Dutch Modular Fest synth design workshop

September 3, 2022
3 hours
Season ticket available for €199 (instead of €290)

About the progam

This is not just a soldering workshop. Yes, you will do some soldering, but you'll quickly learn that the fun and creative possibilities lay in the design process. We'll take you through the process based on your individual skill level. Have a look at the detailed program below to learn more.

Phase one

Designing a synth

We will start off with designing the synthesizer and its functionality. Bouncing between the physical interface and the computer. Drawing diagrams and laying the controls out to find a good balance between functionality, playability and performance. We'll also work with VCVRack (free) to emulate the synth sound and evaluate the controls.

Learning goals

  • Understand subtractive synthesis signal flow
  • Understand best practices in interface design
  • Be able to design a meaningful synth interface
  • Be able to solder electronic components on PCB


  • Designing the instrument's interface
  • Prototyping in VCV Rack
  • Soldering interface components


12:00 - 13:00

Phase two

Soldering and programming

Now that we have the interface figured out we can start programming it. We will go through the code (provided) to understand what each line is doing. We'll experiment with mapping parameters, changing knob ranges and modifying our instrument functionality.

Learning goals

  • Understand the basics of Arduino programming
  • Understand how microcontrollers work
  • Be able to read Arduino code, hack and modify it
  • Be able to troubleshoot common code errors


  • Programming the basic signal flow
  • Mapping knob values
  • Troubleshooting


13:00 - 15:00

What's next?

Further development

This workshop is just the beginning! Now that you know the basics , and you can actually program your own controls, there's a whole world that's open for you to explore. We'll continue the learning on our Discord server. Meet other synth makers, share your work, ask for feedback and find solutions to technical issues.

Join Discord

Click here to join Discord

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