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Editor’s Letter


insight: The Element of Surprise

IT’S A given that music lovers want to be surprised. The same is true for those who are making music: Fleshing out your preconcieved notion of your song down to the most minute detail doesn’t leave room for ideas to develop; it’s important to be open to the potential of the unplanned. I’m not saying this is a novel concept, but bear in mind that it can manifest itself in many ways in the studio.

Maybe it’s how you approach your writing. In our MGMT cover feature starting on page 14, we learn how Ben Goldwasser and Andrew VanWyngarden broke out of their structured studio mindset by literally surrounding themselves with a giant circle of gear and just jamming, often independently, until songs began to emerge.

Sometimes, it’s about experimenting with technology that can be unpredictable in nature. In “Granular Synthesis 101” (beginning on page 72), we delve into novel ways to reorder and modulate of bits of sonic data to create remarkable new sounds.

The element of surprise can even lie in the gear itself. In our new “Mod Squad” column (page 54), technical editor Gino Robair tours the radical Metasonix R-54 Supermodule MK II. Of it, he says, “Can you tell that I am reveling in the instability aspects of the R-54? Therein lies much of the creative potential.”

Find yourself in a rut? Give in to the unpredictable. The results might amaze you.


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