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The Eurorack Modular Synthesis meets Effects Pedals Thread

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It is old news now that effect pedal companies (Z-Vex, Strymon, Malekko,...) have transitioned nicely over to the growing Eurorack market.




I watched I Dream of Wires back in November on Netflix, and then took the Eurorack dive in January with the Moog Mother 32. I've since assembled my first customized 60HP case. Photos later.


The move from effect pedal obsession to Eurorack obsession has officially begun for me. It's a natural progression for those of us who for years were trying to use our guitars to, well, sound like guitars of course, but also trying to sound like synths, or expand our sonic palettes. Having been perusing Muff Wiggler and various sites to get a beginner's grasp of the growing Eurorack community, I find it interesting that Eurorack veterans are always innovating new ways of interfacing with their instruments. Sure, guitarists have been doing the same for decades in varying degrees... new picking techniques, picks, effect treadles, bows, eBows, Kaoss Pads, etc.... But guitarists are rooted in the fundamental philososphy that skill and the visceral experience of playing the guitar supercedes the innovations. Guitarists even use the phrase "knob-twiddlers" as a slightly derogatory description of guys who spend more time with their pedals than actually playing their guitars. But the rise of Eurorack in the marketplace forces the traditionalist musician in us to re-evaluate this statement.... twiddling knobs iIS musicianship with varying degrees of artfullness and skill.


So, what if we spin the conversation? Instead of thinking of effects as something that complements our guitar playing, we start to think of effects as instruments unto themselves... think of the guitar as an oscillator and as one of many interfaces used to provide visceral interaction with the electronics?

Edited by Fender&EHX4ever
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Guess it's time for me to tell the kids to get off the lawn - I don't find much here that's musical to me.


I'm into psych, and a favorite band is A Place to Bury Strangers (Oliver Ackermann of Death By Audio's band). When I've seen them live, they do a bit in the middle of their set that you could call "Space" or "knob twiddling" or simply using a whole bunch of equipment from DBA pedals to rack gear to XY pads (looked like a Kaossilator, but not sure) to go into oscillatory madness.


It really loses charm quickly. The band gets more into it than the crowd, which is always a bad sign.


Some will use things to spectacular effect, but I have a feeling that like the T-Pain effect for vocals, I'm gonna really sick of this quick, and find it showing up way too often.

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Modular synthesis and traditional musicality don't have to be mutually exclusive. But I would agree that there are varying degrees of musicality found all over the internet in modular demos. The eurorack community is certainly not the only demographic I would say this about.


Modular synthesis has been in mainstream music for a long time now... Baba O'Riley, On The Run, Bowie/Eno, Radiohead.... Here's a more recent example I stumbled upon:

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