Sunday, January 30, 2011

In the beginning...

... there was a Cwejman S1MKII semi-modular synthesizer. This fantastic instrument has many assets but also some limitations. In order to fill the S1's shortcomings I  first added some Moogerfooger CP-251 CV processors. This was the embryo of my full modular setup to come.

Here's a picture of my home studio before my "modular era " in March 2009

Having no dedicated room for music making, I'm always confronted to space problems. This was determinating in the choice of format for my modular setup, and this led me naturally to the Eurorack format. I would have loved a wall of Modcan B series but this proved to be inaccessible to me.
Next to the compact nature of Eurorack, the large offering of modules, it was mostly the inventivity and dynamics of the Eurorack module designers like Livewire and Make Noise (amongst many others) that made me choose that format. Also the financial aspect is crucial, even if a consequent Eurorack system comes quite close to Buchla or Serge when it comes to price/functionality.

Of course, a modular synthesizer system grows, expands slowly and gradually.
This is my first cabinet as it was in July 2009:
The housing is a Doepfer LC6 that I lacquered in silk white and I used some brushed metal drawer handles as feet. It proudly sports my first modules : 2 Doepfer A-174 joysticks and 2 Livewire Vulcan modulators. This was a good starting point to control my other voltage controlled gear like the S1, the Moog Little Phatty and some Moogerfooger pedals.
But...GAS was lurking and got it's demoniac grip on me, as there's nothing more frustrating than to have empty spaces in a modular cabinet. That's how I came about to making some DIY blanking panels.
Far from technically perfect, too thin, not cut straight and messy hole drills... but they did the job !
At that point I did not yet have a clear and precise vision of a coherent, efficient and self contained system...the only thing I wanted was to fill that cabinet as quickly as possible with Livewire modules as I 'm very fond of their 50's/60's soundlab looks, their particular features and sonic identity.

Bit by bit, I sold my non-modular gear to feed the GAS, to go further as I knew I was on the right track to reach synthesizer Valhalla...

Stay Tuned!


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