Pique (4hp Mutable Instruments Peaks) DMC Firmware
Pique is a 4hp variant of the open source Mutable Instruments Peaks. This one has a natural aluminum panel with black Befaco micro knobs.
A SWISS-ARMY KNIFE FOR PERCUSSIVE PATCHES
Pique provides 4 different functions in a small 4-HP package: ADSR, LFO / Tap tempo LFO, and drum synth.
Their common point? They are all about generating an audio or CV signal in response to a trigger, and are all focused on rhythmic works.
Peaks is a dual-channel module – making it very useful for duophonic patches or for controlling/synthesizing the kick/snare rhythmic backbone of a patch.
This module (optionally) has Dead Man's Catch (DMC) firmware installed. Please send me a message if you would prefer just the factory firmware for your purchase.
Dead Man's Catch adds several capabilities to the standard Peaks firmware:
- it unlocks some hidden envelope modes which Emilie Gillet, the owner of and principal developer at Mutable Instruments, put into the Peaks firmware from the outset: a double-attack envelope, a repeating attach envelope, a looping envelope, and a Bouncing Ball envelope generator. The Bouncing Ball envelope emulates a ball which is thrown into the air and then allowed to fall back to earth and bounce several times - think of a basketball bouncing on a basketball court. The envelope output equates to the height of the ball at any instant.
- it adds a "randomised AD envelope" mode, in which the level (amplitude) and decay times of the envelope have random amounts added to them each time the envelope fires. The amount of randomness added is adjustable, separately for amplitude and decay time.
- four new internally-modulated LFO functions have been added. These behave like the standard LFO except each has its own internal folded sine-wave modulator or random value (sample and hold) modulator that modulates either the LFO frequency (in the FM LFO function), or the LFO wave shape (in the wave shape-modulation LFO function). Yes, a frequency-modulated LFO, inside your Peaks! The two waveform-modulated LFOs also feature an additional waveform: an overdriven sine wave, which morphs from a pure sine to a square wave with rounded corners. Not only useful as an LFO, it also sounds nice at audio frequencies.
- dual PLL (phase-locked loop) oscillators (aka PLOs) have been added. This mode is based on the tap LFO mode and uses the same pattern predictor, but it has ben tweaked for use at audio rates. It will track the frequency of most oscillators running at audio rates (and LFOs too), and puts out a signal in unison, or one, two or three octaves below or above - yessir (or, maybe, Yasser), it's a sub-oscillator (or a super-oscillator)! Waveforms are selectable and can be modulated with an internal sine wave modulator. Note that this PLO is not guaranteed to track all possible signals, and it may glitch or lose the frequency lock, depending on the input. That can be good, or bad.
- it adds "randomised" bass and snare drums, in which the pitch and/or the level or decay time of the bass (kick) and snare drum models follows a random walk, with the stride of each step being adjustable from zero (no randomisation) to a fair bit.
- it adds dual Turing Machines, which are semi-random looping CV sequencers, modelled closely on the Music Thing Turing Machine.
- it adds a "ModSequencer", which works in a similar way to the DinSync MODSEQ module, and which is, under the bonnet, just a very simple extension to the existing Peaks mini-sequencer mode.
- dual "byte beat" noise generators have been added, with clock rate and two other parameters settable via the front panel pots. Eight different byte beat "equations" are available (it is easy to add more in later versions, or better equations substituted).
- the high hat model has been moved to its own function, rather than being available only as part of the snare drum as in the factory firmware. The high hat is now also adjustable. However, it runs at half the sample rate of the high hat in the factory firmware, and thus sounds somewhat different. The high hats offer randomisation, too, and mutual exclusivity, explained below, which facilitates their use as open and closed high hats with modules such as Grids which output an accent trigger synchronised with the main trigger output for each channel.
- the user interface for the four basic functions, as labelled on the panel, is unchanged, but the user interface for the alternate functions (of which there are many more than in the standard Peaks) has been changed substantially - there are now four alternative function "pages", explained in more detail below.