Below are all of the blog posts I’ve created for the Learning Modular site. The include instructional videos and articles on important concepts (such as getting started, managing clocks in your modular system, how the different types of FM work, etc.) as well as trade show reports and other writings of interest. To browse a specific category, click on one of the Blog Categories at right.
I tried to see every module manufacturer I could find at NAMM that had new products, and I think I came pretty close…but I’m sure I missed a few. (My apologies.) Here are the last four I had a chance to chat with and take pictures of.
The 5U or “Moog Unit” (MU) modular format does not get much representation at NAMM, with Moog, Moon Modular and STG Soundlabs being the usual stalwarts. Moog skipped NAMM this year, but an unexpected source – Noise Engineering – stepped into the breech with three new 5U modules – as well as a few new Eurorack ones too, of course. I should also note that Buchla returned to the show floor, recently being bought by Foxtone Music – many have applauded this move as putting it in the hands of someone who truly cares about their history and synthesis in general, rather than just making a profit.
It’s nice to see sound source ideas beyond our beloved sawtooth and square waves become more common in the modular world. In the next two installments I’m going to focus on a pair of these trends: plucked sounds and granular synthesis. Other mini-trends include the Eurorack world going Goth, and further proliferation of CEM3340-based VCOs.
One of the most talked about new modules at NAMM was the Frap Tools Fumana Dual 16 Bands Spectral Editor. It is from the same school of thought as the Buchla 296 Spectral Processor, and the Verbos Bark Filter Processor which came out last year and which I already...
Trade shows rarely go smoothly for exhibitors. On the first day of NAMM this year, I was surprised to find the Intellijel booth in the middle of an aisle instead of in their normal booth space. It turns out that a large pipe at the back of their booth had started...
A few of those themes that emerged during this year’s NAMM show included CEM 3340-based VCOs (as there are now two sources for this classic, previously-unavailable chip), granular synthesis, semi-modulars, and multiple voices. I touched on that last one in the first installment, with 4ms’ Spherical Waveform Navigator being capable of 6-voice polyphony; in general, more companies are looking at configuring a modular to produce more than one sound at the same time – and we’ll look at a few of them here.
For the last couple of year I’ve written up my conversations with all of the modular manufacturers I could visit during the most recent NAMM show, starting on the first night of the show. This year, for personal reasons, I was on a different schedule, but I’m finally starting my manufacturer-by-manufacturer reports, to be spread out over several installments.