Announcing Anushri...
  • Mutable Instruments Anushri – a cheerful analog synth (that doesn’t suck at drums too)

    Analog synthesis

    • Analog VCO with saw and pulse waveforms, freely mixable.
    • Optional automatic VCO calibration in software for those who don’t like messing with trimmers.
    • -1 or -2 octaves sub-oscillator.
    • Auxiliary square oscillator (DCO) with accurate digital tuning. Can be mixed in the audio path, used as a FM modulator or as a sync master for the VCO (yes, it means “ewwwwwwiowwww” and “wongwong”).
    • 12dB/octave multimode filter, with smooth self-oscillation.
    • Post-filter overdrive/fuzz circuit.
    • Linear VCA.

    Modulation sources

    • 1 main ADSR envelope routable to pitch, pulse width, cutoff frequency.
    • 1 simple 1-parameter envelope (morphing through various stages, including the shape of the main ADSR, and a rigid “GATE” style envelope) routed to VCA.
    • Velocity routed to either cutoff frequency or VCA gain.
    • 1 LFO routable to pitch, pulse-width and cutoff frequency ; with 8 waveforms (triangle, square, ascending and descending ramps, S&H, bernouilli process, piecewise linear random process aka “autodubstep”, noise).
    • 1 triangle LFO for vibrato and/or growl.

    Arpeggiator and sequencer

    • Arpeggiator with 4 modes (up, down, up&down, random) ; 1 to 2 octaves ; 6 patterns.
    • SH-101-style note sequencer with step by step recording, up to 128 notes. Easy recording of pauses, ties, and glides.
    • Tempo set by internal clock with shuffle, external MIDI clock or external 6/12/24 ppqn trigger.

    Drum machine

    • Algorithmic drum pattern generator using an innovative “pattern sculpting” approach – allowing a large combination of drum patterns to be sculpted from 5 knobs.
    • Digital sound generation of BD / SD / HH with tone control.
    • Drum sounds can be freely triggered from an external sequencer using MIDI channel 10.


    • 10 pots and 4 switches for hands-on access to synthesis parameters.
    • 10 “software-pots” for editing modulations / arpeggiator / drum machine settings.
    • 3 dedicated navigation buttons (“modulations”, “arpeggiator / keyboard”, “drum machine”).
    • 3 dedicated sequencer buttons (“record”, “play”, “hold / rest”).


    • VCO CV in/out (Note: manual VCO calibration is required for accurate 1V/Oct I/O).
    • VCF CV in.
    • VCA CV in.
    • PWM CV in.
    • Gate signal in/out (5V level for output).
    • 24, 12 or 6 ppqn clock signal in/out (5V level for output).
    • Front panel external audio in.
    • External Audio in.
    • Drum machine individual out (inserting a jack there removes it from the main mix).
    • Audio out.
    • MIDI in/out (thru + arpeggiator and sequencer notes).
    • CC control over modulations and some of the digitally controlled synthesis parameters. Some parameters like filter resonance cannot be CC-controlled.


    • Remove main audio in / out and solder corresponding minijacks on PCB
    • Remove LT1054 and solder 2x5 power connector
    • Route MIDI in/out to front panel (if you want…). And that’s it!


    • DIY product (full kit)
    • Price < 200€ / kit
    • Available < October 2012

    Demo with drums
    Synth demos

  • TODO list:

    • Add VCA and PWM CV in if possible
    • Add sub level pot if possible
    • Add a 10th soft pot and implement cool features for it
    • Add a “hidden” way of programming a drum pattern for those who insists on it
    • Revise top panel layout
    • Make the boards assembly slimmer
    • Case!
    • Polish drum machine code. For now, HH is a sample, I’ll replace that with synthesis if possible. Drum generation engine was trained on ~ 48 bars of drum patterns, “the musical brain is learning”.
    • More tests!

    But we’re almost there, it’s cool :)

  • And for those who are wondering, the drum machine engine started as Eigendrums, except that EVD / PCA was not a good idea for dimensionality reduction. It was then “Kernel-PCA drums”, “Locally Linear Embedding drums”, and is now “Kohonen-Map Drums”.

  • sounds awesome. i didn`t dream about something that powerful after you wrote it would be a “dumb” machine

    this bites monotribes ass!

  • What ‘flavour’ is the filter? OTA?

  • And Eurorackable – c’est magnifique!


  • SSM2164 SVF

  • How the drum machine works:

    You have 9 knobs to control it.

