What are your goals when it comes to modular synthesis?

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aaronshaver
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What are your goals when it comes to modular synthesis?

Post by aaronshaver » Mon Feb 10, 2020 11:42 am

Title says it all, but what I'm wondering: since there's so much freedom with modular it can seem kind of overwhelming with choice and options. What are you personally shooting for, if anything?

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Re: What are your goals when it comes to modular synthesis?

Post by 3hands » Mon Feb 10, 2020 1:34 pm

To go down the rabbit hole, emerge unscathed some years later, write a book about the experience, and then live off the income.


Really though, discovering sounds, learning, and having fun.
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Re: What are your goals when it comes to modular synthesis?

Post by lisa » Mon Feb 10, 2020 2:01 pm

TO HAVE ALL THE MODULES!!!!1! :omg:

Nah, to have fun making music. That’s it. I love getting a patch going, listening to it for hours and adding something now and then. After a day I tend to record. One out of fifty recordings later turn into a song (though many days of arranging and mixing).
Remorseless modular beat; a bit discordant but melodic too. 🦊🦂


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Re: What are your goals when it comes to modular synthesis?

Post by starthief » Mon Feb 10, 2020 2:33 pm

The current goal for my modular is the same as for my whole studio: to facilitate making the music I want to make, and to be fun and inspiring (which includes always offering new things to learn and discover).

When I first got into modular, my goal was to explore sounds I couldn't get from VST plugins. That led to exploration of synthesis methods that are severely under-represented outside modular (e.g. "West Coast"), as well as compositional approaches very unlike DAWs, piano rolls, trackers etc.

There's still some element of exploration to my modular madness, but it's mostly "does this stuff work for my music?" and the answer is a solid "yes" at this point.
"The faint whisper of rain and running water was still there and it had the same tender note of solitude and perfection. But what did the rain mean to him as long as he couldn’t write a song about it?"

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Re: What are your goals when it comes to modular synthesis?

Post by arthurdent » Mon Feb 10, 2020 2:53 pm

To explore sound, strictly for personal use/enjoyment. If someone else happens to like what I do, so much the better...

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Re: What are your goals when it comes to modular synthesis?

Post by oblis » Mon Feb 10, 2020 4:24 pm

Make New Patch
(Record Patch, Tweak) x N
Repeat.

Sometimes there is sifting, collecting, and editing into "tracks", but I'm ok with the above on its own as an end goal.

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Re: What are your goals when it comes to modular synthesis?

Post by Pelsea » Mon Feb 10, 2020 6:39 pm

My goal for this modular is the same as I have for any instrument. To entertain people. My audience is pretty small since I retired (i.e. family and friends) but the goal remains the same. I enjoy playing for myself, but it's best to see joy (or interest) in my listeners.

I'm not particularly interested in recording. I came of age in an improvisational/fluxus environment, and recording has always seemed like sticking a pin in a butterfly--it's pretty, but it's dead. I've worked in algorithmic composition for 30 years (Even taught an international summer course for a decade) and I still pursue those techniques. I make pieces that surprise me, yet are recognizable when heard again.

Here's an example:


And here's a second run:

Books and tutorials at http://peterelsea.com
Patch responsibly-
pqe

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Re: What are your goals when it comes to modular synthesis?

Post by luchog » Mon Feb 10, 2020 6:46 pm

To annoy a buncha people with really awful noises.

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Re: What are your goals when it comes to modular synthesis?

Post by wiperactive » Mon Feb 10, 2020 8:38 pm

I don't have a conscious goal as such. I see modular synthesis as part of an ongoing, hopefully creative, inquiry into life and the world in general... I like the 'all channels open' aspect of modular synths, so I'm developing my system to be capable of taking me where ever I might want to go at any particular moment in response to my shifting mental states.

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Re: What are your goals when it comes to modular synthesis?

Post by fivebodysword » Mon Feb 10, 2020 9:27 pm

At first it was hands-on tactile control and getting away from point-and-click. It quickly became learning synthesis, and then learning how to solder and understand circuit design.

Musically I was looking for something that could make my dreampop dreams come true, knock out some grimey techno bangers, and make chilled out trip hop and BoC beats . . . and yeah I pretty much built that! I love having a super-flexible "instrument" that can be used down to a single element or two to accomplish a production task or idea, all the way up to a huge mass of patch cables doing random chaos . . .

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Re: What are your goals when it comes to modular synthesis?

