Tides is all about waves that go up and down, from minute-long cycles to audio rates... This module is Mutable Instruments' unique take on the looping AD envelope generator - pushing this well-known trope to unknown territories.
The core of the module is a digital asymmetric triangle function generator, which can be used in AD and AR modes (for envelope generation), or looping (as a VC-LFO or VC-DO). The triangle generator is followed by a wavetable waveshaper providing linear, exponential, logarithmic, sinusoidal, or arc-sinusoidal shapes for the A and D segments. Then, a second processor applies either a 2-pole low-pass filter to the waveform, smoothing its sharp edges; or a rubbery wavefolder, adding kinks and "bounces" to the waveform. Because Tides has been designed from the ground up to work at audio rates with minimal aliasing, and because all its parameters are under voltage control, it can be used as a unique self-contained synth voice.
Inputs/outputs and controls
- Cycle mode selector: single shot AD, single shot AR, looping (VC-LFO/VCDO).
- Range selector: low (20 minutes to 5 Hz), medium (0.05 Hz to 300 Hz), high (8 Hz to 10kHz).
- Frequency control.
- Frequency modulation attenuverter.
- Shape/curve potentiometer and CV input.
- Slope/asymmetry potentiometer and CV input.
- Smoothness (low-pass filter and wavefolder) potentiometer and CV input.
- Trigger input, serving as a Trigger in AD/AR mode or a Sync/Reset in looping mode.
- Clock input, to tap or "ping" the LFO and envelopes, or to lock the VCDO frequency through a PLL.
- Freeze gate input.
- V/Oct CV input for main frequency/rate.
- FM CV input.
- Level CV input, normaled to 8V. You don't need a VCA.
- "High tide" and "Low tide" Gate output allowing quadrature operation.
- Unipolar (8V) and Bipolar (+/- 5V) outputs. This is more than a simple offset/gain adjustment: the bipolar output is made of a positive "bump" during the attack phase; and a negative "bump" during the release phase. When used as audio sources, both have a distinct sonic character.
- All inputs: 100k impedance, DC to 500 Hz for shape/asymmetry/process, DC to 8kHz for FM, DC to 24 kHz for level.
- 12-bit CV acquisition with dedicated power supply for converters and references.
- 16-bit CV generation. 60kHz sample rate (15kHz in the lower frequency range).
- Cortex-M3 ARM processor.
- Open-source hardware and firmware.
- Easy firmware updates through an audio interface.