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Digital Subscriptions > MusicTech > May 2019 > PROPELLERHEAD Complex-1 €99


The success of Eurorack has seen a revival in hardware synthesis, so why would you want to do it in software? It appears there are plenty of complex reasons

The absolute earth-shaking, awe-inspiring, leftfield and totally surprising phenomenon of the last decade in music production has been the re-emergence of the modular synthesiser. You can often tell when something becomes a bit of a ‘thing’, though, as it can often be quite divisive.

Like many topics in 2019, Eurorack synthesis has its proponents and its opponents. Collecting synth modules can be the best and most addictive thing since collecting Top Trumps (for older readers) or Pokémon Go. Or it can be seen as, well, basically a long-winded way to build a snare sound. What is certain is that a big part of its appeal lies in the fact that it is a way to make music without having to use a computer.

Being hardware, you actually plug things in and it takes up physical space in your studio, creating a wall of flashing lights that will undoubtedly be impressive (even though you might really have no idea what it does!). So having it in software? Well, that’s hardly what you might call ‘pure modular’ is it?

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About MusicTech

Many, many years ago, when pop music was in its infancy, artists would record at multi-purpose recording facilities that were typically designed simply to capture the live performances of the bands and artists. During the 1960s, when pop music had seized the mantle as the dominant entertainment medium in popular culture, bands such as The Beatles and The Beach Boys grew frustrated by the limitations imposed on them by the technology of the time. Their desire to sonically innovate (not to mention the genius-level work of the producers and engineers they worked with) spearheaded the advancement of multi-track recording technology, as well as several techniques and recording approaches that are still widely used today. In our cover feature, John Pickford examines how much of this classic technology was used – and how we can replicate those approaches today in our own home studios, using very faithful recreations of key kit from decades gone by. Elsewhere this issue, we learn more about the art of stem mastering from London’s Wired Masters; discover how an effective understanding of social media can hep you grow your audience; talk to a range of producers and engineers (including the Grammy-winning Darrell Thorp) and review all the latest hardware and software. I hope you enjoy the issue.