Advice for noob on distinguishing genre in demos from what modules can actually do

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SonarBk
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Advice for noob on distinguishing genre in demos from what modules can actually do

Post by SonarBk » Sat Jan 09, 2021 1:00 pm

As I put together my first rack...

I'm aware that its easier to get interested in modules that I see in demos where I like the genre, rather than having a vision of what the module can do and how it could help me in my own sounds.

I'm trying to combat this in three ways -
1. obvious one, try to find how its used in different people's demos across genre
2. check out the most "boring" demos that really focus on function and don't dazzle
3. try to think about them in relation to other modules that have similar functions and learn what that "kind" of thing can do

Any other suggestions?

As a particular example, I am in love with this ADDAC demo video:



Its in a "genre" that I like (lets call it Glenn Branca genre lol).I have no idea if this is showing something that is really specific and unique to this module or if its one of many options for this kind of function. This doesn't seem like a great choice for a beginner in terms of complexity but on the other hand I find this demo incredibly motivating - I would really dive in for weeks to learn how to make this patch. But its also unclear how much this patch relies on other things, and if there would be dozens of other ways to accomplish it etc etc

Help?

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Re: Advice for noob on distinguishing genre in demos from what modules can actually do

Post by Zymos » Sat Jan 09, 2021 1:35 pm

Div Kid’s are the best IMO- some quick examples in context at the start just to give you a taste of what the module can do, then a detailed “dry” rundown of all the functions, then longer “musical” examples demonstrating how you might use it with other modules.

In many cases, it’s kind of a moot point though- you just watch the demos that exist because there aren’t that many out there...

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SonarBk
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Re: Advice for noob on distinguishing genre in demos from what modules can actually do

Post by SonarBk » Sat Jan 09, 2021 1:51 pm

Yeah totally. And a cluster of demos in a genre I don't like can really throw me off, when there's no contrasting demos. Oh well, seems like there's just gonna be a zillion unknowns and I should get used to it

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Re: Advice for noob on distinguishing genre in demos from what modules can actually do

Post by Tofumaster » Sat Jan 09, 2021 1:55 pm

To sort of answer your questions asymmetrically, in my own experience I find that if an osc or filter module makes sounds that are generally appealing then I'll be able to shape the output to my needs and also stumble onto many happy accidents along the way.
Reality is whatever refuses to go away when you stop believing in it. -Philip K. Dick

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Re: Advice for noob on distinguishing genre in demos from what modules can actually do

Post by kinkycables » Sat Jan 09, 2021 2:03 pm

SonarBk wrote:
Sat Jan 09, 2021 1:00 pm

As a particular example, I am in love with this ADDAC demo video:



Its in a "genre" that I like (lets call it Glenn Branca genre lol).I have no idea if this is showing something that is really specific and unique to this module or if its one of many options for this kind of function. This doesn't seem like a great choice for a beginner in terms of complexity but on the other hand I find this demo incredibly motivating - I would really dive in for weeks to learn how to make this patch. But its also unclear how much this patch relies on other things, and if there would be dozens of other ways to accomplish it etc etc

Help?
Branca is :hail:

I love the ADDAC stuff and this is a particularly great demo. Take a look at Xaoc Zadar - I think it'll cover a lot of the same territory.

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Re: Advice for noob on distinguishing genre in demos from what modules can actually do

Post by wrngtrls » Sat Jan 09, 2021 2:35 pm

To echo @Tofumaster, for a while I was stuck in the multi-track gate and trigger part of patching, and now I'm in the sculpting/modeling modulating voices part. I find that the specificity of gate and triggers are far less required for what I find desirable in the end. Oscillators, filters, and the mix of the voices need to be much more specific for me get copacetic with a patch.

This topic resonates with another, that is that many new modules play/invite sounds that do not have genres yet, other than electronic or experimental. The instrument makers are a kind of musician because they invite and create sounds that existing music/musicians didn't ask for per se. Some of the circuits and functionality are hard to market because the end result (musicians playing them) is presentable only after the modules are played with and music produced from them. I don't have any Addac stuff, but for both the stochastic function and the heuristic rhythm I was almost in. No one shared whether they thought the short function generation on the Stochastic was truly snappy, so I did't grab it when I could have. Loopop uses it in another video on generative patching, which is pretty cool as well.

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Re: Advice for noob on distinguishing genre in demos from what modules can actually do

Post by SonarBk » Sat Jan 09, 2021 3:19 pm

kinkycables wrote:
Sat Jan 09, 2021 2:03 pm
I love the ADDAC stuff and this is a particularly great demo. Take a look at Xaoc Zadar - I think it'll cover a lot of the same territory.
Thank you!!!!!

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Re: Advice for noob on distinguishing genre in demos from what modules can actually do

Post by SonarBk » Sat Jan 09, 2021 3:25 pm

wrngtrls wrote:
Sat Jan 09, 2021 2:35 pm
This topic resonates with another, that is that many new modules play/invite sounds that do not have genres yet, other than electronic or experimental. The instrument makers are a kind of musician because they invite and create sounds that existing music/musicians didn't ask for per se. Some of the circuits and functionality are hard to market because the end result (musicians playing them) is presentable only after the modules are played with and music produced from them.
Yeah, well said. That's helpful to keep in mind and also interesting to wrap my head around as a source of inspiration...

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Re: Advice for noob on distinguishing genre in demos from what modules can actually do

Post by SonarBk » Sat Jan 09, 2021 3:29 pm

Tofumaster wrote:
Sat Jan 09, 2021 1:55 pm
To sort of answer your questions asymmetrically, in my own experience I find that if an osc or filter module makes sounds that are generally appealing then I'll be able to shape the output to my needs and also stumble onto many happy accidents along the way.
Agreed! I think I can hear what I need to when it comes to oscillators and filters and maybe where I'm more stuck is envelopes and function generators, understanding the difference between how a single module "sounds/does" versus everything going into the patch.

