Modular Synthesis for Live Performance and Sound Design

  • Course
  • Workshop
6. May 2024 - 30. June 2024, 15:00

Once you start patching…

Who can stop you now?

This course teaches you the main industry specializations in one intensive education:

Compose your own MODULAR SYNTHESIZER for your LIVE SET-UP or for SOUND DESIGN getting to know a wide range of approaches and aesthetics:
  • How to fill a modular case? 
  • Get the Sound Synthesis Basics and learn different patching approaches
  • Understand the professional workflow and building your own setup 
  • What is the difference between analog and digital modules? 
  • Dive into composing and improvising with modular synthesizers
  • Start your own journey between Experimental, Ambient, and Club Music
  • Integrate sound recordings or external instruments with your modular Synth-Setup
  • Learn stage considerations for live performances and develop your own musical language
  • Enjoy our Masterclasses with our invited professionals of the music industry 
  • Build a DIY-Module with the founder of KOMA Elektronik 
  • Learn about Tiptop Audio’s new polyphonic ART system with their instructor 
  • Get 15% discount on your first purchrase with our collaborating companies! 
  • Try a modular case in the first weeks lent by Doepfer Musikelektronik GmbH 
  • At the end you may present your work at the legendary Acud Macht Neu Club
  • Be part of a community of music enthusiasts! 

All of our teachers are foremost practicing international professionals based in Berlin and abroad with years of experience in their particular field and with their own various approaches to modular synthesis. They are waiting to give you a deep insight into their craft, technique and artistic visions.

Who can stop you now?

In this hands-on course the participants learn fundamental theory and approaches to modular synthesis from a wide range of artists and musicians, diving into various worlds of different approaches to Improvisation, Composition and Live Performance with a Modular Synthesizer as well as with an extended Modular-Setup.

Our Regular Lecturers come from different backgrounds, ranging from Sound Art, Club Music to more Experimental Music making. The program is rounded up by a wide variety of Masterclasses with our selected guests, who will dive with you deep into their sonic worlds and assist you to develop your live performances and prepare you for stage situations. With us you get the basics to perfect your own performance or sound design setup focusing on modular synthesizers. We are here so you don’t get lost and find a faster way to design a case best suited for youwhile we don’t forget, the modular journey is a long flight into outer space and sonic worlds!

This year we invite a diverse group of international and acclaimed musicians ranging from Sonic Listening approaches of the Sound Art field, composition of atmospheric ambiences to percussive Club Music, you will have a broader overview with our instructors with a wide range of inspirations to help you develop your own musical language.

In the last two weeks of the course, approaches to composition, improvisation and performance with modular synthesis will culminate in 2 evenings of public live presentations or performances at the Acud Club Room. 

Our partners and additional special offers for this course:

If you subscribe to this course, you will get a 15% discount on your first purchase with Tiptop Audio and KOMA Elektronik on selected products! Tiptop Audio from Poland presents you their revolutionary polyphonic ART system! KOMA from Berlin will offer a hands on DIY-soldering workshop of one of their modules, (an additional kit must be bought for this workshop, price range variates). Doepfer Musikelektronik GmbH will kindly provide us initial modular cases in the beginning of the course for teaching purposes.

During the course timeframe a field trip or individual visit to the world known SUPERBOOTH is highly encouraged, one of the biggest synthesizer fairs in the world held every year in Berlin. 

Did you ever wonder how to start your sonic journey with Modulars?Don´t be afraid, we are here to help you to begin or to continue in your modular explorations!

If you are already building your own setup, what is your next step? If you cant invest in a full modular set-up, what are the alternatives?

Understanding about the possibilities and approaches to modular audio is a definitive part of developing an authentic vision with a personal approach to composing with modular synthesizers or performing live on stage!

Eugenio Petrarca May 6th-23th

Katharina Bévand May 27+30th

Stephane Lefrancois June 3rd-13th

Dorit Chrysler 16th May

Jan Hennig aka Kabuki 23th May

Sarah Sommers 30th May

Verónica Mota 6th June

Christian Zöllner/KOMA Elektronik 17th June

Konstantin Gervis/TipTop Audio 19th June

Key Clef 20th June

All courses take place Mondays 6-9pm and Thursdays from 3-6pm, 

MASTERCLASSES are usually taking part after the Thursday class from 6pm (2-3h), unless otherwise mentioned below or arranged otherwise at the start of the course. 

