Welcome to Learning Modular: a site for musicians and sonic dabblers alike who want to learn more about modular synthesis. Here you will find my online courses, the book Patch & Tweak, a glossary, and additional useful information.
Below are select posts from this web site on fundamental concepts that will hopefully help your modular explorations. This site also contains additional blog posts on trade show reports, excerpts from my courses, and more; click here for the full list.
While putting together a live performance case focused on creating percussion patterns, I ran head-first into a problem that has frustrated many Eurorack users: how to make sure all of your modules agree on where the downbeat is. In this video and article, I sort out what’s going on, and how I fixed it.read more
Two of the older module designs around are the VCA (Voltage Controlled Amplifier) and the Ring Modulator (sometimes called a Balanced Modulator). Both use the signal from a modulator – usually a VCO – to rapidly alter the volume of a waveform from another VCO (the...read more
We know using one oscillator to frequency modulate another is a lot of fun…but just what is the difference between the different types of FM? I finally got my hands on a module – the Endorphin.es Furthrrrr Generator complex oscillator – that is capable of being switched (with some behind-the-faceplate fiddling) between exponential, linear, and linear through zero FM, so this is a good opportunity to finally make an apples to apples to apples comparison between the three.read more
Some VCAs are labeled as having “linear” response, some are labeled as having “exponential” response, and some have a switch or even a continuously variable control to go between the two. Which one should use you use, and when? Of course, the best answer is “whichever...read more