Mark Verbos is known for his elegant, Buchla-inspired module design. Here, music technology blog Sonic State sits down with Verbos at Studio Stekker, a Utrecht-based recording space. Verbos discusses his design process, focusing on the interface first before building the rest.
Something that is really important to me… The interface of the instrument is actually where I like to start the design, and then work back and try to work out how to do whatever I dream up for the interface.
Verbos also discusses his past work with vintage Buchla synthesizers, and how that experience has influenced his current work.
I had a lot of experience working with vintage Buchla instruments and I wanted to bring some of the great things about those interfaces and workflow that Don turned up a long time ago. I want to bring some of that energy and philosophy into my synthesizers so I do my best to channel the good ideas I learned from that, into this.
Verbos recently released his Touchplate Keyboard, a touch sensitive device that translates haptic contact with metal plates into control voltage, often referred to as “pressure” sensitivity (though pressure isn’t what is technically being measured, but rather skin contact to the metal touch points).
Sonic State also covers the Studio Stekker event in a separate video, which is equally inspiring. The location is managed by a Dutch artist, Colin Benders, who had some major success in the Netherlands with his act, Kyteman Orchestra. Using his success, Benders began Kytopia, a massive studio system for other artists and musicians to record and operate their businesses. From there, Studio Stekker was born, a week-long collaborative musical retreat. It is a very cool and selfless project, one that is worth knowing about. And be sure to check out Sonic State for daily music technology news outside of the modular world!