The Spain Chapter of the IEEE Circuits and Systems organized this 4-day workshop aimed to promote analog circuit design among students and young professionals. To this aim an innovative approach was followed: using analog electronics to create music based on a hands-on Do It Yourself (DIY) philosophy. The workshop was held at the Basic Electronics Lab of the Public University of Navarre (Los Tejos Building, First Floor) on September 17, 19, 24 and 26.
The workshop was mostly practical, paying special attention to learning based on doing. For this reason, the theoretical concepts presented were supported by simulations and well-designed hands-on experiments, leading to the creation by the attendees of a synthesizer. The synthesizer is an instrument that was very popular in the 60s and 70s, which is responsible for generating signals and combining them in order to create a wide variety of sounds.
The main objectives of the workshop were:
- To introduce students to the world of analog electronics
- To apply it in the context of musical synthesis
- To provide students with the concepts and basic tools for analog design,
- To put into practice everything learned by creating a musical synthesizer.
There were no pre-requisites to join the workshop, although it was advisable to have a basic electronics knowledge. Registration was free.
The Workshop is divided in two parts: Part I introduces theoretical aspects, which are covered in the first two sessions. Part II corresponds to two lab sessions aimed to apply the fundamental concepts acquired.
Session 1 (17 September 2019, 6PM to 9PM)
An introduction to IEEE and the IEEE CASS Spain Chapter was made by the Chapter chair. Then the basic concepts of music and synthesis were shown. To understand the performance of an analog synthesizer, a free application named MinimogueVA that emulates an analog synthesizer, was used. This application can be downloaded at this URL: http://www.vst4free.com/free_vst.php?id=405
Session 2 (19 September 2019, 6PM to 9PM)
Basic concepts of analog electronics were taught and put into practice using the LTSpice circuit simulator. This simulator can be downloaded at this URL: https://www.analog.com/en/design-center/design-tools-and-calculators/ltspice-simulator.html
Sessions 3 and 4 (24 and 26 September 2019, 6PM to 9PM)
Two lab sessions where students had different possibilities such as simulating other different synthesizer blocks, or to weld and build their own VCO. For doing this, a Printed Circuit Board (PCB) was given to the student. They could identify the different parts, select the components and weld them. These PCBs were manufactured previously. Finally, they could test the VCO using basic laboratory instrumentation.
More information can be found at: