Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The Filter Finder Deluxe

I'm in the middle of writing my book on modular filters, and it reminded me of one of the best filter-finding situations I'd run into. I was in Portland for a Max Workshop - which was being held in a store that sold modular gear. That's as much as I knew when I flew into town.

That store was Control Voltage.

I got there and my jaw hit the floor. I'd spent a lot of time around amazing synthesizer systems (most notably, in Grant Richter's basement...), but I'd never been in a situation like this - hundreds of modular, all available for hands-on testing, and all for sale.

I spent over two hours obsessively trying out many filter types. I'd assumed I'd love the Ripples filter, because I'd loved every MI device I'd tried up to that time. But I came away thinking 'Meh'. Similar feelings over a lot of different filters - until I ran into the Pittsburgh Filter (the first Pittsburgh module I'd ever tried) and the Filtare SEIII (one I'd never heard of, let alone tried).

A hit to the pocketbook and they were mine. They have both been part of my modular systems ever since. But it was the opportunity to do "this vs. that" tests of dozens of filters  - and trying them out with the oscillators that I prefer - helped me more than the buying/selling spanking machine I'd spent the previous years enduring.

So - visit your modular retailer, and take advantage of their willingness to show you the world!


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