Each week Tom Whitwell of Music Thing highlights the best of the new music gear that's coming out, as well as noteworthy vintage equipment:
Modular analog synthesizers are big, expensive, unreliable and immeasurably geeky. The were to the 1970s what the Fairlight CMI was to the 1980s. The huge cabinets contain individual modules - oscillators, filters, mixers, which could be linked together with patch cords to build a synth. By early 1990s it looked as if they were dead forever, rusting in garages, replaced by digital synths and samplers. But they came back from the dead, with dozens of small companies producing modules and complete synths, selling them on-line. Today it's easier and cheaper to buy a modular synth than it's ever been before.