According to posts on the Mutable Instrument forum from founder Émilie Gillet, there will be no new module designs, and production is progressively stopping.
Mutable Instruments to close?
In a forum discussion about the discontinuation of Elements and the potential of an Elements 2, Émilie Gillet (posting as pichenettes) responded by saying this is the end of the line. Beads was the last module she designed back in 2019. She noted that “Existing modules are going to be discontinued one after the other, when depends on hard to predict supply, production and sales patterns.”
The statement was a bit too alarming to be immediately grasped by the stunned forum contributors. So Émilie gave the following clarification:
I won’t design new modules and production is progressively stopping. Modules are marked as discontinued when the last shipment is sent to dealers. I can’t predict when it happens as it depends on how fast a batch is made, and how fast it gets sold. It might happen in a week, in a month or in a quarter. There is no easter egg, no plot twist, no teaser.
When asked if she would continue to work in synths or music and she said no, otherwise she would keep going with Mutable Instruments.
In an earlier post, there’s a list of all the modules from the history of Mutable Instruments, which includes release and discontinuation dates. In March and April, it discontinued six modules, including Warps, Rings, Blinds, Ears, Marbles and Shades 2020. Consequently, only seven modules are left, including Plaits, Stages, Tides, Ripples 2020, Veils 2020, Blades and Beads. But as far as we understand it, once it’s finished the current production run and shipped to dealers, they’ll also be discontinued.
Have we been here before?
This is not the first time that Emilie has let Mutable Instruments grind to a halt. In 2019 while struggling to develop the sequel to Clouds, Émilie stepped away and the future of Mutable Instruments was very uncertain. But then, a year later, she came back with a raft of new modules and updates to old ones. This culminated in the release of the superb Clouds successor, Beads.
Last year, there were also hints. Émilie said Beads “is the last design to be released,” which could be interpreted in a number of ways. But this time, it seems clear that this is final.
Over almost a decade, Mutable Instruments built one of the most recognisable Eurorack brands in the business. “Rings into Clouds” has become part of the language, the folklore of modular. Consequently, it’s pretty safe to say that you’ll find a Mutable module in everyone’s rack. The depth of influence these modules have had in terms of beauty, complexity, innovation, utility, and aesthetic is impossible to measure. It’s a brand that elevated and expanded an often closed and inward-looking world. Emilie made the Eurorack world a better place.
However, the modules will hopefully continue to thrive in the open-source community. Mutable Instruments routinely released the module firmware on Github with an open license. This means that other module makers could build their own hardware versions of a Mutable module and run the original software. This has spawned many clones of Braids, Clouds and Plaits and long may it continue.
Émilie is still very active on the Mutable Instruments forum providing support to all its customers. We’re not sure when the final closedown will occur. I wish Émilie the best for the future, and we will always be in your debt.
- Remaining modules: Mutable Instruments