I make films, photographs and electronic music. I build electronic musical instruments

The building of an instrument

The modular in progressMy modular consists of a fair amount of modules at the moment. I took about a year and a half to built. I built everything myself except for the front panels and the printed circuit boards. Here’s a picture of the current configuration. As you can see there is still some room in the top cabinet…

When I look at the modular I realise that this is a unique custom built musical instrument of which only one exists. When I’m building the modules there is a lot of electronics involved and I sometimes forget that it is an electronic instrument.

It’s something that really interests me, using technology to create art. Using a “stupid” computer in a clever way to touch people. Use transistors and opamps to create sounds nobody ever heard. Create music that influences the people listening to it. Make something beautiful with devices that a lot of people often associate with “cold” and “emotionless”.

Another thing I quickly discovered is that working with a modular synthesizer is a real joy. It’s so much different compared to most digital synthesizers. It’s not so much that one is better than the other sound wise but the journey of creating a sound on the modular for me is so much more fun.

As I’m turning knobs and plugging in patch cords to connect modules, the sound evolves. It’s a physical exercise. It’s a process of discovery. I can see the architecture of the sound I’m creating. Really satisfying!

And of course there is the geek factor to be taken into account: lots of knobs and little blinking lights 😉