Even if this blog is mostly about making electronic music with things that you can use IRL, today’s issue of Blinking Lights is all about software modulars, which you maybe haven’t heard of yet.
Most well-known software modulars, like VCV rack or Softube Modular, rely heavily on the skeumorphic representation of hardware. This is of course nothing new in the audio software world, and the discussion about this being good or bad – or both – is still going on. There’s a few notable pieces of software which go agains the tide. The Puredata-based Automationism comes to mind, as does Audulus and to a certain extent Bitwig’s Rack. Bespoke is a new one which also ditches all visual references to hardware knobs and buttons and goes with a completely abstract and flat UI. It’s also free, so why not check it out?
An interesting and unusual software modular I discovered some time ago is Seqsual, a Reaktor-based program (runs in the Player version) focused purely on generating MIDI data. I have to admit that I haven’t tried it out yet, but it seems like an interesting thing if you’re into more generative MIDI sequencing. This one’s not free but there’s a Demo you can try out.
In case you are a Voltage Modular user, some Nonlinearcircuits (aka NLC) modules have been ported to this format and are available on their store for free.
Last but not least. The Signal State is a game I’ve been invoved in for the UI and graphic design. I would describe it as being a game where modulars meet math and logic. Though admittedly, that’s just modular to many. Some compare it to the Zachtronics games, in case you you’re familar with those.
It’s going to be released in a couple of days, on September 23, on Steam.