Why does most modular music on youtube sound the same?

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lisa
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Post by lisa » Tue May 28, 2019 12:47 am

Blingley: Elegantly put. :sb: I’d add that the heavy use of reverb is another, though superficial, contributing factor to the feeling of sameness in many youtubed modular tracks. Mushed by reverb, most of it sound the same.
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mome rath
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Post by mome rath » Tue May 28, 2019 9:28 am

all the modular music on youtube is actually the same person using different artist names

it's really an incredible feat
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Post by mookmoof » Tue May 28, 2019 5:56 pm

Panason wrote:Boiler Room sucks hard. Rave for the Instagram generation.
But...


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naturligfunktion
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Post by naturligfunktion » Wed May 29, 2019 9:11 am

mookmoof wrote:
Panason wrote:Boiler Room sucks hard. Rave for the Instagram generation.
But...

That set is pure

:deadbanana:

In a good way hehe

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Dcramer
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Post by Dcramer » Sat Jun 01, 2019 10:28 am

It’s my fault.
Really.
I tried to tell them to use TWO Clouds modules in every patch, but did they listen?
No.
:waah:

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indifference point
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Post by indifference point » Sat Jun 01, 2019 11:46 am

Just piggybacking on points already made in here.

I use modular as a hobby/release without much aim to gain fame/exposure. I also don't think I'm that talented so it's tough for me to "finish" tracks and even tougher to put them out publicly. So I created a soundcloud just to get in a habit of posting sketches up and trying not to worry what people will think about them (from this thread it appears i SHOULD worry about what people think of it :hihi: ) . It's for my own mental health if anything.

As others have stated there is plenty of original and exciting modular music online (looking at Lisa on here, for one, I'm a big fan) so I don't quite understand the focus on and seemingly personal offense taken at people posting music which is "beneath" one's standard for originality. In 2019 there are still rock/punk bands that put out basic three chord songs and still audiences who appreciate it.

Just let me make my Windham Hill opus in peace darnit. :razz:

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Post by minimalist » Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:33 am

indifference point wrote: ...I don't quite understand the focus on and seemingly personal offense taken at...
I think you hit the nail on the head. It is so much easier to bash others' efforts than create something better yourself.

peripatitis

Post by peripatitis » Thu Jun 06, 2019 1:44 pm

shreddoggie wrote:I really wish modular people would take it more seriously.

If one examines the work of many of the great composers of the European tradition they find that there is a lot of fascinating number-art (for lack of a better term) --- the use of Escher-like techniques for creating unity and variation. Of course Bach was an expert at this but there are many others - Beethoven loved to write a piece of music based on a single number. All you have to do is take the score to a piece and listen along and ask yourself 'what number is this?' and you'll see OMG this entire piece is 3's or whatever number it is. Webern is fascinating this way also. There is a famous one from Bartok that goes 123456789 …

For those unfamiliar with this approach - it is a common way to write a piece of music that stretches over a long period of time without being just a long jackoff - some sort of development and thematic basis. In the 20th century some ultra-smartie-pantses went off the deep end with such ideas - calculus is clearly more difficult to follow along with than arithmetic.

So - modular: It seems to me that the possibilities for this are space age outer space fascinating and limitless - its all frequencies and you have clocks and quantizers so WTF? People just plug the goesouta into the goesinta and zoink away with bleeps and bloops, never thinking twice about the form or architecture that is the foundation - why would anyone want to listen to that?

All good music stands above the technique used to create it, all rubbish music just celebrates that technique.
I don't think this is the answer, even in music styles like that of Xenakis or Stockhausen, the music stands above their ways and means which is why when everybody rushes in to use the same techniques and tools the music is subpar.

Also Bach has composed some seriously boooring music, that acquired the use of Monstrous performers to be barely audible.
A lot of that crossword-like music falls into that category imo.

It is not about being clever.

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Post by scanningthemirror » Thu Jun 06, 2019 5:08 pm

Same gear and similar taste. They all seem to enjoy that major key / warm ambient drone stuff. I really like that stuff too.

I recommend checking out Hainbach. He always has different sounding stuff and I like the gear he uses. I especially like how much he highlights and uses ciat lonbarde gear. He gets some really great sounds out of those.

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Post by MarcelP » Fri Jun 07, 2019 7:02 am

peripatitis wrote:

All good music stands above the technique used to create it, all rubbish music just celebrates that technique.

Tarkus on a Kazoo - I rest my case (not entirely sure what my case is but I am resting it here).

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Post by MarcelP » Fri Jun 07, 2019 7:11 am

shreddoggie wrote:I really wish modular people would take it more seriously.
If it was important maybe more people would: but it isn’t, so they don’t. You can take it as seriously you like but it might just make you cross when you look at what other people do, as with any field of artistic endeavour and self expression.

