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Old 13th January 2020
Lives for gear

Heh, I remember feeling like that in my first couple years with the format. So many other things just seemed...pedestrian, easy, boring. And as my rig grew, I started to really appreciate a lot of other gear I’d written off because of perceived simplicity in the wake of my modular fact, I think it was the Wavestation iOS app and the cool results I’d get from randomizing and tweaking to taste that started to turn me back around.

At the end of the day, nobody cares about the 16 hours you spent getting your patch right, they care about the finished song and how that makes them feel. Sound design is definitely important, it’s just not the end all be all of the process. There’s platinum recording artists out there making good music using presets and making music people are emotionally connected to out there, and there’s a 14 year old kid with a cracked copy of Fruity Loops who is probably going to make a hit single or record before you finish patching your super interesting modular patch. Which isn’t to say that you shouldn’t try making that super interesting modular patch, but you also shouldn’t poo-poo other gear because you perceive it as being “easier” or less skilled or whatever.

At this point, while I primarily work with modular, I’ll use anything-modular, fixed hardware, software, guitar, electric bass, playing my own drum parts on a kit, or whatever else is in my arsenal for the track. I stopped caring about the distinctions or level of difficulty or any elitism (which, sorry dude, is what this post really seems about, but I get it). If you think the Wavestate seems too simple, buy one anyhow from a retailer with a good return policy and try it yourself (since those videos almost always focus on presets or the most basic programming...the Yammy Montage/MODX comes immediately to mind to me as a synth that sounds like boring, trite presets on every demo, but real user experience just trying it out has shown me is a total powerhouse), and sample it to the eurorack sampler I assume you have at this point, and see if you can’t find a purpose for it. If you can’t, then return it. But odds are good that you’ll find some unique things in it not covered by a basic demo that goes beyond the pedestrian applications you thought about it for originally.