DIY Synth Workshop

DIY Synthesiser Workshop

This workshop is a crash-course in creating sound-making electronics! We're going to use some inexpensive parts to make some insane, noisy synthesisers and think about some ways to use them in performances.

  • Date: Friday 10th July 2015 10am-5pm
  • Location: Big Band Room, Peter Karmel Building, ANU School of Music
  • Cost: $100 (payment via PayPal or credit/debit card, cash or card accepted on the day)
  • Includes: Tuition and all parts and materials to make a crazy DIY synth!

We're going to repurpose two common integrated circuits from the foundations of computing as sound-making oscillators and you'll learn how to control their pitch and volume with knobs and light-sensors and make them play nice with other gear like effects pedals and amplifiers. Each part can be made into multiple oscillator voices leading to some highly unusual sound possibilities!

All the materials to create a synthesiser from scratch are provided including cardboard and plastic containers to make custom enclosures! You can keep your hackable creations for your next musical experiment!

Bookings Essential!

This workshop is limited to 10 places and it won't go ahead until I have five confirmed!

Register using the online form below, and I'll send you a Paypal invoice for the workshop (payment by credit/debit or Paypal account). No booking is final until payment is made!

Name *
If you have any questions about the day put them here!

Schedule and Topics

  • 10am: General Electronics, Making a Sound
    • Making circuits on a breadboard
    • A one oscillator synth
    • Making a volume control
    • Controlling Pitch
  • 11:15am: Coffee!
  • 11:30am: Making a CD40106 Synthesiser
    • Controlling Pitch with light sensors
    • Mixing signals
  • 1pm: Lunch!
  • 2pm: Oscillators that Control Oscillators
    • Sound with the CD4093
    • Changing rhythms with a Low Frequency Oscillator
  • 3pm: Make a personalised instrument
    • Combine parts from the day to make a personal instrument
    • Make a custom prototype enclosure from cardboard and plastic containers.
  • 4:30pm: Mini-Concert
    • Play a solo or ensemble piece with your new instrument.

What to bring?

All parts and tools needed will be provided but any of the following would be useful if you have it:

  • Battery powered amplifier (No mains power allowed!)
  • Battery powered effects pedals, bring them try out!
  • Alligator clip leads (from previous EMS workshops!)

More Inspiration:

Synthesizer box complete! it has light sensors! #noises

A video posted by Charles Martin (@cpmpercussion) on