how do you practice?

Anything modular synth related that is not format specific.

Moderators: Kent, Joe., luketeaford, lisa

User avatar
Severed head
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 619
Joined: Tue Sep 24, 2019 9:24 am

how do you practice?

Post by Severed head » Thu Feb 13, 2020 7:59 am

so I was just wondering how different people, have different approaches to practicing a modular synth.

So lets say a system that is fairly basic SEQUENCER/ADSR(ENV)/FILTER/VCA/VCO - maybe a basic well rounded logic module, or S&H,
nothing to fancy. just the midular equivalent of an acoustic instrument (if there is such a thing and I dont mean a LaVoix de luthier badumstsh)
(and not particularly like using a controller like a TKB or something to play the modular like a key synth)

so by practice I mean learning what things do, and understanding them and being able to adequately with a degree of knowledge and precision be able to recreate sounds/settings/time durations, timbres, etc, etc...
also not jamming, improving or getting after it like that, I mean I totally understand and agree that jamming out and all of that is a major part of the learning process, and fluency with any instrument but I mean more specific to learning and understanding a modular system, specific module or functions and controls (of your or a system and/or specific module)

similar to how a pianist would sit down and play a scale a zillion time to really understand the subtleties of the interval relations, nuances of the hammering, with different strengths applied to the strike. understanding how to chords relate tonally, theoretically. leaning and knowing how long the sustain will take to decay when releasing the pedal. how to/what to do to increase or decrease that decay time. etc etc.

so in relation to the modular system how do you practice to achieve things like


having an ADSR with your Attack knob at 2 o'clock and your release knob at 2 o'clock, thus knowing the total duration of the cycle is XXX mil seconds
or If your at the previous settings and you adjust the Attack how the snap of your VCO sequenced notes will be more or less. and knowing exactly what that change will result as.

-or with a filter. if you have both RES, & FREQ as 12, and you run a LFO CV into the FREQ with the CV Attenuators at zero and you adjust the CV attn to 12noon know how great or little of and affect that will have on the Frequency audibly.

these are just to example to exemplify what I mean by practicing and why or what you would achieve or know possibly different from just jamming. as a lot of the time while jamming and having all kinds of things going on you'll make a knob change and while it causes a audible difference to the sound sometimes its not instant it takes a second to become obvious, and while just having fun and jamming out if that change isn't ideal you can just change it back or to a different setting until its interesting. but if your performing live or in the studio you need to know exactly what a change is gonna do so you dont just make some fucked up sound that sounds like a mistake. like if your playing a bass guitar with a band and the song is in G major, you cant just be noodling around hitting notes that are in a minor key or its obvious your fucking up. and with the modular system, while most of the music you hear people making is "experimental" or "abstract" to a lot of people who're avid listeners things like bizarre knob changes and things that are unintentional can stand out as mistakes. and vary well maybe the result of a knob/setting change that is being changed intentionally by not directly to cause a very specific intentional change to the sound to a specific different sound.

I know the answer is just from repetition of using the system logically. but im just wondering what techniques other people use to become more familiar, knowledgable, and skilled with their or a modular system in the sense of practice skill technique when referring to those ideas in the "traditional" classical musical instrument paradigm
WTB:, MA35 filter. -Mac recordings software from 2008/9
:help:

User avatar
cptnal
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 3963
Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2017 2:48 am
Location: People's Republic of Scotland

Re: how do you practice?

Post by cptnal » Thu Feb 13, 2020 8:12 am

Time. Lots of it. :cloud:
Is it finished?
Latest Tune:
Sounds: SoundCloud , Freesound
Racks: Big Case, Top Row, Funboat, Tinicase

User avatar
BenA718
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 639
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2017 11:09 am
Location: NYC

Re: how do you practice?

Post by BenA718 » Thu Feb 13, 2020 8:20 am

cptnal wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 8:12 am
Time. Lots of it. :cloud:
Nothing to add to this.

User avatar
starthief
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 4695
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2016 10:39 am
Location: St Louis, MO
Contact:

Re: how do you practice?

Post by starthief » Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:15 am

You've put a whole bunch of conditions on it there...

