Here's my review/thoughts on IDOW: Hardcore Edition

Discussions and information relating to the upcoming Modular Synthesizer Documentary.

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Post by s o l v e n t » Mon Jun 02, 2014 7:25 pm

Manzanedo wrote:I bought the DVD from Amazon after watching some extended interviews on Youtube. I could be mistaken but it seems that the extended interviews are not included on the DVD. Is this correct? I know it is four hours long, but just curious.
That's correct. 4 hours was the maximum amount of time that we could fit onto a single dual-layer DVD. We may consider doing a disc of Extended Interviews at some point down the line.

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Post by s o l v e n t » Mon Jun 02, 2014 7:31 pm

kd2ajn wrote:Very amazing how many significant people you were able to interview for this film. I would have liked to see even more footage of many of them, but I suppose 4 hours is pretty long already.
Cheers! Nobody is more surprised than we are at the caliber of people we managed to get on board for this project. It took me a good 8-12 months of constant digging and emailing to get in touch with everyone. It wasn't easy to get any of the big names until we got Trent Reznor on board, which opened up everything. I couldn't be more grateful for him agreeing to be in our little indie production as it really changed everything once we interviewed him.

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Post by raylinds » Fri Jun 13, 2014 4:10 pm

Well I have watched it twice now and loved every minute of it. I was really into analog synth music back in the late 60s, early 70s, and this was a nostalgia thing for me, but it turned out changing my life. I joined this forum and spent about $4k on a starter Eurorack modular system and am having a blast with it.

I also ordered copies of Switched on Bach and a couple of Mort Subotnick albums and bought the book about the San Francisco Tape Center to learn more about the history of that.

Do you think it influenced me much? :bacon:
Cheers,
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Post by Slabwax » Fri Jun 13, 2014 8:53 pm

s o l v e n t wrote:
Manzanedo wrote:I bought the DVD from Amazon after watching some extended interviews on Youtube. I could be mistaken but it seems that the extended interviews are not included on the DVD. Is this correct? I know it is four hours long, but just curious.
That's correct. 4 hours was the maximum amount of time that we could fit onto a single dual-layer DVD. We may consider doing a disc of Extended Interviews at some point down the line.


Please do another Kickstarter for the extended interviews. I'd buy that 4 hours is not enough (maybe for my wife it was).

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Post by mousegarden » Sat Jun 14, 2014 5:01 am

raylinds wrote:Well I have watched it twice now and loved every minute of it. I was really into analog synth music back in the late 60s, early 70s, and this was a nostalgia thing for me, but it turned out changing my life. I joined this forum and spent about $4k on a starter Eurorack modular system and am having a blast with it.

I also ordered copies of Switched on Bach and a couple of Mort Subotnick albums and bought the book about the San Francisco Tape Center to learn more about the history of that.

Do you think it influenced me much? :bacon:
Analog Days by Pinch and Trocco is a good read.

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Post by s o l v e n t » Sat Jun 14, 2014 11:53 am

raylinds wrote:Well I have watched it twice now and loved every minute of it. I was really into analog synth music back in the late 60s, early 70s, and this was a nostalgia thing for me, but it turned out changing my life. I joined this forum and spent about $4k on a starter Eurorack modular system and am having a blast with it.

I also ordered copies of Switched on Bach and a couple of Mort Subotnick albums and bought the book about the San Francisco Tape Center to learn more about the history of that.

Do you think it influenced me much? :bacon:
So cool to hear!

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Post by The Real MC » Mon Jun 23, 2014 2:49 pm

Just saw this thread.

Last year it took me a week to get through the four hour HE. When you called it hard core you weren't kidding. I really enjoyed it. It's not a subject with mass appeal and I'm grateful of the labor of love that obviously went into this thing because I'm probably the only musician within an hour drive with this interest. No it doesn't have Buchla, Carlos, Emerson, or all the famous names. But there's enough here to satisfy the gear fetish - modern artists, current makers, gear hounds.

I haven't owned a modular since 1983 (PAiA) and haven't really stayed current with the new gear but it's fascinating to see the renewed interest in modular. If you are into synths in any capacity (not just modular) then this is a great documentary to have. There is not likely to be another DVD like this so grab one while you can.
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Post by s o l v e n t » Tue Jun 24, 2014 6:29 pm

The Real MC wrote:Just saw this thread.

