Functional Workshops

Sun 4th June 2017 – 14:00 – 17:45
Location: Beursschouwburg, Brussels

The workshops are fully booked. Please let us know if you reserved and can’t make it!
In the case a person doesn’t show up within 5mins of the reserved time, the workstation slot becomes free to use by others without reservation. 
contact gzp.modular


Themed around the usage of modular systems with 4 Workstations for beginners with exercises:

  • WS1 Subtractive Synthesis :A subtractive VCO based mono-synth, to explore different waveforms, filtering, cv/gate, modulation.
    Using a classic east coast style synth topology, it has a build in oscilloscope to visualize what is going on when doing sounds like :  Hand played Bass/synth lines,  Drones, Electronic drum design, Filter sweeps, Random melodies,…
  • WS2 Wave Player:A synth based on a granular wave player. It permits to decouple playback speed and direction from the pitch of the sound. This system permits to pilot by hand through the sample, but without any visual feedback,  your ears will be your guide. Sample material ranging from field recordings and acoustic instrument samples, over drum loops to voice samples are provided. You can scrub the sounds in any direction, transpose, loop them entirely,  make micro loops within the sample, change samples dynamically,…
  • WS3 Multi-Effect:A  system for the processing of external sounds in real-time by a variety of different  effects like wave shaper, analogue down-sampler, delays, reverbs, filters, bit-crusher.  Different sound sources will be at your disposition to feed the system: A cheap preset drum machine, a microphone for your voice, lo-fi sound generator,  sound objects with a contact mic… Next to simply processing external audio, this systems permits as well to use the audio as a controller by extracting CV/Gate information from the input signal !
  • PS1 Performance System:A medium size balanced system containing VCO’s, drums, filters, mixers, modulators and step sequencers. This system serves to explain basic sequencing techniques for rhythm and melody in a modular. This workstation is about integrating different sound elements into something musical. It can be used for structured performances by combining synth and drum sequences with processing into a coherent mix. While at the same time exposing the challenges and creative opportunities of using a modular system, compared to “normal” solutions (like DAW, Midi Sequencers,…).
    Intermediate level: Basic knowledge of modular synthesis is required.









Two demo sessions will explore more advanced aspects:

  • Demo:   Creative use of CV, Gate and Triggers to sequence your system, by Jean Rochet. Known for performing dance oriented modular live sets as Mudd Corp,  Jean Rochet provides some insight into the patches he uses on scene. You can see him in action later that day at the BMF Party!He will share some classic tricks and tips, and will explain how to get never ending musical variations from the basic sound patches. By splitting the different generators into simple groups of voices ( drums, bass, synths), he integrates them and optimizes the patch for a live performance. He will then  pass to the different problems we can encounter during the building of a live system and the execution of your performances.  This demo isn’t about creating a system that can « reproduce the same tracks »  at every performance, but more a way to build a machine who can endlessly make new interesting sequences on the fly. The key ingredient to this is the reduction of music into functional blocks and then to crosspatch between these, while keeping everything synced to the same master clock and rocking live the controls.Intro
    Sequencing tips
    Grouping into functional blocks
    Setting up cross modulations
    Optimizing for performance
    Potential problems

  • Demo: VCO-less sound design based on feedback and speed, by Björn Jauss

Spending over a decade to research feedback based performance instruments in Eurorack format, Björn Jauss shares his experience on an alternative approach to classic VCO based synthesis techniques.

The aim of this demo is to stimulate out of the box thinking to make the maximum from available module resources. Don’t stop setting up another synth voice, just because you run out of VCOs.  Anything repeating itself fast enough, can provide the basis for sounds with a pitch.  Using a VCO-less Euroserge (R*S) based system, he will provide an overview of different feedback techniques (Amps, VCF, Delay) and how to abuse modulators as sound sources (directly and indirectly).

Careful when working with feedback
Overview on different flavors of feedback
Using Amps / nonlinear response
Using Filters / pitch tracking
Using Delays / square waves from feedback
Modulators / Abusing envelopes as VCO (direct)
Modulators / Fast modulations as pitch source (indirect)

All activities are FREE