Modular Music Synthesis On The Web

It is hard to imagine how the electronics hobby survived without the Internet. You found like-minded people and projects in magazines. And it is even harder to imagine what projects were in the magazines before the widespread availability of CPU chips. Think about it, there are only so many things you can build with a handful of tubes, transistors, and small ICs. But before the computer revolution took over the hobby, there were always a lot of articles about music synthesis. Coming full circle, you can now build a virtual synthesizer on the web using Zupiter, a modular synthesizer that runs in your browser.

That link is actually about Zupiter, but you can go straight to it if you just want to play. However, we had to do a little reading and try some of the examples, too. You can see a video about the synthesizer, below.

The term modular refers to a type of synthesizer that had different modules that come together by means of patch cables to create a particular sound. This type of synthesizer appeared around 1963, being independently developed by both Moog and Buchla working from innovations from Hugh Le Caine.

Of course, not everything you can do with Zupiter sounds like music. We were partial to this example. If you prefer real hardware, grab a Game Boy. What goes well with a modular synthesizer? How about a modular keyboard?


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