Mutable Instruments Stages


It definitely occurred to me that Stages would be a good buddy for an ER-301; among all its other uses, it can be a bank of CV faders.


I had been biting my lip every time I wandered into the ER-301 interface thread. I should go post there.


at the most vanilla I use stages as a 2x combo S/H and AD so my voices don’t get a new pitch without a new envelope to open the VCA


This one is very interesting.
After trying almost ALL the MI stuff i only held only my Yarns for obvious reasons, Two RIngs and a peaks. I like this but honestly i own a modcan Quad LFO and it does a really nice job.


This is a really cool modules seems like it would be more at home in a larger system with two of them chained. Currently building 54hp pulp Logic case and very difficult to decide on my modulation sources. Seems like a Voltage block actually gets you more bang for your HP? Looks like a tonne of fun though, trying to convince myself this is right for a small case.


If you’re only looking for step sequencing, then yes, Voltage Block would be the deeper option.

However, even for a small system, this is overall way more powerful as it can generate LFOs and envelopes.

As an example (for a small system) you could use one stage as an LFO that could be your master clock. You could plug that clock into another stage to create a tap-tempo LFO. That LFO could be modulated to create a variable clock divider (you could modulate that either using another stage, or via multiple stages that act as a step sequencer). Finally, you could plug the main clock and the divided clock into two more stages that act as Decay envelopes. You now have:

  • A master clock
  • A divided clock
  • A separate LFO that modulates the division
  • A decay envelope triggered at the master rate
  • A decay envelope triggered at the division rate
  • One spare stage…

That’s all in 14 HP. It’s a monster.

EDIT: Of course, the divided clock could also be a multiplied clock… That spare stage could be used as a Sample and Hold. You could, for example, use the LFO as the input and the master clock as the trigger. That way, the LFO that modulated the division of the secondary clock will only update the secondary clock when the master clock pulses. It would make for more rigid modulation.


Well, 20 chars of pre-ordered.


If I may ask, how do you think it compares to Maths regarding small systems?
Obviously it’s lacking the mixing, attenuating features… But on a whole?


I sold my Maths, but kept Kermit and Just Friends. Combining this with Shades gives you a lot in the same 20 HP, as Shades will give you attenuation and mixing (If you have more room, Blinds gives you four channels with the additional ability to act as 4 VCAs). A single STEP channel (without a Gate attached) on Stages acts as slew. The main things you’d miss are the OR output (if you have Kinks or Cold Mac, you’re fine), toggled Cycle behavior, and the EOC/EOA outputs. The various Stages outputs can act like EOC/EOA, depending on your chosen shapes and chain. However, if you have a single stage Decay envelope, the only output is the envelope itself.

As an aside, Cold Mac does make for an excellent pairing with Stages, as it gives you six channels of various processing utilities.

EDIT: I suppose in clearer terms: If you use Maths for toggled LFOs, keep it. There really aren’t many modules that do that. If you’re only using it for basic AD duties, then Stages is a safe replacement.


Thanks for your comment!
For the things I use maths mostly, this could be an attractive alternative.
Still don’t know what Cold Mac does exactly. Have to have another look at that module.


Cold Mac doesnt do one big thing, its a bunch of small things spiderwebbed together with normalizations and the survey knob. I think it will play well with the 6 CV inputs on stages(which I insta preordered :slight_smile: )


Ok. I think that’s my main use of it.
Channel 1 and 4 cycling, and crosspatched. Do you mean that with toggled?


Well, Stages does the cycling envelope/LFO thing. What I mean is more that Maths has the big Cycle buttons and inputs, meaning that you can use another source to turn the LFO on and off. Maths is one of the only modules I know that has that, other than the WMD/SSF Mini Slew.

Stages doesn’t have that… although I suppose you can use two channels of Stages to create a sequential switch and plug an LFO into one channel.


Thank you! Great information


I’ve confirmed that the CV inputs are bipolar. So is the output where appropriate (sample + hold, delay, pulse generation using a negative CV offset).


Midway through DivKids tutorial on this and I’m pretty amazed. By far the most exciting of the three new modules from MI!


could someone here contrast this with batumi? i’d be interested to see how they differ/relate.


I don’t have a Batumi – it never was a priority for me to get a dedicated LFO module when I had Kermit, then E370, and now also Stages. But:

Stages envelopes and LFOs are unipolar so for some uses you’d want an offset.

Stages can be up to 6 independent LFOs. They can free-run or be tempo-synced (using a “smarter than Peaks” algorithm that can sync to irregular patterns, which is fantastic). There’s no phase reset. They will go into audio rates at 1V/oct but aren’t band-limited.

They have one output each, morphable between downward saw, triangle, sine, back to triangle, trapezoid and square.

If you want an LFO with multiple outputs, you can mult one LFO’s output to another’s gate, multiply/divide with the slider and select a different shape with the pot. Depending on the shape of the first LFO, the phase may be different (it syncs best to sawtooth).

While there’s not a phase/quadrature feature as such, you can configure segments as CV delays – so as long as your LFO frequency is fixed you can fake it. :slight_smile: (Those delays will delay anything, including audio in a lo-fi sort of way.)

You can also use an LFO segment to trigger an envelope, looping envelope, sequencer, sequential switch or hybrid sort of thing and get much more complex shapes out of it :grinning:


Segment 4 LFO multed to gate 5. Segment 5 is a ramp, 6 is a looping ramp.
Red = segment 4 output, green = segment 5 output.


as someone with Batumi AND Stages, I would say that if you want a dedicated multiple-LFO modules with Batumi’s features, stick with Batumi. I do not use Stages for LFOs (bc I have a Batumi) - one of the things Stages is great at is being that extra LFO when you realize you need one, but I would not use it for LFOs and LFOs alone.

@Starthief otherwise breaks it down well


When I was talking to Olivier about some possible features that could have been (awkwardly) shoehorned into Stages, he said he wasn’t really trying to take it down the path of a fully-featured specialized sequencer; I believe one could insert “LFO” there as well regarding something like Batumi.

(My personal preference would always be for another Stages rather than a Batumi, but I get why that’s not true for everyone.)