OK, I admit it...the amount of super-useful modules that dropped in the past month was so unexpectedly HUGE that I'm sort of stuck. I got half of the ones for the month looked over...and still made three-plus pages out of that alone.

It's really only a problem for me, though. The deluge of Eurorack has seemingly reached the point where the run-up to Superbooth this year was a flood of amazing ideas interspersed within really good basic modules. So while it became almost impossible to keep pace (and work on my own music, studio upgrading, etc), it does mean that what we're seeing now might be an outbreak of some of the best new modules in quite some time. Brilliant ideas are afoot...the use of embedded processors, the hybridization of analog + digital, modules that literally change the whole game up...these came out in a torrent starting last month. This month, and while Superbooth is going on as I type this, has been just plain jaw-dropping.

So while it's a hellish time to review Eurorack offerings, I think it's safe to say that this is the most amazing time to be a synthesist since Bob and Don cobbled together their first systems. There is such a confluence now of the old, new, strange, and relatively normal that, while it's become nearly impossible for me to keep up with developments for the KICK ASS!!! columns, we have a wealth of new devices out there that're worthy of serious attention. For example, did I ever think someone would kick out a clone of the Korg KMS30 MIDI-to/from-DINsync box? No. But did Pharmasonic do exactly that? Yes. Or something such as 4ms's six-voice Spherical Wavetable Navigator, virtually a synth in of itself? Who could've seen THAT coming? And whole new lines in which everything was a "nailed it!" module, like Starling? What are the odds, really?

So, bask in the glow of many, many shiny new toys, MG denizens. Eurorack has come a long, LONG way since the days when it was just Dieter and a handful of others working with a weird adaptation from test and industrial process equipment to concoct the format. The gamut of manufacturers has exploded, ModularGrid has certainly played a part in ramping up the viability of the format, and the now-huge user base's demands for complexity, quality, and new ideas is being loudly and clearly heard. And all of that together is a very, very good thing indeed!

Do we have any stats on the growth of Eurorack users in the last 10 years? I found the most frustrating part is hunting down modules that are out-of-stock at the retail level but not out of production. There's also some regional issues with people in Europe having difficulty getting American modules and vice versa... especially from cottage level manufacturers.

That's an ongoing problem...when you're dealing with little boutique manufacturers, you're not dealing with a company that can farm out its PCB fab and stuffing to someplace in Shenzhen. Sure, big firms can do that easily enough, but when the "manufacturer" consists of one or two people, supply and demand kick in with a vengeance.

As for stats, well, Sweetwater has a whole website and print catalog section dedicated to Eurorack. If there wasn't a sizable market for that, they wouldn't have bothered.