MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index
 FAQ & Terms of UseFAQ & Terms Of Use   Wiggler RadioMW Radio   Muff Wiggler TwitterTwitter   Support the site @ PatreonPatreon 
 SearchSearch   RegisterSign up   Log inLog in 
WIGGLING 'LITE' IN GUEST MODE

Clouds RIP
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Eurorack Modules Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8  Next [all]
Author Clouds RIP
richc90
via Olivier on FB:

Quote:
The last Clouds are being sent to dealers. The module is no longer in production.

To me, Clouds has always been a struggle, the ugly outcome of an entire year of inner battles during which nothing turned the way I expected.

Dyes started in January 2014 as a kind of phase vocoder/spectral freeze effect. Something really fun to play with in Pure Data, but which proved to be disastrous when put into a Eurorack case, because of latency and slow CV sampling rate issues. Throughout the year, my investigations followed two paths: How can we make things sound smudgy, frozen and weird without resorting to FFTs? And what on earth could we run on this bit of hardware with 7 knobs, stereo I/O, 6 CVs and 2 gate/triggers? These two tasks converged towards what is Clouds' default granular processing mode. The enthusiasm of the beta testers confirmed that I was onto something and that I should absolutely release the module, but I was already getting way too conscious of its shortcomings to believe in its success.

One example: Originally the BLEND button controlled dry/wet balance and that was it. Feedback, pan randomization, reverb... had to be obtained through external modules. Then I tried adding those settings, and there was actually a point when these four parameters were still exclusive: if you wanted to use the reverb, then the output of the module was 100% wet and you had to use a mixer to do your dry/wet balance. But almost everybody requested independent, simultaneous control on all these parameters without resorting to external modules, and not in 24-HP please, so I compromised and we ended up with the current implementation of the BLEND knob, which I am not very proud of.

The testers got served a bunch of half-baked treats during the beta testing: delay and looper like functionality, a kind of SST-282 emulation, a reverb-based freeze effect, the original spectral freeze. And no matter how wonky this stuff was, no matter how arbitrary the chosen parameters were (after all everything had to fit in this 7-knob interface)... it still had a sentimental value to me and I could not totally let go of it. It ended up as hidden modes, the ultimate sin!
By the end of 2014 I was tired of the project, wanted to be over with it, so I decided to have 250 Clouds manufactured, which I hoped would simultaneously be the first and last batch. I predicted it would have the same destiny as Edges - something that a few people would totally get and love... and that would go unnoticed by the rest.

And then, in what could be seen as a very meta plot twist, the deity decided to use Clouds to process all the beliefs and perceptions surrounding the module, got confused with this damned BLEND knob, feedback and reverb got stuck to the maximum setting, resulting in a never-decaying smudgy howl of hype. And I felt awful about it.
Omens:

- Explaining at least once a day that Clouds won't make clouds unless you patch attenuated random sources to its CV inputs (corollaries: your Doepfer mini-case with Clouds and an Intellijel audio interface is not what I would call a good starter system).
- Clouds as a simple "end of chain effect" (one jack in, two jacks out), with the heavy lifting often done by the internal reverb and not much else.
- Richard Devine still running the December 2014 firmware.
- That the jokes were always about "Rings into Clouds”, but never "Clouds into Rings".

Let's take a break.

Clouds has shown that live granular transformation is an important sound design tool in a modular system. There ought to be a distraction-free device to perform it. I'm currently building it.
richc90
DCramer, get those three whilst you can... This is fun! This is fun! This is fun!

Seriously though, the idea of a distraction-free Clouds is *very* interesting...
mdoudoroff
Great innovators aren’t afraid to kill their darlings.
applause
Scamper
What a great and thoughtful read. You can see why he's had the success he's had.

Long live Clouds. Can't wait to see what he's working on.
dumbledog
Yah the writing was pretty much on the wall when Braids was canned. Olivier flat out called Clouds a "mistake" earlier this year.

It's definitely what I'd call a "difficult," or at least a non-intuitive module, and it's one that needs a good amount of support that isn't immediately obvious, such as a way of modulating position, texture and size (say via a noise source).

It's funny though, I spent the weekend having fun treating Clouds as an oscillator by feeding it stuff from my iPad, say the guitar in GarageBand or a Korg M1 sound. RIP.
apfEID
I have always loved what Clouds can do and always had trouble remembering how to get it to do it.

A revised take on this idea is super welcome and kudos to Olivier to being serious enough as a designer to retire a golden goose in favor of a design more personally satisfying.
nectarios
The "distractions" in Clouds are awesome though. Keeping mine and looking forward to see what comes next.
mateo
Quote:
Clouds has shown that live granular transformation is an important sound design tool in a modular system. There ought to be a distraction-free device to perform it. I'm currently building it.


This makes me very optimisitic: I do enjoy my clouds but I would surely enjoy an improved version even more!
stotakoj
RIP Clouds - still loving mine. My first "big" module.

