This week at Mutable Instruments

  • Finished building a model used in a feature of module 3. Still stuck a bit in the uncanny valley, but have lots of time before the production to improve things.
  • Wrote a significant chunk of new module 3’s firmware.
  • Implemented new module 3′s firmware updater.
  • Ordered new iteration of PCB prototype for new module 3.
  • Added objectionable secret functions to new module 3.
  • Ordered first PCB prototype for new module 2.
  • Prepared documents for getting manufacturing quotes for new module 2.
  • Ordered a bunch of manuals and parts for upcoming production runs. Passed the 50k knobs mark at Rogan
  • Went in the suburbs to pick up a heavy piece of equipment needed for the design & test of an upcoming project…
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This week at Mutable Instruments

  • Routed PCB for new module 2.
  • Prepared BOM for new module 2.
  • Finished technical drawings for new module 2 panel.
  • Arranged for the production of a new batch of Frames and Yarns.
  • Ordered parts for new modules.
  • Completed board bring-up work on new module 1. All I/O devices working as planned!
  • Benchmarked DSP code for new module 1.
  • Wrote view/controller code for new module 3.
  • Wrote more DSP code for new module 3.
  • Recorded tons of training data for new module 3. I love leaving machine learning/system identification algorithms crunching data and figuring out all the good stuff by themselves :)
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This week at Mutable Instruments

Yarns, Tides, Frames are officially released!

  • Checked some production documents for Peaks.
  • Fixed a screw problem on 130 Yarns (tiring…).
  • Re-flashed the firmware on 215 Frames (last minute bug fix, tiring…). New steps in factory testing procedure.
  • Re-flashed the firmware on 225 Tides (last minute bug fixes, tiring…).
  • Approved final panel design on new module 2, and started PCB layout. Thanks Hannes!
  • Finished building prototype of new module 1. A few PCB hacks were required because I used by mistake some I/O pins which were reserved for the JTAG interface O_o. Board bring-up status: 75% operational (remaining 25% next week).
  • Tested and packed 250 Volts power modules.
  • Shot the photos of the new modules and updated the site.
  • 18 shipments to dealers.
  • Finished assembly of module 3 prototype. Yet another JTAG mistake O_O. Wrote firmware covering all I/O. Board bring-up status: 100%. Analog section tested and validated. Will start writing code next week…
  • Started a new version of the PCB for new modules 1 and 3 – changing jacks and fixing all the mistakes.
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This week at Mutable Instruments

  • Created Eagle libraries for new parts.
  • Continued Spice simulations / analog design for new module 4.
  • Built on breadboard some of the subcircuits of new module 4. Everything works as expected!
  • Finished a “proof of concept” version of new module 2′s DSP code.
  • Defined feature list for new module 2 and started UI sketches.
  • Created the schematics for new module 2, and decided on a rough plan for the (hairy!) PCB routing.
  • Investigated on a production problem on Yarns.
  • Ordered prototype panel for new module 3.
  • Received 120 Yarns, 220 Tides. Did some random quality checks till midnight.

Note that the shop is going to be closed next week and I’ll work just a few hours (receiving the remaining modules and preparing shipments to distributors).

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This week at Mutable Instruments

  • Continued PCB layout and tweaked analog circuits of new module 3.
  • Technical drawings of new module 3’s panel.
  • First draft of production docs for module 3 – just enough to get a quote.
  • Optimized Peaks’ code following feedback from one of the testers (one fancy combination of settings caused buffer underruns).
  • Two sessions of MIDI bugs fixing for the Shruthi firmware v1.0.
  • Did a last run of tests on Frames. Firmware programming has started at the factory!
  • Did a last run of tests on Yarns, and on its testing/calibration station. Shipped the testing gear to the factory.
  • Received, evaluated, created Eagle libraries for custom/fancy parts for new modules (pots, switches, headers, LEDs).
  • Ordered protos for new module 3! I could have continued tweaking it forever – but at some point things must happen!
  • Started some preliminary simulations for (fully analog!) new module 4 in LTSpice.
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This week at Mutable Instruments

