Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Modular Synth Layouts

Recently, the topic on how a modular synth should be organized came up on a discussion group.
Some people are now in the process to design a web page that deals with this subject. Another modular synth manufacturer has recently added a design tool to their website with some great tips. ( )

So I thought I'd share you my ideas as my synth is growing slowly.
My approach is the following:
I set up my (smallish) modular in a left to right fashion (basically as you read a book), in the order you would find most hard ware synths, taking VCO, VCF, VCA as the basic idea behind it.

I've put the ADSR modules between the VCF and VCA stages, as these are the two most common uses for an ADSR (filter and amplifier), and therefore have short patch cords.
I've put the LFO's between the VCO and VCF modules, as also here the most common use for an LFO is either to control pitch (vibrato for instance) or Filter, again logical and short patch leads.

This of course is a very conventional approach, and works well for a smaller design, larger modulars may have a completely different layout, or more wacky concepts. Left to right, bottom to top seems a favorite for these 'monsters'.

More on this topic, as the ideas are flowing in, and I love to hear about your insights and opinions, suggestions, so I may post them here.


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