This is a serie of interviews to 3rd Party Rack developers.
(If you are reading this and would like, to be featured, just write me)
Please welcome Martin Lueders, the man behind ML Modules
Hi, please introduce yourself briefly (your age, where you live, what you do in your “real life”)
Hi, fellow Rackoholics! My name is Martin Lueders. I am 49 and originally from Germany. Since about 14 years I live in the UK, close to Manchester, and work as a computational physicist in a national lab nearby.
Do you have any formal training/education in IT/Programming Language or are you self-taught? What level best describe you (junior, senior, advanced) ? Do you do it for living or is it just passion/hobby?
During my studies for the PhD in theoretical physics, I did have a course in computer science. But as a good “theoretical” class, we did not write a single line of code, rather learned about “computability” and the Turing machine (not the Eurorack module…). By now, coding is a large part of my day job, albeit in good old Fortran, and with a strong emphasis on High Performance Computing (it’s great fun to deal with 1000’s of processors). My C++ knowledge, however, is self-taught. I guess, in general, I would see myself as a senior programmer.
What was the reason you started developing modules for VCV Rack? What interested you most?
Electronic music and synthesizers are an fascination of mine since the release of Jarre’s Oxygene in 76. From there, my interest expanded over Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze, etc. to a variety of styles and artists. In High-School, I managed to buy myself my first synth, a JX-8P and made a couple of tracks with my Tascam Porta-4, mainly for myself and friends.
At uni, while studying how to solve the equations of Quantum Mechanics on the computer, I started wondering about whether computers should be fast enough to simulate analog circuits in real time. Shortly after that, I discovered (alas!) that this was already done in the first VA synths, and I got myself an AN1x. Nevertheless, it sparked my obsession to write a synth code myself, which eventually led to the PG-8X.
My immediate interest in Rack started the minute I first read about the project. I already bought and used Softube Modular, and also SoloRack, but I was missing a number of modules. Having an open source system finally allowed me to program the pieces I wanted. Now, after being part of the Rack community for a while, I am simply blown away by the speed with which it is developing (Softube and SoloStuff, look out!!)
Do you have any previous experience in developing music apps/plugins? If yes, please tell us about that
My first major project was (and still is) the PG-8X. This plugin started by the early attempts to simulate my hardware with SynthEdit by chaining together the standard modules, and then realizing that this does not sound at all like my hardware. So, I started developing my own modules for SynthEdit, which gave rise to an acceptable emulation, and my first release of the PG-8X. Later, building a native C++ plugin out of these modules. You can find the PG-8X here:
What are you working at the moment?
After just heaving released the Counter and Trigger Delay, I am working on a BPM detect module, and I have plans for some more complex sequencers. Who knows what might come next.