Mutable Instruments Beads is priced at €299 / $359 USD. See the MI site for details.

Videos via midcentury modular, Tom Leclerc and Robin Rimbaud

Beads is the new sequel to Mutable Instruments’ Clouds, and an instant classic – again

Mutable Instruments’ Clouds defined granular instruments even beyond the modular world. Beads – making a surprise debut today – is a brilliant-looking follow-up, retaining the design but improving almost every element.

Far from the gear addiction of endless racks, Clouds was just at home in a tiny skiff – a module even minimalists could dive deep inside. And part of what gave it that character was undoubtedly its clear, iconic panel design.

The first clever bit about Beads is that it doesn’t change that. But as these devices are effectively tiny computers, creator Émilie Gillet has re-spec’ed the device entirely and given what she describes as hardware and software “redesigned from the ground up.”

Quick review – the basic notion is again input, granular processing, output, with live control. You have the essential controls – time, density, pitch – but also unique size and shape controls. And then what makes this so necessarily a modular instrument, everything is patchable, in a layout anyone can immediately intuit.

So what does all the new computational brainpower mean for sound capabilities? Plenty:

Sound quality gets more depth, as DSP blocks run at a faster rate. So whereas the original was distinctively lo-fi, it seems the new creation is now optimized to the point of allowing more audio-rate possibilities and timbral versatility. “Now,” you say, “that’s fine, but wouldn’t I want to be able to choose?” Well –

Character settings let you choose audio quality settings. The clever twist here is that these apply to everything – from the specs, not only sample rate and bit depth, but “clock of the converters, the amplitude limiting and saturation of the signal path, the tone of the reverb, and additional media-emulation effects.”

New control features and chaos. You can do more with triggers and clock – dividing, randomizing, and adjusting grain rate with external inputs.

There’s an attenurandomizer (a hilarious but perfect term) – basically meaning you can control the randomization and random spread with a voltage input.

Now it’s a delay, too. Perfect for those aforementioned Eurorack minimalists, you can use DENSITY, TIME, and SEED controls for controlling this not only as a conventional granular effect processor, but also other beat slicing, time-stretching, comb filtering, even tap-tempo delay, etc.

It doesn’t need an input. There are eight internal banks of wavetables.

It just all looks so deep, but – here’s the part that makes it hardware and not software – so uniquely focused.

€299 / $359.

Full details:

Tom Leclerc goes in deep with an exploration, tutorial, and some lovely lovely sounds:

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And the legendary Scanner shows off “no input” operation – essentially, using the wavetable sources internally rather than patching in an external audio input:

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It’s not all beatless with this beauty:

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You can make some other wonderful sounds with that – including using these clever quality settings (“scorched cassette,” anyone? about how many of us feel at the moment…)

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Here’s an entire piece from Scanner, as well:

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This on top of Blades at the end of last year, an updated dual multimode filter, and Mutable Instruments is really on a roll…

Ben Böhmer recruits Panama for airy single ‘Weightless’

Ben Böhmer recruits Panama for airy single ‘Weightless’94097502 185191979606965 357155582148052934 N E1613489580480

Melodic house royalty Ben Böhmer is back with his second single of the new year. Featuring ethereal vocals from Panama, “Weightless” is another meticulously crafted Böhmer production starring celestial synth work at the forefront. Underneath the top melody, a hypnotic midrange synth and driving bassline give “Weightless” movement and purpose. Overall the track is a light and optimistic affair, reminiscent of Böhmer’s recent hot air baloon DJ set.

Ben Böhmer got his 2021 off to a roaring start in January with his first collaboration with Tinlicker, “Run Away” featuring Felix Raphael. “Weightless” is another first for the German star, marking his debut track released via Future Classic. Böhmer’s first live performance of his new single could come in May, when he is scheduled to perform in-person at Seismic Dance Event in Austin, Texas.

Featured image: Ben Böhmer/Instagram

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Pirate radio adverts from ‘84 – ‘93 broadcast on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: Listen

Pirate radio adverts from ‘84 – ‘93 were broadcast on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme earlier this week.

