Re: nord modular

From Kurt Dwight Bleach
Sent Wed, Feb 4th 1998, 22:59

Mark Pulver wrote:

> Well, lemme ask, and I mean no disrespect, but have you worked with modular
> synths before? I ask 'cause to me, and I think that I've been pretty vocal
> about this, this synth isn't about "does it sound like..." it's about it
> being a virtual modular system.

I've actually had quite a bit of experience with modulars--I
used/recorded with two different Moog systems and a Buchla in college
and currently I own a Doepfer system and a MS20/50/SQ-10 semi-modular
setup. In fact the versatility of modulars is far and away my favorite
aspect of any kind of sound synthesis. As such, I was/am extremely
interested in the idea of the Nord Modular.

> When I'm doing up a patch and need another OSC or Filter or ??? to do
> something, it's there (within the limits of the DSP horsepower). I don't
> have to look at spending $$$ on another module - not that that in itself is
> easy to do anyway these days.


>  I bought the NordM for the capability to come up with new sounds
> that I can't easily do on anything else I have - including my "real"
> modular synths.
> I'm 110% satisifed with the sound of the system, you may not be, and that's
> something that I've also been pretty clear about - the synth ain't for
> everyone.

Point well taken--I meant no criticism in my previous post. I think the
idea of having that kind of flexibility from a virtual system is
absolutely astounding and very intriguing--there have been many times
when I've been patching something together and found myself grinding my
teeth because I ended up one LFO (or, even more common, one stupid patch
cord!) short and couldn't get the sonic effect I wanted. And even more
interesting about the Nord is the ability to store and recall a sound
and even take it to a gig--how many modular users out there have come up
with an incredible patch and then for some unknown reason weren't able
recreate it in the studio? Or had to (cringe!!) sample a modular sound
because they couldn't lug 1000 pounds of gear to a gig. My guess would
be almost all.

In playing with the thing at the NAMM show, I was impressed with the
complexity of the sounds, and it's clear that the programmer (I didn't
get the oportunity to program it myself) had made good use of the
modular-type patch routings. However, I went through every sound in
memory and didn't hear anything that I'd be tempted to put into a
recording, due mostly to what I preceived as a tinny, thinnes to the
sound. But I'll be the first to admit that that's an extremely
subjective opinion, based on the showy, occasionally silly "presets" and
I'm sure somebody who knows what they're doing could put some time into
it and come up with some amazing, unique sounds. And if I take your
implicit point above to be that this is in no way a replacement for a
"true" modular, but rather a new instrument with a different palate of
sonic opportunities, then I imagine that we'd be in total agreement. The
reason I chimed in before is that it seemed like there was a lot of
Emperor's New Clothes goings on about this thing--not necessarily the
last few posts, I just mean in general. (For the record, I'm not some
analogue fascist--I do typically prefer actual analog sounds, but then
again, I use K2000 sounds all the time.)

<cut, cut, snip>
> Ya' know Kurt, I think you just instilled a point which I need to do...
> Post some MP3 samples of the Nord up on the web page. I'll try to get some
> of that done soon.

That would be great!! I'd love to hear what actual musicians/producers
can do with this thing! After all, as was very recently discussed on
this list, preset sounds tend to be the beige of the synthesizer world.