The ubiquitous texture module is no more.
Mutable Instruments is discontinuing Clouds, one of the most popular Eurorack synth modules of the past few years.
The granular texture synthesizer module has become a common sight in Eurorack skiffs since it was introduced in 2014, but Mutable Instruments founder Olivier Gillet cites the complex nature of the module as his reason for ditching it.
“To me, Clouds has always been a struggle, the ugly outcome of an entire year of inner battles during which nothing turned the way I expected,” Gillet says in a Facebook post.
“By the end of 2014 I was tired of the project, wanted to be over with it, so I decided to have 250 Clouds manufactured, which I hoped would simultaneously be the first and last batch. I predicted it would have the same destiny as Edges – something that a few people would totally get and love… and that would go unnoticed by the rest,” he adds.
“And then, in what could be seen as a very meta plot twist, the deity decided to use Clouds to process all the beliefs and perceptions surrounding the module, got confused with this damned BLEND knob, feedback and reverb got stuck to the maximum setting, resulting in a never-decaying smudgy howl of hype. And I felt awful about it.”
Clouds’ discontinuation follows his decision to axe the popular macro oscillator Braids from the Mutable lineup for similar reasons. However, Gillet is planning to replace Clouds with a leaner module.
“Clouds has shown that live granular transformation is an important sound design tool in a modular system,” he says. “There ought to be a distraction-free device to perform it. I’m currently building it.”
Gillet notes that the last Clouds modules have been sent to dealers, so if you want to grab one, make it quick. If you miss out, then you can take solace in the knowledge that you can get Clouds and Braids as free devices for Ableton Live.
Read next: How to build a modular synth: The ultimate Eurorack buyer’s guide