Monday, December 10, 2007

The Nord Modular G2 demo

I've been flirting with the idea of selling everything I own and finally building that modular synthesizer I've been talking about since starting and abandoning construction on a Paia Dual VCA some ten years ago. It's better for everyone that I gave that project up, by the way, as the only thing I was really constructing was a voltage controlled fire hazard. (Pause for laughter) Thank you, thank you.

In any case, I'm excited once again about getting my feet wet in the world of modulars. Aside from not having any money-- which, admittedly, is a pretty big stumbling block-- the problem I'm running up against is that I don't actually know the first thing about how modular synthesizers work. I know how to pull sounds out of a pre-patched synth, (let's say a Rogue), and generally get the gist of what's going on in a strictly left-to-right way (the oscillator goes into the filter, the filter goes into the envelope generator, the envelope generator goes into the amplifier), but if I had to build the instrument from its components, I'd be in trouble.

So a couple of weeks ago I started looking around for a good "Intro to Modular Synthesizers" book/website/fanzine/etc., and kept coming up empty handed. What I did find, and what was really helpful, was this You Tube channel, and, by extension, its blog, Felix Inferious. I wrote to the guy behind it for advice and he recommended I download and start using the Nord Modular G2 software demo as a home-school tutorial, at least until I got a better idea of just what I was getting myself into and felt comfortable actually buying something, which was awesome.

You can download the G2 demo (legally) for free here.

Needless to say, it's a lot of fun and has taken over my free time completely. I strongly recommend everyone reading this check it out if you haven't already and, if you feel up to it, share the patches you come up with in the comments section of this post.

If making sounds out of synthesizer modules is as foreign to you as it was to me, don't worry: the program comes with a little PDF tutorial that'll give you the basics. After that, go crazy. I don't own a Midi keyboard, so everything I'm making with the demo has to self-oscillate. My patches all sound like a room full of dying sirens, underwater. Again, lots of fun. I hope you have as good a time with it as I've been having. Thanks again, James!

(P.S. If you can point me towards a decent "Intro to Modular Synthesizers" book/website/fanzine/etc., please do)

EDIT: Here's a bass and drums, Euro-discotheque patch I came up with a few minutes ago. I can almost feel the fake gold rash now...

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Blogger felix said...

Ahh, that makes me miss my G2. I don't miss patching with a mouse, but having nearly any number of modules that you need when you need them would be nice to have again!

2:10 AM  

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