Here are two wonderful modular videos to get your week started. The first Buchla video above is from Italy and is just so very THX1138. Giorgio Sancristoforo does a great job creating lovely FM radio and filtering white noise. The next video shows Brazilian Arthur Joly’s incredible wall of metal. May these blips set the tone for a terrific week.
“A shortwave radio scans through North-African, Chinese, Russian, French, English and German channels, the output is then forwarded to the Buchla. Inside the synthesizer a white noise is processed with three narrow bandwidth band pass filters connected in serial configuration so to obtain quasi-sinusoids sounds. Both the sources are further processed with a balanced modulator and a frequency shifter and stochastically controlled by the Source of Uncertainty 266e module.” – giorgiosancristoforo.net
Here’s a great module from Make Noise Music based on a “military radio communications technology… reclaimed for artistic purposes”. If I were at war I could see that blasting this audio toward the enemy would definitely confuse the hell out of them. I’ve been planning to build my own modular for years and whenever I find a module I know has to be included it goes into a special bookmarked folder. This baby is in!
Of all the modules you can buy for a modular synthesizer my favorite is the Zorlon Cannon. This nicely named module comes from “The Harvestman” based out of Michigan (USA). What separates this module, and in fact all The Harvestman modules is that they are based on vintage digital electronics not analog components. Here is the objective statement from The Harvestman website:
The development of these synthesizer modules fulfills four major personal goals:
1. To enable a voltage-controlled deployment of traditionally “digital” signal generation and processing techniques.
2. To produce a series of synthesizer modules that aid my personal compositional aesthetics: aliasing, quantization, and severe signal distortion are not traps to be avoided, but valid sonic processes to be controlled and enjoyed.
3. To raise awareness of archaic digital sound processing techniques often overlooked in the context of analog synthesizer nostalgia.
4. To aid the musical efforts of those committed to the ideals of nonlinearity, discontinuity, and quantization
The Zorlon Cannon module is a take on the Atari 8-bit machines such as the 2600 and 5200 range. The best way to get a grip on what the Zorlon sounds like is to see it in action. Take a look at this video interview with Scott Jaeger at NAMM 2008 from sonicstate.com. The Zorlon kicks in at 9:00 minutes: