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Patch tear-down - the sad part of modular
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Modular Synth General Discussion Goto page 1, 2  Next [all]
Author Patch tear-down - the sad part of modular
Flareless
I've got to the point where this very cool patch I have (IMHO) has to be taken down to make way for a new project. I was experimenting one night a couple of weeks ago and came up with this patch that I really liked. I recorded it in a few tracks, basement jammed with it and generally enjoyed it but now the time has come to tear it down.

Because of the nature of the patch it can't really be sampled to any great extent. Often in the past I've sampled patches I've made. Sometimes the samples sound pretty good and sometimes not so much. Sometimes the sampler's transposition even makes the patches sound even more interesting.

So anyway, while it's the nature of modular, it's sad when a patch has to bite the dust. It does however show us that sometimes a once in a lifetime thing can occur and that we should enjoy it while it lasts before it's gone forever.

[s]https://soundcloud.com/lowerwestsidestudio/slew-patch[/s]
starthief
My patches never live more than a few hours. I record songs in a single session whenever I can. As soon as I have a good take recorded, I unpatch.
lisa
I don't find that part of modular tools sad at all, tbh. I find it liberating. On the other hand a patch only has value if it can be recorded and used in a track, if it can't be "sampled" it is useless to me. So I might come at this from a different angle altogether.
BenA718
As I use my modular in the context of band rehearsals as well as recording, any patch I make has to be recreateable (is that a word?).

There are many times where the patch’s will fights against my own and it sulkily spits out a halfhearted version of the patch that sounded amazing the week prior due to heat, humidity, celestial retrograde, solar flares, or the whims of the Electron Gods. smile
Flareless
BenA718 wrote:
...There are many times where the patch’s will fights against my own and it sulkily spits out a halfhearted version of the patch that sounded amazing the week prior due to heat, humidity, celestial retrograde, solar flares, or the whims of the Electron Gods. smile


Yes, THAT! Even documented patches often never sound quite the same as the first time. I've often left all my gear on for days so as not to interrupt the electro-vibe that's going on.
Keltie
BenA718 wrote:


There are many times where the patch’s will fights against my own and it sulkily spits out a halfhearted version of the patch that sounded amazing the week prior due to heat, humidity, celestial retrograde, solar flares, or the whims of the Electron Gods. smile


Amen, brother. One of my first patches was a super gnarly dirty siren blast grind kinda thing ( think “ A Pain That I’m Used To” by Depeche Mode).

I noted the crap outta that patch. Every cable, every pot setting. When I rebuilt it, it sounded like a kitten fart. sad banana d'oh! cry

At least I sampled the original version, which is a small consolation.

In general I have no problem with tear downs, do it all the time. But yeah, there is that little sad bear on my shoulder as it goes.
moremagic
the sad part about it to me is trying to keep all the cables untangled while im takin em out
pugix
The non-repeatability of modular synthesis is actually what appeals to me. I don't treat it as an 'instrument', but more like a field of activity that involves me, electricity, and transducers. I create patches to try out ideas, and the patches can live for weeks, but after they have yielded their fruit they start to spoil and need to be disposed of. Sometimes I make patch diagrams, an exercise that helps me to think about the current patch, rather than to capture something for the future.

Everything in the world is transient, and for me to try and create durable objects would be an exercise in futility. The recordings I make can be thrown away. The sounds are for listening to, right now. Later will come a new patch and something different.
pines
I do a lot of session work and gigs with other instruments... these days mostly pedal steel guitar. That work, while creative, is a job that has to produce certain predictable results in a reasonable amount of time. The modular is my alternate world, where I can fiddle for hours or days, start with one idea, and end up at a completely different place. When I get to the end of the path, I am happy to unpatch and see what’s next. Sometimes I record them....
mskala
Solution: never unpatch anything. Just buy a new rack of modules after each patch. Preferably, buy them from me.

Another way of looking at it: life is just like this. You can never cross the same river twice. Every note of a live performance is gone forever after the reverberations fade away. Hey guys, remember that great performance we did in that little club back in 2012? Have we just been trying to recapture that vibe every time we've played that song since then? That's music; no reason for modular to be different from other instruments in this respect.
cptnal
mskala wrote:
Another way of looking at it: life is just like this. You can never cross the same river twice.


