What is py-modular

py-modular is a python project that allows programmatic sound system creation. One of the key concepts behind the project is modularity. Sounds are built using many different processes that do very specific things. Each process contributes it’s own part to the bigger picture. Naturally, much of the inspiration behind the project has been taken from modular synthesis and eurorack. The project aims to differ, however, by taking advantage of modern day digital processing power and coding. The project is meant to see what can be gained by breaking away from traditional music creation techniques.

How to use py-modular

This project is intended to be used by anyone interested in music technology. Python is a great language for beginners and the project has a relatively simple syntax. There is a large range of concepts in the project, from beginner to advanced, and there will be more to come in the future. If you are a beginner to programming, try following the first few how-to’s and make some simple generative systems. If you are more advanced, try to get some creative results with the generative module using Magenta’s Nsynth. Additionally, if you are a developer of any level, please feel free to contribute. py-modular is a project intended for learning, exploration, and trying new things.

In addition to being a learning and exploring project, py-modular is also intended to help musicians realize projects that otherwise are not possible with traditional music composition. For examples, instead of saying play this note at this time, then this note at this time, then this note at this time, etc…, it is much easier to say play these notes in this patter. While this may seem fairly obvious, py-modular intends to take the idea to the extreme. Hypothetically, everything can be expressed as an algorithm, so why not write algorithms instead of scores.

This project is not only for fun, however, but also because musicians tend to have ideas that cannot be expressed only in traditional digital audio workstations. As a musician myself, I think that it is important to express ideas in as many different domains as possible. If you only ever create music with a DAW, your music will become boring and you will become bored. Maybe that is a bit exaggerated, but the idea is clear.

With that said, it is my hope that this project can become an inspiration for people who have never explored the more technical domains of music, and a useful tool of expression for everyone.