Welcome to Learning Modular: a site for musicians and sonic dabblers alike who want to learn more about modular synthesis. Here you will find in-depth articles, musings, and videos on subjects such as choosing modules for your system and putting them to work creating both new and familiar sounds.
We are getting close to the end of the companies I visited during this year’s NAMM show, and I’ve been saving some of my favorites for last. Today I talk more about oscillators, semi-modulars, sequencers, granular synthesis, and some modules we saw last year but which...read more
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.read more
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.read more
Today’s installment is a study in extremes, going from exceptionally clean digital designs to purposely noisy and distorted analog ones, ending with a nice new envelope generator plus upcoming dual VCO. I also editorialize about “tone.”read more