Modular synthesis is becoming more and more sought after nowadays in all electronic music as compared to digital synthesis because of the level of detail you can achieve with it and how interesting the sounds can be. So why does that matter and what will it do for us?
What is Modular Synthesis?
Modular synthesis is a broad name for all kinds of hardwares that use direct electric input as a way of creating sounds. Before softwares and digital synths, electronic music had to be made using modular synths and hours of time tinkering. This was eventually opted out because once digital synths were making the market, people bought into it because of how easy (and less space consuming) it is for most people to use. However, the level of detail that can be obtained with modular synthesis over digital has been making it more appealing to all types of sound artists from EDM (Electronic Dance Music) producers to movie sound designers.
Why does it matter?
In today’s pop audio (from songs to movie soundtracks), it’s important to try and stand out, that’s why it’s important to get good quality and unique sounds. This is not just a niche either. Popular musical producers like Andrew Huang and Hans Zimmer use modular synthesis all the time in their productions. To them it adds an extra level of interest that just cannot be obtained with digital synthesis.
What can we expect?
You have probably seen floating around the internet in blogs, tweets and YouTube videos about how music today has gone downhill because of X, Y or Z. Though, regardless of how true it may be, a big part of music staleness can come from how “normal” it is. When I say this I mean the formula used for music; the structure, the way people sing and what kinds of sounds are used. Many writers have “cracked the code” for music and they use it all the time because it works. Though with popular names purposely breaking that cycle, the interest can be expected to kick up again. Of course modular synths wont take over music and completely change it, but it’s definitely a trend that’s been gaining more traction within the last five years. You can probably expect to find some interesting electronic music that uses modular synthesis today whether it’d be on the radio or in a video game.