First class: Tuesday May 6th, 6-9pm
Please contact us for details or further questions about the course!

Additionally, individual extracurricular booking of an individual mentoring session is possible upon request and dependent on availability before the final performance – with an extra fee of 100€ per session.

Classes and Workshop Schedule still subject to change.

Instructor: Eugenio Petrarca aka Acrartep

You will explore the basics of modular synthesis covering how to design sounds from scratch and start patching, understanding the following parts listed below:

Eugenio Acrartep

Acrartep is the moniker of Eugenio Petrarca, artist, composer and sound designer working in the realm of electronic music. Acrartep is also half and co-founder of the ambient project Ab uno. Acrartep’s artistic exploration primarily focuses on genres such as Ambient, Drone, and Minimalism, where each sound acquires its unique sonic identity through a blend of tones and overtones. His compositions are characterized by extempore arrangements of modular synthesizer patches, featuring long and sustained drones, slow progressions, rhythmic shifts, and repetitions, carrying the
listener in an immersive and meditative sonic journey and crafting soundscapes with a ritualistic approach. Acrartep continues exploring the possibilities of electronic music through a unique and experimental approach, offering to audiences sound experiences that challenge conventions and invite the contemplation.

Instagram: @acrartep

Instructor: Eugenio Petrarca

  • Explanation of what modular synthesis is.
  • Introduction to basic modules (VCO, VCF, VCA)
  • Understanding patch cables and signal flow basics
  • Intro to VCV Rack
  • Setting up a simple patch
  • Students create a basic patch at home using the concepts covered.

Instructor: Eugenio Petrarca

  • Introduction to different types of analog oscillators (sine, square, triangle, sawtooth).
  • Additive and subtractive synthesis 
  • Frequency modulation basic
  • Experimenting with modulation sources
  • Try the Doepfer Systems in groups
  • Students create a basic patch at home using the concepts covered.

Instructor: Eugenio Petrarca

  • Overview of filter modules (low-pass, high-pass, band-pass, etc.).
  • Filter modulation techniques
  • Pitch modulation and tracking
  • Quantizers and tuning.
  • Students create a patch emphasizing the use of filters and explore frequency control techniques

Instructor: Eugenio Petrarca

  • Introduction to envelope generators.
  • ADSR and other envelope types.
  • LFOs, Function Generators, and Sample & Hold.
  • Incorporating dynamic modulation into patches and understanding modulation depth
  • Creating evolving soundscapes
  • Students design a patch that utilizes envelopes and explores modulation sources creatively.

Instructor: Dorit Chrysler

Introduction to the Theremin with Dorit Chrysler, who has been called a wizard of the Theremin, or The Theremin Goddess(VICE). Delve into the magic of this ghostly instrument with this celebrated sound artist and Theremin Virtuoso!!!

Dorit Chrysler

Born in Graz, Austria, Dorit Chrysler is a Berlin/NY based composer, sound artist,musicologist and Theremin Virtuoso. She is the recipient of the Austrian StateStipend in Composition 2023 and the founder of the NY Theremin Society. Sinceher first encounter with the Theremin she has mastered and performed with itinternationally in a myriad of contexts and with a variety of collaborators. Herlatest work has been commissioned by the MoMA (“Calder Plays Theremin”),Steirische Herbst, Knightsbridge Foundation and Klangfestival. She has performedwith the San Francisco Symphony, at Lincoln Center and Vienna Konzerthaus.Dorit’s sonic works are part of collections at the Guggenheim, Brooklyn andLouisiana Museum. Her compositions for Film & Theater include HBO “GoingClear” & “M-EineStadt Sucht einen Moerder” and the Nestroy Price awardedTheater Play “3 Episodes of Life.” Chrysler has collaborated with the SanFrancisco Symphony, CERN, Laurie Spiegel, Marie Losier, Herb Deutsch, Elliot Sharp, Trentemøller, Alva Noto, Pioneerworks and the Gaite Lyrique. Dorit has produced a ten piece orchestra performance for the LA DisneyHall and is the founder of “Dame Electric,” a festival featuring female pioneers of electronic music. Her recordings appear on over 20releases such as InMyRoomRecords (DE),The Prurience Factory (US), MonikaEnterprise (DE), PlagDichNicht (AU), PlasticTrayRecords (US), and Mute.