Post by wiggies » Mon Feb 10, 2020 10:30 pm

My goal when I started was just to start making some music, to have a creative outlet other than writing poetry (which is hard) or doing improvisational theater (for which I'm dependent on a successful audition). Along the way, I've discovered that what I like best is building patches that will run with little or no intervention and strike the fine balance between enough repetition to sound like there's structure but enough change to stay interesting. Sometimes I feel like I almost get there.

That's it. I have no desire to play live, join a band, or make money doing this. I get a lot of enjoyment from sitting at my modular and building and tweaking a patch for a couple of weeks, recording multiple takes, then taking it all down, never to be made again.

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Re: What are your goals when it comes to modular synthesis?

Post by hawkfuzz » Mon Feb 10, 2020 10:40 pm

undo my musical habits from being restricted to guitar.
THUMPR BC SC

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Re: What are your goals when it comes to modular synthesis?

Post by cptnal » Tue Feb 11, 2020 3:50 am

Ooo, self analysis! I like these ones.

The approach (or at least one of them) attracted me initially. I'd always been aware of modular synths, but not of the fact that they could be configured to play themselves. I like the idea that you can plant seeds with intention, but still be surprised by the results. I'd tried Sseyo Koan and its successors back in the day, but lost interest because it was so computer-bound. Too much like work and not enough like play. Watching YouTube videos of these machines playing themselves encouraged me to learn what modular was really all about, and how to do it.

So that was the goal, and I'm still doing it. :party:

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Re: What are your goals when it comes to modular synthesis?

Post by naturligfunktion » Tue Feb 11, 2020 4:40 am

Initial goal was to have a big enough system to be able to play techno for a hour or so, but small enough so it is not overwhelming.

I really like to patch away and listen to the results, slowly adding and subtrackting sounds and timbres. It feels like sculpting. That I cisel away until I find that really nice sound. So my goal is to improve that experience :)

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Re: What are your goals when it comes to modular synthesis?

Post by ege.gonul » Tue Feb 11, 2020 4:41 am

Sex.

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Re: What are your goals when it comes to modular synthesis?

Post by naos » Tue Feb 11, 2020 7:02 am

to communicate with alien entities and ancient gods through electricity (not even joking).

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Re: What are your goals when it comes to modular synthesis?

Post by rduif » Tue Feb 11, 2020 7:36 am

So far its been a bit of a natural progression where my interest in music production, wanting to know how everything works and the tinkering with electronics I was already doing led me to want a fully diy modular. It's since become more and more about the engineering side and learning about circuit design that it is about music tbh.

In the end, I'm hoping to use knowledge from modular to build a sort of interactive musical art piece that is custom and unique. That last part is actually something I really like about modular. It's not just the way you play it, but actually the entire instrument that is uniquely you (particularly when you start to modify existing designs to your tastes).

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Re: What are your goals when it comes to modular synthesis?

Post by chachi » Tue Feb 11, 2020 11:09 am

i feel extremely lucky to be able to afford the cost and time of this personal music machine that i have created. i have long ago given up on the idea that this music could be for others; there is soooo much music in the world and my limited time devoted to it (relatively) means i will never be on a commercial level. so i now bask in the idea that these sounds i make are my own ambient soundtrack as i move through life, the sound in my head that others can’t hear. i have other smaller goals, to complete a group of recordings that takes the form of an “album” but this is more about holding me to completion, and if i never “finish” anything it’s ok because i liked the music in my time.

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Re: What are your goals when it comes to modular synthesis?

Post by Fog Door » Tue Feb 11, 2020 12:11 pm

i have long ago given up on the idea that this music could be for others
Never give up on that. Your music may not be commercially viable, maybe it would appeal to a very small niche of listeners, possibly even an audience in single figures. But if one person likes some music you made and listens to it for pleasure, then that is a beautiful and worthwhile thing, imo :)

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Re: What are your goals when it comes to modular synthesis?

Post by sandettie » Tue Feb 11, 2020 12:31 pm

I've enjoyed electronic & experimental music since being turned on as a kid by Alive From Off Center on PBS. Only in the last few years did it occur to me that I could try stuff out myself--not sure why that penny took so long to drop.

So, learning to use modular has been a vehicle for me to have a deeper, richer engagement with the music that's been important to me for several decades. The fact that I can now trivially make a patch that just plays and morphs while I do dishes is a satisfying bonus.