Last month, record label and NTS radio show Death Is Not The End released the first in a two-part series: ‘London Pirate Radio Adverts 1984​​-​​1993, Vol. 1’ comprised of adverts and idents broadcast on the capital’s pirate radio stations.

As part of a segment on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Monday (15th), excerpts of the compilation were broadcast, alongside an interview with DINTE label head, Luke Owen.

The compilation itself, which is also available on cassette, features over 40 individual audio clips, ranging from 13 seconds to over two minutes, catalogued with names such as ‘Rare Groove Champagne Party’, ‘Ladies Sunday Night Affair’, ‘Next To Tescos’, and ‘Ravers Dateline’.

You can hear the segment by listening to the show from 2:45:00 onwards here.

In the UK pirate radio played a pivotal role in the emergence of rave culture during the early-1990s, including laying down the roots of Rinse FM, the now-legal London-based station. Pirate culture also inspired the hit comedy show ‘People Just Do Nothing’, which has just had a US spin-off series confirmed.

Don’t miss it: SG Lewis’ ‘times’ – The Live Experience

Don’t miss it: SG Lewis’ ‘times’ – The Live ExperienceSG Lewis

Save the date, for February 19 belongs to SG Lewis, times, and times – The Live Experience.

With his debut album slated to land on February 19, the British multi-instrumentalist is setting his sights on times – The Live Experience, a livestream event that will find Lewis playing his LP for the very first time. Deriving inspiration from New York nightlife in the ’70s, in line with the album’s disco orientation, times – The Live Experience is the total package: Lewis’ pipes and live instrumentals, special guests, a post-show Q&A, and a host of surprises along the way.

times – The Live Experience will cater to SG Lewis lovers on both coasts with two showings: 8:00 p.m. EST and 8:00 p.m. PST. Watch the trailer for the event below, and secure your tickets to “the ultimate night in euphoric dance music” here.

Fans can also ready themselves for the conclusion of times‘ album rollout with the newly minted Mark Knight remix of Lewis’ “One More.” The Apple Music exclusive is available to stream below. In the meantime, Dancing Astronaut‘s interview with SG Lewis on times can be found here.

Featured image: Burak Cingi/Redferns

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Tiësto, MORTEN, CamelPhat, and more tapped for Tomorrowland One World Radio’s two-year anniversary takeover

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People of tomorrow, you won’t want to miss this.

In anticipation of Tomorrowland One World Radio‘s two-year anniversary, organizers have announced a weeklong birthday party featuring an intimate guest list of 50 acts. From February 15 – 21, Tiësto, MORTEN, CamelPhat, Matisse & Sadko, Gorgon City, Loud Luxury, and more will help One World Radio blow out the candles by assuming control of the Tomorrowland airwaves.

Each day, 10 DJs from the heady pool of 50 will guest on One World Radio for respective 30-minute sets, all of which will be accessible via the Tomorrowland app or Tomorrowland’s YouTube channel. The stints will subsequently be made available on Tomorrowland’s SoundCloud, with anniversary sets from EDX, Solardo, Cristoph, and Armin van Buuren, among others, already available.

Featured image: MORTEN/Instagram

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Watch a new documentary about the spirit of Ibiza this week

Doc’n Roll Festival have collaborated with House of Vans for a free screening

Amy Fielding

Tuesday, February 16, 2021 – 13:55

A new documentary about the spirit of Ibiza will be available to watch for free this weekend. 

Born Balearic: Jon Sa Trinxa and The Spirit of Ibiza, directed by Lily Rinae, is a 70-minute documentary centering around legendary DJ Jon Sa Trinxa, who has played records on the same Ibiza beach for over 25 years.

This weekend, in a collaboration between Doc’n Roll Festival and House of Vans, Born Balaeric will be available to watch for free online from 7PM this Friday 19th February for 48 hours. The online screening will be followed by a live Q&A with Jon Sa Trinxa, hosted by DJ Mag’s editor-in-chief, Carl Loben.

The documentary focuses on the community and cultural aspects of Ibiza, away from the madness of party towns such as San Antonio and Playa D’en Bossa, with the film featuring an international collective of creatives and thinkers impacted by Sa Trinxa’s music.

