Why did you end up getting into modular?

Anything modular synth related that is not format specific.

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Why did you end up getting into modular?

It looked & sounded cool
The DAW was getting boring
Looking for ways of exploring analog synthesis
Inspired by others bands/people using them
All of the above
A different reason not listed
Total votes: 356

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Why did you end up getting into modular?

Post by alternating.bit »

There probably is already a thread like this, but hey, sometimes a new set of people exist and I'm sure my poll questions are different at least...

What actually prompted this is how recently I've finally come to realize how significant modular synthesis has taught me how analog works.
This is coming from a guy who had synthesizers since the early 90s, and even after recording albums, doing shows, etc., still didn't really know what "LFO," "VCO," or "VCA" was. All the sliders on my synths I'd just mess around with, having very little understanding. Then I went to the DAW which didn't teach me all that more, but I was older and a bit more open to figuring things out, but I didn't understand what all the "CV" hype was, and how people kept raving about having CV control options.

With modular, having separate modules for LFOs and all of the independent routing of signals and CV control have taught me so much, and now when I go back to a synthesizer, I can finally understand how the sliders & knobs interact, and what's behind it all. Sometimes I can even see a limitation to the synth! (major advanced thinking on my part, folks).

Last night I was playing around with my Moog Slim Phatty, and for the first time used the CV ins/outs via my modular and my mind was blown. I did some amazing stuff, and in the process learned more about how the Moog operates. Modular synths keep things alive with a new discovery every day, I hope that never stops!
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Post by Just me »

I did not want to be limited by someone else's idea of what a synth was and what signal flow should be.
I grew up in the era of modular genesis and almost always felt any synth was too limiting. Only X number of these or none of those or why can't I route this here, etc.
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Post by shootingtigers »

Another factor for me that's not mentioned is that I was buying and selling synthesizers because I didn't like certain elements/features or I just got bored of them.

With modular it's a constantly evolving system and it's no big deal to replace modules.
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Post by nofuture »

After I discovered subtractive synthesis with my moog I was really interested in ita other form. The ones that really appeal me are FM Pm and Fold "a la Buchla quoi". Im trying to understand other form of synthesis too on the paper actually ( karplus strong, comb filtering etc.)
Well I like to understand how sounds are made !
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Post by sloth713 »

I like the modular idea, I can build a synth that has exactly all the features I want. And I wanted to explore all realms of synthesis: analogue, digital, AM, FM, subtractive, additive, etc... and every combination in between.
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Post by kuxaan-sum »

.... Signals and their routing and modulation paths.

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Post by leeski »

I wanted tones and textures associated with rare machines
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Post by rezzn8r »

I saw one on TV when I was five, or six years old. I've wanted one ever since.
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Post by Hainbach »

Bought Aalto. Loved it, wanted it in hardware. Buchla was far away, Schneiders was around the corner, this forum was a great help in picking a west coast hybrid setup, as was Tom at Schneiders.
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Post by the bad producer »

I walked into EMIS in Bristol (UK Doepfer dealer) looking to sell a Yamaha QY70, the chap offered me a tenner or "that rack of stuff which I can't sell". This was a rack of about ten Analogue Solutions modules. I had no idea what the hell it was he was offering me, but it looked like more than £10 worth of stuff, so I took it.

I wonder now if I shouldn't have taken the £10 note!

Also, he didn't include a power supply and IIRC it was at least a year before I could afford one!
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Post by clarke68 »

#7 - I wanted to move away from "traditional" tonal music, so a synthesizer without a keyboard was perfect, also with a way to easily manipulate variables other than pitch. But #1 was a close 2nd...
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Post by Daisuk »

- Flexibility
- Fun factor
- Customization
- Hands-on
- Lots of options
- A place to "channel" GAS to a greater good (hah)

When I first dragged this stuff in here my girlfriend said, "wow, that looks like a lot of fun, this might be something even I want to try", as opposed to the menu-based synths I already have. Big plus! :hihi:
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Post by kindredlost »

There were several prominent artists in the 70's who were using modular synthesizers so I was lusting over them constantly.

Unfortunately I was poor so I built a modular kit from PAIA and that happened right as the "revolution" in affordable digital control systems was beginning. It was pre-midi and the modular was just another synth to use digital control to handle analog voltages to make sounds.

Unfortunately none of the manufacturers had a standard and I spent a lot of time and effort to make all of them communicate with the small computers I was using. The new programmable digital synthesizers were a distraction and I viewed the modular as a lesser tool. I wanted an E-mu Audity or NED Synclavier, but in hindsight I agree with alternating.bit that I truly learned to make electronic music from using the modular, and not from the other ones as much.

