Modular synth lifestyle marketing?


In the minority, I guess. This is profoundly gross. And not because of the synthesizer. But kudos to @stripes for gettin’ paid.


What’s the wandering wolf link? Sounds cool.



i was gonna make a more general thread for this sort of topic when i first joined here a few months back but figured that my own current sentiments went way too against the grain of what seems to be the sort of progressive tech-positivist bent of this forum (also was a little reluctant to introduce myself by immediately causing a fuss!). perhaps even saying that much is being overly prescriptive, and i’d be happy to admit any misunderstandings i may have about what this community most strongly values/wants to accomplish. but i wanted to say that i’m glad to see something like this thread pop up anyways, and also glad to see some more critical ideas presented here.

maybe i’ve spent too much time in the last year or so becoming somewhat steeped in the rhetoric of writers like Debord, Baudrillard, Mark Fisher, and others whose work is at least partially indebted to Marxist thought, but i guess i find myself being really aversed to the type of marketing in question here, almost to a fault i suppose. look at me, namedropping philosophers to boot, as if it’s really any measure of credibility, or somehow not doing marketing in itself!

at the risk of preambling into a corner however… i should say that my thoughts on this matter at large is that lifestyle branding and marketing that somehow seems focused enough to really captivate* an audience as unique and niche as the eurorack crowd is really ONLY problematic. it points to an emerging and insidious marketing tendency characterized by commodity hyperfetishism that is so efficient at doing what it does that you don’t even know when it is or isn’t happening; i think this effect is exacerbated by the times we’re living in - incredibly fast, transactional, and constantly in contact with media that operates on a one way street, that is to say, parasocial at best. what i see is a commercial potentially supporting the already suffocating status quo which immediately connects on some level with a calculated demographic of “as-yet-untapped cultural influencers” (electronic musicians) wrapped up in a show of momentary contemplation over a commodity which has several in-group lifestyle-affirming symbolic dimensions (the synthesizer as a small-scale industry, expressive tool, community-unto-itself), coupled with a comforting, albiet vaporous, ideal about geographic and educational freedoms which are directly linked to yet another market (housing) which has at least in recent history proven itself to pretty ethically dubious.

    • captivate, not convince of course. i have faith that we’re aware of what marketing is generally trying to accomplish, (for better or worse according to your political sense and disposition), but of course i’m not sure anyone is ever perfectly immune to marketing “doing its thing”, so i say this with a bit of apprehension, and again, maybe that apprehension isn’t warranted here. i want to emphasize that this word choice though is only making note of the way in which this topic was brought about, ie in response to an advertisement.

and apologies in advance if any of this reads as unfairly harsh. i understand we all need to make money, and it’s ultimately a very real and very human sector of people who work in advertising, either directly or by some type of association. and that’s okay, as long as discussion about its trends, effects, etc. is okay too.


What is that wee speaker? Any good?


I believe it might be called a mini-rig? it’s another piece they bought inspired by @stripes, but others around here are/were using it


Thanks for writing at length!! It’s interesting how deeply shot through with anxiety the whole conversation about class, race and synthesizers / lines is—whether that’s electronically sitting on one’s hands, hedging one’s response, etc. Gender too we mostly Stopped Talking About. I guess there’s probably a collective nerve there somewhere


This is an interesting, somewhat related discussion:


This is Capitalism, it happens everywhere, and has happened long since before Don got the American Tobacco account.

The real pain shown on this thread is that we thought we were creating a community where capitalism and hyperfetishism wouldn’t come knocking, whilst arguing the merits of passive Transformers housed in surfer graphics over non branded components sweated out in china.

that’s twelve thousand views.


To be fair, the “What are you listening to” thread has 124k views.

At the risk of taking a reductio ad absurdum view of this particular thread, I think it was neat to see a modular on TV and even more neat to see one of Derrick’s beautiful cases featured.


likewise, i haven’t fully processed this. only discovered due to a targeted ad (much shorter edit, much more addy, much more creative credit taken by intel)


this ad made me much more uncomfortable than the original one posted.


powered by Atmel just doesn’t have the same ring I guess…


all this is super tricky. on the one hand you are in bed with with the devil on the other its an artist trying to make a living in a time when musician/composers are expected to give away their work/time/expertise for free. also the “devil” as it were is made of people, all of whom are not awful so it feels weird to me to vilify people so easily. this us vs them thing just sits wrong with me. especially considering we are all complicit in this too. as there are degrees in murder maybe there should be in capitalist piggyness :slight_smile:

this guy maybe being 1st degree:


to be clear i wasn’t vilifying deadelus by posting the above vid.


also for clarification i did not mean to suggest that you were!!!

i was just saying in general. i work with a lot of people who make their living in the film industry, mostly contributing to commercials, editorial, VFX etc. some of them are awesome people so it feels weird to lump them altogether in a negative light.


I always get bummed out when I see artist I respect working with Red Bull (Academy)…


What’s the deal with taping the usb cord down on the 256? Maybe Alfred needs a jack replacement :man_shrugging:t2:


That last daedelus quote was a doozy…i may be slightly paraphrasing…

“The technology is really enabling us to include our humanity in the act of creation” :woozy_face:


I’m still very conflicted about this, while not really having much to add beyond @bellemnop and others’ already excellent analysis.

Perhaps the main thing that could be made more explicit (and which gets diverted unfortunately by the Justin Roberts video or Red Bull discussions) is that it’s impossible to decouple certain aspects of the hygge aesthetic from the broader plan of gentrification. This goes back again to Bukowski, to the “nice place to create” discussions, it would take a very long post indeed to do justice to these concerns.

Of course, to mention this is also to risk pointing fingers, to risk taking a stance that is less than supportive – that is absolutely not what would be productive right now. After all, there are the bare facts that this music also touches us very deeply, that it comes from places other than this very narrow consideration. Not to do justice to these facts makes any truly productive discussion impossible.

Nonetheless, maybe it’s time to retreat a bit, look around and see if there are not other stories being told. Modular or otherwise. What are we simply dismissing, that is nonetheless right there in front of us, that is most near? If nothing can be seen, we should perhaps probe the reasons why. That again is another long discussion, for instance what it would take to bring forth a “new” sound – or which is really the same thing, to bring forth a world where the idea of the future is possible again.

Simply naming things in language is not yet possible, because there does not yet exist a language which lets these things be seen on their own terms. That which is most near remains in this sense most remote and mysterious. These are very hard discussions indeed.