Re: Thoughts on mods

From Mark Pulver
Sent Fri, Jul 17th 1998, 01:49

EMIS (11:29 PM 7/16/98) wrote:

>>I don't agree with your moral... What's to say that creativity isn't in the
>>eyes of the person who's looking at a piece of gear, say a Minimoog, and
>>wishing that he had oscillator sync? And then the creativity continues to
>>the hands of the tech who is doing the clean mod?
>>If I had a Mini, loved the sound but wanted more, then would you suggest
>>that I sell it and go look for a machine that plays and sounds like a Mini
>>but gave me more? What instrument is there like that?
>If you fitted oscillator sync to a Minimoog, it would not sound like a
>Minimoog ('cause Minimoogs don't make sync sounds), and besides you'd
>probably change the character of the Minimoog oscillators by adding sync

Possibly, possibly not.

So, if I had one of the Mini's that had the Rivera (RMS) mods done to it,
then is that still a Minimoog? btw, their OSC sync mod didn't change the
character of the instrument. It was QUITE nice.

What's your view on what Phil Cirocco does to an ARP Odyssey or 2600? Is it
a mod to go through an instrument and "clean up" the signal path, which
involves replacing caps and opamps with higher quality parts? Should I not
spend the money on doing this to my 2600?

What about how Phil creates the fully patchable Odyssey or Avatar? I guess
it's true that a 'stock Odyssey can't modulation VCO 1 from the filter', so
therefore I would be able to create sounds that the kid next door can't,
given the same gear. 

But, ($64,000 question) WHY should I not want that? I think this is the
question that you've blown out of three times now... WHY should I NOT want
to do more with the gear I have? WHY should I just be happy with not being
able to make a patch routing?

There are some shots of Phil's work at if you're not familiar with it. btw,
That's Kevin Lightner's site... He does probably the cleanest repair work
of ANY tech I know - and I know a few. he also does some incredible custom

What's your position on something like this (that being, patching out an
Oberheim SEM voice)?

>You can't expect to get every sound you hear out of one instrument, all the
>mods in the world will not make (for example) a Minimoog sound like any
>sound on any record.

I agree. That's why *I* have a lot of gear. But why shoot me for TRYING to
work with (not within the bounds of) the gear I have? If I have a piece of
gear that doesn't do OSC 1 modulation, then, in your world, do I sell it
and buy a Korg MonoPoly?

>Although I am very much a synth programmer with some swish instruments
>around me that I spend hours with twidldling, I actually wrote better music
>when my synths were simple (I think it was an SH09, Poly 6 and a TR606). I
>spend more time now searching for the right sound more than searching for
>the right harmony.

And I did as well when I had the double System 55 in front of me, a Hammond
reverb tank, and a Ampex 1" 8 track that had been modified (whoops!) for
voltage control of the capstain motor.

>But, I digress from the subject.

Yep.. And you also didn't address how I'm gonna do my _Lucky Man_ cover on
this Minimoog. And you again ditched responding to the results of your own
solicitation for folks with modded gear and how they use the mods.

>I think Mark and my self will have to agree
>that we disagree (surely we can agree on that !?).

Sure... I do it all the time with folks.

>Would it not be a little
>better if AH focused more on people being happy with their instruments, than
>everyone wanting to modify what they have got?

I had the thread dropped Andy, I had even passed through 24 hours without
taking an off-the-cuff dig at you in an unrelated email. You brought the
whole thing up again, and in fact solicited opinions this time.



ps... During the day I received some private mail that makes me think I
misread something from you previously. You did tell me that you made your
living as a tech, right? Someone questioned that and suggested that you ran
a music store which sold a lot of Doepfer gear? I'm just trying to work
through your point of view...

Mark Pulver - Home of the "MIDI 2nd Bedroom Featuring the Modular Closet" - Nord Mod: