Would people like a modular if it didn't have patchcords?

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Kevin Lightner
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Would people like a modular if it didn't have patchcords?

Post by Kevin Lightner » Mon Mar 19, 2012 10:39 pm

Consider modules that had no jacks, but instead LED readouts indicating a buss and up/down buttons to select that buss.

One could patch several modules to the same buss and it would be like multing or mixing.

Said modular could have, say, 99 busses, which is more than most people have in patchcords.

With this type of design, the patching could easily be remembered and recalled.
If the controls were also digitized, the entire patch could be programmable.

I know this wouldn't work so well when trying to interface with other modulars, but it's an idea I've had for some time and I can't see any real problems with it.

Any input? :)
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e3p0
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Re: Would people like a modular if it didn't have patchcords

Post by e3p0 » Mon Mar 19, 2012 11:18 pm

I don't see why not. I know software like Reason, Nintendo/ Korg DS-10 and such have virtual patching. The Little Phatty has extra sub-menu options in the LFO.

If done right I'm sure it could easily be more user friendly than modular patchbays. (like rgb leds that could change colors and would quickly show where patchpoints were.)

Is the allure of a modular the patching or the DIY or ability to mix & match?

At the least, if it were all internal, there would be no need to burnish/ clean jacks periodically.

I am curious, and now will preemptively start saving.

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Re: Would people like a modular if it didn't have patchcords

Post by TheZombieHolocaust » Mon Mar 19, 2012 11:23 pm

I really like the GRP A4 design so yes

unfiltered37
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Re: Would people like a modular if it didn't have patchcords

Post by unfiltered37 » Tue Mar 20, 2012 1:39 am

Or what about just a digital patch bay for existing systems. Every patch could be multed, routed anywhere, and saved. The digital patchbays out there for studio systems are not really adequate for modulars. And you could easily interface with other systems.

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Re: Would people like a modular if it didn't have patchcords

Post by Voltor07 » Tue Mar 20, 2012 1:45 am

Replace the LED readouts with Nixie tubes and I'm sold! :D
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Re: Would people like a modular if it didn't have patchcords

Post by Just Me » Tue Mar 20, 2012 9:07 am

Sounds EML or 2500ish. It is a good idea for those who don't mind a set group of modules. For those of us who change the modules depending on needs, it doesn't seem flexible enough. I do something similar for live performance with a Yamaha programmable matrix switcher.
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Re: Would people like a modular if it didn't have patchcords

Post by EricK » Tue Mar 20, 2012 9:38 am

Interesting proposal. Id have to see one in action.

I think theres something inviting about a wall of modules oozing patchcords from every pore though.
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Re: Would people like a modular if it didn't have patchcords

Post by MC » Tue Mar 20, 2012 10:13 am

I could see an ARP 2500 with the matrix switches replaced by touchscreens
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Re: Would people like a modular if it didn't have patchcords

Post by slabwax » Tue Mar 20, 2012 11:45 am

The new Buchla 200e series is half way there. It can recall module settings but you still need the patch cords.

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Re: Would people like a modular if it didn't have patchcords

Post by TheZombieHolocaust » Tue Mar 20, 2012 12:14 pm

this and the GRP A8 are really the closest I've ever heard to the Minimoog deep resonant bass - it has its own character tho

then again i don't have much experience with modular, I really like the Macbeth stuff but I've never owned modular gear

I've hear synth.com stuff can sound very very moogy

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Kevin Lightner
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Re: Would people like a modular if it didn't have patchcords

Post by Kevin Lightner » Tue Mar 20, 2012 7:17 pm

I envisioned it as a modular that one could move around modules in and out.
No hard numbering for each module, but instead dynamically allocated buss numbers assigned as needed.
The touchscreen idea would be cool too.
Each module could have one of those matrixed signal switching ICs that are available.
(for those unfamiliar, these ICs are just like a Synthi AKS's patch board. Like the game Battleship.)
Plugging in a module would just hook up it up to common busses, much like a 2500 module does.
Each module could send an ID code too and the touchscreen could show a facsimile module in a certain location.
Additional cases with an expansion connector could be recognized too.

Still, I agree that modulars look wicked with patchcords strewn.
It wouldn't be the same if a screen showed this.
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Re: Would people like a modular if it didn't have patchcords

Post by Just Me » Tue Mar 20, 2012 8:42 pm

Just another opinion from here. I've got a Nord G1 and the interface is just too 'virtual' for me. Even with the drawn patchcords. All I really use it for is to duplicate background patches for use live. It allows me time to patch and repatch the modular for the main source.
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Re: Would people like a modular if it didn't have patchcords

Post by Voltor07 » Tue Mar 20, 2012 8:52 pm

What about an interface that used different shapes and sizes in blocks? Kinda like that Teac thing that Bob demonstrated once. Then expand on that concept and make new routings by stacking the various blocks? There are a lot of possibilities with such an interface.
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Re: Would people like a modular if it didn't have patchcords

Post by muksys » Tue Mar 20, 2012 9:07 pm

Voltor07 wrote:What about an interface that used different shapes and sizes in blocks? Kinda like that Teac thing that Bob demonstrated once. Then expand on that concept and make new routings by stacking the various blocks? There are a lot of possibilities with such an interface.


kinda like the reactable

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Re: Would people like a modular if it didn't have patchcords

Post by Goom » Tue Mar 20, 2012 9:07 pm

Something that would be cool with a system like this would be sequenced/clocked routing. Can you imagine having a patch that would be able to switch a filter's input from a saw to square to a ring mod signal? All under a variable clocked rate control. The possibilities there are very interesting. Extra points if the routings could fade at selectable rates, so that a morphing effect could be had.

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