SSR - Musical Programming and Modular Synthesis - Music Programming & Modular Synthesis

Musical Programming and Modular Synthesis

Masterclass in Musical Programming and Modular Synthesis
Designing digital musical instruments in Pure Data for Modular Synthesisers

By Rebel Technology

In this workshop you will develop your own musical synthesis and sound processing patches, play them on a modular synthesiser, and learn how to integrate this in a mixed digital workflow. This is a unique opportunity to get hands on training with state of the art technology; all required hardware will be provided for use during the workshop. Focusing on being hands on and making sound makes it easier to pick up the technical programming skills.
  • Basic Computer skills required, but no programming knowledge is needed. The important things is just an interest in music and computers.
  • No need to bring your own equipment.
  • Introduction to Pure Data, the free visual programming language for music, apps and game audio.
  • Learn how to build samplers, synthesisers and effects.
  • We will use the OWL Modular but patches also run on desktops, laptops, smartphones, Raspberry Pi and embedded computing.
  • You will learn about modular synthesis and how to integrate it with apps and software such as Ableton or Logic.
  • Participants qualify for special 20% educational discount on all Rebel Technology products purchased on the day, including the OWL Modular and Open Sound Module.

The following proposed activities can be adjusted according to skill levels and interests of participants.

Day One: Synthesis
Day one will get people introduced to Pure Data and modular synthesis in the most hands on way possible. All tutorials will be geared towards making and manipulating sounds. The following exercises are what we intend to cover - focus can change as

Sine Waves and Additive Synthesis
We will learn the basics of Pure Data by building a synth based around sine waves and learning how to get it running on the OWL modular with the hassle free web interface. We can then quickly start playing and create some interesting waveforms to shake the room or scare dogs.

AM synthesis + ring modulation
Moving onto more advanced synthesis for richer sounds, we will learn all the essentials for building a great sounding, playable synth: triggering notes, ADSR envelopes, event ordering and storing numbers in Pure Data. At this point we will start using other modules, and learn about control voltage and triggers.

Drum Machine
We will then take all our synthesis knowledge and use it to make a synthesis based drum machine to play and sequence within the modular, building on what we have learnt. We will learn more about using volume envelopes, turning CV and audio into triggers, and working with other waveforms and noise generators for rhythmic sounds.

(optional/time permitting) - FM Synth learn increasingly advanced and versatile forms of synthesis and how to do the maths for it in Pure Data.

Day Two: Sequencing, Sampling and Processing
We will begin day two by looking over any loose ends from day one, and then move onto sequencing and getting sound into the OWL, recording it, looping it and processing it.

OSC Sequencer
We will look at the basics of building a sequencer to control the modular synth over wifi from a laptop. This opens up a whole new world of possibilities for interacting with modulars.

Sampler / Looper
We will introduce participants to sample storage in Pure Data using tables, and how to read sounds back from tables for sampling and looping.

Basic Effects
We will begin to look at audio processing, building basic effects such as a delay, tremolo and flanger.

Extra time
If there is extra time and participants want, we can help them develop their dream patches, based on what we’ve learnt over the past two days, such as voice sampling effect units, or advanced drum machines with rhythmic delays.


Rebel Technology is a London based music electronics manufacturer who focus on Eurorack format modular synths. The tech collective produces ground breaking, open source and open hardware technology: reconfigurable toolkits for creativity. To date, the company has released nine products: Stoicheia, Chronos, Logoi, Klasmata, Bit Reactor, Open Sound Module (OSM), OWL Modular, OWL Pedal and Phoreo, The units have proven very popular with OWL Modular being nominated Eurorack Module of 2015 by Sonic State. Rebel Technology has a strong passion for education, and have conducted a number of workshops as well as online tutorials.

Martin Klang is the developer of the OWL Pedal and the Rebel Technology Modular system. Martin has extensive experience in leading workshops at events such as hackdays, festivals and modular meet-ups, and is an experienced programmer and maker. Martin studied at the University of Gothenburg, Chalmers University of Technology and Université Paris-Sorbonne, and spent 15 years as a software engineer and systems architect before setting up his own consultancy and then founding Rebel Technology.

Dr Adam Parkinson is a researcher in Computing at Goldsmiths, where he also lectures in music and computing, teaching musical programming to undergraduates. He has also taught at Brunel University, Newcastle University, and used to do workshops around Europe showing people how to turn their iPhone into a synthesiser using Pure Data. He makes music as Dane Law, and has recently released an album and software (also made in Pure Data) on Quantum Natives.
Qualification – SSR Short Course Certificate
Duration – 2 days
Mode of Study – Part Time
Time of Study – Daytime
Available atLondon

Select Campus for Course Details

Hours of Study – 10am to 5pm Saturday & Sunday
Start Date – Please contact us for available dates before booking online
Entry Requirements – Basic Computer skills required, but no programming knowledge is needed. The important things is just an interest in music and computers.
Tuition Fees – £345
Funding – We are a Professional and Career Development Loans registered Learning Provider, registration number 2486.

A Professional and Career Development Loan is a commercial bank loan that you can use to help pay for work-related learning. For further information on financial assistance to support your learning, please visit the GOV.UK website or contact the National Careers Service on 0800 100 900.
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