Cheap way to set up a room of people with synths

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Cheap way to set up a room of people with synths

Post by BluMunk » Mon Jul 10, 2017 7:31 pm

I have an opportunity to do a small class for an "education" day that my work does. I was thinking that doing a hands-on (subtractive) synth workshop might be really cool. The idea would be (I haven't actually worked through this yet; just my initial thoughts):

1. Small history lesson (with audio examples)

1. Explain the basic building blocks of subtractive synthesis (Oscilator(s), filters, amp, and envelopes

2. Illustrate how to create some simple sounds using the above

3. Let people loose to try to create some of their own sounds. Maybe have some ideas (try to make a flute sound), along with 'solutions' if they want them

4. Maybe: talk about other types of synthesis

5. I don't know; got any other ideas? :)

The biggest hurdle is figuring out what synth I'd want to use for this. What I need are:

-2 Oscilators
-Filter with ADSR envelope
-Amp with ADSR envelope
-Headphone output
-Some kind of built-in way to play pitches (keyboard? stylus(ugh)?)

While I'd like to do this with a hardware (knobby) solution, I think that that is probably going to be too pricey (I'm putting a roughly $100/person as the top end of what this can cost). So, maybe a software solution? People here have Windows, Mac, and Linux machines, so a software solution would have to be cross platform.


Looking for recommendations for a tool to use to teach synthesis that is $100 or less; can either be hardware or software, but ought to provide hands/mouse-on access to basic functionality and envelope shaping. Any thoughts on a 'synthesis for n00bs' course in general are also appreciated.

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Re: Cheap way to set up a room of people with synths

Post by pflosi » Tue Jul 11, 2017 10:05 am

When I last did pretty much exactly that with a friend, we got 2x TR909 and SH101 - one combo for the demonstration / "lesson", the other for people to fool around. Worked well and was a lot of fun! Everybody loved the 101 sequencer triggered by the 909 rim :thumbright:

Of course, we both had the machines and didn't buy anything specifically for the gig. Was just a combo that we both had and that we thought was convenient for educational means.

Good luck and cheers! :drinks:

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