Instagram: @doritchrysler

Event recommended to visit: SUPERBOOTH Synthesizer Fair 16-18 May, FEZ Berlin.

Instructor: Eugenio Petrarca

  • Introduction to time-based effects.
  • Using distortion creatively.
  • Combining multiple effects in a patch.
  • Exploring signal processing chains.
  • Discussion on expanding and customizing a modular setup.
  • Budget considerations.

Instructor: Katharina Bévand

Hearing space and psychoacoustics, sculptural sound, acoustic effects.

Spatial setups for performances and installations.

Quadrophonic approaches to live performances and composition.

Time questions and perception of time in composing.

Silence and Noise. Listen to the noise of the world, sonic meditations.

Listening as revolutionary act.

Female pioneers in electronic music listening session I.

Instructor: Katharina Bévand

Introduction to generative arts and the question of authorship.

Generative techniques with synthesizers, extending the setup and

integrating living matter. 

Error and noise as aesthetic tool.

Female pioneers in electronic music listening session II.

Present individual final performance concepts or collaborations and plan the final event in groups.

Instructor: Katharina Bévand

Class presentations of selected works of your favorite artists / musicians with the class.

Present your final project ideas and discuss them in class.

Make working groups to prepare the final event.

Write a concept together for the final presentation.

Katharina Bévand

Katharina Bévand is a sound artist based in Berlin. She creates site-specific sound installations, sound sculptures, and performs on modular synthesizers. In 2017 she was honored by “bonn hoeren – sonotopia” of the Beethoven Foundation for Arts and Culture Bonn. In 2021 she was part of Goldrausch Project for women artists. She received various grants and exhibited internationally in Germany, Spain, Finland, Egypt, Taiwan, the Autonomous Region of Kurdistan in northern Iraq, among others. Her collaborations oscillate between the fine arts scene and the experimental and electronic music field. Since 2022 she teaches sound art and modular synthesis at Berlin School of Sound and currently is a resident at BS Projects in Braunschweig.

Instagram: @katharina_bevand

Instructor: Sarah Sommers

Sarah Sommers will give practical feedbacks to your live performance setups -> bring your own systems!!!

Sarah Sommers 

Forced to leave her princess life on her pink homeworld when it was hit by a giant pink asteroid, Sarah Sommers crash-landed her rocket on planet Earth and began performing live dance music at raves and clubs In Melbourne, London and now Berlin where she has been based since 2018. With an extensive collection of self-customized pink synthesizers and modular equipment, Sarah brings a truly unforgettable musical and visual experience to her performance. Inspired by many styles from early 90’s rave, to dub, drum n bass, dubstep, breakbeat and modern techno, Sarah blurs the boundaries of dance music genres and eras, bringing them together in new and exciting ways!

Sarah has played in famous Berlin clubs such as Kitkat, about blank, Mensch Meier and RE:MISE and recently at Amsterdam Dance Event.

Instagram: @sarahsommers.bimboprincess

June 2024: Mondays 6 pm – 9 pm & Thursdays from 3 pm – 6 pm(Masterclasses on Thursdays)

Stephane Lefrancois

S L F (a.k.a Stephane Lefrancois) started his music career in the early 90’s, playing drums for various ensembles in Paris, France, where he was born. After moving to Canada, he spent some time perfecting his recording engineering skills, and is now producing in London, UK, with songs featured on labels such as Compost, !K7, BBE, Tuskegee, KMS and R2 Records, and DJ gigs at Lightbox and Ministry Of Sound. Stephane’s love for everything percussive is apparent when listening to his music. So is his fascination with dense, complex, evolving synth textures, and… effect units!

