The Harvestman has introduced some of the most interesting and innovative new synth modules in recent memory, including the TymeSefari loop sampler/delay and the Malgorithm voltage-controlled bit-crusher.
Here are a few highlights:
BE: What got you interested in making modules?
Harvestman: I wanted a nice bitcrusher module for my modular system but there wasn’t one in active development when I first started playing with patchcords. Around this time I fortunately forgot most of what I knew about software development, starting over with a focus on embedded DSP. I’ve been writing exclusively in assembly for the last two years and my brain is ruined in the best way possible.
BE: What do you think separates you from the other boutique module manufacturers?
Harvestman: A focus on digital techniques and a healthy dose of iconoclasm? I think all of the designers have something resembling a common goal in that we work to bring new capabilities to a decades-old performance interface. And what awesome work it is. My modular setup that I use for composition and performance contains devices from a half-dozen designers and all those different design laws combine to form a really flexible instrument. There’s no better time to be a modular synthesist, I think.
BE: What void are you filling in with your products?
Harvestman: If there was ever a need for modular devices purpose-built for garbage audio manipulation, I guess I’ve got my slurry nozzle wedged in the void. I’m a discrete-time sleaze vendor
BE: What gave you the idea to turn digital strangeness into CV controllable Frankenstein monsters?
Harvestman: Two things: when I started incorporating gate inputs on some of my bent SK-1s, and also watching an engineer friend work on a project that turned a 2A03 chip into a MIDI sound module. While observing him I learned a bit about microprocessor programming, and how inexpensive ADCs can be used to give digital processors smooth, analog-like control behavior with the correct user interface. Once I acquired some engineering skills I was able to start designing modules that filled large functional holes in my personal system (bitcrusher, loop sampler, etc). Since going into business in fall 2007, my engineering chops have improved but my taste has not.
Read the full interview at VAC’s site.