The heart of Frames is a 4-channel analog VCA under tight digital control. Through flexible input/output mixing and normalling options, it can be patched to serve the following purposes (among others):
- 4-channel attenuator/VCA.
- 4-channel mixer.
- 4-channel programmable CV source.
- Quadraphonic signal dispatcher.
But what makes Frames truly unique is the way in which channel/CV levels can be controlled, using a technique inspired by computer animation. Frames allows up to 64 configurations of the 4 level knobs to be stored and recalled throughout the course of its big Frame knob. By rotating the knob (or sending a CV to the Frame modulation input and adjusting its amount with the attenuverter), the configurations are morphed into one another.
To fine-tune the animation and get varied morphing or sequencing results, the following options are available for each of the 4 channel:
- Easing curve (stepped, linear, exponential, logarithmic, sine, bouncy)
- Attenuation response of the level knob, from linear to logarithmic
With a bit of patching and imagination, Frames can also be repurposed as a 4-channel sequencer, a multi-stage envelope generator or a trajectory generator for quadraphonic panning…
Mutable Instruments modules are packed with features and Frames is no exception: Frames can switch easily to an entirely different mode of operation – its “Easter Egg” mode – in which it becomes a wavetable quadrature LFO/VCO.
There are also third-party alternative firmwares available – such as the Parasites ones – which add features such as a Quad Euclidian Sequencer and Shift Register.
Power: 90mA @ +12V / 30mA @ -12V