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Mutable InstrumentsEars External Input

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Mutable Music Things Ears

Ears, a collaboration from Mutable Instruments and Music Thing Modular, is a novel way to get tactile noise and gate outputs into your Eurorack system. It has a contact microphone attached to the panel, which can be scraped, tapped, rubbed, hit, or bumped for a wide variety of output noises and signals. It also has an external input, with 40dB of gain, able to bring anything up to modular level. Following the external input or the noises generated from touching it is an envelope follower, which outputs CV based on the volume of the signal. Pairs great with resonators like Rings and Elements!

Ears Features

  • Audio amplifier with 1M input impedance, up to 40dB of gain.
  • Envelope follower with 3 preset attack and release times (adjustable by jumper).
  • Gate detector with 3 preset sensitivity levels (adjustable by jumper) and +8V gate output.
  • Three indicator LEDs: amplifier clipping (red), envelope follower level (white), gate detector activity (orange).
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Product Demo Videos
62HP: Contextual FX Processor - Small Eurorack Effect System
Back again with our trusty Intellijel Palette case, this episode of 62hp journeys into the world of Eurorack effects processing in a system dubbed the Contextual Effects Processor. While the name is a bit of a play on the inclusion of the Harlequin’s Context from Shakmat, the modules chosen for this system were picked for their versatility and ability to fit into a wide range of musical situations.

For our effects, we turned to the Data Bender by Qu-Bit Electronix for glitchy, digital artifacts, the expansive Milky Way from Endorphines for general purpose effects like delays and reverbs, and the crushing Guillotine distortion from Ritual Electronics. We’ve also got a Bastl Cinnamon for filtering and additional drive, and the Katowice by XAOC Devices supplies crossover filtering and multi band isolation for situations where surgical sound shaping is needed. External sounds enter the system through a pair of Mutable Instruments Ears modules, but we can also take advantage of their built-in contact mics for generating and processing sounds fully within the system itself.

The Harlequin’s Context is a preset programmer for generating linked sets of control voltage sources. Each of the four channels can be set up as an LFO, envelope generator, and more, and the configurations of all four are stored together in scenes, which can be accessed manually with buttons on the front panel or sequenced and scanned through for ever-changing modulation in your patches. When paired with a traditional modulator like ALM’s Pip Slope, any system (especially one loaded up with all kinds of effects like this one) can come alive in compelling ways.
Mutable Instruments Ears
Ears, from Mutable Instruments, is their take on Tom Whitwell's Mikrophonie module, which provided a panel-mounted contact mic for tactile sound generation. Ears is a perfect match for a physically modeling synth such as Rings or Elements, prodiving a wide range of excitation noises. Ears also provides up to 40dB of gain, bringing any quiet sounds up to modular level. It has a high inpedance input, meaning it will work fine with guitars or other electro-acoustic instruments. In addition to this is an envelope follower, which provides a voltage at the peaks of the fluctuating volumes. A gate threshold also outputs a trigger whenever the volume exceeds a limit. This is great for using Ears as a drum or other percussive source.
Mutable Instruments Ears External Input Reviews