This is just the kind of thing that inspires me to get that Teensy working at long last. What’s more the code is shared too. You can find it here.
It is also an interesting sign that app ideas and concepts are moving out of the iOS world and into other environments and technologies. To a degree this is true with Hermutt Lobby’s hardware excursion (below), and also HumbleTune’s Phase synth on PocketC.H.I.P.
My guess is that we’ll only see more of this, and personally I think that’s a good thing.
Modulars are hugely popular right now, but, so far, as far as I’m aware, there isn’t a really mobile version, and you might ask, why you would you want one. That’s probably a good question, and one that could only really be answered once someone has created a really compelling mobile modular.
For now I’m interested in talking about some of the smaller modulars that are appearing at the moment. Like the AE Modular on Kickstarter right now.
This is a smaller format than Eurorack and is not compatible either, so it’ll be interesting to see if it takes off and gets adopted by other manufacturers. It’s passed its funding goal so it’s going to happen, but where it goes from there will be the real test.
Another similar development is the Erica Synths Pico Modular System, which is Eurorack compatible, but is just nice and small and tidy. This actually looks pretty cool and quite a lot of fun, and also as a nice way to get into modular in a compact format.
Of course there are other ways to get into modular. You could just use one of the many excellent modular apps for iOS, like Audulus, Model 15, Reactable ROTOR, or the excellent zMors Modular for example. If nothing else then these are very good ways to keep a modular synth in your pocket at all times.
But for many the app route isn’t quite enough, and they’d prefer a real modular that can be portable. Well, there is one. When I was at Loop earlier in the month I bumped into Tom Whitwell from Music Thing Modular, and he showed me this.
And this is battery powered and very portable. He called it a lunchbox modular, and it was very cool.
Is it the shape of things to come? I’m not sure. I think that there’s still a space for a modular that is battery powered and portable but perhaps that doesn’t look like what we have now.
“An alliance of music app developers called Musik App Manufaktur had a very nice performance with iOS apps here at Superbooth 16. They’re clearly showing that mobile app music is not just something fun to play around with while you’re waiting for the bus. No, these are highly capable of high performance stuff, also controlling modulars and syncing over Ableton link. Good stuff.”