Author Topic: Modular Musings  (Read 272 times)

Julio Di Benedetto

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Modular Musings
« on: January 18, 2016, 06:15:01 AM »

Modular Musings

This project is sort of a sonic blog based on the recordings of my new eurorack modular synthesizer.  These experiments are works in progress that I hope will evolve as I learn and come to understand the full potential of this system.  It is complexed and challenging as well as liberating without the restraints of the black and white keyboard.

I approached these first sounds without any idea of what I wanted or what to expect and it is proving to be an exciting way to work.  As a musician I have created a sonic palette that has grown into what one could call “my sound” which is still very organic and not fixed but I do recognize it nevertheless.  This is not so with the modular sound world as it is always surprising, ever changing and can disappear with the simplest twist of a knob.  There is no memory, nothing can be saved.  When creating a patch you have to risk loosing it and it happens often, in fact working for hours, for days to have the whole patch collapse into a sonic cacophony of mayhem is really the only way to go, you cant go back  only forward and is never the same.

At some moment the patch feels ready to record and this takes place not because I like what Im hearing, thats its good or the sounds are what I was after, its much more that what Im hearing is fascinating and quite the opposite of anything I may have expected and for me this is where I grow and learn as boundaries are crossed and new horizons discovered.

The patches I have put up on my soundcloud page are live performances and are recorded straight to disk....https://soundcloud.com/digitalvoices/sets/modular-musings

I would like to point you to the main inspiration for this project…..Taylor Deupree’s Studio Diary’s.  I was so taken by the sounds and idea here and how he was able to create music with a modular synthesizer that generally wants to rain down sonic chaos, was instead patched to express quiet, gentle and beautiful soundscapes.  Heres a link I posted about this....http://www.hypnos.com/smf/index.php?topic=8337.0

Its early days so I really cant say where this project will lead but I will let you know as more recordings are upload and worthy of your attention.

Enjoy!
« Last Edit: January 20, 2016, 08:42:52 PM by Julio Di Benedetto »

LNerell

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Re: Modular Musings
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2016, 02:39:17 PM »
Thanks Julio, I'll give it a listen later when I get home. Also, please give us some details of your new modular system as well. I can't help being a gearhead.  ;D
Take care.

- Loren Nerell

Julio Di Benedetto

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Re: Modular Musings
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2016, 07:28:26 AM »
Hi Loren,

Heres a picture of the Eurorack modular with 2 renditions from modulargrid for easier viewing

Got to be careful with these images or the thread will be moved to the Gearheads section of the forum ;D





« Last Edit: January 23, 2016, 08:14:12 AM by Julio Di Benedetto »

ffcal

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Re: Modular Musings
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2016, 10:08:57 AM »
Wow, looks cool.  Reminds me of the Serge modular my EM teacher Tom Hamilton and my friend Ed Herrmann had.  I remember well the hours and days it would take to develop modular patches on the ARP 2500 and Moog Mark V when I was in school.  One minor tweak and the patch would be lost forever.  If I had it to do over again, I would have recorded much larger chucks of my improvs on those patches, so that I could layers them into pieces much later down the line.

Your modular musings audio blog sounds very interesting.  I'll definitely check it out.

Forrest

Julio Di Benedetto

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Re: Modular Musings
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2016, 07:47:07 AM »
Nice bit of history Forrest.....Had not thought of using these patches down the line, interesting idea.

I always liked modulars in cases with handles.


2 new patches of a similar quality.....this illustrates how a turn of a single knob can change everything.  The studio picture is this patch.  All I did was increase the clock rate that was driving the patch by a small amount.  There are similar tones for sure but its quite different.

patch 20 https://soundcloud.com/digitalvoices/patch-20?in=digitalvoices/sets/modular-musings

patch 20b https://soundcloud.com/digitalvoices/patch-20b?in=digitalvoices/sets/modular-musings

Whats exciting and fun for me is I am as much a part of the audience as I am the patcher so to speak....its all control voltage doing the manipulating.  I do ride the faders(knobs) on the 2 mixers in the modular but mostly sit back and enjoy the performance which is total the opposite to composing music on a traditional keyboard synth.

The music thats coming out from the modular is certainly dark and without doubt experimental and mostly devoid of melodic content.....very different from what I have created in the past.  Im sure this is not for everyone.....i dont know that I actually like it but Im fascinated by the sounds produced and I can sit for a long time listening to a patch as it evolves and morphs into many different sonic shapes.


APK

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Re: Modular Musings
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2016, 03:11:04 PM »
Enjoyable textures and tones, Julio.
And what a georgeous eurorack setup you have.
Very envious.  8)

I like your comment of being "as much a part of the audience".
I can understand that. With a complex setup and much patching, you can't always know
what will happen when you tweak something in the chain of modules.
An experimenter's paradise.
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The Circular Ruins / Lammergeyer / Nunc Stans

Julio Di Benedetto

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Re: Modular Musings
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2016, 05:38:53 AM »
Thanks Anthony for taking the time to giving it a listen.

It is a good setup with still much to be revealed as I discover its capabilities. 

This modular is the first synth where polyphony is not an issue.  I think there are 5 complete voices, maybe more but this is not important as I do not use a keyboard interface.  What is important is the amount of different sonic events that can exist together in real time.

Its a truly liberating experience to use an instrument that is vastly more complexed than I could ever imagine and even though I have past modular experience, Im really forced to operate it as if I were a child again with no prior knowledge or past to cutter and influence my actions.

LNerell

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Re: Modular Musings
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2016, 03:16:16 PM »
Hi Loren,

Heres a picture of the Eurorack modular with 2 renditions from modulargrid for easier viewing

Got to be careful with these images or the thread will be moved to the Gearheads section of the forum ;D

Haha, too true. So start another thread over in the Gearheads section, I'd like to talk about your system more.

I'll try giving your soundcloud page a listen tonight.
Take care.

- Loren Nerell

Julio Di Benedetto

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Re: Modular Musings
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2016, 06:39:53 AM »
Hi Loren,

Heres a picture of the Eurorack modular with 2 renditions from modulargrid for easier viewing

Got to be careful with these images or the thread will be moved to the Gearheads section of the forum ;D

Haha, too true. So start another thread over in the Gearheads section, I'd like to talk about your system more.

I'll try giving your soundcloud page a listen tonight.

Done.....The Modular Synth Thread: http://www.hypnos.com/smf/index.php?topic=8473.0