Aditya Nandwana of Animal Factory Amplification reckons that the synth market is close to a saturation point, while Varun Desai of Synthfarm believes that the sector has immense growth potential in the country. In the third and last part of the “Synth Makers of India” series, I talk to Dhvanit Poduval of Modular Analog, India’s first modular synth company. Founded in 2016, Modular Analog has quickly found traction in the Indian market, helped by the recent revival of hardware synthesizers around the world.
Vaibhav: Please tell me a little bit about the beginnings of the company. How did the idea come about, the founding members of the company, and when did the company officially launch?
ModularAnalog: We guess it was inevitable! Take a group of musicians and engineers with a passion and desire to do something innovative with a vision of bringing pride to our country, whilst making a difference in the electronic music scene… You get ModularAnalog!
As far as the goal and the vision of ModularAnalog as a company goes, it has morphed into something bigger than what we initially started off with. However, the mission still remains the same and is strongly driven by our “Make in India Synth” movement. And that’s why the motto of our company is not to be different but to make a difference!
Vaibhav: What are your best selling modules?
ModularAnalog: We only started selling our Eurorack modules online towards the end of 2017, so its probably too early to rank a best-selling module. However, our Mega VCO has had the highest interest and success, online as well as with our fans and followers. Portable Eurorack cases have probably clocked the most sales till date, which makes total sense as they are the starting point for electronic musicians getting into modular synth.
As you would know, modular synth isn’t like any other instrument and we aren’t like any other modular synth company that has a featured product. The way we have designed our 360° offering is to give India the “Power” to synth, right from power supply units to cases, synth modules and accessories. We provide all kinds of musicians everything they need to get started with modular synths.
Vaibhav: How would you define your modules in terms of their sonic character?
ModularAnalog: Defining the sonic character of our synths is difficult. The sonic character of our synths is best understood when they are heard . So far, majority of the feedback has been that our modules sound warm and fat, and people love the characteristics of our analog synths.
Vaibhav: Since the company started, what has the demand curve been like? Has there been an increase in demand, a decrease, or has it remained more or less constant? If you could give me an approximate idea of your sales per quarter, it would be great.
ModularAnalog: It’s too early to gauge the actual demand of modular synths in India. However, we have recorded sales from every corner of the country – Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Guwahati, especially Mumbai. We have even sent out our synths to a Music Institute named HAMT in Dharamshala.
While we can’t share our quarterly reports, we can say that the enquiries have been exponentially growing, which, we think, directly reflects the change in the electronic music scene in the country.
Vaibhav: What do you think of the current synth revolution? Where do you think the market is headed in the next 2-3 years?
ModularAnalog: We think the modular synth market is still very nascent in India. However, the demand will grow exponentially in the near future. As India’s first modular synth company, the current objective is not to make profit but to grow awareness around modular synths and increase the use of modular synths in India. We hope to be an inspiration and encourage more Indian synth makers to venture out and join the revolution.
Vaibhav: Do you think, right now, it’s easy for an artist to make it in the live modular jam space? Do you think there is enough audience out there for those kind of gigs?
ModularAnalog: Electronic music is one of the most dominant music trends in our country, right now. As a matter of fact, a lot of Indian electronic artist have been using some form of synths in their live performances for ages. Modular synths add a creative and artsy aspect to live electronic music, bringing not just creative satisfaction for the artist, but also a refreshing experience for the audience.
We must remember, modular synths have always been part of electronic music right from the 70’s and 80’s. We think as long as there is an audience for electronic music, there will be always be an audience for modular synths.
Vaibhav: What can synth heads expect from Modular Analog in the near future?
ModularAnalog: A lot of new innovative and interesting modules, for sure. Apart from that, synth heads should expect:
a. More compact all-in-one units that can be integrated with other audio production tools.
b. New aesthetics for modules, as well as slimmer and sleaker cases.
c. 1U modules
d. And Demo videos and tutorials on our website.