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After Later Audio's Cumulus is part of their Mutable Instruments Classics line and authentically recreates the original Clouds texture synthesizer module. If you're not familiar with Clouds, it is a module that started a dreamy, 5ths & octaves revolution by way of granular synthesis. Hardware limitations made it so you had limited fidelity options, but that only added to its charm.
A constantly running audio buffer captures incoming audio, and its length varies depending on audio quality and whether it's operating in stereo or mono. In stereo, you get one or four seconds of recording time, while in mono you get two or eight seconds, quality depending. The audio is then processed into audio fragments called grains and those grains can be manipulated to create unique slices of an audio pie. To adjust the characteristics of the grain shape, Density (how often the grains are generated), Size (the size of the grain), and Texture (the shape of each grain and whether it's smooth or choppy) work in congress to create a wide array of sounds. Position, however, is the main parameter you will interact with, as it scrubs through the audio buffer. Adding modulation automatically scrubs through the sound—however, for more gestural and performative sounds, you can manually adjust the knob.
Other features include 4 internal buffer save slots, a multifunction Blend knob that adjusts the wet/dry, stereo spread, feedback, and amount of internal reverb. Three additional, more experimental modes are available: pitch-shifter/time-stretcher, looping delay, and spectral madness to make this an all-in-one sonic explorer kit. With the After Later Audio Cumulus, you can get all the sounds and classic feel from the original Clouds.
- Faithful replica of the original Mutable Instruments Clouds module
- Eurorack granular synthesizer
- Recording buffer duration: 1s (32kHz, 16-bit, stereo) to 8s (16kHz, 8-bit Q-law, mono)
- 4 quality settings
- Grain size: 16ms to 1s
- Maximum number of concurrent grains: 40 to 60 depending on recording buffer resolution
- Grain generation time-base: periodical, randomized, or externally clocked
- Grain envelopes: continuously variable between boxcar, triangle, Hann
- Playback modes: granular, microlooper/buffer-lock, time-domain pitch-shifter/time-stretcher
- 4-AP diffuser to post-process the granularized signal
- Post processing (blending) settings: dry/wet balance, random panning amount, feedback amount, reverb amount4 memory locations for recording buffers
- Stereo inputs and outputs
- 1V/Oct input for pitch control
- Freeze button and CV input