    3 or them are “morphing” through different types of drum sounds for BD / SD / HH. Sort of a magic 1 button “tone control” that goes from 606 to 909 through all possible values including 734.

    1 of them is BD vs SD/HH xfade.

    2 of them are controlling the “genre” in which the drum engine improvises (yes it does fluctuate and add some random variations when it fancies). Technically, it’s the X/Y position on a Kohonen Map learned on a bank of 48 drum patterns that I recorded in a hurry thursday afternoon at 3 PM. Will train the model on more and better material later.

    3 of them control how much the pattern is “filled” with BD, SD and HH. Set to 0 and you have something with none of that instrument. Set to max and it’s 16th notes, with accent still emphasizing the original structure of the rhythm. Inbetween you have N “hits” of the instrument strategically distributed over the pattern under the genre constraint. It’s super easy to twist the knobs and make a pattern evolve with that.

  • Now this sounds like my kind of thing ;)
    Is it 1 device at a time? IE, Synth, or drum machine? Or can it do both simultaneously?
    Seems great either way though! Well done :)
    Audio demos soon?

  • Seems like you have a winner here. :) Very cool features!

  • Wow, I know where I’ll be dropping lots of cash this fall…

  • Updated post with link to audio demos. Yes, it’s a single device and it can do both. Drums are digital and MCU-generated ; Synth is analog with little CPU used whatsoever for it (except LFOs and envelopes).

  • anal eurorack question : is the audio out/synth out/drums out available on 3.5mm jack? Is it at 10v p2p?

  • Skynet built a CR-78…

  • I really like the audio demo’s! Thanks for posting them up so quick :)
    It sounds very nice to me. Some odd noise at about 2-30 in the first demo though? Like a crackling..
    I realise this is still “Work in progress” of course though.
    Im sure i’ll have to make me one of these.. Who knows, maybe it will even persuade me to have a go at a modular rig too.

  • @fleetway: for now the drums and the synth are mixed. I might change that if there is enough board. FYI, I added the drum machine mode only on thursday and this was not really part of the original plan. Had to do something with the spare CPU cycles! I actually had to hack the board a bit because the drums are going through a PWM pin that was assigned to something else originally :D

    Anyway, this is certainly not 10v pp since the whole thing works internally at +/- 5V.

  • @Luap: Try the new demo links. The files are hosted on my server, and they were compressed with lame and reasonable settings. Soundcloud compresses at 96 kbps or whatever and this doesn’t work well with VCO rawness.

  • I see this as a wonderful addon to my x0xb0x.

  • Wow.. In that case, what a great demonstration of how badly Soundcloud can fudge up an audio file! Your self hosted demos are much better, with none of that weird crackling I heard earlier.

    I hope it is only some features rather than the core sound that changes once this thing is finalised. Im liking it quite a lot as it is!

  • The things that will change are (ideally all) the additions listed in the TODO list. Nothing removed, nothing going to sound differently.

  • Will the drums be output to midi as well? Might be good for saving that perfect knob tweaking in a daw or in combination with Ambika and a drum voice card.

  • Yes, drum pattern is output to channel 10. I’ll find a way of making it possible to mute the drum pattern locally and still have it sent to MIDI.

  • I dont think my brain can absorb the information about the drum machine! I will try again later

  • more then i was hoping for! great! I will build a few of those….

  • Cowabunga! Mutable Instruments don’t do bad news but if they did, it would be the best damn bad news in the world.

  • After earing it today at modularsquare, I can tell you this one also sound great.
    It could have been one more analog single VCO monosynth but as it comes from Mutable Farm, Olivier added some nice features.
    The Aux DCO trick is so clever.
    Digital stable osc only used for syncing the pure analog VCO, hence bringing some quite interesting spectrum basis to feed the filter without digital osc artefact.

    The principle used for the build-in drum machine is also smart and not to find anywere else.

    Nice work !!!

  • edit: image problems? or bad taste censorship? (or is it my pc not showing Michael?)

  • To quote Gordon Ramsey:
    “F*cking F*ck!!!!”
    May I add an additional “F*ck” from myself?

    personally i’d like to name the drums “Jeff”

  • *problemswithvanilla

  • Yowza! Want!

  • And there goes my money… :) again.
    Fantastic work.
    The boxen are getting bigger and more numerous.
    This one sounds like its going to be loads of fun just noodleling around


  • So, if you build your own firmware, can you patch your own digital drum samples (as long as they stay within the format/length of the ori. samples of course)?