I don't make much of a distinction between exploration, experimentation, practice, jamming, and actually trying to create something. One tends to flow into the other. The key is, I just do a hell of a lot of it.

Also I find having a scope in my modular can help me quickly come to terms with new modules or patching techniques. Ears are the most important tool, but seeing CV voltages and shapes, or waveforms, is like adding another dimension of perspective to what my ears tell me.

User avatar
lisa
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 5169
Joined: Fri Jun 02, 2017 7:00 am
Location: Sweden
Contact:

Re: how do you practice?

Post by lisa » Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:42 am

I don’t rehearse the way that I do when I play the piano or my cello. I try to make music that I like and sounds interesting enough for me to not get bored by them. Since it keeps playing when I step away, I go in and out of patching. Listening for long periods of time makes it more about the sound than my patching technique.
My second ever track using Mutable Instruments Rings. Here paired with Make Noise 0-coast and Arturia DrumBrute and Korg Minilogue. A rather bittersweet piece. ❤️


User avatar
Severed head
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 619
Joined: Tue Sep 24, 2019 9:24 am

Re: how do you practice?

Post by Severed head » Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:51 am

starthief wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:15 am
You've put a whole bunch of conditions on it there...
you mean in regard to the components of the system im guessing?
I didn't mean specifically those components or that order, I just meant more of looking at it form the perspective of those are sorta the basic components you need to get going dynamically. and what steps does one take to gaining a degree of familiarity with a specific component of their system. to create something specifically, intentionally with the direct knowledge of if I put these knobs in this position the result will be this XXX exactly or to a degree of precision.

I also agree time and repetition, is the key factor.


I guess maybe practicing may not have been the best word choice verses familiarity and understanding/knowledge of a system or module.
For me as much as I love improvising and play in two improvising projects, ive noticed that when we play a show, or im just at a show, you can really tell the difference between someone who for example goes on stage and intentionally plays a piece thats nothing but feedback and someone who has gotten on the stage and played noting but feedback because the amp and distortion pedal both have every know of full blast. and they're just flying by the seat of there pants knowing when they hit the other distortion pedal its gonna be fuckign loud but have no idea if it'll be so highpitched that everyones eardrums start bleeding or if it'll be low pitch and droning or what ever.
both obviously have a time and place. but for me theres a lot more to be said when its said intentionally so I was just wondering what peoples techniques are to gain that level of Familiarity with in the modular environment.

when from my experience a lot of modular music / musicians use a much more free formed approach. revolving more around experimenting, capturing those experiments and coagulating them into a cohesive (often un replicable,which is fine) piece of music



I guess the response is as expected, just use your shit a lot and gain familiarity through repetition.
WTB:, MA35 filter. -Mac recordings software from 2008/9
:help:

User avatar
Pelsea
Ultra Wiggler
Posts: 946
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2018 11:46 am
Location: Santa Cruz CA
Contact:

Re: how do you practice?

Post by Pelsea » Thu Feb 13, 2020 1:05 pm

Malcolm Gladwell (the 10,000 hours guy) makes a distinction between putting in time doing random stuff and directed practice, which is carefully structured to address problems and promote growth. When I practice my WX5, I use saxophone methods to practice the tricky octave fingerings and drill playing in all keys. I'm long past my 10,000 hours playing wind instruments, all I do right now is 20 minutes 3 times a week for maintenance.

Working with my modular is different, because there is a lot of random seeming experimentation and fooling around-- this is a little bit about learning the capabilities of modules, but mostly patch design, which for me involves making and debugging Max patches. I do a bit of this every day (unless I am building modules).

If I have a performance coming up, the practice becomes directed as I first learn how to perform the composition with the patch(s) I have chosen, then how to move seamlessly through the whole set. I'd say a 20 minute set takes me 40 hours to learn.
Books and tutorials on modular synthesis at http://peterelsea.com
Patch responsibly.
pqe

User avatar
luchog
Crazy Pony
Posts: 1119
Joined: Sat Nov 21, 2015 2:57 pm
Location: The Emerald City

Re: how do you practice?

