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bakis sirros is a din recording artist.

what does the name "parallel worlds" mean and how did you come up with it?

"parallel worlds" means the individual worlds that each of us lives in. these individual worlds sometimes are never touching and sometimes are crossing with each other. these worlds may be physical or just exist in our minds.

how did i came up with this name? it was back in 1994 and i cannot say for sure...i guess it has to do with the fact that i always wanted to focus on our inner (mental) worlds with my music...

what was the very first musical gear you ever had and how have you built your studio over the years?

my very first 'synth' was a fairly simple yamaha sy22. sadly, i started playing electronic music in the start of the 90's when most of the new synths were just romplers and workstations. but it didn't take me long to find out what the really interesting machines were...two years later i had my very first analogue synth and that was a cheap (back then) sh-101. but i had to sell around 300 lp's of mine to save the money to buy it.

what is the most interesting and/or most used piece of gear in your studio? why?

its hard for me to name only one synth. with modulars, 'one synth' does not have much meaning, anyway...but the answer is the doepfer a100. it was my first analogue modular and its still the biggest modular in my studio, so it is indeed the most often used piece of gear of course. although, these days, all my modulars 'work together' most of the time. :-)

what would you like to see done in terms of gear that hasn't been done already, or in what ways would you improve an existing piece of gear that you really like?

ok, regarding my lovely doepfer modular: off the top of my head, i would say that i would want a bit cleaner sounding pre-amp stage in the doepfer a-119 module. apart from that, doepfer have so many interesting modules in the planning stage that it leaves very few things to be desired. and if i add the planned modules of the other euro manufacturers, i would say that i am overwhelmed with possibilities really. for modular synth users this is "the best time to be alive" (as they say).

one module i would like to see: the great filter of the roland system 100 (not the 100m) in module format. also, i would like more modules in the direction of the great analogue systems rs-370 additive module. the rs-370 covers additive synthesis with analogue control pretty well. how about a digital linear fm synthesis module (with 6 operators and 6 integrated digital multistage envelopes, one for each operator and with 32 algorithms, or more!) but with analogue control for amplitude modulation of each operator and pitch modulation of each operator, and eg bias via cv input? this would let you set specific frequency rations between the operators and have analogue control of each osc's amplitude and pitch (via exponential fm). i'd like to see more and more modules combining digital complexity with analogue control. even these modules are starting to appear now and seem really promising and inspiring...

you are known to have founded the doepfer a-100 user group. what is your relationship with the company and dieter doepfer, and how did you form this relationship?

i started the doepfer a-100 yahoo user group back in april 2001. the a-100 was my first analogue modular and i really wanted to know as much as possible about programming it. so, i just started the group for fun and info and the very first member (apart from me) was dieter doepfer! he was kind enough to accept my invitation to join the group, even when no-one knew about it.

now, its one of the most succesful modular synth groups in yahoo having more than 1100 members and growing all the time...but i really have to point out this group is lucky enough to have so many great, helpful and knowledgable members! that's all.

you have a lot of eurorack modular gear. is there something about this format that you prefer over other modular formats? its true that you have various formats but you seem to have more eurorack modules than any others.

the eurorack format modular, at this point, has the biggest and most interesting variety of modules available. you can have 'standard' analogue subtracitve synthesis modules, countless different filters and oscillators, plus wierd and extreme modules to really 'warp' your patch! also, you have a greaty variety of hybrid modules (like the analogue systems additive and wavetable module, the harvestman modules, the latest vc bit crusher from doepfer, vc sampler modules, etc.). all these give me so many soundshaping tools that i cannot find in big jack format modulars. also i need as much space as possible, to fit the dozens of modules i use in my patches and this would require a huge space to accomplish with big jack format modulars. i like the smaller format modulars because they allow you to have many modules in a small space. i would not want to go back and forth in the studio to patch a gigantic modular having big jacks. so the euro format, the frac rack format and the banana modulars (serge) are my choice. btw, i also have a technosaurus selector system d that is a big jack modular and use it very often. but i only have one of these. all my other modulars are more compact to allow for complexity within a manageable space. apart from the euro rack format, i also really like my lately aqccuired serge modular. banana jacks give me so much patching freedom, being able to mult a signal countless times within a patch! especially useful for trigger and gate signals.

focusing strictly on modular gear, what are some of your favorite individual modules? are there any few modules that you specifically use together, in pairs or combinations?

my favorite modules include: doepfer a-106 x-treme filter, a-101-3 modular phaser, a-137 wave multiplier, a-143-1 quad ad, a-108 filter, a-199 spring reverb, a-188-1 and a-188-2 bbd modules, analogue systems rs-370 harmonic generator, rs-290 sampler/delay, serge tkb, serge osc's (for their sound when fm'ed), dual transient generator and dual universal slope generator, metalbox/cgs gated comparator, wave multiplier, divider & logic and the cyndustries zeroscillator for its great thru-zero linear fm sounds. also, i really like the doepfer a-154 plus a-155 combination!

actually i really have favorite combinations of modules most of the time, and not favorite individual modules. modules i use together often are a-111 sine waves with the a-137, doepfer sequencers combined with my metalbox gate sequencer, sequential switches and gated comparators with various odd clock divisions and serge osc sine waves (i love their sound!) with waveshapers and wavemultipliers from serge or from cgs/metalbox. another favourite combo is the rs-370 in realtime mode with lots of envelopes controlling its harmonic levels.

how have you used these individual modules to create specific musical melodies, phrases or compositions? examples, please.

a few examples (some things i want to keep for myself):
the intro of the 'beneath fear' track from "obsessive surrealism" is the as rs-370 module combined with the rs-200 sequencer. the rhythm parts of the "crying spells" tracks are made only from doepfer oscillators and the a-137 with various modulations controlled from doepfer sequencers.

are any of your tracks more modular-oriented than others?

yes. in my latest album "obsessive surrealism", the last track "crying spells" was made only with my modular walls, no midi or keyboard used. everything is cv's, gates/triggers and sequencers running. in my forthcoming 5th parallel worlds album, the modulars are used for most things in each track...even the sounds that may come from other sources are, most of the time, processed thru the modular walls.

what non-modular music gear do you use? what can it do that your large modular can't?

i like the nord modular a lot for its polyphonic capabilities (but that's a modular too, so it does not count!). other non modular gear i really like are my korg electribes (esx-1 and es-1)! what do i mostly use them for? to sample my modulars and make rhythms from these samples. i use my modulars to make many different kind of percussion sounds and sample them into my electribes afterwards. great and inexpensive tools. also, another favourite of mine is the korg pe-1000 ensemble and korg trident mk1 for lush and warm strings (they are then passed thru the modular again...)

do you see your modular growing much in the future, staying the same or getting smaller?

is this a serious question, or a joke? do i really have to answer this? :-)

do you ever use alternate controllers or do you stick to traditional playing styles such as the keyboard and even sequencer?

i used to use the keyboard as a controller, but lately i use my analogue sequencers (15 of them so far) more and more often to control most of the things.

note: all photos by antonis chaniotis

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