The new MI line will be great, no doubt.
Bjarlstedt
Yeah, this makes me love my Clouds even more an. I really like the distractions and what it creates. Every time there's an aha moment when patching it an I guess it pairs well with the distraction-free Clouds . hihi
windspirit
Gotta say Olivier is pretty amazing, pretty much every product that he has knocked out of the park he looks back on and says "I can do better" and discontinues them, giving away the files for others to make 3rd party. I bet that some of his older products pay for peoples rent around the globe.

I can understand the criticisms of clouds but I have grown to seriously love mine, it does everything from just a simple reverb (which it excels at) to absolute sonic destruction with the FFT mode. I dont think Ill ever sell it.

For the record I regularly run a feedback loop between clouds and rings. Using rings in the "green" mode gives you these weird chord-like feedback tones. The combination of the two modules is so deep, its no wonder so many people rely on it.
starthief
Mutable modules (Rings and Tides particularly) were what tempted me into Eurorack originally. I suspect when whatever comes next arrives -- the sound source, modulation source, and sound processor Olivier mentioned as gaps to fill in the lineup -- I may be tempted into my second case. Never maintain cash savings again
hawkfuzz
I do enjoy that the discontinuing of modules from MI is almost a monthly blog post. I really like that it's all the flagships.

As long as the resell prices don't jump I think everything will be okay, but I'd hate to pay $300 for Peaks in the future.
Jaypee
RIP....It's free!

http://www.factmag.com/2017/10/04/mutable-instruments-max-for-live-dev ices/

ok no eurorack but still cool cool
mskala
I should have such problems like him. And will all of you be equally supportive of artistic integrity when Maths goes out of production?
Arders Bergdahl
Olivier is a wise man, or perhaps has become wisw Mr. Green
I always have little or no reverb, almost always some random voltage in to at least one of te cv inputs.. and also very much like the spectral madness mode..

So looking forward to a dedicated and "pure" grain generating module.. to create those Curtis Roads and Vaggione type of pieces in a live improvisational setting..

Way to go Olivier thumbs up
Hanz
The writing was on the wall for some time.
And whatever Olivier might say - I still think it’s all to blame on Tony and a bit of butthurt. So there. lol

More serious: I applaud Olivier for doing what he feels is the right thing , even in the face of obvious temptations of commercial succes. I mean - I wish I had the mental backbone to make such decisions in my professional life... my wife might not agree though! hihi

And indeed there may be a lot of truth to Olivier’s observations.
But I’m not getting rid of my Clouds anytime soon - at least not until it starts racking up insane prices on Ebay razz
hawkfuzz
mskala wrote:
I should have such problems like him. And will all of you be equally supportive of artistic integrity when Maths goes out of production?


What are you getting at?
starthief
mskala wrote:
I should have such problems like him. And will all of you be equally supportive of artistic integrity when Maths goes out of production?


Yes.

Particularly if Tony decides that Maths was a good general idea but had some design compromises that he wants to address, and that is best done by starting over at the beginning. How would that be something to be upset about rather than excited for?
hermbot
Hanz wrote:
And indeed there may be a lot of truth to Olivier’s observations.
But I’m not getting rid of my Clouds anytime soon - at least not until it starts racking up insane prices on Ebay razz


I wonder if the fact that we'll never run out of Clouds means the prices will stay relatively fixed. Thanks to Olivier's open source philosophy, we can always build more.
richc90
mskala wrote:
I should have such problems like him. And will all of you be equally supportive of artistic integrity when Maths goes out of production?


WTF, bad day?
coolshirtdotjpg
hermbot wrote:
Hanz wrote:
And indeed there may be a lot of truth to Olivier’s observations.
But I’m not getting rid of my Clouds anytime soon - at least not until it starts racking up insane prices on Ebay razz


I wonder if the fact that we'll never run out of Clouds means the prices will stay relatively fixed. Thanks to Olivier's open source philosophy, we can always build more.


There are so many variations out there, it's hard to imagine. My clouds is a through-hole version that I built. If eurorack blows up any more than it does, there will probably be people trying to get ridiculous prices on ebay for an OG clouds.
TemplarK
I've not got any MI in my rack yet, also i'll have to buy another case as well, but i'm very excited to see what MI put out next, Oliviers commentaries are always such interesting reads he is a very clever and extremely thoughtful designers this much you can tell!!
nectarios
TemplarK wrote:
Oliviers commentaries are always such interesting reads he is a very clever and extremely thoughtful designers this much you can tell!!


+1.
And I have a feeling he is not going to copy him self either. Excited to see what he reveals February 2018!
cptnal
Amen. I get what he's saying about Clouds' misuse, so I'm looking forward to what's next.

Meanwhile, let's all try to think about our Clouds in a different way...
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Eurorack Modules Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8  Next [all]
Page 1 of 8
Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group