Re: [AH] SMS modular (was Loads of Analogue stuff at VEMIA #8)

From royce
Sent Sat, Nov 8th 2008, 15:32

hi paul

hmmm could this mean that a new modular synth is coming. . . 

the layout of the sms causes visual attention deficit disorder. here are some random thoughts from a modular synth user:

the idea of dividing the field by right and left would definitely help a bit: it is hard to predict where things are, where knobs of interest are.

uniform knob sizes aren't a good thing: it is nice when certain functions are emphasized over others with, say, a big knob a la livewire or the zerooscillator

i myself don't mind if certain fields are marked by color, as long as the colors are all of a kind and not too loud (mutron, system100)

the absence of multiples near their destinations and sources doesn't make sense except to the most causal synth user: multiples cause the biggest headache, spaghetti, etc. 

the horizontal layout could be fine, as long as you don't have to supply an entire casing: that seems awfully wasteful.

eurorack seems to be the standard, but the price of a conventional case is bizarre and probably slows down sales (yes schroff racks are an alternative, but new they are really expensive too)

the current modular market is strangely divorced from the equally interesting and uncompromising osc/puredata/max-msp world. the separation is really anachronistic, and comes down to the failure of the industry to create sample accurate control-voltage output from modern computers. i bring this up, because once this hurdle is crossed (looks like doepfer may have the edge here, and may come at the appropriate price point) then rack systems may turn out to be a hindrance. it is hard to pony a computer up to rack. even a laptop. something like guitar pedals may be closer to the ideal of tabletop modular synthesis.

sharp edges are for laboratory test equipment, not for musical instruments. sharp edges are uncomfortable, can scratch skin, and damage wooden instruments (violins, guitars, etc.)

i'll stop now