It's been about a month since my last update on North Coast and my life in general, so here are some notes on how things have been going.
Here's another update on what's up with my new life and new business. In general, there's progress being made, but I'm still facing a lot of annoying delays.
I will assume that you've already read part 1, which describes what a modular synthesizer is; and part 2, which says that you shouldn't buy one. Your spouse isn't allowed to kill me because I did warn you, and your cat has already formed an opinion on your intelligence anyway. In this final installment I'm going to offer some suggestions on how to get started with modular synthesis. Very much depends on your own reasons, which are ultimately known only to you, for why you've decided to do this. I can only offer some insights that may be helpful for what I think are typical newcomers.
When I started the market research for my business, I put together a profile of who'd be buying my products. I imagined my customers as the kind of people I've met in the modular synthesis hobbyist community. These are people with a fair bit of disposable income (typically because of having California "tech" jobs and no family except cats), who already have medium to large modular systems worth $5000 or more. They are already familiar with the concepts, have been doing modular synthesis for a few years already, and are looking for something extra to add to their existing installations.
My mother asked me to explain what I'm up to in one sentence, for inclusion in the annual Christmas Letter, and I said that I'm making electronic musical instruments. That's a pretty good summary as far as it goes. But people often want more detail on what modular synthesizers are all about, and this is the first of three postings I'm writing so that I can have a place to which I can direct the curious. In this episode I'll summarize what modular synthesis is. Next time, I'll explain why you shouldn't get involved in modular synthesis, and what to do instead. And in part 3, I'll give some advice on how to get started with modular synthesis, for those who foolishly ignored part 2.
I may update these postings a bit in the future, if they prove to have any lasting value. And as a reminder, my company is North Coast Synthesis Ltd., and I'll some day soon be selling synthesizer modules from my Web storefront, which is not open yet. You can register your address on that page if you want me to send you an email when it opens.
The synthesizer project has reached an important milestone: my business is now incorporated, under the name North Coast Synthesis Ltd. The Web site will be at northcoastsynthesis.com, which currently just redirects to a password-locked Shopify storefront, but will become public and have some real content in the near future. Watch this space, that site, or my Twitter account, for further updates as they happen.
I have posted a detailed set of notes (PDF file) describing the theory behind my Black Swan Suite, detailing the endless chase of Elmer and Daffy across Penrose, pinwheel, and other nonperiodic tilings of the plane. Fans of music and computational geometry may find the document interesting. At the very least, it was fun to typeset.