  • Finalized the v0.1 PCB of new module 1. Sent to the proto house for manufacturing. Ordered proto aluminium panels too!
  • Continued investigations on Grids’ “sudden death” problem. Built on breadboard all kinds of shoddy PSUs to try to fry it – no success. Looks like I’ll have to buy a µZeus…
  • Received the batch of Ripples modules that were due 3 weeks ago. Hectic order packing and shipping.
  • Had a “brilliant” idea about wavetable interpolation that I tried to integrate into Braids’ code. It was not a brilliant idea after all.
  • Did a final run of tests on Tides firmware. This was the last opportunity to change things – the first boards have been programmed/calibrated today (friday)!
  • Had a visit from the Würth Elektronik salesman.
  • Created PCB footprints for a couple of new parts.
  • Received a small batch of Braids modules. More orders packing and shipping…
  • Started schematics/layout for new module 3. The board is so dense there are parts sneaked in under pots, and there’s a little mezzanine board above the processor!
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This week at Mutable Instruments

  • Designed the PCB of new module 1 (started on sunday at 5PM, finished on monday at 6AM).
  • Technical drawings of the front panel for new module 1.
  • Prepared the BOM and a very rough set of manufacturing docs for new module 1 so that the CM can start working on a quote.
  • Wrote more DSP code for new module 1.
  • Wrote peripherals and UI code for new module 2.
  • Shopped for parts for a new batch of Anushri kits. Flashed chips.
  • Benchmarked dozens of methods for evaluating some transcendental functions used in new module 1. Floating point, fixed point, lookup tables (in flash, in RAM)…
  • Evaluated several models of dual-gang pots which are going to be used in two new modules. RIP Bourns PTV142 Built on breadboard the analog sub-circuit of new module 1 that uses that part to make sure I got the pinout right. Ordered mini PCB with variants of PCB footprints.
  • Had the “Eureka!” idea that will turn a basic utility module into something Mutable Instruments-ish. Will probably work on that next week because I’m super excited about it.
  • Received the rest of Tides’ pre-production run. Fixed fixed fixed (missing protection resistor), sold sold sold, shipped shipped shipped. All of them.
  • Investigated on one defective Yarns returned to me. Will tighten one of the factory testing procedures.
  • Simulated, breadboarded, validated the analog section of new module 3 (which is mostly analog).
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This week at Mutable Instruments

  • Built the last 8 MIDIpals, all sold. The new batch is in production and will arrive in 7-8 weeks.
  • Finished my hunt for more handcrafted goodies/toys that will come with the new modules.
  • Designed (simulation and breadboard) the analog section of an upcoming module. Schematics ready!
  • Made a lot of progress on the UI design of a new module. What’s going to have attenuverters, what’s going to have big knobs? Now we know! Hannes is hard at work polishing the layout, I’m hoping to start PCB layout tomorrow…
  • Ordered knobs in new size/color combinations.
  • Got the DSP code of an upcoming module to run on the actual target ARM microcontroller. Only 30% of the CPU used O_o. It’s time to think of more features!
  • Wasted quite some time with the accountant on 2013’s balance sheet.
  • Wrote and optimized more audio DSP code for a new module. Arc-tangents? Where we’re going we don’t need arc-tangents!
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This week at Mutable Instruments

  • Solved some glitches found in Tides’ PLL mode.
  • Prepared the production of the next batch of Links, Peaks and Volts.
  • Worked on a small tweak to the Anushri audio out/drum synthesis code.
  • Wrote a FFT library suitable for embedded applications with scarce memory and no malloc (in-place processing, options for various speed/space trade-offs in LUTs). Most of the good stuff was already in FFTReal…
  • Benchmarked and tweaked some audio DSP code to decide on the feature set of a new module.
  • Finished writing the specifications for an upcoming design. UI design in progress!
  • Released Braids firmware v1.5.
  • Wasted a lot of time with the MI forum software to isolate in a new subforum all the noisy conversations (gear for trade/sell, etc).
  • Wasted a lot of time with the online shop templates & CSS. No more web development please!
  • Wrote some DSP code for an upcoming module.
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Braids firmware v1.5 is ready

This version makes the META mode much more useful, and brings the ability to select several destinations for the internal AD envelope. In particular, the internal AD envelope can now be routed to output level, allowing Braids to be used as a standalone voice (for percussions, for example) without an external VCA.

Get the update file here!

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