Those looking for a modern introduction to modular synths … in particular so-called Eurorack modular ‘format’ … could do a lot worse than The Secret World Of Modular Synthesizers, an SOS article from 2013.

Come with us as we step away from the modular mainstream and take a look at some of the more eccentric Eurorack synth modules this weird world has to offer.

There are, to generalise, two schools in modular synthesis. On one side you’ve got what is referred to as the ‘East Coast’ style: the simpler, fixed-function world of Moog, ARP, Oberheim and the like….

On the other side of the fence is what’s referred to as ‘West Coast’ thinking, an approach championed by brands such Buchla, Serge and Wiard. Here you may not recognise the names of the functions so easily, because they aren’t strictly dedicated to just one purpose. For example, a ‘Quad Function Generator’ could, depending on how you had it patched, be several different things. Many West Coast modular synths do not have filters….

And if you fall deep enough down the rabbit hole, you may never turn your computer on again, except, of course, to hit record. Never forget: once that patch is made, capture it. We will never hear anything like it again.

Advertisements