In this paper we draw a picture that captures the increasing interest in the format of modular synthesizers today. We therefore provide a historical summary, which includes the origins, the fall and the rediscovery of that technology. Further an empirical analysis is performed based on statements given by artists and manufacturers taken from published interviews. These statements were aggregated, objectified and later reviewed by an expert group consisting of modular synthesizer vendors. Their responses provide the basis for the discussion on how emerging trends in synthesizer interface design reveal challenges and opportunities for the NIME community.