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Mutronics Mutator

Analog Filter Plugin by Softube
Mutronics Mutator
Mutronics Mutator by Softube is a Virtual Effect Audio Plugin for macOS and Windows. It functions as a VST Plugin, an Audio Units Plugin, a VST 3 Plugin and an AAX Plugin.
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The original Mutronics Mutator, a super sweet stereo analog filter and envelope follower created in the 90s, was an instant success and quickly became a recognizable feature of the 90s sound. Softube has partnered with Mutronics to bring the Mutator back in plug-in form with the same incredible sound quality as the original hardware plus all the benefits of a modern plug-in.

The Mutator contains two independent voltage-controlled filters (VCFs) similar to those found in analog synthesizers. It works great with any sound source that's fed into the unit, including guitar, vocals, keyboard, and drums. Use it to give a vintage analog sound to an instrument, create filter sweep effects, mix the original sound source with the mutated sound, and 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.

A Classic Effects Unit, Updated

Softube carefully replicated the features and details of the original hardware version of the Mutator, which created enough source-deforming effects to make an android paranoid, in close collaboration with Mutronics. Designed to give you the same sound quality and features of the hardware, plus a few modern additions that make it even more useful.

A Versatile Creative Tool

Mutronics Mutator works with any sound source-electric guitar, drum loops, bass guitar, electric piano, synth with sidechain compression, vocals, etc.-to create filter sweep effects that you can control by the sound source's amplitude, from the low-frequency oscillations (LFOs), or from an external sound source.

Add Movement in a Mix

Use the amplitude of your audio signal to directly control the opening and closing filter for living auto-wah effects where the louder parts of the sound source move the cut-off frequency of the filter upwards. Animate the filter with LFOs on each channel for slowly evolving effects or tempo-synced tremolos.

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

A Highly Regarded but Short-Lived Analog Filter

Mutronics Mutator, based on technology developed for analog synthesis in the 60s, was the go-to stereo analog filter and envelope follower for many of the bands and musicians who shaped the 90s sound, including Radiohead, The Chemical Brothers, Daft Punk, Garbage, Beck, REM, Massive Attack, and Nine Inch Nails. Unfortunately, the Mutator abruptly disappeared from the market when a key component that gave it its unique sound was discontinuedand the designers couldn't find a suitable alternative. After that, people could only find the Mutator on auction sites, often at highly inflated prices. But finally, a worthy alternative is here.

The Mutator Makes a Comeback

Softube worked in close collaboration with Mutronics to create a plug-in version that replicates the features and design of the original hardware. The Softube Mutronics Mutator is officially licensed and endorsed by its original designers at Mutronics. It sounds just as good as the original hardware while offering all the benefits of a modern plug-in.

What the Mutator Can Do for Your Mixes

The Mutator contains two independent voltage-controlled filters (VCFs) similar to those in analog synthesizers that can create synth-like filter sweeps on any external sound source. The filter can be controlled from the envelope follower, which sweeps the filter in proportion to the amplitude of the sound source.

The envelope follower can be switched to track either the envelope of the sound that is being treated by the filter, or that of an independent external control signal that can be any audio source, such as a drum sound, a guitar, a synth, a sampler output, or a microphone. Alternatively, the filter can be controlled by the on-board LFOs, which have four different waveforms to create filter sweeps in or out of time with the music.

Even more options with the plug-in version

Softube made a few modern additions to the Mutator's features to make the plug-in even more useful than the analog hardware. Digital love, one more time, but better. The knobs on the lowest row are new additions. These include tempo synching to the digital audio workstation (DAW) host, automation, and a mix button that allows you to blend in the original sound source with the mutated sound and adjust the mix ratio.

I once needed a little character on some bass and tried the Mutronics Mutator out. Pretty much haven't stopped using it since then. It's so creative and gives you the right amount of movement and 'specialness' when you need it the most.

Aamir Yaqub - Grammy Award winning Engineer/Producer for Rihanna, Sia, David Guetta

In short:

  • Created in collaboration with Mutronics.
  • Create a classic 90s sound.
  • Every component carefully modeled after the original hardware.
  • Amazing filter effects.
  • Give a vintage analog sound to guitar, keyboard, drums, or vocals.
  • Superimpose the envelope characteristics of one sound onto the filtering contour of another.
  • Gate a sound from an external control source like hi-hats or a drum loop.
  • Use the external sidechain input to have an external sound source control the filter movements.
  • Use the Mutator as a stereo panning filter-as the filter cut-off frequency of one channel rises that of the other channel falls and he sound pans from side to side in a frequency-dependent way.
  • New features included in the plug-in version are host-based tempo sync, automation, and mix knob capabilities.

{See video at top of page}

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