Modulation: The spirit of the mists

We had a brief summer rain today. I was a bit taken back, stepping out of the office for a quick breath of fresh air. The color of the world had changed, subtly but pointedly. Saturated is an interesting word. One describes color as “saturated” when it is made rich and and full and vibrant. […]

Discontent: The enemy of art

Sometimes, I feel the internet is just a massive breeding ground of discontent. The old saying is true, the grass is always greener on the other side. And what better way to check out our neighbor’s lawns than on the forums and feeds. There is an ancient commandment that says, “you shall not covet… anything […]

Controllers: On a budget

You’ve got a case and power. You’ve picked out a few modules. But how will you interface with your system. Obviously, you interact with it via knobs and sliders and a cornucopia of patch points. But you want more. The two most basic options are sequencer or keyboard. One problem, cash is low, you just […]

Patching: Re-Death

Punarmrtyu is an idea from Hinduism, it has to do with the reincarnation cycle. From what little I grasp, Punarmrtyu is a sort of death of the heavenly self so that it can be reborn in an earthly body. While I don’t subscribe to Hinduism as an explanation for life, the concept immediately struck me […]

Small Systems: Beginnings

My own journey into the eurorack format began with the Roland SYR-E84. A case I chose, because it was available, and I could get financing on it. This meant that I could get a case and a module.┬áTides was my first module. It started life as a supplement to a Dark Energy II. Over time […]

Small Systems: The Dark Side

All this time I’ve spent literarily and philosophically pandering to small systems, you might think they could do no wrong. You might think that they are morally, intellectually, and artistically superior to large systems. We’ll, you’d be wrong. The truth is that they are just smaller. And just as there are advantages, there are drawbacks. […]

Small Systems: Support modules

We’ve come to terms with the limitations of a small system. We have chosen a focus for our system, be it a particular module or concept. Now it’s time to consider the supporting modules, which will help us to fully express ourselves within our chosen space. There are three principles for choosing support modules in […]

Small Systems: Focused

So, small systems are limited and we’ve come to terms with that. We’re ready to face the world of limitations head on. But in euro-land we’re drowning in modules. So how do we decide what will comprise our little island of synthesis? I propose two possible pathways: The basics. Many of the great little semi-modular […]

Small Systems: Limited is not crippled

Eighty-four hp and Five modules… That’s my current system. And do you want to know a secret? I really enjoy it. To hear us talk about modular synthesis, it often seems as if small systems are either impossible or crippled. But why? It’s not because you can’t make a good small system. No you say? […]

Branches: Latching modulator

Ever since I started into synthesis, Mutable Instruments’ Elements module has tantalized my imagination. Today, it left my dreams to become reality. One of the great things that is immediately apparent about the design of Elements is one of it’s super-powers… attenuversion!┬áJust look at all those attenuverters, on every single input you could possibly want […]