I agree! Om

I don't want to sound catty, but it's the whole reason patch memory was invented - so you could go on stage or into the studio with exactly that patch that sounded so good in rehearsal. If you want to do modular it helps to take it on its own terms and embrace the ephemeral. I know if I power my system down tonight even without touching it, this awesome patch I've built will sound different tomorrow. Who knows - it might sound awesomer. But probably not. Guinness ftw!
Parnelli
I'll let a patch hang for a while if it's interesting. In fact I often record numerous variations of a patch with different voices, drums, no drums, etc. I'll let it go until I get bored with it or think that I have everything out of it that interests me. If it was a real good patch before I tear it down I take a nice photo of the entire setup with my phone; I can enlarge it enough to see knob positions, patch cables, and just about anything else I'd want to look at to remember a patch. I do this because I am too lazy to keep a log that I started long ago.

Now I have to start labeling the photos and keeping a log of them. d'oh!
nikmis
doesn't anybody jam out single voice synth lines that they multitrack together while wearing a santa claus hat and a cape like in the old days. The nature of that means no patch is worth saving. If its not usable now, it never will be
fac
To me, tearing down a patch is one of the most satisfying things about a modular. It's quite liberating.
Pelsea
My EM professor would end his patch building demonstrations by disassembling the patch one cord at a time, choosing cords so the patch would continue running. It’s a great way to learn exactly how a patch works.
BailyDread
Pelsea wrote:
My EM professor would end his patch building demonstrations by disassembling the patch one cord at a time, choosing cords so the patch would continue running. It’s a great way to learn exactly how a patch works.


this is what I like to do. like 2001 lol. "daisy daisy" hihi
starthief
BailyDread wrote:
Pelsea wrote:
My EM professor would end his patch building demonstrations by disassembling the patch one cord at a time, choosing cords so the patch would continue running. It’s a great way to learn exactly how a patch works.


this is what I like to do. like 2001 lol. "daisy daisy" hihi


I do that sometimes when I have just been messing around and haven't recorded anything. Stripping the patch down to its most minimal form... and then sometimes getting inspired to build it back up differently from that base.
Blairio
unpatching is wiping the slate clean - for me at any rate. It is also an opportunity to re-evaluate just where each module best sits in the rack.

For example, with my last few patches I have been generating two streams random notes from a Ladik dual FET sample & hold module, fed by two different types of noise from a Liivatera noise module, clocked by a single LFO , and the outputs kept in check by dual passive attenuator, before running through a dual scale quantiser.

The S&H, LFO, Noise and Attenuator modules now sit together, where previously they were dotted about my rack like Koala Bears on a Eucalyptus tree.

(Blair edit - to explain, Koala's will space themselves as far apart as the space on the tree will permit)
gonkulator
Like some have said, it is liberating to tear down a patch, because it allows me to make a new and different patch. I love the adventure.
numan7
if you really want to save stuff, then you should consider the buchla 200e format.


cheers
Rex Coil 7
Flareless wrote:
I've got to the point where this very cool patch I have (IMHO) has to be taken down ....
This is part of what motivated me to normalize my 5U. I wanted to be able to (at least mostly so) repeat patches to a certain degree. Flip a few switches, set a few knobs (according to simple patch sheets) and I'd be at least partially home.

I've also taken to using preset rack synths as "VCOs" that are run into the 5U's signal path. To me the most difficult part of putting together a patch I like is the VCO interval tunings and other VCO settings (waveforms, mix, sync, etc..). So using preset rack synths as "oscillators" is helpful.

I only do that with certain staple sounds I use for bass and lead stuff.

I'm not as brave as you are Rich. Or perhaps I'm just lazy. More than likely it's a bit of both.

Mr. Green
MarcelP
pugix wrote:
The non-repeatability of modular synthesis is actually what appeals to me. I don't treat it as an 'instrument', but more like a field of activity that involves me, electricity, and transducers. I create patches to try out ideas, and the patches can live for weeks, but after they have yielded their fruit they start to spoil and need to be disposed of. Sometimes I make patch diagrams, an exercise that helps me to think about the current patch, rather than to capture something for the future.

Everything in the world is transient, and for me to try and create durable objects would be an exercise in futility. The recordings I make can be thrown away. The sounds are for listening to, right now. Later will come a new patch and something different.


Nice! I rarely hit record these days, the pleasure is in the process, the activity, the doing of the thing. Like certain other activities in life that one does for pleasure - I would rather do it again than watch a recording of how I did it before, and I certainly don’t need to show it to anyone else.
ncoded
starthief wrote:
My patches never live more than a few hours. I record songs in a single session whenever I can. As soon as I have a good take recorded, I unpatch.


this sounds like the best way to do it. not get too attached
SB-SIX
I would like it if all modules supported an eject button for the cables...
cptnal
SB-SIX wrote:
I would like it if all modules supported an eject button for the cables...


Oh no! Imagine hitting it by accident. woah
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