MIT’s Wizard of Synthesizers Joseph Paradiso

This video, via Gizmodo, offers a profile of MIT Professor Joseph Paradiso, and the story of his DIY monster synth.

Paradiso was inspired by his love of prog rock and electronic music to get into to synths. But in the 70’s, modular synths were extremely expensive – so he went the DIY route.

“I was obsessed with building modules,” he notes. “It just grew and grew and grew, a little like that Stephen King book Rose Red, the house that kept on growing.”

In 1994 he joined the MIT Media Lab, where he is now Director of the Responsive Environments Group, which explores how sensor networks augment and mediate human experience, interaction, and perception. There, Paradiso and his students created, PatchWerk, a web app that let individuals from around the world come together and commandeer Paradiso’s synth creation. Forty thousand users controlled the synth over the span of several weeks

One thought on “MIT’s Wizard of Synthesizers Joseph Paradiso

  1. Brilliant across the board. He nails a lot of the WHY. I see modular as a path to madness, but its not all that far from keeping a lot of a slab synth’s insides in your head while you fiddle around with an editor on a laptop. Its just a different angle on it. You do get something unique from wrestling with patch cords. I got to try a bit of it with an MS-20, a couple of Moogs, an ARP sequencer and some noisy effects. Its a great way to get answers to questions you didn’t yet know to ask.

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