Post by luchog » Thu Feb 13, 2020 1:33 pm

Patch a bunch of stuff
Play with the patch a while, exploring all the sounds and effects
???
Profit
Unpatch everything so the system is clean and bare and shiny

I just do this over and over and over.

User avatar
luchog
Crazy Pony
Posts: 1119
Joined: Sat Nov 21, 2015 2:57 pm
Location: The Emerald City

Re: how do you practice?

Post by luchog » Thu Feb 13, 2020 1:36 pm

Pelsea wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 1:05 pm
Malcolm Gladwell (the 10,000 hours guy) makes a distinction between putting in time doing random stuff and directed practice, which is carefully structured to address problems and promote growth. When I practice my WX5, I use saxophone methods to practice the tricky octave fingerings and drill playing in all keys. I'm long past my 10,000 hours playing wind instruments, all I do right now is 20 minutes 3 times a week for maintenance.
As an aside, there is a growing body of evidence that Gladwell's strictly-regimented directed practice is in fact not very helpful at mastering a skill; at least in the initial learning phase. Undirected and diverse learning when younger or just starting out, followed by slowly increasing specialization in a particular skill, results in better outcomes in the long term. That's probably why multi-instrumentalists tend to have better-developed musical ability than musicians who focus too intensely on a particular instrument.

User avatar
starthief
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 4695
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2016 10:39 am
Location: St Louis, MO
Contact:

Re: how do you practice?

Post by starthief » Thu Feb 13, 2020 2:18 pm

There are different kinds of skills though: motor skills, perceptual skills (e.g. ear training), experience and familiarity with one's gear/instruments and their behavior, and what might be called creative skills. There's some overlap and interconnectedness between them, but they don't necessarily call for the same kind of practice/learning/etc.

User avatar
Phil999
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 660
Joined: Fri Jun 12, 2015 2:59 pm
Location: Cavardiras

Re: how do you practice?

Post by Phil999 » Thu Feb 13, 2020 3:11 pm

I just play. Then other tasks appear, and I forget. Then I play again, with a new patch or a new software. Then I forget again.

All the while when I'm not doing music I keep practicing in my mind. Just plugging or connecting things together. Sometimes even in my dreams.

Listening. Listening to sounds in nature. Learning, learning how these sounds are composed of. Then thinking about how these sounds could be done with synthesisers.

User avatar
cornutt
Fig juggler
Posts: 1392
Joined: Sun Jan 25, 2009 10:06 pm
Location: Rocket City USA

Re: how do you practice?

Post by cornutt » Thu Feb 13, 2020 3:38 pm

I do patching sessions where I focus on the capabilities of one specific module, starting with fairly simple and straightforward inputs. I'll take those inputs and go through the settings and knob-twistings for the module I'm focusing on, and get the basic feel for what does what and what the effects are. Then I'll start varying the inputs, and seeing how the module responds to that. Then it becomes an iterative process: change the inputs, twiddle with the module to see how changes to it effect that particular set of inputs, change the inputs again, etc. At various points I might stop to either record, or write some notes on a set of values that I find interesting.

Example: About a month ago, I decided to spend some time exploring the ring modulation capability of the MOTM-190 VCA, which I had never done much with. I started out with two VCOs feeding it sine waves, and nothing else. I went through the VCA blend control settings and various frequency settings on the VCOs. Then I started trying other waveforms. Then I substituted a Fritz Double Deka for one of the VCOs. I tried twidding the sliders on the A bank. Then I set up something on the B bank and played with the cross-fade knob. Then I connected an envelope generator to the cross-fade input. Etc.

Note that at no point in all of this did I have a VCF in the patch. I wanted to be able to hear the unadulterated waveforms coming out of the ring mod. I played with this for about two hours, then made some recordings and wrote down a particular set of settings that I decided I will use for something I'm working on.
Sequence 15 -- sequence15.blogspot.com

KSS
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 3734
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2016 7:28 am

Re: how do you practice?

Post by KSS » Thu Feb 13, 2020 7:42 pm

Attempting 'covers' of synth music you like can be quite instructive. It's directed practice, with a defined goal. But also an exploration and allows for different paths to the result. Which with experience will become part of the process. Doing the same thing with different patches, modules, etc.

