A brand new category – but one which has exploded in 2016, for an interesting variety of reasons. It’s the best Eurorack module category…
Highly Commended Eurorack Module – Studio Electronics Modstar Sensei
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If MusicTech’s editor had had his way this would have won (he has one). It’s a modular synth that is configured and built for you – probably against the ethos of the genre, we admit – and includes filters from at least four classic synths. The best bit – aside from the sound – is that it all comes in a carry case and looks, well, spectacular.
It is the modular to end all modulars, simple as that…
Winner – Moog Mother-32
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It comes to something when a product type becomes so popular that it demands its own category in the MusicTech Gear Of The Year awards, but that is what has happened with modular synths, or specifically, the Eurorack synth. Once the domain of the geek –and we mean that in the nicest way, as we are most definitely geeks – the modular-synth community has now left the studio and entered the big wide world, to the point that anyone with a soldering iron seems to be producing modules in that format.
It’s an addictive format to get involved in, because what you are effectively doing is creating a synth that no one else has, but it’s mighty rewarding, too.
The big guns are becoming increasingly involved in modular synths, with Roland staking a claim with its effects. But, of course, the mother of all synth companies – see what we did there – was always the one most likely to steal our first-ever award for a modular and did so in our voting by something of a landslide. Even the MusicTech editor couldn’t sway the voting here. So the award for Best Modular goes to Moog’s Mother-32. We’ll leave it up to MusicTech’s synth guru Dave Gale to explain why…
“In reviewing this unit, I found that my cheeks were continually aching, as I just seemed to be smiling at every moment. The Mother-32 is outstanding in all ways, but undoubtedly the biggest selling point is that for under £500, you can have a real Moog analogue synthesiser, which is entirely useable and self contained in its own right.
It sounds sublime in all ways, and if I were starting out in Eurorack, I would be very tempted to buy two or three of these; the possibilities with one unit are vast, but the possibilities with two or three are endless…”