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Digital Electronics for Musicians

Image: Alessandra Leone


Digital Electronics for Musicians

Alexandros Drymonitis

15.02.2017 - 19.02.2017
@ GlogauAIR

This workshop is based on the book Digital Electronics for Musicians written by the tutor. In this workshop participants will create their own interactive audio interfaces using the open source programming language Pure Data for the audio part, and the Arduino open source prototyping platform for the control interface.

After being introduced to both programming languages and basic electronic circuits, the participants will move on to realize their own ideas into a palpable interface, be it a set of sensors, a stompbox, or anything the participants want to create.
In order to be able to create stand-alone interfaces, participants will be introduced to Raspberry Pi embedded computer and the Linux operating system. These will be used in case the computer must be embedded into the device a participant will build during the workshop.

The workshop is split in two main parts. The first part consists of introductory sessions on the programming languages that will be used, as well as electronic circuits and basic use of the Linux operating system. This part will also focus on the communication between the Arduino and Pd, based on a set of Pd abstractions created by the tutor, which facilitate their communication to a great extent.
The second part will focus on building the interfaces of the participants. In this part all the soldering, drilling, parts mounting, and all the manual work will be done. The goal of this workshop is that every participant will leave with a finished project along with its enclosure.

Some interface examples taken from the book Digital Electronics for Musicians are the following:
An interactive bow for bowed string instruments
An interactive drum set
A DIY theremin
A looper
A clavier or patch-bay matrix (or other type) synthesizer

Workshop workflow:
DAY 1: Introduction to Pure Data, creation of simple audio software
DAY 2: Introduction to Arduino, creation of simple circuits and use of sensors | Connection of the Arduino with Pure Data for the creation of interactive audio software
DAY 3: Introduction to embedded computers and the Linux operating system | discussion with the participants on the projects to be developed during the workshop
DAY 4/5: Creation of individual projects, programming, creation of final circuits, creation of the final project device

Tuition language: English

Total duration of the workshop: 30 hours

Participants' fee:
Early bird (registration before 21st of January): 120€
Registration after the 21st of January: 150€


Tutor's Bio:
Alexandros Drymonitis is a musician, active in the field of experimental music and noise. He is an MMus graduate of the Conservatorium van Amsterdam where he studied the guitar and composition. His musical practice focuses on the texture of sound and noise, exploring the borders of control, with form as a main goal. His educational aim is to provide acquired knowledge on multimedia programming.

He has collaborated with various artists from different art disciplines, plus several ensembles, either interdisciplinary or music ensembles. He is currently a member of Medea Electronique and Self-Absorption, and a collaborator of the ARTéfacts Ensemble.
As a member of Medea Electronique, he is a main organizer of Electric Nights, a festival on live electronic music, based in Athens. He is also a founding member of Patching Circle Athens, a collective group of users of visual programming languages.

He has taught the guitar at the Music School of Amsterdam and Philippos Nakas Conservatory in Athens, and electronic music programming at Musical Praxis Conservatory in Athens. He is currently a freelancer in the field of electronic music and media programming, teaching several workshops in various venues and undertaking media programming in various events. He is the author of Digital Electronics for Musicians, published by Apress.

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