Last year it took me a week to get through the four hour HE. When you called it hard core you weren't kidding. I really enjoyed it. It's not a subject with mass appeal and I'm grateful of the labor of love that obviously went into this thing because I'm probably the only musician within an hour drive with this interest. No it doesn't have Buchla, Carlos, Emerson, or all the famous names. But there's enough here to satisfy the gear fetish - modern artists, current makers, gear hounds.

I haven't owned a modular since 1983 (PAiA) and haven't really stayed current with the new gear but it's fascinating to see the renewed interest in modular. If you are into synths in any capacity (not just modular) then this is a great documentary to have. There is not likely to be another DVD like this so grab one while you can.
This is really great to hear, thanks! For the record we tried really hard to get an interview with Don, and we came close, but it just never panned out. Wendy Carlos refused outright and was also unwilling to license music from Switched On Bach. Unfortunate - both would've been amazing to include. Cheers for the support

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Post by mousegarden » Sat Jun 28, 2014 4:04 am

s o l v e n t wrote:Wendy Carlos refused outright and was also unwilling to license music from Switched On Bach. Unfortunate - both would've been amazing to include. Cheers for the support
It wasn't a "one line" reply was it ? :roll:
Despite changing my life with her records, and probably being the biggest influence on me, I really can't appreciate her stance on things, it's tainted my view of her, rightly or wrongly. I know she has a right to protect her "property" but it's the way it's done that I find irritating.

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Post by EdNomi » Wed Jul 02, 2014 7:55 am

I watched the documentary twice and I think it's very relaxing.
The IDOW theme is also great and well fitting the subject!

If I weren't already into modular synths it would surely have convinced me of the possibilities.

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Post by supersounddesign » Thu Jul 03, 2014 12:09 pm

s o l v e n t wrote:The quotes used were meant to illustrate a fundamental difference between the East and West coast approaches.
FWIW I started work on a Modular synth documentary back in 2001 based on the same concept of exploring east coast vs west coast. Also wanted to get Zinovieff in on the action. The first person interviewed was Maggi Payne of Mills College. We went there and got loads of footage of the Buchla, the Moog Modular, and the Orange face Arp 2600, (who's power cord had gone missing). For some reason, we didn't progress any further than that.. It all seemed too gargantuan of a task for our very limited to nonexistent resources. I still have a DV Cam tape of Maggi Explaining the Moog in full detail and us trying to "play" the Buchla..

Ah well glad someone did it! :tu:

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Post by thefutureeaters » Sun Sep 14, 2014 3:19 pm

Just watched it.
Fascinating, Inspiring and Very Informative.
I think it should be the beginning of a never ending chapter based IDOW series. Couldn't stand that it ended!
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Post by Chiffre » Tue Oct 14, 2014 8:52 pm

I enjoy greatly both parts and documentary lead me here so added benefit!

Congratulation and best wishes.

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Post by JLYMN » Tue Nov 25, 2014 8:11 pm

An amazing doc, still only been halfway through the 4hrs stint of the HE. Very enjoyable to watch and even better for gear drool.

My single most favourite part of this film is Andreas Schneider talking about 5U.
at 7.50 in the trailer -

What a top chap, I want to get out to Berlin and meet this guy.

Great job on the music Solvent and well done to everyone involved!

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Post by Smokey » Sat Jan 31, 2015 9:00 pm

Just finished watching the doc again.

Really really good job fellas. Informative and entertaining. I'm a bit of a documentary (and synth) junkie so I may be a bit biased but... Really great job!

I also have the uncut interviews which are informative and entertaining in it's own way (really appreciate the full Lainhart interview btw. RIP Richard).

Just curious on how the commercial release will differ from the hardcore edition. I'm definitely looking forward to it and wish you the best of luck with it.

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Post by s o l v e n t » Tue Feb 03, 2015 9:35 am

Smokey wrote:Just finished watching the doc again.

Really really good job fellas. Informative and entertaining. I'm a bit of a documentary (and synth) junkie so I may be a bit biased but... Really great job!