After gaining some facility with duplication of the goal sound.. Along the way one might decide to abandon the goal sounds and follow the course discovered during the 'cover' attempt. Am not suggesting this initially. The discipline of the 'cover' goal should not be abandoned too readily, for it then becomes simply an excuse to avoid the work. Read this to mean different rules for beginners and those with practiced skills.

User avatar
authorless
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 2346
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 10:41 am
Location: Wilmington, NC

Re: how do you practice?

Post by authorless » Thu Feb 13, 2020 11:29 pm

None of your examples apply to me, really. I will just answer some ways I practice.

Jamming. Jamming is practicing. Skills are useless without being able to use them in context. Also, a sound can very well sound good on its own but sound terrible in the context of other sounds.

Have a repertoire of useful patches and build them. Build one correctly, tear it down, then build another and repeat. My repertoire of patches are mainly for CV generation, though I do also have a few timbre patches, but I find that timbres are pretty easy on the fly.

Thinking of ideas and working out how to implement them. An example is I recently thought it would be useful to be able to derive a voltage that is proportional to the rate of change of another voltage - a faster rate of change would give a higher voltage. Think about what I would need to make that happen, what modules that I have would I need. Then sit down and patch it up.

How do I know what all the modules I have do? I buy things when I am looking for a specific function.
"Wait a month and buy from a fellow wiggler who's desperate for new modules." - Johnisfaster

"It's oscillators are so precise and lifeless it's actually a digital modelling analog synth." - nadafarms

swannodette
Learning to Wiggle
Posts: 32
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2018 6:05 pm

Re: how do you practice?

Post by swannodette » Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:15 am

I've been pondering this a bit myself based on my piano/guitar practice. As you say when you practice a traditional instrument you're not always working on pieces, sometimes you're focusing on technical problems. I've discovered that when I jam on my modular this tends to be unfocused - similar to jamming on the guitar/piano. If I don't record it, listen and review then I might not really learn anything at all. I've been trying a new thing where I record "studies", honestly it doesn't matter if this is on the modular, SuperCollider, Logic, guitar or piano. The goal is to record something 20-60 seconds long (certainly no longer than 1:30) that is musically interesting and "complete". Since the idea is to do one nearly every day you don't want to spend all that much time on it, and the duration is so short you're encouraged to limit the things you want to explore and discouraged from getting bogged down as you might with a fully realized track. You have to pick one, two, no more than three parameters you want to explore. I took inspiration from the first two volumes of Bartok's Mikrokosomos where nearly everything is under 60 seconds, yet each piece is musically interesting while only dealing with a small number of technical problems.

I guess for me practice is about fundamentals as well as finding weaknesses and ruthlessly eliminating them. The above is simply taking that philosophy and applying it to the non-traditional musical elements of my technique.

Luznad
Learning to Wiggle
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:05 am

Re: how do you practice?

Post by Luznad » Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:19 am

Well, this post motivates me for my first post, after reading this Forum for some time. :yay:

I see the Modular more like a way of meditation. I hated the repetition when practice with other instruments... and thats where modular came in. for me its the first instrument where practicing is enjoyable and fun.
My rutine is: start with a blank system and go from there. mostly i try to use the same 2- 3 fixed modules on every attempt, then go from there an check as many possible patches with the configuration.
if the outcome sounds nice, i record it.
this helps me to learn how 2 modules can be used with all my other stuff and how they relate to eachother.

and most important: i play with the modular for my own joy.

User avatar
twistedneck
Common Wiggler
Posts: 75
Joined: Mon Jul 08, 2019 12:01 pm
Location: Dearborn, MI

Re: how do you practice?

Post by twistedneck » Fri Feb 14, 2020 12:37 pm

Since i'm not rich I usually get one new module every couple months. That gives me time to try every possible way I can use it even in ways its not supposed to be used when I've fully understood it then I focus back on music fundamentals like Intro Verse Chorus Bridge Outro.. it helps having a mute module for this cause if you like Euro analog drums that's huge.

