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Mutable Instruments Frames

4-channel analog VCA, controlled by a digital interpolation engine

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Mutable Instruments
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Product Description
Additional Information
  • Product Description

    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.

    Interpolation engine

    • 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.

    Technical characteristics

    • 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.
    • 18-HP.
    • Easy firmware updates through an audio interface.
    • Current consumption: +12V: 90mA ; -12V: 30mA.
  • Additional Information

    Condition New
    Module Slot Count 16hp
    Connector Type 3.5mm
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  • View FileMutable Instruments Frames Manual (814.94 KB)