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Mini Modular Synth Q&A: Tiptop Audio
Hollin Jones on Wed, March 21st | 0 comments
Tiptop Audio started life as a tiny operation working out of a garage but now has a whole team and an impressive product lineup. Here's what they told us when we caught up with them recently.

Tiptop Audio and Lattex Plus join together to host MEFF, a two-day modular synthesizer exhibition in the artistically vibrant city of Florence, Italy. MEFF celebrates the manufacturers of Modular Synthesizers and electronic music technology entrepreneurs. It takes place from March 24-25 2018.

To help celebrate MEFF 2018 we partnered up with TipTop (the modular synth company behind the event) and ran some super short, punchy interviews with some of the top modular synth companies.

Here's what Tiptop Audio told us:

1. Why did you decide to create a modular synthesizer brand and when did it first happen?

The story of my life. I wanted to make the music I love, like Techno but I couldn't afford the gear. Also at that time no one was fabricating this new style of modular. The solution was to make it. So I started building, got creative and all of a sudden all my friends want one. I was in love with the process of building synths, but I still lacked deep knowledge of electronics and the physics to make the instruments feeling tiptop. That was when I decided to spend few years learning at university and later designing fine industrial electronics at a high-tech company. You see, the original goal to build my instruments and my music has a few twists along the way—life is not always what you plan. 

Along the journey I would meet amazing talents in arts and design and some would become the force behind Tiptop Audio like Chris Clepper, Piero Fragola and Genaro Montero amongst many others. Today Tiptop is no longer produced out of my Los Angeles garage, it's a growing group of people from all parts of the world focusing on delivering a tiptop experience for creating synths that get people inspired. 

2. Name a song you would like to hear re-created using your modular system?

I would like to keep hearing all the new music, gaming sounds (did I mention I’m addicted to video games?) and film sound design folks are doing with our gear. 

3. Which module you’ve made took you the most effort or time to make and why?

I remember working on the Z2040 filter, it was one of Tiptop's first modules and still my favorite analog filter. During production of the first batch, some worked well and some showed strange behaviors. The order was spoken for and we had a lot of pressure to get them delivered, but something just wasn’t right. I couldn’t figure it out. I felt like I was starting to hate this whole thing. One night I thought, maybe those parts I got are bad? So a friend recommended a new reliable source, I switched all the faulty parts and the module worked like a dream. I learned my lesson. Since then Tiptop only uses branded components from original sources, they cost way more but keep us relilable.

4. Tell us about a module made by another brand you are most excited about?

I really enjoy the Cwajmen RES-4, a fantastic analog resonator, very gentle, very smooth, it just sounds right. 

5. Would you be able to send us a cool one minute video demonstrating your modular system?

 

Tiptop Audio online: http://tiptopaudio.com/

Tiptop Audio and Lattex Plus join together to host MEFF, a modular synthesizer exhibition in the artistically vibrant city of Florence, Italy. MEFF celebrates the manufacturers of Modular Synthesizers and electronic music technology entrepreneurs.

This is a two-day event, March 24-25 2018 will take place at the Impact HUB, the former Italian customs building located close to Firenze Rifredi railway station in the heart of Florence, IT.

For more info visit: http://tiptopaudio.com/meff/ | https://www.facebook.com/MEFFITALY
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