a slight paradigm shift

There’s a new thread on ModWiggler about being “too case-oriented.” I mused that too often, people prioritize module choices based on their size, rather than more important criteria: relevance, sound, feel, features, etc.

There are arguably three schools of thought with modular:

  • Module Tetris: attempt to fill your case(s) completely. For some folks, a few small blank panels might be allowed if modules need a little extra room for ergonomics, or if nothing suitable can go in that space (particularly with odd-HP modules that a few brands offer).
  • Go Big: get a bigger case than you need, and don’t try to fill it. Fill the gaps with cardboard or fancier blank panels. If you start getting close to full, get a bigger/another case.
  • Fluidity: this is most often done by people who use multiple small cases for live gigs, and by people who do lots of demo videos. Allow yourself to move modules around, and in and out of the rack, as frequently as you like.

Up until now, I’ve done the Module Tetris thing — I’ve tried to fill my lovely custom pyrographed 12Ux144HP case as close to exactly full as possible, and own no modules that don’t fit.

Since I’ve bought the Synchrodyne, I’m switching a little more toward Fluidity. And now I’ve finally managed to trade the Befaco Crush Delay which I’ve been listing for months for an Earthquaker Afterneath — which I also don’t have room for. It happens to be the same size as Mimeophon though, so I could swap it in and out. Or swap something else in and out. Or use the Pod 60 on an occasional, temporary basis. Or whatever. Fluidity!

One of the advantages of Module Tetris was a ready reason not to buy modules: not enough space. Now I’m going to have to exercise a little more judiciousness without that easy thing to lean on. I think that’s OK though — I won’t go crazy 🙂