Shakmat DIY modular synth build with CV FREQS

This workshop led by CV FREQS (Chelsea Bruno, PhD and Craig Clifford, MD, MS) and the Shakmat team focuses on the complete build of a range of available DIY Shakmat kits.

Chelsea and Craig will lead a workshop to build Knight’s Gallop, while the Shakmat team will be on hand to build all other modules.

What’s included in the price?

The bundle price includes a discount of 20% on the retail price of each module, plus registration to the workshop.

The Music Hackspace is collaborating with Shakmat and the modular shops Thonk (UK) and SynthCube (US) to create a special gift box for each of the modules, delivered at shipping price local to the retailers. If you already have your own module, you can also purchase access to the workshop only.

How will this work in practice?

This is an online workshop. We will use breakout rooms in Zoom for people building the same modules, supported by one of 4 workshop leaders. You will be able to show your progress and get support as you get building.

Participants can expect a short review of soldering techniques:

  • Preparing the PCB
  • Choice of solder
  • Use of rosin flux
  • Tip tinner and oxidation
  • Soldering tips and heat transfer
  • Clean-up

Identification of electronic components and short review of function:

  • Polarity of components
  • Resistor, capacitor, diode, semiconductor, IC pin identification

Approach to modules with limited build instructions

  • Planing your build, Dos and Dont’s
  • Helpful tricks

Join the after party!

After the workshop, everyone is invited to a concert with CV FREQS co-hosted by Eden Grey and Ned Rush on CV FREQS YouTube channel, which will start at 7pm UK time. The lineup includes:

Loula Yorke
Quentin Leonetti
Craig Clifford & Eden Grey
Dan Wahlbeck
Cherif Hashizume

About the workshop leaders

Dr. Chelsea Bruno releases music as Eden Grey.  She began researching and working with the Eurorack modular synthesizer whilst earning her Masters’ degree at Florida International University in Music Technology.

Modular synthesis was the main research focus of her PhD in Music Composition at Royal Holloway, University of London, while participating in synth meets and performing in the UK and Europe, and organizing the CV FREQS London synth meet and concert events.

Dr. Craig Clifford is a medical doctor and chemical scientist by training but has spent much of his life dedicated to artistic endeavors. He has been involved with electronic music production since its inception and has performed at several venues in Chicago nightclubs early in his career. His interests in modular synthesis spans the past four years and includes techno, EDM, and Berlin school compositions.

DIY Electronics – Introduction to digital instrument design

During these workshops you will prototype your own instrument (hardware and software) using an Arduino microcontroller, sensors, and Max or Pure Data.

Registration includes access to all sessions.

You will be introduced to the basics of working with an Arduino microcontroller and interfacing it with a computer software in order to generate, control and manipulate sound. We will use open source hardware and software (Arduino / Max or Pure Data) to prototype an instrument using buttons, switches, potentiometers and sensors. We will start by looking at the basics such as setting up Arduino and running sketches, analog vs digital pins, Arduino programming environment, basic electronic, etc. From there we will get a bit more advanced by looking at the serial communication, connecting sensors to Arduino, reading and values from sensors, and controlling sound parameters with them.


Beginner with notions of programming. All participants are required to have a computer with pre-installed Arduino IDE and Max or PureData.


Components (not included, please order):

Workshop sessions 
Session 1: introduction to Arduino: Hello World!
Basic electronic conventions
Arduino = software + hardware
Digital and analog pins
Arduino sketch structure
Running first sketch
Session 2: Hardware: Getting data from sensors
Prototyping on breadboard
Connecting sensor, potentiometer and button
Viewing data in Arduino IDE: Intro to serial monitor
Session 3: Max/ Pure Data & Serial communication
Intro to Max / Pure Data – building a simple synth
Sending serial message: Arduino side
Receiving serial  message: Max / Pure Data side
Session 4: Putting it all together
Adding control to our synth patch in Max /  Pure Data
Experimenting and playing
More advanced Max / Pure Data patches.
Wrapping up: What’s next?
About the workshop leader

Kacper Ziemianin a.k.a. ‘Ctrl Freq’ has background in classical music and a lot of adventures in modern sound and music. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sonic Arts from Middlsex University, London and Master’s degree in Sonology at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, the Netherlands.

Instrument maker, sound designer, circuit bender, vagabond, improviser, producer, audio-hacker, nomad, radio presenter, activist, workshop leader, squatter. His audio installations and sounds have been shown/played in numerous places around, as well as outside Europe.

Currently based in the Hague, NL working as a freelance instrument designer and performer as well as teacher of DIY electronics. His latest endeavor, the ‘LightSeq’ has received funding from Stimuleringsfonds NL and won an award at an international electronic music festival ‘Radical dB’ in Zaragoza, Spain.

Follow Kacper on YouTube