As a fervent supporter of the “wall of sound” concept, his creations lend themselves well to repeated listening, as new details and ear candy creep out, dreamy and tortured textures weaving with layered percussion. S L F’s DJ sets are built from his extensive library of unreleased material, mixed with groovy, soulful and melodic techno. Expect a driving, uplifiting and original blend that focuses on getting the crowd dancing. As a performer, SLF has built a hardware – only live set, featuring deep house and techno grooves, latin percussion, infectious vocals and melody lines.

Selected discography: S L F – Tunnel Vision EP – R2 Records S L F & Ibellini – Friendship EP – Tuskegee S L F & Merkin – Moodymann DJ Kicks – !K7 S L F & JAG – No Regrets Feat. Lexi Panterra – Secret Music Infinity Ink – How Do I Love You (Luca C and S L F Remix) – Different Recordings.

insta: @halosaurmusic

Introduction to VCV Rack and Modulargrid.Synthesis types, essential patching examples:

  • frequency modulation (FM)
  • ring modulation
  • wavetable oscillator__shapeshifter__modulate wave position and wave table with LFO, envelope, sequence
  • granular – morphagene – sampling
  • karplus strong
  • drum / percussion modules

Instructor: Stephane Lefrancois

Sequencing. Clock management, multipliers, dividers. 

Basics of rhythm theory.

Drum designing with traditional modules. 

Kick, snare, hi hats, toms, wood and glass percussion.

An immersive workshop that explores the captivating history of modular music. This comprehensive journey through time will uncover the origins, milestones, and artistic possibilities of modular synthesizers. From the early pioneers to influential artists and genres, participants will gain a deeper understanding of this influential musical form.

Through engaging presentations, hands-on activities, and interactive discussions, participants will trace the emergence of modular music in the mid-20th century and its connections to experimental and avant-garde movements. They will discover how technological advancements have shaped the capabilities of modular synthesizers, from voltage-controlled oscillators to digital modules.The workshop will showcase iconic artists and albums that have pushed the boundaries of modular music.

Participants will dive into the unique approaches, sonic landscapes, and creative processes of artists like Morton Subotnick and Brian Eno. Furthermore, we will dive into female composers such as Suzanne Ciani, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, Ana María Romano Gómez, Sara Abdel-Hamid, Moor Mother and Caterina Barbieri. Participants will appreciate the diverse range of musical styles and genres influenced by modular music, including ambient, electronic, and avant-garde.

In addition to theoretical exploration, participants will experiment with basic patching, sound design, and real-time manipulation, gaining a deeper understanding of the technical aspects and creative possibilities of modular music. Collaboration and networking will be encouraged throughout the workshop. Participants will have opportunities to connect with other enthusiasts fostering a supportive community and find impulses to explore new ideas.

Verónica Mota

Born in Mexico City, Mota explores sound as a fundamental inherent human experience. She works conceptually researching the political and social impact sound art has. Her research moves around sound as a collective experience as well as an individual expression. She also researches sound as a force provided by nature better known as bioacoustics. She talks about the physics and the metaphysics behind sound. What is the importance of sound for the human experience? How can sound create collective experience? Is sound an alternative for liberation? How do new technologies interact with sound art today and how good or bad is technology changing our perception and interaction with sound? Can we talk about sound as a political experience? These are some of the questions Verónica Mota researches as a constant in her work.

Technically speaking Mota embraces the old school of sampling, analogue synthesis and a special focus on synthesizers. She has a long experience composing and de-constructing sounds mapping sound art productions in intersectional ways. Her sound practice has abstract, urban and ritualistic elements navigating within textuality as lyrical storytelling and narratives. Mota has collaborated over two decades with filmmakers, musicians, writers, poets, choreographers, fashion designers and dancers. She operates as a sound designer, music producer, dj, academic, writer, body art performer and teacher. She has performed in relevant festivals and venues such as CTM Transmediale, Martin Gropius Bau Museum, Berghain, Goethe Institut Peru, Museo Ex-Teresa Arte Actual and the Faculty of Music in Mexico City to mention some. Mota is also active in the landscapes of epistemological politics contributing with research around postcolonial and feminist theory echoing peripheral voices in the context of philosophy and music.   

insta: @777antigona, @espectranegra

Instructor: Stephane Lefrancois

Performing with a system.  
Diverse sound design considerations when planning a live performance setup.
Combining software with modular synthesis for performance.
Open questions and prepare for your live performance. 

