Wondering about modular lately too in this regard
Really feel like modular is the flavour of choice for the last decade. And in an unspoken way it’s sort of the current ‘legitimate’ as far as compositional and performance tools go
On the one hand modular is quite experimental, offering tactile and variable ways to explore sound. On the other hand, I’ve often seen artists with huge setups begin to compose ‘music’ on modular setups. Sometimes, that music is amazing. Other times, it barely encroached on the kind of accomplished work one could compose with a daw or perhaps a suite of all-in-one hardware devices.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, modular seems to be the legit way to explore electronics these days. A DAW is pretty much looked down upon. I can think of times where I’ve been at gigs and peers have mentioned the artist was ‘only’ using Ableton. As if patches written in Max or something were more legitimate. But I can remember when everyone being behind a laptop was the coolest thing you could do on stage, it was only once everyone started to tire of that kindve static performance that a tactility seemed to be demanded, but I honestly can’t see much difference between being hunched behind a modular rack or laptop, but it obviously does give an audience something more to hinge on. Still, I dig how artists such as autechre buck the trend and still stick behind a laptop and serve out their sets in the dark
also you feel like modular is part of some gnarlier culture of buy sell swap. the latest modules. soap boxing things. whereas a DAW is a pretty unglamorous and meek way to make tunes imo.
I think hardware boxes are a nice middle ground, but materialism can easily creep in their too.
a lot to be said for just making tunes on a lappy, and an instrument or midi controller Or two, maybe output to a desk for some physicality
I dunno though I kinda love minimalism / less is more etc
It’s amazing what you can do with 4 or 5 tracks