Mutable Instruments Rings

I’d love a rings tutorial lol. I think it’s just one of the most beautiful sounding modules in Euro.


Rings can sound beautiful, but I would warn people that it can easily sound very harsh. It requires a good amount of patience to finesse what you want out of it.

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I’ve got a thread over at the Mutable forums about Rings, for now it’s mostly me posting my experiments, but there’s also some interesting stuff by Billy Gomberg.


Thanks for this. It’ll give me some food for thought (beyond the long button press reverby mode!!!).

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it never ended up as anything but i should dig up a chunk of recording i have of howler monkeys -> rings


I only got a Rings a few months ago so I don’t know all the modes/settings that well yet, but I found that it works really well with some sort of overdrive after it and depending on the input source you can get very complex and interesting sounds… Right now on my system it’s fed a slowly sweeped wavetable oscillator and goes in a CP3 mixer on the verge of overdriving and you get really nice overdriven pads underneath some clearer notes with just the good amount of damping and 4 notes polyphony… And when sequenced appropriately you can get some bass drones/bass lines in there too.

Feedback loops with Rings and some other modules can also be great from my short experience.


I would like to hear that!

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Just posted this in the Latest Tracks thread, but this track is mostly Rings running through a delay pedal, with an LFO slightly messing with the Frequency. I haven’t had Rings long, but it’d quickly become my favorite module I own.


More Rings experiments.

In this video I tried to put together a small, playable modular instrument based on Rings, Ears, the Sound Machines Lightstrip LS-1 and the Sonic Potions Penrose quantizer.
The idea was to focus on a live-playable interface, seeing if I could make something that I could play keeping the case on my lap. It kind of worked ok, but it would need a more advanced (and bigger) controller, to be able to play something with more control, though of course that also means the case would have to be bigger.

Ears is used to both create the part of the excitation signal (in the second part of the video it is mixed with the output from the Hexinverter Jupiter Storm) and to trigger an envelope (for the JS) and the quantizer, making it produce another note based on the voltage coming out of the LS-1. The direct sound of the contact mic and the one produced by JS is mixed using a crossfader (Rabid Elephant KNobs). Basically this instrument works that you hit the contact mic in Ears to trigger a note, use the Lightstrip to determine the note that should be played and use the xfader to influence the timbre.


Nice :).

I’d recommend using something else than your fingers and the pad on the Ears module to get more variety in terms of sound and more hands-on control on the sound itself. Your case seem metallic, which is great for that (my Intellijel 7U reacts very well for example). Just use different objects (of different materials) and hit the case with various strength and at different locations. You can get very intuitive control over some aspects of the sound that way (and you can keep using the lightstrip for pitch).

Thanks for the tips! Really welcome since I’m trying out several things and any additional idea is great. I’ve started with my finger it was the most obvious starting point and I like the idea of a modular instrument that can be played directly with ones hands, but yeah… there’s more coming on this channel soon! :slight_smile:

Oh, and hitting patch cables is good too :). The one going from Ears/Mikrophonie into Rings is the loudest, others differ based on the patch…

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Using piezo pickups in a live show can be pretty tricky indeed. I’ve tried several times. It works as long as you have “acoustic set” levels, but when you start to play at “club” levels the things will either feed back like hell or you’ll have the volume so low that they won’t be heard anymore in the mix. Depends a lot on what the mics are attached to, though the fact that they are usually attached to something that resonates makes it very hard to manage.

Oh yes big fun indeed! :slight_smile:


some of my earliest experiments with Mikrophonie & Elements were a combo of exciting the case and the cables. Ears hasn’t been as “hot” as Mikrophonie for me but bringin this technique live has been about the acceptance of feedback

regarding case-hitting: one thing I tried out, after watching Meng Qi’s percussive video, was mounting a contact mic inside my case.

I have a 1U Ears port - should be released in the coming months as a kit, I hope - and it has a jumper on the back to normalise the input to something other than ground. So when nothing’s plugged into it, it’s normalised to the contact mic taped inside my case and… yup, it’s loads of fun. It also means you don’t need to set the gain right up, because the contact mic is much closer to the impact, and so emits more voltage. One of those features I guessed might work, and it turned out very well.

(Will probably rabbit about Rings in due course).


Count me in for 20 characters.

patience, things are hard (or at least: finalising kits and writing build docs is hard). one day, auricula will be in the world.


The flip side of this: I love using mikrophonie with rings damp turned way up for really nice feedback swells.

Yeah It can totally be used in creative ways. Talking of which… here’s a new video:

Same patch as for the last one, but this time I’m “exciting” Rings using a a Leaf Audio Soundbox played with a violin bow. As you can hear the output does saturate quite a bit in some parts, creating a distorted sound, which I quite like!
More info about the Soundbox can be found here:


I love Rings and got two of them. This is a quick song I just recorded in one take. The “trombone” is Mangrove, but every other sounds comes from the Rings duo. I think it turned out to sound quite nice.