Recording/publishing is a nonissue for me, apart from wanting to share some stuff with friends, occasionally.

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Re: What are your goals when it comes to modular synthesis?

Post by cptnal » Tue Feb 11, 2020 3:33 pm

Fog Door wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 12:11 pm
i have long ago given up on the idea that this music could be for others
Never give up on that. Your music may not be commercially viable, maybe it would appeal to a very small niche of listeners, possibly even an audience in single figures. But if one person likes some music you made and listens to it for pleasure, then that is a beautiful and worthwhile thing, imo :)
I'm in the same boat. And TBH I get more of a kick out of someone saying they had a lot of fun trying an idea I posted than I do when someone says, "cool tune". Teach a man to fish and all that. That's why I always try to say thanks when someone else posts an idea I take off and run with. :tu:

(Thought this was an apropos place to mention it since we're talking about motivation and such.)

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Re: What are your goals when it comes to modular synthesis?

Post by starthief » Wed Feb 12, 2020 8:28 am

Fog Door wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 12:11 pm
i have long ago given up on the idea that this music could be for others
Never give up on that. Your music may not be commercially viable, maybe it would appeal to a very small niche of listeners, possibly even an audience in single figures. But if one person likes some music you made and listens to it for pleasure, then that is a beautiful and worthwhile thing, imo :)
:tu:

My goal in music making in general is to make something I like myself. (I can't fathom doing anything else... that would be work rather than play.)

I know I'm weird and have eclectic tastes and specific preferences, and that means not everyone is going to like it, and that's fine. But there are other people out there who'll like it too.
"The faint whisper of rain and running water was still there and it had the same tender note of solitude and perfection. But what did the rain mean to him as long as he couldn’t write a song about it?"

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chachi
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Re: What are your goals when it comes to modular synthesis?

Post by chachi » Wed Feb 12, 2020 9:11 am

Fog Door wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 12:11 pm
i have long ago given up on the idea that this music could be for others
Never give up on that. Your music may not be commercially viable, maybe it would appeal to a very small niche of listeners, possibly even an audience in single figures. But if one person likes some music you made and listens to it for pleasure, then that is a beautiful and worthwhile thing, imo :)
haha, y’all my SC totals ain’t going up!!

i do realize how good this feels. i’ve “released albums” in my life and had that one random friend say they like that one random track and you know they aren’t lying cause who would pick that track?? and it feels great! but you guys see how much music is dropped on this site on the daily and you know you don’t listen to it all. and that’s on the site where people are the most predisposed to synth noise enjoyment. you’ve probably read the threads where (it feels like) 80% of people on THIS SITE say that modular electronic music is boring and they don’t listen to it. it takes a very very specific touch to nab listeners even in this, the most receptive of audiences.

i’m just a realist, and a realist with thin skin, tbh. it feels better to make myself happy than to try to please and fail. again.

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Re: What are your goals when it comes to modular synthesis?

Post by evileye0702 » Wed Feb 12, 2020 11:35 am

Primarily it is like my other musical adventures, a way to relieve stress. Just experimenting with modular sound design is a welcome break from my otherwise organized and sometimes overwhelming life.

In the end I do like to finish compositions involving the modular but the end is rarely as enjoyable as the journey.

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Re: What are your goals when it comes to modular synthesis?

Post by starthief » Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:32 pm

chachi wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 9:11 am
but you guys see how much music is dropped on this site on the daily and you know you don’t listen to it all. and that’s on the site where people are the most predisposed to synth noise enjoyment.
This is an extremely valid point. Ideas of supply and demand with music are a little weird. It's time-consuming to listen to and you can only listen to one piece of music at a time. Despite there being more listeners than musicians in the world, there's still more music available than anyone can ever listen to.
chachi wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 9:11 am
you’ve probably read the threads where (it feels like) 80% of people on THIS SITE say that modular electronic music is boring and they don’t listen to it.
Eh... there are some people who say stuff like that. They also seem to be the same ones who think particular modules are for a particular type of music. So I write them off as over-generalizing, grumpy, closed-minded and not my audience anyway. (At the same time I don't deny I might be over-generalizing about them, and am definitely sometimes grumpy... heh)

I still think it's a healthy thing to make music for yourself and be happy if other people coincidentally like it too.
"The faint whisper of rain and running water was still there and it had the same tender note of solitude and perfection. But what did the rain mean to him as long as he couldn’t write a song about it?"

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