Dante: Checking on progress since our last article I
noticed two major updates (v0.97b and v.0971b). Something
took my eye in v0.97b which was all the XITE-1 I/O modules.
I take it that now we can start building devices inside
modular that communicate directly with the hardware I/O, so
modular is becoming a complete environment in itself having
less reliance on the project container itself?
Sharc: I don't think the project window is becoming
less relevant in any way. I do think Modular is becoming
more flexible and less reliant upon the I/O count of the
Modular shell you build your patch in. If you use
a 2x2 shell and then discover you need another input or
output then it can be added without having to build from
scratch in a bigger shell. Likewise, with a modular device
loaded as an insert effect you can add MIDI and audio I/O
modules to suit your needs.
Dante: So theoretically we can build
processors or mixers and drag them into a project without
needing any I/O hookups in the project itself. What would
happen if we assigned the same I/O in a Modular device that
was already being used in the project?
Sharc: In theory, yes. You could build an entire
project inside the modular shell without requiring any external
routings. Just like with projects though, the I/O modules
are system specific. XITE I/O modules won't load on a Scope
PCI card so patches using the hardware I/O modules would be
more for personal use and not as easy to share with other
Also, as much as it would be great if they were, the I/O
modules aren't intelligent. They can't communicate with
other I/O modules in the project beyond the routings you
make. If you try to load more than one instance of the same
I/O you'll get an error message. Just like in the routing
window. However multiple software Wave and MIDI I/O modules
can be loaded.
Dante: 55 devices is a lot but then I noticed 24 more
in v.0971b. Some useful MIDI modules took my eye here, and I
noticed some new oscillators were well received. How do you
plan in advance what modules to make?
Sharc: I usually try not to make too many long term
plans. I've got a to-do list of updates, bug fixes and ideas
for new modules. I try to keep that list at a manageable
length. Some things might stay on the list for a lot longer
than others. I think it's important to approach whatever
you're doing with enthusiasm. Otherwise what's the point?
Some chores do need to be done though so I try to balance it
out on those terms so that I keep myself interested.
Dante: And how has the overall development been
progressing during 2013?
Sharc: Progress has been slower than I expected. I
don't mind admitting that. At the same time though, I'm
really pleased with the way some of the developments have
turned out. I think I've come to appreciate this as a
term project than I possibly realized it was a year ago. I
don't see v1.0 as being the same milestone to aim for as I
did a year ago. It's probably going to be just another
update - the one before v.1.1
Dante: I've seen a lot of positive feedback
from the community - that must keep you inspired.
Sharc: Yes, the feedback I've received from
users has been really encouraging. The time and energy some
users have put into the project so far has been simply
overwhelming. Having the BC Forum and Planet Z to interact
with the user base has been really important to driving the
project forward. I might be the one who started BC Modular
and who's sitting here putting views across right now, but
it's their project as much as it's mine.