  • I used a 4kb sample for the hh and it just filled the whole chip, but it’ll go away once I have spent a few hours finding a way of doing it algorithmically. bd and sd are already synthesis (call it “analog drum modeling” if you want, it’s just 21 lines of code and lookup tables), there’s no reason I won’t make it work for hh too, unless I am tight on CPU time too – I haven’t profiled. You can mess with the synthesis parameters though. I think I will ultimately add support for in-depth editing of the drum synthesis through CCs – but this was not part of the plan – whatever plan it was since this feature was largely improvised. I wanted a drum section that plays along and you can “nudge” in some directions (hence the simple tone control and “gimme a pattern filled with 4 kicks and 2 snares that fits that mood” approach) ; not a drum section you micromanage.

    The point of Anushri is that it’s something you play with, and it surprises you. The synthesis engine can do weird things (highpass mode + distortion = WTF, pitch env+sync+subosc = WTF), the drum engine has a life of its own. Once in a while the randomization goes over the board and you end up with a short fill in the middle of pattern and you’re like “hmmm okay!”. I was thinking of using something like the chip serial number so that machine has slightly differently calibrated drum sounds.

  • WTF? I can’t keep up with this? There’s a new release every ten minutes around here?

    This is exactly the kind of thing I was looking for Olivier. You must have guessed it from some of the other threads. I can’t wait to see/hear what this thing is capable of.

  • those morphing drums sound cool. are you using the same synthesis technique in the digital drum voice cards for the ambika?

    the ‘learning musical brain’ drum machine also seems great fun. individual outputs for the drums would be a good idea, though. or at least two separate outputs for the synth and the drum machine.

    will those 3 drum machine parameters (2x genre and fill) be midi cc controllable?

    would you consider releasing the drum machine’s ‘musical brain’ as a midipal app?

  • Sounds amazing!


  • The digital drum voicecard for Ambika will be using samples. What is implemented here is already doable several times better with the Shruthi-1 and the existing Ambika voicecards. A sine wave, an envelope on pitch, an envelope on noise, a VCA and you’re in.

    I don’t have enough PWM outputs to output individual drum sounds. I have managed to add an extra minijack out for the drums, though. With a patch cord you can even take out the drum signal from the mix, and route it back to the filter input :D

    I’ll see what I can do as for CCization.

    I don’t think there’s enough flash in the MIDIpal for that. The map is precomputed and is stored as a big look up table.

  • The synth part sounds absolutely amazing. I was actually thinking of building myself some synth in the likes (with the FM modulator since this is a must-have feature in a bass synth, I think), but completely analog. Your approach seems to be fare more elegant and convenient.

    I’m not so convinced by the drum sounds yet, but I think it’ll be a very, very convenient feature within a live setup.
    Really a great job.

    I’ll definitely get a kit when it’s out. My banker is really starting to hate you, Olivier :D

  • I like the Drumsounds…..

  • Haven’t heard it yet, but the description sounds cooler every time I read it.


  • cool! i’m in for one of it in kit as soon as available!!!

  • Just to let you know that I have rerouted the board and added the following features:

    • 10th soft pot. Will be used for drum machine level on the “drums” page ; arpeggio range (for now it’s coupled with direction) on the “keyboard” page ; and it’s likely that it will be involved in a feature allowing keyboard-less jamming.
    • VCA CV in ; PWM CV in.
    • Individual output for the drum machine (it’s still not possible to get individual drum sounds on individual outs). Now it’s possible to take the individual drum output, take it out from the mix, and route it into the filter/fuzz :)
    • Knob for sub osc level.

  • more excited on it than the ambika!

  • October? Yeah for m’y birthday!

  • Still just as excited about the Ambika :D


  • @pichenettes: excellent! i think one output for all three drum sounds is perfectly fine – and patching it through the synth sounds fun! :)

  • Can we call this one the Akidna? Akidnas deserve a synth too.

  • WOW

    take all my money!

  • Yep, just Wow :O

  • Sounds great! I’m really impressed by the drum sounds too, especially the kick. You should definitely make a dedicated drum machine, that would be an instant buy for me. I guess the Anushri is one too, can’t really argue with the price.

  • Looks and sounds amazing. Will buy.

    I do find Anushri very difficult to say, remember, etc., fwiw.

    Anyway, awesome stuff.

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

In this Discussion