I found when practicing with a band the Modular ends up doing a crazy intro and maybe a special Outro and then maybe a small effect during the Bridge or Chorus.. but the part where I use my sequencer that never seems fast enough or dynamic enough to follow a Jam, so I leave that for when i'm playing solo for my cat.

User avatar
lauprellim
Common Wiggler
Posts: 207
Joined: Fri Aug 03, 2018 11:31 am
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Re: how do you practice?

Post by lauprellim » Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:36 pm

This is a great question. I have thought a lot about this.

I spent the first 40 years of my life learning how to play acoustic string instruments, and achieved a certain amount of success in this area. Coming to modular was one of the biggest leaps I ever took, on a par with working on decoupled scores (one staff for the bow, another for the fingers), switching to baroque instruments (totally new strings, bow, articulation, tuning, etc.) or learning the viola d'amore (seven playing strings, entirely different tunings, drop the instrument and it explodes).

For the modular synthesizer, my very short answer is that you need to have two systems in place, and pursue them both methodically and relentlessly.

First you need to listen. Tangerine Dream, Richard Devine, Suzanne Ciani, Ryoji Ikeda, you name it. Listen to everything in a serious, concentrated way. Take notes. Notice stuff. Make connections and enjoy the luxury of being able to sit focused on sound. Not everybody has the good fortune of being able to take time to actually do this.

Then practice patching. I don't mean once a week -- one needs to do a little every day. Even if this is to recreate a simple sequence, or some basic rhythmic grove, work with a sequential switch, an analog shift register, FM synthesis, basic envelopes, etc. You need to do at least 15 minutes a day so that you do not lose connection with your instrument. Some days practice for two hours. Get proficient at the basic stuff so you can do it quickly, accurately, repeatably, and enjoyably. Set achievable short- and long-term goals. Perform every once in a while (even if it's in your house for invited guests) to hone skills and gain experience and confidence.

There are no exercise books for the synthesizer -- no Kreuzer etudes, certification rubrics, etc. You have to do it yourself. This is not easy and requires some strategy and tenacity. I am convinced that if you keep listening and patching in a kind of feedback cycle, most folks can make progress in an enjoyable way. If there is no enjoyment there is no reason to do it, after all!

I honestly think electronic music is one of the most incredible developments in human history. It reconfigures our whole way of sensing sound, it can lift our spirits and our minds to higher levels. Acoustic music can do this too, but in an entirely different way. Despite all the horrible things happening in the world today, we are living in a very exciting time.
Have a good trip! — Karlheinz Stockhausen

KSS
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 3734
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2016 7:28 am

Re: how do you practice?

Post by KSS » Sat Feb 15, 2020 9:07 pm

lauprellim wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:36 pm
the viola d'amore (seven playing strings, entirely different tunings, drop the instrument and it explodes).
Now that's a show-ender! Never cared for WHO style instrument destruction as either "art" or "comment" ,but stil lenjoyed the thought of watchng a string performer finishing their set, Throwing the instrument in the air, turning from the audience and walking away as the instrument landed and exploded onstage.

As for exercise books, sometimes we forget just how recent synths are in the grand scheme of musical things. Ther Well Tempered Clavier didn't come out for quite awhile after the organ, clavichord and harpsichord came to be.

here we sit, about 60 years since synths really became widely available and used by more than the very few, and inded we do see instruction manuals -aimed at more than just explaining how synths work- beginning to appear.

User avatar
cptnal
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 3963
Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2017 2:48 am
Location: People's Republic of Scotland

Re: how do you practice?

Post by cptnal » Sun Feb 16, 2020 3:07 am

Manuals as a Well Tempered Klavier analogue (pun intended) is an interesting parallel to draw. May I posit the Arp 2600's as a candidate? It's certainly a good place to start if you want to "practice" modular synth.
Is it finished?
Latest Tune:
Sounds: SoundCloud , Freesound
Racks: Big Case, Top Row, Funboat, Tinicase

User avatar
twistedneck
Common Wiggler
Posts: 75
Joined: Mon Jul 08, 2019 12:01 pm
Location: Dearborn, MI

Re: how do you practice?