It's my main tool for synthesis and always will be.
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Post by cretaceousear »

I had a go on a Synthi AKS for 10 minutes. (My hip school had one, well it was the 1970s).
Not so long after, the school rock band did an end of term show, I did the lighting.
But before the band, a guy I knew well wiggled on the AKS for 20 minutes.
He did a good job.
So jealousy is what drove me to it..

.. and then I saw it on the cover of a magazine - a whole pull out and keep series for the DIY Digisound - she called to me like a siren.. ok, a fire siren.. but I didn't fight.
Last edited by cretaceousear on Sun Jan 10, 2016 9:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by mskala »

the bad producer wrote:the chap offered me a tenner or "that rack of stuff which I can't sell". This was a rack of about ten Analogue Solutions modules. I had no idea what the hell it was he was offering me, but it looked like more than £10 worth of stuff, so I took it.
I think he's operating on the same principle as the nice fellow on the street corner in the baaad part of town who will give you your first dime bag for free.

My own story boils down to two words: "bucket list."
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Post by nedavine »

I got into because it got cheaper (or other synths got more expensive).

I had always been interested in synths and modulars but it was all so expensive I just went for what I thought was a cheaper solution.

I bought all kinds of synths, sold and traded others but never really settled on one synth.

Then when I saw that the new elektron RYTM cost as much as a second hand doepfer system I was like "eff it, I'm gonna build a modular". I was a big elektron fanboy. Ended up with an OT, A4 and MnM. Sold the MnM to fund my HEK and braids.

It's funny because I had no interest in getting an A4 for a long time, but one came up cheap on yahoo and I figured why not. In the end having the A4 meant I could start making sounds with modular without waiting to get envelopes and VCA's etc. I would never have the patients for a .com system or the like.
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Post by infradead »

already had a heroin addict in the family so this seemed like the next logical step
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Post by catchin »

Cuz one can never have enough expensive hobbies
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Post by goom »

I'm in the "all the above" category (didn't vote though). Another reason is because throughout the decades, I've always found the limitations on conventional synths frustrating. There was always some routing or other feature that I felt was missing from many synths. It was kind of like "I wonder what sounds I could make if this synth could have this feature".

Another reason I made the jump was the availability of the first MOTM kits. The thought of building my own synth, and save a few $$$ really excited me. So I did! :razz:
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Post by Dr. Sketch-n-Etch »

I was really bored and disgusted with work and was looking for something different to think about. I happened upon a Youtube video of someone who had built a cardboard synthesizer, which led to MusicFromOuterSpace, and one thing led to another. I was one of those kids who drooled over the PAiA and Aries catalogues as a kid, but never did anything about it. Now I drool over the Oberheim 8-voice.
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Post by Adminius »

Number one reason : I really can't stand digital synths!

I saw Tangerine Dream in concert several times during the mid-70's and was hypnotized by Chris Franke's massive Moog modular.

Several analogue machines (Roland SH-3A, Yamaha CS-30, Boss DR-55, etc.) were obtained and gigged in the early-80's, but were sold when I had kids.

When the kids grew up and buggered-off on their own I wanted to get back into synthesizers again, but by this time Dieter Doepfer had already caused the Euro-rack revolution that made modular synthesis a viable option.

All hail Herr Doepfer! :hail: :hail: :hail:

Unfortunately, I'll never have spare cash again! :tu:
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Post by Nuuj »

Bags of disposable income.
Endless free time.


vqlk: "...so seriously - this a forum dedicated to discussing each other's really lame and un-extreme modular synths??!"
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Post by skyshaver »

After beating various chemical addictions I needed something to waste my time and the bank's money on. :deadbanana:

Seriously though, I've been playing "traditional" Western instruments for 20 years, the modular seemed like something new and exciting. It's been very instructive.
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Post by merretich »

the bad producer wrote:I walked into EMIS in Bristol (UK Doepfer dealer) looking to sell a Yamaha QY70, the chap offered me a tenner or "that rack of stuff which I can't sell". This was a rack of about ten Analogue Solutions modules. I had no idea what the hell it was he was offering me, but it looked like more than £10 worth of stuff, so I took it.

I wonder now if I shouldn't have taken the £10 note!

Also, he didn't include a power supply and IIRC it was at least a year before I could afford one!
sounds good:)
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Post by kisielk »

I bought a Microbrute to play with because I wanted to learn more about analog synthesis hands on instead of theory. I immediately fell in love with the sonic possibilities and direct control over the sound as opposed to patches, menus, and computers. I've now augmented it with a euro system that dwarfs it :)
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