DivKid's Month Of Modular Issue #14 November 2016 - Page 16

The other was that I really started missing playing a physical instrument - be it a guitar or percussion or a synth and I started thinking about buying a decent, fully-featured analogue synth. This was before the current crop of smaller, cheaper builds and back then - you were either buying a modern, monster-synth or you were trying to track down one of the few really good modern analogue synths that existed or you were buying one of the old-school legendary synths like an SH-101 - but also paying the ridiculous prices that those builds often go for.

From there, since I’d been tinkering with more of my own gear anyway - I started looking into building my own designs.

You had a great core set of modules early on with the ADE-10 Reactive Shaper, ADE-20 Multi-Mode Filter and ADE-30 Wave Boss. What inspired these as the first modules?

I got into Eurorack kind of by accident. I bought a couple of modules to set up a bench test rig for the desktop builds I was designing - I figured it would be a good way to get a decent sine wave and a power supply without buying expensive lab gear. From there - I was hooked very quickly. About the same time I was offered a good deal on a large - but very badly treated - Doepfer rig out of a studio that was down-sizing. I repaired the ones I could, sold some on and suddenly I’d gone from having 3 or 4 modules to approaching 9U of


The first Abstract Data modules covered a lot of different bases for me. The ADE-10 was more experimental - it definitely didn’t take the safe, clean, linear approach that many Euro designers take now - there were great sweet spots but you had to find them and you could also fall off the edge with it. I like that element in sound creation.

The ADE-20 was my first attempt at doing a serious discrete analogue design. That’s ‘proper’ electronics as far as I’m concerned. I’m no purist, I have no problem with digital - but for sound generation - analogue is where it’s at for me. It wasn’t perfect but I learnt a lot from that design and I’m really looking forward to some of the designs that build on the core circuits that were developed during that stage.

Your modules are densely packed and full of features yet easy to use. Do you always set out to cover a wide range within the type of module that it is? Take the ADE-31 Logic Boss for example. It's a comprehensive logic module with multiple channels and multiple logic types. Personally do you prefer that over say breaking anything into separate modules?

I think there’s an important balance between giving the customer something fully-featured, something that is absolutely useable in any situation - be it noodling around in the studio or doing some sort of live performance but also something that is genuinely interesting - something they can experiment with, something that doesn’t give up every feature in the first session. Getting that balance right is one of the great challenges of Euro design.

I like modules that pack a lot in, I don’t like modules where the functionality is hidden or

obscured and I don’t like modules that bring absolutely nothing new to the game. I guess I try and aim somewhere between those three points.