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Re: Advice for noob on distinguishing genre in demos from what modules can actually do

Post by Tofumaster » Sat Jan 09, 2021 8:23 pm

wrngtrls wrote:
Sat Jan 09, 2021 2:35 pm
This topic resonates with another, that is that many new modules play/invite sounds that do not have genres yet, other than electronic or experimental. The instrument makers are a kind of musician because they invite and create sounds that existing music/musicians didn't ask for per se. Some of the circuits and functionality are hard to market because the end result (musicians playing them) is presentable only after the modules are played with and music produced from them. I don't have any Addac stuff, but for both the stochastic function and the heuristic rhythm I was almost in. No one shared whether they thought the short function generation on the Stochastic was truly snappy, so I did't grab it when I could have. Loopop uses it in another video on generative patching, which is pretty cool as well.
Totally, I was going to say the same thing. Modular is the musical frontier. Its the domain where we're creating sounds that have never been created before. There is a little too much forgetting that modular is not about modulation, its about creating sounds, and perhaps sounds, like you say, that will create their own genre. 303 is acid. No 303, no acid. Whats next?
Reality is whatever refuses to go away when you stop believing in it. -Philip K. Dick

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Re: Advice for noob on distinguishing genre in demos from what modules can actually do

Post by Ashley Pomeroy » Sun Jan 10, 2021 8:24 am

SonarBk wrote:
Sat Jan 09, 2021 1:00 pm
I'm aware that its easier to get interested in modules that I see in demos where I like the genre, rather than having a vision of what the module can do and how it could help me in my own sounds.
This is why I like Paolo, the SynthMania chap. Admittedly he doesn't cover modular gear, but he does show how to interface 1980s gear in a flexible way. In particular I like the way he comes up with credible Italodisco tunes on a seemingly impromptu basis, e.g.


He does spot-on recreations of 1980s Italodisco and 1990s rave music with period gear. In fact his videos that show how to trigger a Juno 106's arpeggiator with a Roland TR-808 are one of the things that drew me to eurorack - the idea that you can layer a set of triggers on top of a note to make a rhythmic pattern.

He stands out because there's a curious lack of house music in Youtube's talking-while-pointing-at-knobs community. I don't know if it's a transatlantic thing or if it's a manifestation of people trying to run before they can walk, but ninety-nine percent of instrument demos on Youtube consist of a middle-aged man playing nondescript blues licks on his guitar or "dark ambient jams". You'd think there would be more 808 State and Future Sound of London, but no.

The frustrating thing is that there doesn't seem to be a modular equivalent of Paolo. You'd think there would be a niche for someone who can make spot-on recreations of 1970s Berlin school sequencer-and-mellotron pulse music, but I haven't found one. "But what's the point of making a perfect replica of old music; you should make new music" - my reply is that Tangerine Dream et al didn't start from a blank slate. They learned to play blues covers by imitating their musical heroes and then branched out from there.

Perhaps it limited them in the long run, but that's unavoidable; you might as well have a say in what limits you.

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Re: Advice for noob on distinguishing genre in demos from what modules can actually do

Post by peachesandbacon » Sun Jan 10, 2021 8:40 am

I just watched that demo and while the sounds he's got going on in the background are lovely, it frustrates me that with all the explaining he's doing with the on screen text, he doesn't once talk about the patch in the background at all or what's going on other than with the module he's demoing.

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Re: Advice for noob on distinguishing genre in demos from what modules can actually do

Post by SonarBk » Sun Jan 10, 2021 10:07 am

Ashley Pomeroy wrote:
Sun Jan 10, 2021 8:24 am
SonarBk wrote:
Sat Jan 09, 2021 1:00 pm
I'm aware that its easier to get interested in modules that I see in demos where I like the genre, rather than having a vision of what the module can do and how it could help me in my own sounds.
You'd think there would be a niche for someone who can make spot-on recreations of 1970s Berlin school sequencer-and-mellotron pulse music, but I haven't found one. "But what's the point of making a perfect replica of old music; you should make new music" - my reply is that Tangerine Dream et al didn't start from a blank slate. They learned to play blues covers by imitating their musical heroes and then branched out from there.
Definitely seems like a worthy niche and I'm also surprised it doesn't exist!

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Re: Advice for noob on distinguishing genre in demos from what modules can actually do

Post by JuliusRe » Tue Jan 12, 2021 3:21 am

I personally try to break it down to which functions of a certain module actually interest me first (most of the time by reading a lot about it). Than i find out, which other modules could do a similar job. Finally i watch demo videos about the different modules and try to break down the actual differences. That helps me to ignore the genre of the demo (at least to a certain extent).

Nevertheless, i think it´s pretty normal to gravitate towards demos, that actually fit your taste and if multiple demos of a module are in a similar genre, maybe the module simply fits it well :)
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Re: Advice for noob on distinguishing genre in demos from what modules can actually do

Post by SonarBk » Wed Jan 13, 2021 11:22 pm

JuliusRe wrote:
Tue Jan 12, 2021 3:21 am
Nevertheless, i think it´s pretty normal to gravitate towards demos, that actually fit your taste and if multiple demos of a module are in a similar genre, maybe the module simply fits it well :)
Ha, could be that simple, true!

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Re: Advice for noob on distinguishing genre in demos from what modules can actually do

Post by DaShmoop » Thu Jan 14, 2021 11:51 am

You'll naturally get better at being able to decipher how a module would work for you needs with time. But there are some modules that are just flat out complicating to understand without playing with them in person.

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