Peter Edwards: Soča Synthesis
The analog synthesizer in the wild
Because of the analog synthesizer’s dependence on electricity it has evolved in a way that is strongly related to the locations where a reliable flow of electricity is available. Namely inside buildings. In keeping with this they have developed predominately for desk top use in clean, controlled environments. This project will question the conventional format of the synthesizer and investigate the impact and inspiration of the outside world (in all of its dirty, rainy, windy and endlessly moving glory) on the format, use and experience of the audio synthesizer.
Each team member will build a simple but powerful “classic” analog modular synthesizer containing 2 VCOs (voltage controlled oscillators), 1 VCF (VC filter), 1 VCA (VC amplifier) and a special sensor interface. This interface allows any of the synthesizers many parameters to be controlled using a wide range of signals from the outside world.
The first goal will be to build a powerful and flexible synthesizer circuit that can be used during PIFcamp and long after. Through this process we will learn about how voltage controlled synthesizers work (and why they are awesome!) and then investigate how our physical engagement with the circuit (knobs, buttons etc.) shapes its functionality. Following that we will use these device throughout the wild, with other PIFcampers, with a cooperative squirrel, with no one at all. Through this we will explore how the activities and life of the forest, river etc. can impact how we create and experience sound….music will be made, unruly fun will be had, synthesizers will get dirty.