I also have the uncut interviews which are informative and entertaining in it's own way (really appreciate the full Lainhart interview btw. RIP Richard).

Just curious on how the commercial release will differ from the hardcore edition. I'm definitely looking forward to it and wish you the best of luck with it.
Thank you sir!

To (sort of) answer your question...

(for ease, HCE = Hardcore Edition, IDOW = the feature-length edit)

When HCE was done, the thought of editing it down to make it into IDOW would result in a compromised version, or that it would just pale as a sort of HCE-lite. I mean, I figured it would be better for the uninitiated, but that for anyone who loves the subject matter, IDOW would be too "lite".

But actually, I prefer IDOW to HCE. Substantially. A lot of gold got cut from HCE. So I'm very glad that HCE exists - if we'd have only done IDOW I would've felt that a lot of the material we covered was lost, and that would've been a bummer... but it's out there, it exists, on HCE... However IDOW plays a lot better than HCE - as great as the material is, 4 hours is LONG and it does drag sometimes. I feel that IDOW zips by and feels a lot more cohesive. It was actually so much more work editing it down - making something concise out of so much material was a huge challenge. (Credit goes to Robert BTW).

As far as what is actually different:

- it really gains a LOT from being shorter and more concise - the flow is so much better

- there's a few new quotes & shots added here & there.

- not seen in theaters, but adding for the DVD/digital release: 1 new person/interviewee added! Someone amazing!

- had time to really work on soundtrack placement and I feel the music really helps move the film more effectively now

- big change: we have a different narrator! Actually, we were forced to do this because we needed a Canadian narrator to quality for Canadian Content - we got a broadcast license in Canada and this was required... So we got Patti Schmidt, former host of CBC Radio program Brave New Waves, and current programmer at MUTEK... initially we thought we would just use her for the Can TV broadcast, but her cool, detached tone gives the film a very different feel, and most people seemed to prefer it. Personally I would say that I still prefer Navs' narration, but I think for many, Brits especially, the idea of a BBC homage wasn't as cool as we thought it was. Anyway, Patti's narr definitely gives the film a more serious tone which seems to lend it some "credibility" or something. Plus I like that it differentiates it from HCE.

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Post by punkerdood » Thu Feb 05, 2015 3:31 pm

EdNomi wrote:I watched the documentary twice and I think it's very relaxing.
The IDOW theme is also great and well fitting the subject!

If I weren't already into modular synths it would surely have convinced me of the possibilities.
I moved from the korg littlebits to a moon modular because of this flick.
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Post by punkerdood » Thu Feb 05, 2015 3:35 pm


(for ease, HCE = Hardcore Edition, IDOW = the feature-length edit)

When HCE was done, the thought of editing it down to make it into IDOW would result in a compromised version, or that it would just pale as a sort of HCE-lite. I mean, I figured it would be better for the uninitiated, but that for anyone who loves the subject matter, IDOW would be too "lite".

But actually, I prefer IDOW to HCE. Substantially. A lot of gold got cut from HCE. So I'm very glad that HCE exists - if we'd have only done IDOW I would've felt that a lot of the material we covered was lost, and that would've been a bummer... but it's out there, it exists, on HCE... However IDOW plays a lot better than HCE - as great as the material is, 4 hours is LONG and it does drag sometimes. I feel that IDOW zips by and feels a lot more cohesive. It was actually so much more work editing it down - making something concise out of so much material was a huge challenge. (Credit goes to Robert BTW).

As far as what is actually different:

- it really gains a LOT from being shorter and more concise - the flow is so much better

- there's a few new quotes & shots added here & there.

- not seen in theaters, but adding for the DVD/digital release: 1 new person/interviewee added! Someone amazing!