Post by twistedneck » Sun Feb 16, 2020 5:25 am

lauprellim wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:36 pm
This is a great question. I have thought a lot about this.

I spent the first 40 years of my life learning how to play acoustic string instruments, and achieved a certain amount of success in this area. Coming to modular was one of the biggest leaps I ever took, on a par with working on decoupled scores (one staff for the bow, another for the fingers), switching to baroque instruments (totally new strings, bow, articulation, tuning, etc.) or learning the viola d'amore (seven playing strings, entirely different tunings, drop the instrument and it explodes).

For the modular synthesizer, my very short answer is that you need to have two systems in place, and pursue them both methodically and relentlessly.

First you need to listen. Tangerine Dream, Richard Devine, Suzanne Ciani, Ryoji Ikeda, you name it. Listen to everything in a serious, concentrated way. Take notes. Notice stuff. Make connections and enjoy the luxury of being able to sit focused on sound. Not everybody has the good fortune of being able to take time to actually do this.

Then practice patching. I don't mean once a week -- one needs to do a little every day. Even if this is to recreate a simple sequence, or some basic rhythmic grove, work with a sequential switch, an analog shift register, FM synthesis, basic envelopes, etc. You need to do at least 15 minutes a day so that you do not lose connection with your instrument. Some days practice for two hours. Get proficient at the basic stuff so you can do it quickly, accurately, repeatably, and enjoyably. Set achievable short- and long-term goals. Perform every once in a while (even if it's in your house for invited guests) to hone skills and gain experience and confidence.

There are no exercise books for the synthesizer -- no Kreuzer etudes, certification rubrics, etc. You have to do it yourself. This is not easy and requires some strategy and tenacity. I am convinced that if you keep listening and patching in a kind of feedback cycle, most folks can make progress in an enjoyable way. If there is no enjoyment there is no reason to do it, after all!

I honestly think electronic music is one of the most incredible developments in human history. It reconfigures our whole way of sensing sound, it can lift our spirits and our minds to higher levels. Acoustic music can do this too, but in an entirely different way. Despite all the horrible things happening in the world today, we are living in a very exciting time.
great post! question in your opinion the purely muscle memory part of learning traditional instruments is very important almost too important i mean look at the greats like Liszt his skills in a pure speed dexterity physical sense were mind boggling.. what skills do we as modular performers master in that sense

for me i do practice every day out of pure joy and i get super skilled at understanding my system and how she connects and the huge deep systems within systems ideas its endless is that my skill from practicing? or is it that i know to use certain progressions and beat structures (that seems more music related and less mod synth, or what ever instrument) thx!

otnemem
Common Wiggler
Posts: 159
Joined: Tue May 01, 2018 1:05 pm

Re: how do you practice?

Post by otnemem » Sun Feb 16, 2020 10:27 am

I'm relatively new to modular having had a small system for just about a year now. But i have been playing guitars and soft synths for decades.

My approach is to always try to patch something new each time i start over - sometimes after having watched some videos or re-read a manual for one of the deeper modules that i have. I think as others have said, for me it's not "practice" in the sense that you would practice playing a more classical instrument. To me it's more about discovery, landing on something that sounds useful and building more on that. In the process, having fun discovering new things and happy accidents as they come along.

User avatar
Severed head
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 619
Joined: Tue Sep 24, 2019 9:24 am

Re: how do you practice?

Post by Severed head » Thu Feb 20, 2020 8:06 pm

twistedneck wrote:
Sun Feb 16, 2020 5:25 am
...and how she connects...
It’s interesting that you have genderized your machine.
What’s have you named her?

I’ve always think put a gender and adjoining name to instruments, is a uniquely way of humanizing a machine or device.


It seems while there’s probably a lot more but there Seems to be a few views or paths so far-
- just jam and patch a lot, and gain familiarity out of pure repetition
- try to dissect and reconstruct patches
- look at it in a more traditional since and break down a system into its functional components and try to understand each fully then use them as a whole.

I find it interesting.
I personally have a great deal of effects pedals,
Primarily time based effects like echo/delay or phase/chorus/flange and to a approach modules and combining them in a similar manner as I would when using my pedals in my improv projects.

