Friday, December 06, 2013

Expressions of Interest: Synth Building Workshop - Early 2014 in Adelaide

We're considering organising a 'Modular Synth - Electronic Building Workshop' with Elijah Vartto in early 2014 (possible dates: Feb 10 to 21).

The workshop would be run in 3-hour sessions over 5 days  (after hours) (15 hours in total) and would involve building your own synth (similar vein to with demonstrations and support by Elijah Vartto.

The workshop would cost around $150 per person with parts synth parts included in the price (students would have to provide their own case)."

If you are interested, can commit the time and money, please let me know at: 

Places are limited so first in best dress.

More Detail from Elijah:

I have worked on building electronic analogue instruments and modular synths, from PCB (printed circuit board) kits, in bursts of enthusiasm ever since joining the VICMOD group in Melbourne in 2006-7. VICMOD are an active group of modular synth building aficionados that meet monthly on a Sunday; affectionately termed 'Nerd Club' by some participants, it involves a lot of exchange of ideas and show and tell, bringing all kinds of built and bought instruments such as the AKS-synthi, loads of vintage synths, Doepfer modules and many more.

It was at these meetings that I was shown a glorious instrument built rather modestly into a VCR video case. It was a Weird Sound Generator, built from the Music From Outer Space designed kit. The beauty of the instrument is that it is a stand alone instrument not requiring a plethora of synth modules before a sound of real 'timbre' could be produced. This was rich, possessing six oscillators, two of which are designated to modulate with two other oscillator voices, all subject to the flick of more than one switch. In addition to this modulating aspect, it has a 'Low Pass Filter' with resonance built in. I then went on to build my own in addition to the other modular synth units through VICMOD.

In the course of living abroad I conducted a workshop on building the WSG through Plektrum Festival in Estonia in 2009. Approximately 12 people participated and all finished with a working instrument at the end. This despite the majority having never picked up a soldering iron. I fixed mistakes of soldering, and coached them to successfully complete their instruments.

For this workshop proposed in February, all electronic components, wiring and PCB will be provided, with guidance from myself on techniques of soldering and construction. The novice and naive should not be afraid. A great working instrument with a rich diversity of sonic qualities will be the result, and a realisation that building your own instrument is not the arcane art-form you might have first thought. The only consideration you must make is how would you like to enclose the instrument? Here you can be creative, functional, fancy or modest. VCR case, lunchbox, shoe-box, cigar box, cookie tin, teddy bear, these can all work, or if you like make your own box.