As part of the Elbphilharmonie's »Electronauts« festival, visitors could take part in many different workshops held in the Kaistudios, including talks on modular synthesizers and loop music, using these in a newly-founded modular synthesizer ensemble for the course »Build Your Own Synthesizer«, which was put on by an experienced team from Leaf Audio.
As a rule we can guarantee that every workshop participant will go home with a machine that works.
Workshops for Everyone
Manuel Richter and Hagen Haacker have been working on their own synthesizer creations in their workshops for nearly ten years now. Their approach has remained the same from the outset: to make the introduction to this extensive subject as simple as possible.
Their courses always have a clear structure: to avoid frustration, all participants take part in a basic course in soldering before the start of the practical work. After this, teacher Manuel presents the workshop project: the NoiseFoc, a synthesizer that mainly produces noise and drone sounds.
Our courses are often a starting point after which the participants realise that it's not so difficult after all. They carry on, and something evolves.
There are people who know exactly what they want to achieve with it musically, and then there are people who just feel like tinkering with something.
BUILDING A SYNTHESIZER AT HOME
Workshops are a super introduction to the subject of soldering and modular synthesizers, but they are definitely not a must if you want to build one yourself. All you need is a good eye, a steady soldering hand, a little understanding of electrical engineering and, of course, the right construction kit. You can get this through the Leaf Audio web shop, for example, where you can choose your favourite with the right level of difficulty from a whole range of DIY kits. The soldering equipment you need can be bought cheaply in nearly any DIY or electrical store.
Once you have the construction kit and the equipment you need, it's not difficult to fix the individual parts of the kit to the places marked on the circuit board.
THE RESULT: THE NOISEFOC
UNDERSTANDING THE PATHS OF SOUND
It's true that nowadays pretty much anyone can create the most complex sounds in the twinkling of an eye on the computer, or even on a smartphone, with the help of a digital synthesizer. But if you really want to look into the myth of producing sounds within these fascinating devices, there is no better experience than building one on your own from a kit. When you start to turn the little control wheels yourself, thus creating your own first sounds, you'll realise that it was worth the time and effort!
Autor: Julian Bäder