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Music hackspace presents a one-day workshop with Rebel Technology. Participants will learn how to use Max MSP’s Gen to program synths and effects which can then be run on an OWL Modular synthesiser, and used expressively in a modular environment.

The workshop combines programming with hands-on music making: a fun and effective way to learn new skills!

The workshop is for anyone wanting to learn musical programming and modular synthesis to get beyond the limits of traditional music software, by designing their own personal, unique musical instruments.

Requirements: Computer with Max MSP + Google Chrome installed. Some basic computer skills and enthusiasm for electronic music, no prior knowledge of Max required.

The workshop will be led by Cherif and Adam, and Rebel Technology will be providing OWL Modules.


1.) Introduction to the Max MSP visual programming environment and Gen

- A quick overview of Max and its applications.

- What is Gen?

- Difference between Gen and Max

- Low level DSP and its applications (e.g. Hardware integration/Filter design)

2.) Project 1: DSP synthesis

- Learn how to build a synth in Gen

- How to upload, compile and run a Gen patch in the web browser.

1pm (lunch)


3.) Introduction to Modular synthesis

- A short introduction to modular synthesis, looking at concepts such as control voltage (cv) and triggers.


4.) Software and Modular Integration

- How to run your sine wave synthesiser on the OWL Modular

- How to control and play this patch on a modular set up, and what this brings to the software.


6.) Project 2: Effects

- We start building a simple but great sounding tape delay, and then look at how we can improve it with feedback and a low pass filter to create a powerful Stereo Tape Delay.

- Using the push button and our logic from (8), we then make a tap delay to synchronise tempos

4.30pm (Cookie Break. Your music will be 33% better after you go eat some cookies)


8.) Recap and modular jam!

- Make some noise with all the patches you’ve been building!


Rebel Technology make innovative, programmable modular synths at Fort Rebel in Finsbury Park. They are the makers of the OWL Modular and the OWL Pedal which can run patches written by the user in Max MSP, Pure Data, FAUST or C++, allowing everyone to develop their own unique hardware instruments.

Cherif Hashizume is a musician, programmer, producer and audio engineer. As head engineer and producer at Cafe Music Studios, he’s worked with artists such as Brian Eno, David Byrne and Jon Hopkins. He releases his own music via De-fence Records and Humble Soul Records.

Dr Adam Parkinson is musician, programmer and teacher. Working in the departments of music and computing at Goldsmiths, University of London, he teaches modules in Max MSP and electronic music, whilst researching new musical technologies. Releasing music as Dane Law on Quantum Natives, he programs Pure Data patches to makes glitchy shoegaze from samples of rave and Celine Dion.

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If you have any questions about this event or any of our workshops please contact workshops@stagingmhs.local.


What you'll learn

Course content

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