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Post by lud » Fri Jun 07, 2019 7:13 am

Possibly reflects more on YouTube users than modular users... Also what the yt algorithms are shoving down your throat.
I suspect most modular users are not trying to make "songs" too!

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Post by Voggg » Fri Jun 07, 2019 1:23 pm

scanningthemirror wrote:I recommend checking out Hainbach
At first I disliked Hainbach for some reason, but he won me over to the point where I see him as kind of an attitude role model. Curious, calm, persistent, non-judgmental. I don't mean non-judgmental in the sense of not having opinions or reactions, but more in the sense of not being blinded (or deafened) by your emotions, being free to disagree without condemnation, and being open to learning from things that you might not like. That's how I want to approach modular and music in general.

(Also his videos are just a fun way to vicariously explore all kinds of techniques I don't have the time/money/space to do)

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Post by Birth_Chord » Mon Jun 10, 2019 2:47 pm

This is one of the reasons I delved into modular and am already pulling out of it as well as selling my Octatrack...

I was a classically trained musician, I need to be able to easily compose complexities with an unlimited number of tracks available to me, be able to use the samples I record at above 96kHz, and incorporate organic instruments played live such as violin, etc, where the note played cycles through various samples each time, etc.

I really think it boils down to workflow and popularity for modular. The workflow of modular, coupled with very similar effects (usually shouted down the internet echo chamber of buy x,y,z : delay, echo, granular) leads to much of the output music sounding the same. Anyone who is into modular knows of Plaits. Simple as that. Anyone who is into modular might not know of, say, the Vermona uniCYCLE in which I scoured the internet in search of even a single demo or commentary before ultimately giving up on modular (for now) for a good while.

YouTube personalities pedaling the same products to modular novices coupled with the workflow leads to very similar music, especially when using the popular modular sequencers as opposed to hand playing anything.

When I powered up my modular and OB-6 at the same time, I'd always end up making sweet love to the OB-6... Time to save for the UDO Super 6 and snag a Nyx V2 when it comes out. If I had $5k+ lying around this time around I think I'd snag a premade like the Shared System, or Macbeth's premade... For now, not making money as a musician, modular isn't suitable for me.

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Post by Eurocat » Mon Jun 10, 2019 7:40 pm

I’m just happy it isn’t that noisy bleepy crap people were making 3-4 years ago before they new how to patch.

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Post by dubonaire » Mon Jun 10, 2019 7:47 pm

Birth_Chord wrote:I really think it boils down to workflow and popularity for modular. The workflow of modular, coupled with very similar effects (usually shouted down the internet echo chamber of buy x,y,z : delay, echo, granular) leads to much of the output music sounding the same. Anyone who is into modular knows of Plaits. Simple as that. Anyone who is into modular might not know of, say, the Vermona uniCYCLE in which I scoured the internet in search of even a single demo or commentary before ultimately giving up on modular (for now) for a good while.

YouTube personalities pedaling the same products to modular novices coupled with the workflow leads to very similar music, especially when using the popular modular sequencers as opposed to hand playing anything.
For every similar modular video maker on youtube there are 100s probably 1000s that just use a modular to make music and many of those know what they want and don't rush out and buy hyped module of the month.

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Post by Birth_Chord » Mon Jun 10, 2019 9:51 pm

Based on averages I would imagine the opposite.

For every 100 to 1000 that use modular similarly to video makers on YouTube and rush out to buy the hyped module of the month, there's one that uses modular to make music and knows what they want.

However it is a niche hobby so it's likely a skewed curve. I still imagine on one end there's noise makers, hermits covered in wires with thousands upon thousands of dollars worth of fart makers, the average modular user that follows the pop trends in the middle and gets relatively average outputs (myself until I sold my modules even though I did things like avoid Make Noise Maths and got a Befaco Rampage instead, etc. to be slightly out of the ordinary), and the avant garde that will go out of their way to not use pop modules and make their version of... "music".

Anyway I forget what the thread was even about... Similar sounding music. Even if someone makes music and knows what they want it doesn't mean it won't sound similar, if what they want was indeed the hyped module, perhaps from an earlier time, of the month.

Things like popularity lists on ModularGrid, or sort by best selling, tend to pigeon hole many into getting those modules and have the same effect as the Tubers. And although modular is very open ended, you still need the same building blocks to achieve any sort of sound at all. Just like building a computer, sure it's modular, but you need a mobo, CPU, power supply...

I personally find the upcoming SOMA Pulsar 23 to be very appealing as a revolutionary instrument. I'm outta the mod game for a good while, the Super 6 has been whispering sweet nothings to me that I can't ignore. If I ever make money from my music, that's when I'll have the time and money to justify spending so much on such a poor time:output investment. I'd rather spend a few dollars a month to snag hundreds of modular samples and tweak them that someone else spent so much time and money on. Just my opinions of course having dipped my toes in and pulled them out. The Dreadbox Nyx V2 also looks nice though, perhaps paired with a Matriarch :) I guess semi-modular is more my style.

