The Midium

Mutable Instruments' description of the Mutable Instruments Ears contact microphone

I can hear you…

Ears is Mutable Instruments’ take on Tom Whitwell’s open-source module – a contact microphone and amplifier.

A large palette of organic, physical sounds can be generated by scratching, tapping, and more generally collecting any kind of acoustic waves surrounding your modular case – even speaker feedback.

With its built-in envelope follower and gate detector, it can also be the gateway between external audio sources and your modular system.

4HP     25mm     +12V:5mA     -12V:5mA

Ears for your modular

• Built-in contact microphone soldered right under the front panel, turning the panel and your entire case into a microphone.
• Increasingly spaced ridges on the panel, generating sonically interesting pulses or impulse combs when rubbed. Strike, pick or scratch digital resonators like, or the 4ms SMR.
• High-quality amplification stage suitable for external contact microphones, electro-acoustic instruments like guitars, or plain 
line-level signals.

Extending the Mikrophonie

Compared to the Mikrophonie, Ears has additional outputs:

• Envelope follower, translating the decaying amplitude profile of a tap into an envelope CV.
• Gate detector, translating taps into gate signals.
• Envelope follower and gate detector can process external signals.


• Audio amplifier with 1M input impedance, up to 40dB of gain.
• External input bypassing the built-in contact microphone.
• Envelope follower with 3 preset attack and release times (adjustable by jumper).
• Gate detector with 3 preset sensitivity levels (adjustable by jumper) and +8V gate output.
• Three indicator LEDs: amplifier clipping (red), envelope follower level (white), gate detector activity (orange).