- had time to really work on soundtrack placement and I feel the music really helps move the film more effectively now

- big change: we have a different narrator! Actually, we were forced to do this because we needed a Canadian narrator to quality for Canadian Content - we got a broadcast license in Canada and this was required... So we got Patti Schmidt, former host of CBC Radio program Brave New Waves, and current programmer at MUTEK... initially we thought we would just use her for the Can TV broadcast, but her cool, detached tone gives the film a very different feel, and most people seemed to prefer it. Personally I would say that I still prefer Navs' narration, but I think for many, Brits especially, the idea of a BBC homage wasn't as cool as we thought it was. Anyway, Patti's narr definitely gives the film a more serious tone which seems to lend it some "credibility" or something. Plus I like that it differentiates it from HCE.
Totally agree 4 hours is a long film, and part two put my father to sleep. He did love part one though. I enjoyed the whole thing, but even found myself going to the land of nod late at night while watching part two. [/quote]
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Post by sjessiman » Sat Feb 14, 2015 6:05 pm

Just picked this up and watched it all the last two days. Very enjoyable, I particularly liked the first part covering the history of modulars, which I admit to not knowing a lot about. I was always into synths as a kid, but I guess it was the move to digital that really got me interested, now I find myself wanting one that fills a room and looks like some crazy science lab.

Seeing the way a lot of these guys got started makes me wish I'd kept an interest in electronics. I used to love the small eletronic kits I had as a kid and remember building a midi interface to control my synth from my commodore 64. That all led me to getting a degree in electrical engineering, but I don't think I ever touched a soldering iron after graduating, I went straight into software development.

Maybe when I get my modular up and running this will get me inspired to try some diy.

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Post by Faustgeist » Fri Apr 24, 2015 10:15 am

From a beginners perspective...

Loved it! Part 1 was a solid foundation - establishing the time line and concurrent development of the sound.

Part 2 I particularly enjoyed as it related to my new hobby directly - seeing the dreamers and technicians from the companies I am purchasing from. I tend to agree with some earlier posters in that the text identifying who is talking came on a touch late and (as a newbie) I would have likes a touch more text description as to who these folks were. Many were just names on the screen - I feel I missed a few "Omigod!" moments.

Overall, brilliant, inspiring and very re watchable.

I salute you!
~R

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Post by mousegarden » Sat Apr 25, 2015 6:19 am

Still one of my fave bits is the interview with Trent Reznor, and Allessandro Cortini, Trent really is spot on about the rompler era "where's the piano sound" comment....

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Post by Rotterdam Rebel » Thu Jul 02, 2015 8:42 am

Just saw it ,cool stuff for sure, all the info I needed to know, to take the descision to get some of those funky tools..

I am very strongly convinced this whole modular/synth thing is going be huge the next coming years..So just in time to hop on the wagon, thanks for that..

Cheers Guys, good work

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Post by mousegarden » Fri Jul 03, 2015 2:45 am

Rotterdam Rebel wrote:Just saw it ,cool stuff for sure, all the info I needed to know, to take the descision to get some of those funky tools..

I am very strongly convinced this whole modular/synth thing is going be huge the next coming years..So just in time to hop on the wagon, thanks for that..

Cheers Guys, good work
Go for it !
Let's hope that it doesn't burn it's self out, it's sort of cool because it's still quite underground, and the sounds you can get are still unusual, especially with all the really cool digital stuff that's around now, don't forget to check out that stuff, people like he Harvestman and others are really taking things forward. If it becomes too popular, as always, the machine itself and it's sounds will become "generic" and the equivalent of punk clothing being sold in Miss Selfridge will happen.

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Post by Rotterdam Rebel » Sun Jul 05, 2015 3:46 pm

mousegarden wrote: Go for it !
Let's hope that it doesn't burn it's self out, it's sort of cool because it's still quite underground, and the sounds you can get are still unusual, especially with all the really cool digital stuff that's around now, don't forget to check out that stuff, people like he Harvestman and others are really taking things forward. If it becomes too popular, as always, the machine itself and it's sounds will become "generic" and the equivalent of punk clothing being sold in Miss Selfridge will happen.

MouseGarden.
Hai Mouse.

Yes I will, dont worry about that ;) I like the abstact nature of the machines.
And indeed it is still kind of underground, all things that get too popular and commercial, somehow lose some glamour..But its seems unavoidable, and the "real" artists will always be there..you know..even when sell out is bigtime happening..

That Harvestman I checked sounded fine indeed, I do like the modern digital oscilators, for the smooth side of things..

Cheers RR

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Post by Dr. Sketch-n-Etch » Mon Jul 06, 2015 12:34 am

Rotterdam Rebel wrote:I am very strongly convinced this whole modular/synth thing is going be huge the next coming years.
Where can I invest?
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