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Post by dubonaire » Mon Jun 10, 2019 10:45 pm

Birth_Chord wrote:Based on averages I would imagine the opposite.

For every 100 to 1000 that use modular similarly to video makers on YouTube and rush out to buy the hyped module of the month, there's one that uses modular to make music and knows what they want.
There is a large number of modular users who don't use modulargrid, don't post youtube videos, don't use muffwiggler etc. Doepfer has been making Eurorack for 25 years, 17 years before modulargrid existed.

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Post by lisa » Tue Jun 11, 2019 12:33 am

dubonaire wrote:For every similar modular video maker on youtube there are 100s probably 1000s that just use a modular to make music
Could be true but it should also be pointed out that you yanked that claim out of your keister and that it isn’t based on any data whatsoever. Just like your claim that Doepfer outsells the competition ten to one. :)
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Post by slumberjack » Tue Jun 11, 2019 2:48 am

naturligfunktion wrote:
mookmoof wrote:
Panason wrote:Boiler Room sucks hard. Rave for the Instagram generation.
But...

That set is pure

:deadbanana:

In a good way hehe
this one is quite outstanding to (hood):
> WTB ADDAC502 <

www.stefanrudin.bandcamp.com / www.soundcloud.com/stefan_rudin / www.youtube.com/user/slumberknut



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dubonaire
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Post by dubonaire » Tue Jun 11, 2019 3:27 am

lisa wrote:
dubonaire wrote:For every similar modular video maker on youtube there are 100s probably 1000s that just use a modular to make music
Could be true but it should also be pointed out that you yanked that claim out of your keister and that it isn’t based on any data whatsoever. Just like your claim that Doepfer outsells the competition ten to one. :)
I didn't make that claim. I quoted someone in the industry that posted on muffwiggler. So stick that up your keister, to use your vulgar vernacular.

Regardless, there is a view that the modular synth universe comprises the people who just started a few years ago and use modulargrid and muffwiggler and have cases full of Mutable Instruments and I know that is not the case, that is just the noisy amateur part of the universe. None of the modular synth users I know frequent muffwiggler, although one of them does youtube videos that blow 90% of modular videos out of the water. Euro has become the new cool thing for cashed up dilettantes. That's not a bad thing, because it has allowed so much technical creativity to flourish. It's even spawned the new idioms "tell me what modules I need" and the reciprocal downstream "getting out of modular". But that's only a slice of the modular universe.

Just spend some time browsing Fact Magazine and Electronic Beats to see how many professional musicians integrate modular into their studios and don't make egocentric tripe.

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Post by mgregory22 » Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:06 am

Interesting thread. I've felt the same way a lot: there is a lot of half-assed music on the internet. I've made my own fair share of it.

My oh-so-humble opinion is that people should stop posting works in progress on their channels.

The reason is because when you really decide to make something that pushes the best of your ability and comes from your deepest understanding, then working on it is the best feeling in the world.

And I think if you do that, then you'll make music worth listening to no matter what your level of musical/technical ability is.

It's enthusiasm that makes good music, and the overcoming of your limitations is a great way to generate that type of energy. The sound of someone bettering themselves is what I want to hear, personally.
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Post by indifference point » Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:21 am

Please let me know to whom I should submit my music to be approved for posting on the internet. Is there a list of standards somewhere I can consult to make sure I'm within range of acceptable work? I don't want to offend anyone.

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Post by ym2612 » Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:00 am

lud wrote:Possibly reflects more on YouTube users than modular users... Also what the yt algorithms are shoving down your throat.
I suspect most modular users are not trying to make "songs" too!
Likewise, many people have probably figured out what kind of content the algorithm rewards, what gets them likes/comments/subscriptions, what they can monetize... so the kinds of modular music they post may be driven by something other than artistic expression.

Also, this is a common phenomenon with gear used for creative ends. A lot of art made with a given piece of gear is not released for free on social media or labeled with the type of gear used (though there are exceptions).
Last edited by ym2612 on Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

Birth_Chord

Post by Birth_Chord » Tue Jun 11, 2019 10:09 am

mgregory22 wrote:Interesting thread. I've felt the same way a lot: there is a lot of half-assed music on the internet. I've made my own fair share of it.

My oh-so-humble opinion is that people should stop posting works in progress on their channels.

The reason is because when you really decide to make something that pushes the best of your ability and comes from your deepest understanding, then working on it is the best feeling in the world.

And I think if you do that, then you'll make music worth listening to no matter what your level of musical/technical ability is.

It's enthusiasm that makes good music, and the overcoming of your limitations is a great way to generate that type of energy. The sound of someone bettering themselves is what I want to hear, personally.
This is how I feel precisely. And yet I too do it occasionally as I finalize selections and sounds for my home studio. Works in progress, just no bueno. I need to listen to something complete, front to back.

It’s the era of the Squirrely Attention Span, so one’s really to blame.

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