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Beads is a reinvention of Clouds aimed at live granular processing of input audio signals.With a crisper and wider sound palette, more controls, better usability, and direct access to exciting new features, Beads' hardware and software have been redesigned from scratch.

The significantly improved specifications of Beads allow for higher audio quality, longer buffers, better interpolation and antialiasing algorithms, and faster execution of key DSP blocks.Granulation can enter new territories such as formants, wavetables, hard-sink-like sounds, or crispy noise.

  • Control: Various variations to trigger the grain-You can trigger the grain with an external clock, splitting the trigger stream, randomizing, grain burst launched by the gate input, etc.
  • Chao: Each of the main parametersAttenuatorEquipped with.This allows jacks that do not have the usual direct CV control by patching to have CV control over the random spread of parameters, or internal random control using some of Marbles' algorithms.
  • character: Beads4 levels of audio qualityProvides settings.They areIt affects not only the sample rate and bit depth of the buffer, but all parameters such as the converter clock, signal path amplitude limits and saturation, reverb timbre, and additional media emulation effects.Reproduce some of Clouds' characteristics through modes, from brand new digital devices to damaged cassettes.




A description of each part is displayed by mouse over. The CV input range is each grain parameter = ± 8V, DENSITY = ± 5V.
How it works

To imagine how Beads work, imagine a tape loop where incoming audio is continuously recorded.Every time you request a grain to play (trigger, button press, regular or random)A new playhead will be placed along the tape.If this playhead does not move, the audio will play at its original pitch and speed, but as you move closer or further away from the recording head, the signal will play at a different pitch and speed.This playhead has its own amplitude envelope and leaves the tape when the amplitude reaches zero.

Now imagine that up to 30 playheads are flying along the tape.Imagine being able to stop the incoming audio recorded on tape and all these little playheads are free to move and collect sound.You can also use the built-in reverb.

Beads actually use RAM instead of tape.In this description, this virtual tape is called the recording buffer.

Recording quality

Click the Audio Quality Selector button to select the recording quality.

  • cold digitalThe settings accurately reproduce the acoustic characteristics of Mutable Instruments Clouds
  • Sunny tapeThe setting runs the dry audio signal at 48kHz, which is bright and clean.
  • Scorched cassetteThe setting emulates wah and flutter
Grain generation


The Latched grain generation mode, which is enabled by pressing and holding the SEED button for 4 seconds or holding down the SEED button and pressing the FREEZE button, is the basic setting when the module is powered on. The SEED button is illuminated and the brightness is slowly modulated to indicate that latching is enabled.

In this mode, it is set with the DENSITY knob and continuously graines at the speed modulated by the DENSITY CV. No grain is generated at the DENSITY knob at 12 o'clock, but a randomly modulated speed is generated by increasing the value clockwise, and a periodic speed is generated counterclockwise.In both cases, the higher the value, the shorter the interval between grains, and the maximum value reaches the C3 note cycle.


When the Latched grain generation mode described above is enabled, the function of the DENSITY knob is changed to split or probability control when signals such as clocks and sequences are patched to the SEED CV input.Grains are not generated when the knob is at 12 o'clock, increasing the value clockwise increases the probability of grains triggered by an external signal (0% to 100%), and counterclockwise increases the division ratio. (1/16 to 1).

Gated & Triggered

Short-click the SEED button to disable Latched grain generation.In this mode, grains are generated only while the SEED button is pressed or the gate signal patched to the SEED input is high. The DENSITY knob controls the grain repeat rate.When the knob is in the 12 o'clock position, only a single grain is played each time the SEED button is pressed or each trigger to the SEED input.

When the grain's DENSITY reaches the audio rate, the DENSITY CV input applies exponential FM to this rate on a 1V / Oct scale.


A dedicated attenuizer for the Time, Size, Shape, and Pitch grain parameters controls the amount of external CV modulation for the corresponding parameter, or reuses the CV input as a randomization and spread control.

