March 15, 2012
Patching With Paradiso...
by Chris Randall
Heavy synth-nerdery alert.
If you've been in the synth game for a while, you no doubt know about Joe Paradiso of MIT and his monster DIY modular. The video above is some basic background. I question whether it is the largest DIY modular in the world, but it is definitely large. (twss)
In any event, it recently got moved to the MIT Museum, and is constantly running, with a patch that is updated every couple weeks. You can stream the audio live, but that's not the nifty part. They just added a feature called Patchwork, which is a module that can be controlled via the Intertubes, and alters certain aspects of the patch in real time. The main page for the synth is here, and the Patchwork control page can be found here. Note that the four buttons are not toggles; you have to hold them down to hear them. And any change takes a few seconds to show up in the audio stream. The synth also has its own Twitter feed, where Mr. Paradiso lets you know when he changes the patch.
This is the first I've ever seen something like this. Are there other interactive instruments that actually exist on this temporal plane (i.e. hardware) that are floating around the 'Tubes? How could this be extrapolated in to something that was musically a bit less... nerderific? (For want of a better word.)