Modular: The Documentary (Sneak Preview)

This is the extended preview of Modular: The Documentary, a new film directed by Robert Fantinatto, original score by Solvent.

This promo features some of the East Coast participants, such as Morton Subotnick, Sean McBride (Martial Cantarel) and Jason Amm (Solvent). The film is still in production with a West Coast shooting block coming up, along with European locations.

It looks like this is going to be a must-see film for synthesists.

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5 thoughts on “Modular: The Documentary (Sneak Preview)

  1. Techies.

    That is my first thought and impression of this very interesting video. Playing not only with sound but the underlying technology which makes it happen as well.

    And I think that this is the behavior you can nowadays see on all levels. Some people focus more on the audio side of the setup whereas others focus more on the technology.

    To me, modular in hardware resembles (to a certain degree of course) people using several different vst’s which basically perform the same task. So; becoming modular, as in having a choice of what you want to use and where you want to use it. Translated to my favorite context (which isn’t hardware but software) it’d translate to people using Ableton Live solely using presets “vs.” those who adapted to M4L and are actually creating (“patching”) their own modules.

    And I dare write all this up, maybe sounding like something I’m not, because in a little way I am. When I see that guy experimenting with oscillators which could shift between sine and square I see myself playing with two M4L oscillator and checking what they do, how they do it and how they both interact with each other (while checking the output on my M4L patch “M4LScope”).

    I think this is WAY /beyond/ analog vs. digital. This is the technical musician or the musical technician going at it in their own setup and the results of that can be devastating. Where sometimes the balance shifts towards technical vs. the balance shifting towards musical.

    And then I realized this is a demo for a movie. Either way; if a trial can cause this with me, then I can’t wait for the movie.

    1. The dataflow or network paradigm is fundamental to many disciplines. It goes not only beyond analog vs. digital, but beyond the very limited range of music as well. In fact, you could generalize it even further and begin to talk about categories (the mathematical kind) that capture these kind of constructs and how they behave. It’s layers upong layers of abstraction, but from what I gather this film is not about the abstraction, but about one specific instance and that is the predominantly analog modular synthesizer, it’s users and creators, past and present. And it’s about the immediate useability of a modular synth. Believe me, it’s very different working with a modular and working with Max/MSP or some other graphical dataflow setup (let alone CSound and other MusicN inspired software). Interestingly enough the software modular and the hardware modular came to be at roughly the same time (look for information on Max Mathews and Music 1).

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