Learning Modular Synthesis in 9 Simple Tracks with ((konexo))


Artwork for The Shortest Days

((konexo))’s album, The Shortest Days, reaffirms my growing interest in modular synthesis. All the tracks were made using MakeNoise eurorack modules, in single takes. That’s the beauty of modular synthesis and having knowledge on what the individual modules can do. Modular synthesis allows one to create their own unique instrument.

The first track (I’m going to shorten the names for the sake of typing them out) xmas jugband is pretty good start to the album. It introduces the odd mix of freedom and order that one will find using this type of instrument. loose ends somewhat highlights the frequency range of instrument and beckoned astray provides a fun random, yet organized, arrangement.

sharp signals is definitely one of those improvisations you hear in demo synth videos. It’s blend of non-sinusoidal waveforms grabs your attention, the arrangement is recognizable but curious. Modular synthesis also allows for sonic opportunity. See how beeps can make a rhythmic progression, an organically made digital beat in beginners luck. Where guitar players use a wah pedal to alter the sound of the tone, a synth uses a filter while altering the cutoff and resonance. This can be automated on modular synths, which is most likely the case in march forth. Or it was done manually. Or I’m completely wrong.


While listening to evening snowstorms, I tried to imagine an orchestra playing it. It’s a very dynamic piece, certainly lending itself to be transposed. home alone is also very dynamic. The phrasing and space in it, like the other songs on the album, is what keeps things interesting while still sounding repetitive at times. Ending with grey sunday, ((konexo)) displays how the modular synth can create a kick sound, bass and a high pitched flute.

This shit just makes me want a modular synth even more. I’ve been looking at the Lifeforms System by Pittsburgh Modular. So thanks, now I’m closer to making that purchase.

Essential Track: sharp signals