Alesssandro Cortini on Art+Music+Technology

This podcast is always interesting. I’m a big fan of NIN and Cortini in general. He sounds like a really fun, smart guy who has a ton of passion for what he does. What struck me about this interview was how he mentioned the MC202 as well! He and @Ess are going to end up driving the second-hand market for 202’s through the roof! Darwin even joked about how Cortini is the reason 4-track cassette recorders are insanely expensive now.

The best part though, is when he talks about finding “your Easel” – basically, find that instrument that excites you and makes you want to dive deep into it.


Bump. This is good.


Great stuff.

Also @Aen has a cool episode on there as well.


GASP cover blown!
JK. I’m really looking forward to this episode.


Ha - I definitely listened to that one too. It is also one of my favorites! :+1:t3::+1:t3:

1 Like

Nice. It made me discover Cortini’s music. Good stuff there.

But… it also left me with a somewhat elitist after-taste. Sounded like vintage Buchla is the real deal and all that new eurorack is toys for amateurs. I’m sure there’s uninspiring stuff there but to simply dismiss the whole field doesn’t sit well with me.

1 Like

Personally I don’t find his attitude elitist at all. He qualifies his thoughts as his own personal opinions constantly, and if you watch other interviews with him he talks at length about his Buchla obsessions stemming more from the founder’s philosophy and historical importance than their cost today, and that he appreciates a singular point of view from one designer in modular systems versus a collection of points of view in a variety of modules.
He also creates much of his music from very humble pieces of gear, like the MC-202 and a Tascam 4-track.


would it cheer you up to see him giving the OT some serious love?

I haven’t listened to the podcast so I can’t speak to the elitism/euro comment you made. but he and Reznor for sure are deep into eurorack. he definitely seems to favor Buchla for his personal stuff though.

1 Like

It was particularly the bit where he said something very similar to this that struck me: if you come home from your job and noodling with eurorack helps you relax then go for that.

That s dismissing eurorack for professional work.

Disclaimer: i have 0 modular stuff, i don t feel personally attacked.

1 Like

My impression when I listened to the podcast a few days ago was that he was saying that it’s OK to use music gear as a hobby as well as for professional purposes.


maybe he was generalizing about the vast majority of modular users (who are predominantly using euro) who spend all their music time/energy “wiggling” and not really writing/recording anything…?

fwiw, I have no reason to defend the guy or euro, modular, buchla, etc… don’t care either way. just giving my point of view on what I’m seeing.

I can see how it could sound somewhat elitist, but that’s not how I received it. I don’t think he was referring to Eurorack as a whole vs. some modules that are available that offer cool sounds, but once you exhaust those cool sounds, you can’t do much else with it. And, as far as I remember, it seemed like he was just saying it wasn’t for him. Of course, his point of view is that of a Buchla fan, so there may be bias.

I think the critical takeaway is that we should all be looking for that one thing that we really click with. It may take a while, but it is worth it.

Overall, this podcast was really two music- and gear-nerds talking about music and gear, as usual.


Just confirmed that my Circuit Mono Station synth and Space reverb can perfectly impersonate his synth sound :wink:

Also, by virtue of being so spacious, his music lends itself well for synth noodling on top of.


What I got out of it was that a complete modular system designed as a unit by professionals is very well though out in terms of where the knobs are and what exactly they do, like a well thought out instrument or interface. Whereas a collection of various modules put together in a box but all from different people and places is left to the end user to piece together whom usually has far less experience in the matter regarding how things interact and even if they did the placement of controls will never line up in the same sort of fluidness of a complete system because it was not designed as a cohesive unit…
Makes sense to me…

Although I’m sure you can get some uber far out craziness by combining moduals and I have nothing wrong with eurorack…

1 Like

I was laughing a little bit when he said when he sees a new module released he gets anxiety. So even the professionals get the feeling regular Joes get


I’ve met Cortini a few times, and he’s always been enthusiastic and gracious to everyone involved. I’m pretty sure if he threw out an elitist vibe that was accidental, and he’s just THAT much more passionate about his Buchla. He told me about a keyboard synth that he did sound design for that he didn’t even keep, so I think he keeps it pretty tight.


there’s lot’s and lot’s of great interviews on this podcasts. really some great stuff. the interview w/Scott Jeager (the harvestman/industrial music electronics) is also great.

i enjoyed the cortini interview a lot. it’s interesting to hear the life of a working musician with a wide range of experiences and diverse output. he seems like a genuine and nice person as well.


if anything, it’s probably refreshing to focus only on Buchla so that he doesn’t have to wade through the euro minefield.

1 Like

Fair enough folks. As I said it was an after-taste I had, something I can’t quite make very hard but still lingering around.

That aside, I found it funny he mentioned Colin Benders as one of the few inspiring modular musicians. I just ranted about him in the recent modular thread:

There s actually the other extreme to that too: people who built out and polished their modular sets so far that it sounds just like an Ableton show. For example Colin Benders aka Kyteman: gigantic modular system, brings a technician to set it up and mix it for him, sounds just like any run of the mill Ableton tech/house set.

He was playing at the latest Dutch Modular Fest (which matches all the stereotypes given here: a gang of nerds staring at patchcord webs instead of dancing) but forgot his patch sheet so he was forced to improvize. Sounded way cooler than his regular hyper-polished set that I heard some months before.

1 Like

I haven’t met him in person, but he’s always seemed quite humble, down to Earth, and genuinely excited about the gear and things he does. He also has a good sense of humor. He used to frequent Muff’s quite a bit, so I’ve interacted a bit with him there.

I highly recommend checking out his video with Nick Batt on YouTube. (I’ll dig it up later maybe.) I think it’s something along the lines of “Firing up the Buchla”.

1 Like