The heart of Frames is a 4-channel analog VCA under tight digital control. Through flexible input/output mixing and normalling options, it can be patched to serve the following purposes (among others):
- 4-channel attenuator/VCA.
- 4-channel mixer.
- 4-channel programmable CV source.
- Quadraphonic signal dispatcher.
But what makes Frames truly unique is the way in which channel/CV levels can be controlled, using a technique inspired by computer animation. Frames allows up to 64 configurations of the 4 level knobs to be stored and recalled throughout the course of its big Frame knob. By rotating the knob (or sending a CV to the Frame modulation input and adjusting its amount with the attenuverter), the configurations are morphed into one another.
To fine-tune the animation and get varied morphing or sequencing results, the following options are available for each of the 4 channel:
- Easing curve (stepped, linear, exponential, logarithmic, sine, bouncy)
- Attenuation response of the level knob, from linear to logarithmic
With a bit of patching and imagination, Frames can also be repurposed as a 4-channel sequencer, a multi-stage envelope generator or a trajectory generator for quadraphonic panning…
Mutable Instruments modules are packed with features and Frames is no exception: Frames can switch easily to an entirely different mode of operation in which it becomes a wavetable quadrature LFO.
- Up to 64 keyframes, each keyframe storing 4 CV/gains.
- Per-channel easing curve selection: stepped (no interpolation), linear, accelerating, decelerating, sine, bouncy.
- Per-channel CV/VCA response selection, from linear to logarithmic.
- 4 DC-coupled signal inputs.
- 4 DC-coupled signal outputs.
- Global signal input, sent to all unconnected inputs.
- Internal precision +5V/+10V voltage reference, can be connected to all unused inputs to turn them into CV sources.
- Global mix output, collecting signals from all unconnected outputs.
- Frame control CV input.
- Keyframe change trigger output.
- CV input impedance: 100k.
- Audio input impedance: 100k (25k for the global input in some configurations due to normalling).
- Analog audio path, with low-noise/distortion VCA core (V2164).
- Fastest modulation rate: 15kHz.
- Cortex-M3 ARM processor.
- Open-source hardware and firmware.
- Easy firmware updates through an audio interface.
- Current consumption: +12V: 90mA ; -12V: 30mA.