Colin Benders’ Modular Synth Universe: Gotta Patch Em’ All
Colin Benders is a conductor. But not the kind you’re thinking of…
There’s no maestro jacket, no conductor’s baton, no red bottom loafers.
Instead, there’s patch cords, filters, oscillators, sequencers, control voltages and maybe a comfy pair of house slippers—The Dutch producer is a conductor of synth modules.
Of course Benders DOES have experience as a traditional conductor…
Shortly after quitting the music conservatory he attended in the Netherlands, Benders formed and conducted the Kyteman Orchestra, a 30 piece group that included less conventional sections like 10 rappers along with more conventional instrumentation like strings and percussion.
But more recently Benders has traded it all in to focus on mastering his Eurorack modular synthesis rig: A giant, colourful wall of wires and lights—an orchestra in its own way with Benders leading the flow.
At first glance Benders’ instrument may seem like a Twizzlers factory exploded and there’s licorice everywhere. But look and listen closer… From the mess of wires a meandering, morphing symphony of electronic sound science chugs along. It’s the strange universe of modular synthesis, and Benders navigates it better than most.
It’s not a journey he takes on alone either. Benders live streams his entire process via Twitch, YouTube and Facebook channels, inviting viewers and listeners to ask questions live and control the rig during marathon jam sessions that often last several hours.
His open approach to creating and sharing is refreshing in the often intimidating world of modular and brings complicated subjects down to earth for the enjoyment of casual fans and seasoned modular heads alike.
Benders let us into his modular world long enough to capture his thoughts on the importance of live streaming, his growing community, favourite Eurorack companies and the popularity explosion of the Eurorack format.
” even though I did not have any experience with analog synths. The myth surrounding them was just that it would make everything sound awesome and that I would need it.
So when I started looking for a decent synth, I was a little disappointed that it always did only a little bit of what I was looking for, but never everything. Then there was also the fact that I was no good with keys, so it felt like a waste to invest in keyboard synths.
Rory Seydel is a musician, writer and father who takes pleasure in touring the world and making records. Creative Director at LANDR.
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