This is what lead me to the first post. Sorta,
When I’m using a specific delay, phaser or whatever. When I have the time at 2oclock I know the time it will take to hear the repeat, or if I have a chorus w/ depth at 12, speed at 3, I know how fast and deep the chorus is going to modulate the notes played.

But I find in a modular system/or certain modules
It’s much more difficult (for me) to gain that same level of familiarity, or knowledge, of the exact exact sound that will be produced by exact settings.

To a degree I think it is from my synth use background
I’ve used module since around the mid 2000’s I never touch a key based synth before. I’ve never read any books, or talked with people about what things mean until joining MW. So my understanding comes from use verses definitions, which I have notice that is tricky when it comes to things like logic or curve shapes and things like that.
WTB:, MA35 filter. -Mac recordings software from 2008/9
:help:

User avatar
twistedneck
Common Wiggler
Posts: 75
Joined: Mon Jul 08, 2019 12:01 pm
Location: Dearborn, MI

Re: how do you practice?

Post by twistedneck » Fri Feb 21, 2020 4:10 pm

Severed head wrote:
Thu Feb 20, 2020 8:06 pm
twistedneck wrote:
Sun Feb 16, 2020 5:25 am
...and how she connects...
It’s interesting that you have genderized your machine.
What’s have you named her?

I’ve always think put a gender and adjoining name to instruments, is a uniquely way of humanizing a machine or device.


It seems while there’s probably a lot more but there Seems to be a few views or paths so far-
- just jam and patch a lot, and gain familiarity out of pure repetition
- try to dissect and reconstruct patches
- look at it in a more traditional since and break down a system into its functional components and try to understand each fully then use them as a whole.

I find it interesting.
I personally have a great deal of effects pedals,
Primarily time based effects like echo/delay or phase/chorus/flange and to a approach modules and combining them in a similar manner as I would when using my pedals in my improv projects.

This is what lead me to the first post. Sorta,
When I’m using a specific delay, phaser or whatever. When I have the time at 2oclock I know the time it will take to hear the repeat, or if I have a chorus w/ depth at 12, speed at 3, I know how fast and deep the chorus is going to modulate the notes played.

But I find in a modular system/or certain modules
It’s much more difficult (for me) to gain that same level of familiarity, or knowledge, of the exact exact sound that will be produced by exact settings.

To a degree I think it is from my synth use background
I’ve used module since around the mid 2000’s I never touch a key based synth before. I’ve never read any books, or talked with people about what things mean until joining MW. So my understanding comes from use verses definitions, which I have notice that is tricky when it comes to things like logic or curve shapes and things like that.
I agree these Eurorack modules can be very complex and take days on end just to figure them out from a basic perspective then the unique little things start popping up months after that.

User avatar
DrReverendSeance
Wiggling with Experience
Posts: 439
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2015 6:53 am
Location: Pointe-Claire

Re: how do you practice?

Post by DrReverendSeance » Sat Apr 25, 2020 6:46 am

I was thinking of this very subject today, and so I was very glad to find so many thoughtful ideas already posted.

The études like the Kreutzer or Bartok Mikrokosmos, and even practicing scales and arpeggios, were developed for instruments as part of standards of education. They provide a useful pedagogical tool for the music teacher. It was about building a basic level among students, so that a composer/conductor/band leader could be confident that his musicians would have a common level of skill.
As for exercise books, sometimes we forget just how recent synths are in the grand scheme of musical things. Ther Well Tempered Clavier didn't come out for quite awhile after the organ, clavichord and harpsichord came to be.
Yes! I really agree with this comment from KSS.

I wonder what would be the standards of skill we could expect from an accomplished Modular Synth player? Accuracy of patching and unpatching? Speed and precision to set-up certain “typical” patches? Precision while turning knobs? Style and rhythmic accuracy of head-bobbing while playing ;) ?

I wonder what a manual of technique for a modular synth might look like? One that is less about theory, and really focused on the physical techniques of playing.

Post Reply

Return to “Modular Synth General Discussion”