I was out of music for about 17 years and was very surprised on getting back into it as to how little effects had been developed, in comparism to most other areas of music creation.
Not having space or finances to look into the modular realm at present, I'd like to know how much are the widely differing modules truly different and in their core unique and creative?
any thoughts and left field arcs welcome
I think the Modular Synth in general has stayed true to founding designs of the west coast Buchla & Serge Modular and then the east coast Moog designs so in that respect there has not be such leaps and bounds in actual unique modules and design over the years.....until the eurorack format.
There is something like 700 modules or more and 80 some manufactures. Some of this follow along the governing modular principals of the east coast west coast schools but most are really pushing the creativity and a lot of this is happening in the digital domain. In a way its sort like how soft synths are on the cutting edge of sound design and are at their best when not trying to be virtual analog but purely digital....same is true for digital modules and not just oscillators but fx's, granular samplers and modal type synthesis (struck, pluck and blown) This is not new, but it is to hardware and new to modular's.
For example Dave Rossum, the founder of EMU has launched a new eurorack modular company and is releasing very exciting modules....a classic ladder filter a la Moog but with a new set of features that take well into another territory or his Morpheus Z plane filter. I never did have any EMU rack gear but this filter was much loved and will be in a modular format under control voltage....new, no, yet new in a way that was never so hands on.
So yes theres lots of exciting ideas being implemented but as you would expect it is how its all patch together the real possibilities of these modules come into being.