Recently attended a modular synth class hosted by synth experimentalist and recently turned modular professor, Drew Joy (Kind Stranger) and it was definitely worth sharing. Held in the intimate art center SSHH NYC (East Village), 15 newcomers like myself dove into the daunting world of modular. Full disclosure: if you’re already a full-on circuit head, you might be more interested in space’s graphic design workshop, or other events for the well-rounded creative (they also have weekly Italian classes).
The event was a clear and easy 10/10, making this place an essential stop for those looking to take their side gig to the next level. Starting with the goal of building a simple patch from the ground up, Drew slowly worked through the very basics of euroracks and their components while taking questions and adding additional commentary for those struggling. Addressing everything from the oscillation waves to DIY tips, he delivered a captivating introduction despite the fact that not a single attendee had a lick of experience prior. We took terrible notes, but took a few key tips when starting out.
- Unless you’re an electrician or a millionaire, try to stay away from DIY power supplies! It’s dangerous and can lead to the death of your precious unit.
- Instead of buying expensive delays, use a guitar pedal. Cheap/weird units can always be found via Ebay.
- A great intro synthesizer is MATHS by Make Noise Co. Online for under $300. With lots of flexibility, it’s a purchase you wont regret.
- Study Euclidean Patterns in depth. Google to see how it can lead to millions of new rhythms and help explain to you what those boxes are actually doing.
- Teaching is hard.
Can’t identify a sawtooth wave let alone which box it comes from? Neither could we, but after the 2-hour session, we left satisfied and curious to learn more. We’re unsure when the next workshop will be, but we think the topic is definitely capable of a weekly class (fingers crossed).
Started by Bráulio Amado and Nick Schiarizzi, SSHH is a new multi-purpose mutant space where you can come and learn, make, buy or share something. Armed with a clear business model of paying for their $2500 per month space, these two have a mission to ‘help people learn to create’ and have clearly kicked off right. We can’t wait to see what more is to come from the growing spot.