Today via text I was informed that the beloved Braids Macro-oscillator by Mutable Instruments has been discontinued. If you follow my Modular Journal vlogs, you may recall that Braids is the module I recommend as a first module because of its flexibility as a oscillator. Well, I guess you’ll have to get these on the after market because once the new ones are gone, it’s a wrap!
On the mutable website Braids already lives to the right of the of the “Discontinued Modules” marker along with Peaks and Edges. Digging a bit further and hopping over to the Mutable Instruments facebook page, I found the following statement from Mutable themselves.
Time to say goodbye to another module, Braids.
When I originally designed Braids in 2012, from the ashes of a never released factory-made Ambika, I naively thought that it would be the monster oscillator to end all oscillators. It did everything, what could go wrong? Five years later I realize that I completely missed the mark, and that I created instead a very different kind ofbeast. Deeper, bigger oscillators have been made. Yet, Mutable Instruments’ best-selling sound generator ended up in musicians’ racks for all kinds of other reasons: quickly getting the sauce going, layering or doubling “better” oscillators, that extra part in a multi-timbral patch or this short percussive plink triggered by the fourth or fifth channel of your Circadian Rhythms, the glorious “channel surfing” sound of the META mode,… or anything that needed to be rapidly reconfigured between tracks in a live performance.
What bothers me is that Braids’ user interface is not really adequate for these tasks (something that is meant to be shallow doesn’t deserve a menu system!), that its rather large size is out of sync with its role as a little sound generation satellite, and that there’s too much fragmentation in this big list of models. Not to mention that over the past few years I’ve written cleaner, more sophisticated and better sounding algorithms for most of the things Braids does.
I’m going to fix this. Don’t expect a “Braids mkII” with an OLED display, a SD card reader and gazillion models. Other brands and some hot newcomers are getting very good at this game. For me it is time to make some room for something leaner and more fun to play with!
PS: more announcements to come… it looks like 2017 will be a year with a negative number of module releases