Instructor: Stephane Lefrancois

Practical problem solving class for your live performances. Sound checks. Group jam with all the systems?  

Instructor: Christian Zollner/KOMA ELEKTRONIK

Workshop Overview
This class will span a minimum of 3 hours, providing ample time for in-depth exploration and hands-on learning for students of all levels. It will be divided into a practical soldering class and an experimental production technique demonstration. The main focus of this class will be the practical soldering class, providing students with a working 1U module to bring home. To enhance the educational experience, we propose having 2 teachers, ensuring enough guidance for every participant during the practical side and specialization between the soldering and the demonstration.

DIY Soldering class
Students will engage in building their own special CV/Gate device: The KMNDR , a new 1U module making use of an infrared light beam to control a synthesizer. Students take their finished KMNDR home with them afterwards. Teachers will explain all tools and techniques necessary for building DIY Kits. No previous building knowledge is necessary. Students will learn about all tools, different electronic components, how they make up a circuitry, reading schematics, how to solder and assemble a Eurorack 1U module.

This hands-on activity teaches practical DIY skills, showing not only the music production side of modular world, but the DIY culture and community behind it, made of people from all parts of the spectrum between music producers and technological afficionados. Experimental production techniques demonstration. After the workshop a live demonstration featuring the KOMA Elektronik gear will take place. Participants will have the opportunity to witness the practical application of the instruments they are soldering, with an experimental modular set-up, using sensor sand seeing the physical world interacting with a modular system to craft unique sounds.

The modules and material for the class will be provided by KOMA, paid by the students. The module is not released yet, so no definitive price is currently available, but the cost of the DIY Kit will not exceed 50€.

Special Student Discount
KOMA Elektronik also commits to give an exclusive 15% discount on students’ first purchase to everyone participating in the class, making additional DIY Kits or gear more accessible for them to upgrade or build their own modular system. A detailed breakdown of the pricing and requested material will be provided. 

Christian Zollner

Christian Zollner – Founder, CEO and lead developer of KOMA Elektronik, Christian has 15 years of expe rience in working with music electronics. He comes from a background of hosting wor kshops and creating DIY kits that were fed by his fascination of electronic circuits and  the endless possibilities they can bring. Today, his daily work involves developing, producing and maintaining commercial pro ducts for his company KOMA Elektronik. Christian oversees the whole process from idea  to finished instrument, from breadboard to ready-to-sell product sitting in the shelves.  He has a clear idea about the ins and outs of producing music gear and fun DIY projects  that will last and stand the test of time. Christian also is the founder of Common Ground, hackspace and DIY culture venue in  Berlin, hosting workshops, talks, musician and composer meetups and concerts. For  four years Common Ground was a place for people to get together and learn new skills in  a low-key and chill atmosphere before a forced hiatus due to the corona pandemic. In his role of managing Common Ground, he has hosted workshops himself as well as  organized them together with external workshop hosts. Christian is an avid learner and always seeks new challenges. He believes that learning  should be fun and everyone should get the possibility to get their hands on a great DIY  kit for learning new skills and broaden their horizon. 

insta: @koma_elektronik

Instructor: Konstantin Gervis/TIPTOP AUDIO

Tiptop Audio presents: Asynchronous Receiver Transmitter Developed by Tiptop Audio A.R.T. technology has the potential to change how we approach composing with eurorack systems or any modular synthesizers going forward. During the masterclass we will do a deep dive into the working of ART eurorack system and answer all of your questions about its purpose and possibilities, compatibility with the rest of eurorack, integration into studio environment, live use and more. 1. What is ART 2. What problems it solves 3. Monophonic modules 4. Polyphonic modules 5. Integrating ART into existing setups 6. Using ART live on stage

Constantin Gervis

The workshop is presented by Konstantin Gervis. Electronic music producer and performer since the late 90s. Was at the forefront of using computer and DSP base modular synthesizers with Generator (aka Reactor) and Creamware Modular as well as one of the first people to play eurorack only live gigs. Better known for his (now defunct) ZV_K techno project, now performs and releases music under his own name. Works with Tiptop Audio since 2014.

