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Plaits is the spiritual successor of Mutable Instruments’ best-selling voltage-controlled sound source, Braids. Not just a mkII version: its hardware and software have been redesigned from scratch.
Just like its predecessor, it offers direct access to a large palette of easily tweakable sounds, covering the whole gamut of synthesis techniques. What has changed is the interface: gone are the screen, menu system, hidden settings, and the long list of somewhat redundant synthesis models.Thanks to additional CV inputs, and to the use of 3 timbre-shaping parameters per model, Plaits is straightforward to use, and much closer to the ideal of one synthesis technique = one model. What were fragmented islands of sound in Braids are now part of a continuum of sounds.The module is very easy to use as a stand-alone voice or percussive source: its built-in low-pass gate allows the module to be operated without a VCF or VCA, and an internal decay envelope is normalled to some of the CV inputs.Great care has been taken regarding audio quality, anti-aliasing, and CV interpolation, resulting in a richer, cleaner sound.=== Specifications ===8 synthesis models for pitched sounds:* Pair of continuously variable waveforms (virtual analog).* Variable slope triangle oscillator processed by a waveshaper and wavefolder.* 2-operator FM with continuously variable feedback path.* Two independently controllable formants modulated by a variable shape window (VOSIM, Pulsar, Grainlet, Casio CZ-style filter sweeps).* 24-harmonic additive oscillator.* Wavetable oscillator with four banks of 8x8 waves, with or without interpolation.* Chord generator, with divide down string/organ emulation or wavetables.* A collection of speech synthesis algorithms (formant filter, SAM, LPC), with phoneme control and formant shifting. Several banks of phonemes or segments of words are available.8 synthesis models for noise and percussions* Granular sawtooth or sine oscillator, with variable grain density, duration and frequency randomization.* Clocked noise processed by a variable shape resonant filter.* 8 layers of dust/particle noise processed by resonators or all-pass filters.* Extended Karplus-Strong (aka Rings’ red mode), with white or dust noise excitation.* Modal resonator (aka Rings’ green mode), with mallet or dust noise excitation.* Analog kick drum emulation (two flavors).* Analog snare drum emulation (two flavors).* Analog high-hat emulation (two flavors).I/O and controls:* 2 model selection buttons, with 8 bicolor LEDs displaying the active model.* Main frequency control, 8 octaves.* Three dimensions of timbre control: harmonics, timbre, morph.* Attenuverters for the timbre, morph, and frequency modulation CV inputs. These CV inputs are normalized to the internal envelope generator.* Model selection, harmonics, timbre, morph, FM CV inputs.* Main V/O CV input, with a large input range (-3V to +7V).* Trigger input, triggering an internal D envelope, or the exciter for the physical/drum models.* Level CV input, controlling the internal digital low-pass gate, or acting as an accent control for the physical/drum models.