The Dirty Electronics Mute Synth II (MSII) is a hand-held synth and sequencer. At the core of the instrument is a versatile mini patchbay that provides expansion and modification permutations and a grid like visual representation of patched parameters using coloured jumpers. The patchbay encourages a particular interaction with the instrument and playfulness. The printed circuit board artwork, black and silver finish, has multiple touch electrodes in the form of small squares that provide a labyrinth of possible connections and resulting behaviours. Different rhythmic sequences are created through hybrid 4-bit binary coding, feedback loops and bit bashing. The graphical artwork for the printed circuit board was done in collaboration with Adrian Shaughnessy. The Mute Synth II is Dirty Electronics’ second hand-held synth with Mute Records, the first being created in 2011. One of the main ideas behind the Mute Synth II was to consider the dissemination of a musical idea other than through recorded fixed media, and to explore the intersection between sound object and artwork etching. The synth also presents the notion of writing music through electronics and code. The Mute Synth II is a statement against MPEG culture and places an onus on active participant rather than passive consumer. The synth has been born out of Dirty Electronics’ ongoing commitment to DIY approaches and noise aesthetics, and serves as a catalyst for experimenting with electronic sound. Additional modules and hacks allow for the instrument to be customised.
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