Modular On The Spot

What Is Modular On The Spot?


Modular On The Spot is a global, community-driven event that combines outdoor environments with performances by modular synth artists. This article covers how the event started and has information about the next MOTS event in LA on June 20th.

How It All Started

In 2015, LA residents Eric “Rodent” Cheslak & Bana Haffar packed their modular synths and generator and went on a camping trip to Arizona. After jamming out in the desert a couple of times, they thought it might be fun to put up a free outdoor event in their home city of LA.

So in July of 2015 – the two cofounders organised a rogue meetup at Marsh Park along the LA river featuring other synth artists, and “Modular On The Spot” was born. The events ethos has remained the same throughout the years – it’s always free, outdoors, and the artists have to play a modular synth in some form.

 

 

(Source: Alex Kacha, 2019)

 

Today, Modular On The Spot events have spread far and wide – with the original concept going as far as Mexico and Korea. 


What Is A Modular Synthesiser?

A modular synthesiser is essentially the same as a regular synthesiser but without the black & white keys. Therefore, the user has to physically use patch cables to connect the oscillator, to an amplifier, or filter, or LFO – depending on the desired signal chain. 

 

(Source: Pinterest, 2021)

 

Mod artists (like Cheslak and Haffer) usually see this art form as a reaction against the presets, or stock sounds that come with most off-the-shelf synthesisers. By being able to connect anything to anything, they are not always confined to the typical signal chain of oscillator > filter > amp, and can therefore come up with some truly unique sounds & timbres. 


Coming Up

Good news for LA residents – after a brief hiatus, Modular On The Spot LA will be back on Sunday, June 20th at 4:30 PM at Woodley Park in Van Nuys.  Attendees will be treated to performances by @jamesbernard, @morphacoustic, @dahliafae.xo@carlosrossi, @nundale and @dillonbastan.

Follow @modularonthespotla to get the exact location on the day. 

Keen readers of this blog might recognise Dillon Bastan as the creator of the “Inspired By Nature” Max For Live pack. Read our interview with this fascinating device creator, along with demo’s of his devices in a previous article below.

Read more

Get A Taste

This edition of Modular On The Spot is being organised by Patrick O Brien, a MOTS regular. Watch a performance of his at a previous Modular On The Spot LA event below to get a taste of what to expect!

 

 

If you’d like to learn more about music production with Ableton Live with access to online live study groups, find out which of our programs is right for you.


 

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