A documentary about the phenomenal resurgence of the modular synthesizer; exploring the passions, obsessions and dreams of people who have dedicated part of their lives to this esoteric electronic music machine.Written by
IDOW Interstitial C (working title)
Written by John Amm (for I Dream Of Wires)
performed by Solvent
published by Ghostly Songs See more »
An awesome look at the history of the modular synthesizer, with some omissions
I stayed up late last night and finally watched this documentary on Netflix, an awesome look at the history of the modular synthesizer. I loved the focus on the academic origins of the modular, the East Coast (Moog, commercial) vs. West Coast (Buchla, artistic) philosophies, and the recent resurgence of modular thanks to EuroRack. I felt that a couple of things were lacking: 1) A mention of Bebe and Louis Barron's groundbreaking 1956 Forbidden Planet soundtrack, for which they created their own electronic circuits that completely avoided the use of oscillators, as part of their own school of thought, years before Buchla and Moog: "The circuit is a wild, living thing that should never be tamed. Oscillators tame the circuit and take the life and breath out of the sound." (I'm paraphrasing from a Keyboard interview) 2) They briefly mentioned softsynths, in a negative way, but completely failed to cover virtual analog hardware, as pioneered in the Nord Lead. The Nord was responsible for bringing KNOBS back to synthesizers, after the love affair with all-digital synths faded, but it was done using digital technology that faithfully reproduced analog components, with the added benefits of lower cost, higher polyphony and more control and modulation possibilities. The Nord Modular, especially its G2X version, is in my opinion the most programmable, playable and reliable synth ever made. Contrary to what they say about softsynths (this is a hardware-based softsynth), I frequently get lost for hours in programming and playing the G2X, it's immersive and endlessly fascinating, with a gorgeous sound and unlimited identities. It's the only instrument I play onstage.
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