If the cable is patched to the corresponding CV input, increasing the value clockwise from 12:XNUMX will increase the amount of external CV modulation, and counterclockwise will increase the amount of randomized CV control.

In the absence of a patch to the CV input, the attenuator has an irregular (Peaky / counterclockwise from 12 o'clock) or uniform (Uniform / clockwise from 12 o'clock) distribution.Independent internal random sourceControls the amount of randomization from.Random values ​​from a Peaky distribution are clustered towards intermediate values, so extreme values ​​are rarely generated.

Mixing and audio output

The figure shows the signal flow of Beads. The Feedback control adjusts the amount of output signal that is mixed with the input signal and returned to the processing chain. Beads' four-step quality setting employs different feedback amplitude limiting schemes for each emulated media, from clean Brick Wall-Limiting to lying tape saturation.

The three parameters Feedback, Dry / Wet Balance, and Reverb Amount correspond to external modulation via assignable CV inputs.Use the Destination Selector button located above the Assignable CV input to select the assignee.

After passing through Dry / Wet Balance and Reverb, the signal flows to the final output.Whether the recording buffer is monaural or stereo, the Beads signal processing chain is always stereo.If there is no patch on output R, both R and L signals are added up and sent to output L.Also, if any of the grain parameters are randomized or grains are being generated at a random rate, their pan positions will also be randomized.You can also turn on / off the grain trigger signal generation from the output R by pressing the Seed button while pressing the Destination Selector button.


Setting the Size knob to the maximum clockwise position (∞) changes the Beads to Delay or Beat Slicer.At this time, only the grains that are continuously reading from the buffer will be permanently active.The basic delay time (slice duration) can be controlled manually, tapped, or with an external clock.

Manual control

If there is no patch to the SEED input and the SEED button is latched, you can use the DENSITY knob and CV to freely control the delay time.When the knob is in the 12 o'clock position, the basic delay time corresponds to the length of the entire buffer.The higher the value counterclockwise, the shorter the delay time, and at maximum it reaches the audio rate that allows the flanger and com filtering effects.In the clockwise direction, add unequally spaced taps to the delay.

Clocked or Tap-tempo Control

You can set the basic delay time by patching the external clock to the SEED input or by tapping the SEED button rhythmically. The DENSITY knob selects the subdivision for this period.The shorter the subdivision is used, the farther the knob is from the 12 o'clock position.Only binary subdivisions are used in the counterclockwise direction, and a wide range of ratios can be selected in the clockwise direction.

Delaying or slicing

If FREEZE is not working, Beads will act as Delay. The TIME knob selects the actual delay time with the DENSITY parameter or a multiple of the basic delay time set with an external clock or tap.

When FREEZE is running, the recording buffer fragment (Slice) is continuously looped. The duration of the slices will be equal to the base delay time, and the TIME knob will select which slices will be played.

The SHAPE knob applies a tempo-synchronized envelope to the repeat.In normal operation, the knob is turned all the way counterclockwise.

The PITCH parameter applies a classical rotary head pitch shifting effect to the delay signal.Pitch shifting is disabled when the knob is in the 12 o'clock position.Also, a slow random LFO is internally routed to the attenuator.

Beads as a Granular Wavetable Synth

If both audio inputs are unpatched for more than 10 seconds, the Mutable Instruments Plaits built into BeadsWaveform from wavetable modelGranulate the buffer.Feedback in this mode selects which of the eight waveform banks to play, FREEZE stops the grain envelope and stops new grain generation, and Dry / Wet Balance is a continuous oscillator signal like any other mode. And adjust the signal balance after granulation processing. The Audio Quality Selector button selects the output resolution.

Note that the PITCH CV input always functions as a 1V / Oct CV input regardless of the position of the PITCH attenuator, affecting the grain root note. The PITCH Attenuator always controls the amount of grain pitch randomization.