Mutronics Mutator
TEC Award nominee (TEC Award Nominiee)
Music Radar Rating (Computer Music)

Mutronics Mutator creates mind boggling filter sweep effects on any sound source—guitars, vocals, keyboards, drums, etc. Mutator is essentially a super sweet stereo analog filter and an envelope follower, based on technology developed for analog synthesis in the 1960s. It's fair to say that The Mutator is more of a creative tool than purely a mix tool.

Mutronics Mutator was an instant success when it came out in the early 1990's, and had an enormous impact of the sound from that decade. The Mutator can clearly be heard on records by artists such as Radiohead, Beck, Daft Punk, The Chemical Brothers, Nine Inch Nails, Massive Attack and many more.

The Mutronics Mutator plug-in is a surprisingly versatile tool. I can create subtle tremolo effects on pads and synths or completely change the sound of drum loops by using the amazing sounding filters and LFOs on the Mutator. Very cool plugin for adding movement in a mix!

Tony Maserati, Legendary Mixer for Jay-Z, Beyoncé, James Brown, Jennifer Lopez, etc.

But the Mutator was short lived. Production ceased abruptly when a vital component was discontinued by the component manufacturer. The original has since then only been available at auction sites, often at prices much higher than the original purchase price. Softube has worked closely with Mutronics to ensure that the plug-in captures every delicate detail of the original hardware.

Truly Wicked! I was amazed to find that not only had Softube managed to capture the musical mangling abilities of the hardware but they also opened the doors to even more sonic destruction possibilities with the addition of host-based tempo sync, automation and mix knob capabilities.

Billy Bush, Studio and live engineer for Garbage, also worked with Foster the People, Muse, Beck and Offspring.

What is the Mutator?
Mutator has an analog voltage controlled filter (VCF) for each of its two channels, which can create synth-like filter sweeps on any sound source that is fed into the unit. The filter can be controlled from a number of sources, for example the envelope follower, which sweeps the filter in proportion to the amplitude of the sound source. In Gate mode, the filter is either on or off, and the filter can also be controlled by the on-board LFOs. These have four waveforms, which create filter sweeps in our out of time with the music.

Another very cool option is to use the external sidechain input, to have an external sound source control the filter movements. For example, insert the Mutator on a pad track and have the filter move in sync with a drum loop. You can also link or unlink the two channels for trippy stereo effects, use the Width control to extend the stereo field and use the Mix knob to blend in the original sound source with the mutated sound.

To further understand what the Mutator does, we recommend that you check out the product video!

In Short

  • Mind boggling filter effects
  • Control filter sweeps by the sound source's amplitude, from the LFOs or from an external sound source
  • Used on many seminal records from the 1990s
  • Based on technology developed for analog synthesis from the 1960s
  • Each and every component carefully modeled
  • Extremely analog behavior of frequencies, phase, distortion, etc

ALL VISUAL AND AURAL REFERENCES TO THE MUTRONICS AND MUTATOR TRADEMARKS ARE BEING MADE WITH WRITTEN PERMISSION FROM MUTRONICS LIMITED. ALL OTHER TRADEMARKS ARE PROPERTIES OF THEIR RESPECTIVE OWNERS AND ARE USED FOR INFORMATION PURPOSES ONLY.

Mutronics Mutator—introduction video.
Billy Bush (Garbage) and Neil Davidge (Massive Attack) discuss Mutronics Mutator
TEC Award nominee (TEC Award Nominiee)

TEC Award nominee
www.tecawards.org

Music Radar Rating (Computer Music)

Music Radar Rating
www.musicradar.com​/reviews​/tech​/softube-mutronics-mutator-620126

Quotes

Click to show Tony Maserati in the studio with Softube plug-ins

The Mutronics Mutator plug-in is a surprisingly versatile tool. I can create subtle tremolo effects on pads and synths or completely change the sound of drum loops by using the amazing sounding filters and LFOs on the Mutator. Very cool plugin for adding movement in a mix!

Tony Maserati, Legendary Mixer for Jay-Z, Beyoncé, James Brown, Jennifer Lopez, etc.

Click to show Billy Bush (photo: Lindsey Byrnes)

Truly Wicked! I was amazed to find that not only had Softube managed to capture the musical mangling abilities of the hardware but they also opened the doors to even more sonic destruction possibilities with the addition of host-based tempo sync, automation and mix knob capabilities.

Billy Bush, Studio and live engineer for Garbage, also worked with Foster the People, Muse, Beck and Offspring.

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