by Robin Vincent | Approximate reading time: 3 Minutes
Mutable Instruments

Mutable Instruments  ·  Source: Mutable Instruments

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According to posts on the Mutable Instrument forum from founder Émilie Gillet, there will be no new module designs, and production is progressively stopping.

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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.

Remaining modules

Remaining modules

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.

Legacy

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.

  • Mutable Instruments Forum.
  • Mutable Instruments website.
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  • Remaining modules: Mutable Instruments
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15 responses to “Mutable Instruments: No new modules and production shutting down”

    W C Auger says:
    0

    Queue Turntable Orchestra…

    Flix says:
    0

    sad 🙁

    Adrian says:
    0

    Raise her a statue

    BobTheSynthBuilder says:
    0

    No wonder since Behringer has ripped their designs and with their aggressive policies I am sure Mutable will not be the last.

      Mikepix says:
      0

      Behringer’s plaits clone only came out in 2021. Arturia had already used the code for their microfreak in 2019.

      Due to the MIT licensing of MI stuff there were already plenty of clones of other modules as well.

      I think while this is a factor it’s most likely she finds it more stressful than enjoyable now. Her legacy will live on. I just hope she is happy.

      nixnutz says:
      0

      Mutable has been making open-source hardware since the Shruthi. Not that Behringer wouldn’t clone her stuff anyway, but this was a deliberate choice, and it’s good because these designs will survive.

      I was a user of Bhajis Loops on the Palm, that would have been by far the best music app on IOS in the early years. Gillet could have made a fortune porting that but wanted to get into hardware, she then dropped all the desktop kit stuff to get into modular. I think it’s admirable, she’s extremely talented and will continue to do great work that she’s interested in. It’s still a little sad each time though.

      WOK says:
      -1

      I knew someone would blame it on Behringer before I even have read the comments.
      Complete nonsense.
      The restrictive Covid politics in Europe has damaged many small and medium businesses. Now the bad politics of the EU against Russia is destroying the rest. Energy (gas and oil) alone is becoming unpayable for many europeans (and no, that’s not Putins fault, put the EU politicians). The Chinese are doing the rest.
      In Europe, we will have to struggle a fight to survive in the future, which leaves no space for such small and enthusiastic businesses.

        BobTheSynthBuilder says:
        0

        You should try running a small business and then dealing with Behringer. If you do not sell, they will just steal your work anyway. They only seem to care about profit, you only seem to care about price, some of us care about product – NOT politics!

          Vincent Vice says:
          0

          “ripping off” (classic cliche words), “steal” (so the “original” work has moved its physical location, right? You meant to use “copy” instead, right?), “their designs” (it was exactly one and as said the license chosen by the creator exactly permits this)

          You sir, as it looks you just want to rave and rant and blame. TBH: as a potential customer i would think twice of doing business with you, given your emotionality (if you have a synth building business, perhaps using DIY kits – oh my, clones!). I would assume if i say something wrong or purchase/do things you do not agree with, you would leave me standing in the rain regarding support of what i purchased from you. Oh btw: isn’t the intention of actually *HAVING* a profit the purpose of most businesses not registered as a non-profit org? Or would you assemble me some synth just for the cost of parts, w/o calculating labor in?

        JP says:
        0

        You’re still here astroturfing for the Kremlin?

    Chris Richards says:
    0

    I guess that means I won’t be building that Mutable based system I wanted after all. 🙁

    Big D says:
    1

    Who cares stuff isn’t that great

    JP says:
    0

    How this became “breaking news” in 2022 is baffling.

    Those of us who care to pay attention aren’t learning anything new here.

    Émilie has told us many times, for years, that her Clouds successor AKA Beads would be the end.

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