Mannequins Three Sisters


How is there not a Three Sisters thread? Let’s share questions, ideas, patches, recipes.

I will start with a question. I was spending my morning coffee time, as one does, pinging each of the individual inputs in Crossover mode, and I noticed a couple interesting things. The Low pitch is always higher than the Centre pitch, no matter what Freq or Spread or Quality I choose. Reading the manual, it looks like in Crossover mode the Centre filter doesn’t peak in the same way as Low/High, but I wonder if anyone could explain what might be happening there. In Formant mode I hear three distinct peaks, as expected.

The other interesting thing is that in Crossover mode, the Centre channel pings distinctly, with pitch, on both open and close gate (meaning on the rising and falling edges). With the other two channels, I hear a gentle click on the falling edge, but not the same ‘double’ ping. This might be general filter behavior, but I’m curious if anyone has any insight. These were 50% width “pure” square triggers.


A Dedicated Mangrove Thread

This should be very helpful. I love my Sisters but am having difficulty making sense of the manual…

Looking forward to seeing and hearing what folks are doing with it…


I love this filter. Picked one up about a month ago, largely because it’s a compact way to get 3 bandpass filters together to act as a simple resonator. I’ve been getting some awesome tones out of it in physical modeling patches. Also having a blast using it with Happy Nerding’s FM Aid. You can get some pretty complex FM tones going by patching Sisters center out into its own Span control, and then the high and low outs to FM Aid carrier and modulator. I’ve also been using it in crossover mode with a mixer as a weird 3 band EQ, patching a signal to the all input and attenuating the separate outs to control the band gain. Sounds especially great on drums.


I’d love to hear a patch idea for Three Sisters as resonator! Are you thinking “burst of noise” -> all input -> all output with high quality, formant and then spread and frequency to taste?


Pretty much, yeah, but also with a couple short delay lines feedback back through it all. It can produce really nice kicks, bongos, wooden, and glassy sounds. Probably more but I haven’t had a ton of time to work with it yet. It can get into territory reminiscent of Rings and Elements, but it’s obviously much simpler than what those are doing. I can post a proper example of a patch, but here’s something I’ve got sitting around on Google drive that I’ve been waiting to chop some samples up from.

Some of the better drum-like sounds start showing up around 3:50. The delays are the left and right channels of a Reflex Liveloop and I have Frames sequencing the settings on Sisters while also modulating the fine stutter control on the Liveloop to create the bit mangling sounds. I’m also sending a couple pulses from a clock divider to the low and center inputs, but essentially this is a single voice. The patch is based on the bells, plates, and junk percussion patch on this site:


It’s hilarious that nobody (classic nutritionalzero hyperbole there) seems to use the module for its intended purpose. My patch yesterday morning was to try out some of this “pinging” the kids are all talking about. I used one Mangrove to do the FM. I got some sort of bell sounds. Pleasing, intonation a bit unusual, but great for a sort of gamelan or other non-12-tone style of pitched percussion. Fun enough, bit of setup time.

But ultimately what I need is advice using Three Sisters as a filter. I’m putting my low sound in low, my mid in mid, and my high in high, but at any given frequency and given any audio sources, it seems to filter out rather than filtering as colouring and shaping. I end up with 1–3 sounds that are sort of inaudible or else too thin…

Any tips?


Use a single sound source and start the with crossover mode. Focus on an individual filter at one time. Keep quality between 11 & 2 o’clock. Span will control the bandpass size when using the center filter, while it will basically act as an offset for the frequency knob on the high and low filters. Then use the formant mode, all input and output. Experiment with the distance and resonance of all three filters affecting one source. After those experiments, play with how quality affects these various forms of filtering. This should help you cultivate an understanding of what filtering you want to use on which voices and when.

I have more to say on my own uses of this filter but that’ll be for another time.


@nutritionalzero here’s a “conventional filter” use I really like:


If you want to use it as a traditional filter, put your signal into the all input. Then, the low out will be a low pass filter, high will be high pass, and center will be a bandpass.

I’m not aware that there’s an intended purpose for Three Sisters. :slight_smile:


One simple filtering usage is to use the “all” input and then run the 3 outputs through different effects. I like wave-folding the low output (through Cold Mac’s crease, for instance) have a clean center, and then some delays on the high output. You can then even send all three through VCAs with varying LFOs or envelopes (say, with Just Friends) to have a constantly morphing and evolving tone.


One of my favorite things to do is patch 1-3 outs back into in, usually mixing types (so Centre to Low, etc) and then bringing up Quality and monitoring All out. The resulting feedback is gloriously organic and meaty rather than squealy, and very hands-on playable. I have no real method here, just patch and experiment. Doing this with “real” input makes for a good analog of a guitar with a feedbacking amp.

This works especially well fed into a neighboring Three Sisters which is also being driven kind of hard…


Ah ok, good stuff, thanks everyone. The point of the “All” input sort of eluded me. I guess in this context “all” could be taken to mean “anyone” where as I was taking it to mean “everyone” and was disregarding these jacks.

The distinction between “each person” and “every person” is a bit more pronounced in other languages than English I think.


I find I am more likely to patch into All when I’m going for more ‘conventional’ filtering and into the L/C/H ins when I’m more interested in the mixing aspects. But that’s not hard and fast nor always mutually exclusive.


I like hanging around 9oclock on Quality, where theres a slight reduction in volume and a phaser-like ripple

I use it in simple Low in Low out mode all the time, my Plaits loves it. Center also gets a lot of use, especially with W/ and Morphagene.

Can confirm it works as an LFO, just hit freq with an offset and enjoy different speeds at the outputs.


I like to patch three sounds that are very rich, ie drones, into separate ins - low mid and high. Then in formant mode you are filtering, but also mixing. I find this leads to many combinations of sweetspots. Doing some stereo processing on the individual streams is then also very rich, eg panning each with some delay. It makes sisters feel like the master control of a drone patch.


i love this thread! so many cool ideas.

i like putting quality right on the verge of choir mode, usually right around 3:00, then send random voltages into FM and span to add harmonics to whatever is into and out of all. it takes a little fiddling (with the random attenuation and the three sisters knobs) to get this to the sweet spot.


Recorded a less bit-crushed example of the resonator patch. This one sounds very tube-like. It’s the same basic setup as the previous patch but I added a highpass filter to the delay feedback that tracks along with the CV controlling Sisters’ V/8 input. That same CV also goes into a comparator that triggers the Liveloop’s bit mangler on the highest frequency pings to add some crunch to the snare-like sound. Frames, controlled by an SQ-1, is sequencing Sisters’ span and frequency, the sample rate of the delays (to control pitch), and a VCA that acts as a damper on the delay feedback.


This is awesome!! You’re making me wonder if I can use W/ as a small-number millisecond delay line just by using the roundtrip AD/DA latency :thinking:


Here’s some pinging


What!? These are all marvelous tips, in that they make me feel like I’ve been totally wasting the potential of my Three Sisters.