The modular sound


#21

Guys, you can argue over musicianship and methods of playing instruments all you like, but you really need to level up, conceptually. Modular synthesists are meta-musicians, their modular is a hybrid analogue-digital computer, and they are its programmers. The relationship to the instrument is cerebral, not musculosensory.

And then there are the meta-meta-musicians…


#22

I’m pretty sure my modular is the one playing me, to the tune of a lot of cash, buying new shiny stuff for it…

Where’s that on your list? :wink:


#23

V`cent wrote: I’m pretty sure my modular is the one playing me, to the tune of a lot of cash, buying new shiny stuff for it…

Indeed, the “sound of modular” could well be ka-ching!

Now, I was hoping that Žižek would show up to tell us what fundamental problems he had with the modular sound, and give us the Laconian-Hegelian take on it. Oh well.


#24

I agree about the modular being more on the meta level, which again makes it different from other instruments. But I’m not sure we can totally remove the “musclosensory” part from the equation, it’s still there, albeit in a different form, even (to a minute degree) if you just perform self-playing patches on it. We don’t play the modular with our mind yet.


#25

In the end, it’s all music.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5Xaw5r43n0


#26

[…] even if you just perform self-playing patches on it.

A self-playing patch doesn’t just magically appear.

Is there really such a big difference between setting up a self-playing patch, and tweaking controls and re-patching during performance?

We don’t play the modular with our mind yet.

We never will. It’s a fallacy to think that the mind is separate from the body; it’s just part of it.


#27

Ok, in case you didn’t have time to make it to the end of that video where these musicians finally reveal THE REAL SOUND OF MODULAR:

https://youtu.be/j5Xaw5r43n0?t=23m10s

:wink:


#28

Isn’t the modular more comparable to an orchestra or band than a single instrument?
For me it has been a new way of working very similar to composing music in a DAW. Similar on a superficial level but very different in the details and results. Also it compares a lot to jamming with 80ies drumcomputers and synths like the 808 and a Juno together. But much much more extended.


#29

“My instrument is the studio.”

“As a conductor, I play the orchestra.”

“The DAW is my instrument.”


#30

Rumpelfilter wrote: We don’t play the modular with our mind yet.

Yes we do.


#31

…Modular synthesists are meta-musicians, their modular is a hybrid analogue-digital computer, and they are its programmers. The relationship to the instrument is cerebral, not musclosensory…

That´s a good point Bennelong - we need some better interfacing for muscle to cv!


#32

@BennelongBicyclist Brain != mind.


#33

Is there really such a big difference between setting up a self-playing patch, and tweaking controls and re-patching during performance?

That was exactly my point. There is a difference, but it’s still a “musclesensory” action, just that cause and effect have more time in between when setting up things beforehand. Maybe creating self-playing patch is more composing than playing, but then with the modular, you always compose more than you play, even when tweaking things in real time I guess.

We never will. It’s a fallacy to think that the mind is separate from the body; it’s just part of it.

totally true, but BennelongByciclist, who I was replying to said “musclosensory”, and that imho exludes the brain, since it’s not a muscle.

An in reference to your quotes, Lachenmann once said “composing is building an instrument”… which not so different from building a modular system I guess. Again, the modular is probably more about composing than playing, though I guess we could discuss for days about the differences between the two :slight_smile:

The Braincontrol from Soundmachines is a simple EEG. It’s really fun, but it’s also very basic. Which is not a problem of the device, but of EEG in general. You can use it play instruments with your brain though, in a certain way, if you accept a certain degree of randomness as part of the process.


#34

t2k wrote: Brain != mind

But fMRI increasingly suggests otherwise.


#35

I think t2k means mind also needs the rest of your body than only the brain… Without the senses and the body to transport and feed it there would be not so much ‘mind’ in the brain. Or something completely different from a human mind.


#36

@bennelongbicyclist: modular can be as much about muscle sensory as one needs or wants! It could be no less dependent on muscle sensory engagement than any other instrument or could be a self playing patch. Or both.

Just look at all the “performance” modules available.

I have been trying to enhance the “performance” aspect of my “playing” as of late, trying to make the human component more “visible” through the sonic output


#37

Is anyone here a fan of Meat Beat Manifesto?

Jack Dangers is a bit of a hero of mine, but it’s interesting to note what happened to his musical output after he managed to get hold of a Synthi-100 modular synth, sometime between the “Actual Sounds + Voices” and “RUOK” albums.

The ironic thing is that he was a well-known synth fanatic, and had several modular and semi-modular synths already, but suddenly all his albums ‘sounded modular’, somehow.

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