You can sign up here to view the documentary this weekend.

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Read our recent report on how COVID has affected promoters and DJs in Ibiza.

Grant and RUNN converge on self growth with new single, ‘Fix It’

Grant and RUNN converge on self growth with new single, ‘Fix It’Grant Press Shot E1613451672764

Grant and RUNN have come together for their second collaboration, transfixing with emotive new single, “Fix It.” The track follows the duo’s 2019 release “Contagious,” lifted from producer and multi instrumentalist Grant’s four-track EP, Wishes.

RUNN takes listeners on a journey centered on trying to fix the parts within a person that are broken, but not quite knowing how. Framed by a pop influenced production, the songstress’ vocals captivate the emotional message, blending with the track’s energetic identity for an undeniable catchiness.

RUNN, who is Dancing Astronaut‘s February Supernova, spoke about “Fix It” in an official release, sharing,

“‘Fix It’ is an honest look at the less than perfect parts within each of us. I feel like the last year has really been a year of growth personally, and in my relationships, and I wanted to capture that in this song. Grant and I both are hoping this song is encouraging to anyone going through something.”

“Fix It” is out now on Monstercat. Stream below, and stay tuned for RUNN’s Supernovas feature and accompanying Instagram takeover on February 25.

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Seth Hills cleverly evolves STMPD RCRDS selfhood with Vluarr and Lucas Ariel on ‘Calling Out’

Seth Hills cleverly evolves STMPD RCRDS selfhood with Vluarr and Lucas Ariel on ‘Calling Out’Screen Shot 2021 02 15 At 9.19.16 PM

Seth Hills has repeatedly solidified a case to be one of house music’s most rose-colored names, and after a five-course release menu in 2020, the STMPD RCRDS standout is masterfully airing out his evolution as he enters the new year. Partnering up beside fellow Dutchman Vluarr as well as Lucas Ariel, Seth Hills is unmasking ID number six out of ten from Martin Garrix‘s appointment at Tomorrowland’s digital countdown to 2021.

Perfectly and riotously self-described by Seth Hills himself as having a “sick melody” during STMPD RCRDS’ guessing-game video for the artists behind the IDs in the forenamed set, “Calling Out” showcases the unbounded growth of Hills’ production range and a discernible step outside his habitually more high-octane tone. After discovering Vluarr’s clever trap direction whilst at home during quarantine, Hills instantaneously knew their sounds would gratifyingly intertwine, rounding in Lucas Ariel for vocal backing on a bass-drilled, three-headed house delicacy.

Featured image: Seth Hills/Instagram

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KSHMR to unveil forthcoming album ‘Harmonica Andromeda’ at Insomniac’s Park ‘N Rave

KSHMR to unveil forthcoming album ‘Harmonica Andromeda’ at Insomniac’s Park ‘N RaveKshmr Rukes Djakarta Warehouse Project

Insomniac‘s Park ‘N Rave series has been the glue that’s held dance music devotees together over the past year. Offering a COVID-safe space for fans to get down, the series has delivered music from the likes of JOYRYDE, deadmau5, Wax Motif, and now KSHMR as he prepares to debut his upcoming album, Harmonica Andromeda.

Fans have not seen a full length from KSHMR since his 2016 freshman record, The Lion Across The Field, which pulls major influence from his Kashmiri-Indian heritage. His latest album single, “The World We Left Behind” features a similar style, this time tacking on five more years of production experience and rocketing KSHMR’s sound to new heights. Turning up the excitement in the electronic scene, KSHMR has been upfront in his proclamation that Harmonica Andromeda is his best work to date.

The Park ‘N Rave album premier is set to take place on the album’s release date, March 19, with an extra date on March 20, at NOS Events Center in San Bernardino, California. Tickets for the event can be found here and safety guidelines can be looked over here.

KSHMR to unveil forthcoming album ‘Harmonica Andromeda’ at Insomniac’s Park ‘N RavePnr 2021 Kshmr De Ka R01

Featured image: Rukes

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