Saturday, August 15, 2015

Another One Bites the Dust...

So, do you want to know exactly how fiddly I am about my module selection? Today, I sold my Mutable Instruments Links module. It's a basic utility module, and it had some nice features.

So I put in in my Station 252 next to all my other MI modules, and that's where the problem started. You see, every MI module has an icon and a band along the top, and the MI icon and a band along the bottom. But the Links doesn't have the band at the bottom, and it was bugging me.


So I put it up for sale, and today it hit USPS on its way to a new owner. Now, I'm sure that there are many people howling, crying and throwing their shoes at the screen right now - because that sounds like the stupidest reason that anyone could ever have about not wanting a module.

But I believe strongly that, when designing an instrument, you have to beware of cognitive "speedbumps" - things that cause you to pause, even for a microsecond, about the organization of said module. Guitar players will often dump an instrument if the neck is 1/16th of an inch too thick, or the volume control fits in the wrong place on the crook of their pinkie finger. I think of my modular in the same way that I think of my guitars, and the lack of consistent panel imagery threw off my immediate sense of the "Mutable group" in my rack - and therefore caused me to have to think for a microsecond more than I needed to think. When I replaced this with an Intellijel mult and Triatt (one of my "Intellijel groups" is just to the right of the MI group...), I immediately felt more comfortable and confident in the use of that section of the modular without thinking.

I actually believe it was more than the lack of a band. This is one of the few cases where MI put too much stuff in too small of a package - the face is almost all jacks, each of which serves a different purpose. The result is too much thinking - and the speedbump process begins.

First world problem, but in this case I can afford to be picky, and to engineer the instrument that allows me to be most productive.


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