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Modular Synths?


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Any of you played or owned a modular synth? What musical roles do you find them most useful for (I understand they are a great deal of fun in themselves)? Do any of you use them live?


What recommendations would you have for someone who has had an introduction to subtractive synthesis and wants to go further? What are the significant differences in tone and reliability between the major brands?


Specifically have any of you heard of or used Synthesizers.com? They are located pretty close to me in Dallas, hence the question.





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Kwicher bichin' 'bout Moogs Colin.


Sonic tastes change, and what you grow up with matters,

so it would help to identify what kind of music you prefer

and the instruments used in it to aid in targeting a modular

system, at least in terms of overall sonic character. General

functionality might be of secondary importance to someone

who is learning, unless the learning is just as important

as the sonic goals.


Most of the modular synth companies currently in existence

have mp3s of their gear on their websites, and there are

usually more on the websites of user's groups (Serge and

Wiard on the Yahoo groups for example). Go to:

http://www.modularsynth.com for starters.


The Analogue Systems website has lengthy explanations

of each of their modules, which is quite helpful in

general. They also have a user's guide videotape that

you can order from http://www.en-port.com.

Analogue Systems:



Be careful; modulars are addictive and can become

expensive hobbies, especially when you start mixing

and matching the strengths of different systems

into a macro system.

Give me the ANALOG and no one gets HURT
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I have only heard great things about synthesizers.com. The owner, Roger Arrick, owns a robotics company, and does this as a sideline. That's a good thing: He doesn't have to worry about feeding the kids from synth sales, and can be in it for the long haul.


There's a Yahoo! group, which the owner actively participates, and of the ~3000 posts there, I've yet to read a negative comment about the synths. It's located at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/synthesizerscomgroup/ . The cool thing is that he actually will take intelligent suggestions and consider engineering them as new modules. The newest is the Transistor Ladder Filter, which he freely admits is based on Bob Moog's great filters.


I've been toying with assembling an analog (ever so slowly, over a period of years) until I have my "poor-man's Emo monster-Moog clone," and synthesizers.com is the way I think I'll go if I do it.


If you're really interested, e-mail him at info@synthesizers.com. He's a real approachable guy.


Hope that helps.



Setup: Korg Kronos 61, Roland XV-88, Korg Triton-Rack, Motif-Rack, Korg N1r, Alesis QSR, Roland M-GS64 Yamaha KX-88, KX76, Roland Super-JX, E-Mu Longboard 61, Kawai K1II, Kawai K4.
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I wanted a modular since I first saw ELP. Keith had the big Moog on tour and at one point in the concert it put out smoke (fog machine) and sunk into the floor. There are so many brands now it is hard to settle on the best for my price range (low). For now I settle for the Nord Modular Rack. The shound is not the same but it is cheap and can easily be used on stage. Someday my gear lust will drive me to buy a basic setup. That is when the real trouble will start. Once I have that basic setup I will be craving a new module every month. Maybe it's best that I don't get started.



This post edited for speling.
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