May 13, 2013

Patching Modular Synths

The idea of having gear that can be pieced together or pieced apart has been a goal of many – and even for those who don’t understand what it means for musicians.  Modular gear has the benefit of only using what it needs; military personnel have modular gear on their vests and backpacks to allow them to take what they need.  It saved weight and it also gives each operator the choice to customize where they put each object.  Systems like the molle system had to be created in order to find a way to keep items secure, yet removable.  In the synthesizer world, a similar concept is followed, except that items are not just attached; they are connected to a main device as well.

Modular controllers, at least the ones we can buy today, aren’t as modular as you may think.  Behringer offers a series of controllers with different button configurations that can be bought – but you can’t actually move any of the buttons, knobs, or faders around.  A modular synthesizer fits the definition of modular, since signals are sent through wires to different parts of the instruments, signals that translate into different types of noise.  Without patching, the synthesizer itself is useless.