Konstantin’s Youtube Channel: 

Latest live set: 

Live Act Video: Selected

How to prepare an analogue live performance based on improvisation. The concept behind the “improvisation performance” is based on the use of own technical knowledge and the ability to use it in such a way as to be able to play without necessarily having to stick to a totally pre-set scheme, but allowing ourselves the freedom to fully experience the moment of the performance, being able to adapt to the situation, as is the case with a DJ set. Obviously, man is always limited by the functions available and always needs patterns, but this mode is what I define as the  freest. 









Key Clef

Clef is a Berlin based, Italian Dj and producer with strong passion for analogueinstruments, founder of the label Ipnotica Erotica. After experiencing the last years of theflourishing rave scene in Rome and accomplishing a degree in sound engineering hercreative process evolved into different directions from club music, to performance artand electro acoustics. In 2013 she released her first digital EP followed by releases on Love Blast, KKY, MinimalRome, BlackWater, DelirioRec, Mitten and Undersound Rec. In her own world music is a continuous dialogue between styles and hybridization. Her music productions as well her live performances include synth, drum machines and analogue effects reflecting her ethereal trajectory while her Dj-sets show the full prism of her music taste and knowledge of the dance floor. Key Clef sound doesn’t hit the surface but instead aims to channel emotions and contact between her music and the audience. During the pandemic she founded ACXS, a community of artists with a common profit through the production and sale of sample packs created using instruments provided by partnerships with professional audio equipment brands. The roster of this project includes artists such as Alessandro Adriani, Silent Servant, Neel, The Lady machine, Marco Shuttle, Iren Amnes and many more. Key clef not only wants to bring its music to the public but also wants to give its commitment to the environment by creating projects that can be useful to a network of artists.

IPNOTICA EROTICA REC Ipnotica Erotica expresses its vision through its name, seeking to evoke a situation where mind and body ascend to liberation through movement and the sharing of it. Where music simply leads us to follow its flow. Like a mantra, the rhythmic repetition becomes the trigger of a state of trance, projected to the hedonistic perception of the body. The Rhythm mentally connects the participants lulled by a single mother time, allowing the mind to free itself of the things that weigh it down. Dancing as an act of liberation. A spiritual exercise in sharing pleasure. Synchronising by a sense of the collectivity. An event that leads to a state of carnal and spiritual primitivity, breaking the shackles of today’s society and its taboos. The label, in view of this, does not aim to embed a musical genre, but addresses an approach to art as an act of liberation and personal expression conceived to be shared, like dancing in the act of Rave.

insta: @keyclef


There is not one way to patch, or one direction to use your modulars to perform!

By learning with us about the different ways to make your modules talk to each other, with perspectives from various experienced aartists from multiple fields, you can find the tools and processes that fit best to developing your own artistic vision and live performance setup as well as musical language!

Come with us on this exciting journey!



Ticket Type Price Spaces
Full Course 1050,00€
Early Bird Registration until 6th April 950,00€

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(sponsored by Initiative Neue Musik) How Do the Smallest Units of Sound Relate…? In the case of music from differing cultures, approaches and disciplines playing together, how can musicians use underlying metaphors to bring fundamental differences of technique and sound into meaningful aesthetic relationships with one another? Furthermore, what technical studies and (if applicable) new notational approaches for melody, rhythm, timbre, and interaction derived from these metaphors can best facilitate this goal?
  • Course
  • Workshop
6. May 2024 - 30. June 2024, 15:00
This course teaches you the main basics and also covers advanced settings for live performance considerations in a setup specifically based on modular synthesizers! You will develop your own musical aesthetics, performance or production setup and dive deep into your own life performance workflow. At the end you can present your work at the legendary Acud Macht Neu Club!

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