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 users.

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 much longer 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.


Dante and Sharc December 2013