Workshop Announcement – January 2018

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Happy New Year!!!

Hope you have all received some nice, noisy gifts over the season or been able to take advantage at some of the awesome sales that have gone (and are still going) on!

We have a pretty cool workshop lined up for the first one of 2018!

For those who haven’t heard, there is a new manufacturer in town making some pretty cool modules!  Matthew Skala from North Coast Synthesis is going to join us to talk about his current offerings, and future plans.  Check out https://northcoastsynthesis.com and his bio below.

Back in November, some of us went to see our own Android Dreams perform at The Cavern in downtown Toronto.  It was a very cool show!  One of the other acts on the bill was jefftheworld.  Jeff Alyanak does device hacking and circuit bending to create his synthesizers and then uses them for performance.  After talking with Jeff for a bit after the show we thought it would be cool for him to come and show us how he does that.  So, Jeff will also be coming to share some cool stuff with us and maybe do a little performance!  You can check out his web site at https://jefftheworld.com and his bio is also below.

Bio’s

Matthew Skala got his start in hobby electronics in the 1980s, spent some time in amateur radio, and even completed one of those NRI electronics correspondence courses that they used to advertise in magazines, before the Internet hit and digital computers became the big thing. Then he pursued computer science for a while, earning a PhD from the University of Waterloo. He specialized in high-dimensional geometry and its applications to such fields as security, database search, and computational linguistics. He spent about 15 years in academic research and teaching at universities in Canada and Denmark. In 2017 he left the academic world to start his own business in Toronto. North Coast Synthesis brings the fine art of handmade electronics to Eurorack modular synthesizers. North Coast products are meant for serious hobbyists and do-it-yourselfers, with a focus on top-quality components; excellent technical openness and documentation; and long-term maintainability.

Jeff Alyanak is an avid gamer, programmer, hacker and DIY fanatic.  He grew up as the son of a music studio owning father and a singer/songwriter mother, so it’s no surprise that he put all of those elements together and began using his old game boys & nintendos to make crazy music with antiquated programmable sound generators.

“Heavy basslines, frantic rhythms and airy leads. With an arsenal of antiquated hardware and software – Game Boys, Atari computers, DOS software – coupled with cutting edge and homebrew technology – Kaoss Pads, circuit-bent keyboards, Guitar Hero controllers – jefftheworld pumps out some seriously fun music.

1st Anniversary 3 Module Patch Challenge!

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Hi everyone,

Frequency Freaks is now 1 year old… Happy Birthday to Us!!!

To celebrate we are going to host a 3 Module Challenge.  Build a patch with only 3 modules a la #3modulechallenge.  There will be at least one prize too!  We will let you know what it will be soon… in other words, we haven’t decided yet 🙂 . But honestly… you should be doing this for the glory!

For the most part we will stick with DivKid’s “The Modular Podcast” rules as outlined in this video: https://youtu.be/o21trHzAyMw

  1. No fully featured voices (mother 32, ToneStar 2600, Atlantis, etc.) Elements is a bit grey… ok if you have to, but… see the last point.
  2. No sample loops (drum loops, chord sequence loops, melodic sequencer loops).  If you do use a sample, it must have been made by you (e.g. your own field recordings are ok).
  3. If one of your modules is a looper, go ahead and use it… just don’t preload it in a way that goes against point #2.
  4. Cable based attenuators and stackable cables are ok.
  5. Output modules don’t count against your total.
  6. No external mixing.
  7. No external audio, effects, or processing
  8. Try and stick with the spirit of the rules.  If all you have is Elements as a sound generator, then that’s what you’ll have to use… Still – no Mother32’s or Tonestar 2600 style things that could do a 1 module patch.

So, bring your rig to the next Frequency Freaks event on April 8, 2017.  Perform your patch, or play it, or let it play… however it is intended to work.  Everyone who attends will vote on the best Frequency Freaks 1st Anniversary 3 Module Patch!  The winning patch will be immortalized in a video on our youtube channel.

Big Shoutout to DivKid, and the guys from the Modular Podcast for letting us borrow the idea.

Looking forward to hearing your patches at the next workshop!

FF

February Frequency Freaks

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The February Frequency Freaks Workshop is Saturday! That’s February 11 for those who are counting ;-).

This month Paul Stillwell will show off and talk about the Studio Electronics Quadnic Oscillator. You should be getting to know the gear you got for Christmas, Hanukkah, or whatever by now… so why not bring it with you? We’d love to see it AND hear it!

We have performance slots open so feel free to bring your stuff and show a friendly audience what you are working on!

See you Saturday!

Speaker Announcement for Frequency Freaks August 20 Workshop

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We are very happy to welcome Jacob Watters from Roland Canada to Frequency Freaks this month!

Thinking Outside the Box – Using Modules in Non-Typical Ways

Learn how to use modules in ways that the designers never intended. Jacob Watters from Roland Canada will give patch demonstrations and instruction on how to think of patching in new and inventive ways. Learn to expand your creative patching potential.

With the success of the format last time, we are going to go ahead with an Open Mic format again this month!  Bring your gear, make some noise, let us hear what you’re working on!

Frequency Freaks #4 Speakers & Performers

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Announcing Modular “Open-Mic” format for Frequency Freaks #4!  It’s Summertime!  Bring your gear and celebrate the heat!

Frequency Freaks #3 Guest Speaker & Performers

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Robin Heisey will give a presentation titled My Dinner with Wendy.  Derek Simmons (rezzn8r) known for Frac and Modcan B systems will be performing on his new Eurorack.  Paul Stillwell (Intrepita) will perform using the Mother32, BFAM (Brother From Another Mother – built at Moogfest 2016), and two pedals by Industrialectric – the Echo Degrader and the RM-1N.

We are still looking for one or two more performers.  So, if you are interested in giving it a go, please let me know so we can plan our time and space accordingly and add you to the web site & flyer.

Our next workshop is on June 11, 2-6 pm.  It will be a busy weekend with Unsound at night on the 10th and 11th.  Which, by the way, you should all be attending!

Looking forward to seeing you all not the 11th of June!

Please reach out to us via the contact form if you or someone you know is interested in performing!

FF

Performers and Speakers for Frequency Freaks #2

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Excited to Announce the performers and speakers for Frequency Freaks Workshop #2.  From new equipment to electronica to wild experimental this is promising to be an exciting workshop!

Andrew Kilpatrick

Andrew will join us for our workshop on April 23rd.  Andrew is the founder of Kilpatrick audio, purveyors of the some of the finest engineered and most innovative synthesizer modules in the world.

Fresh from SuperBooth in Germany, he will talk about and demonstrate his latest creation:  CARBON – Sequencer and Performance System.  Building upon the success of the K4815 Pattern Generator, CARBON takes pattern-based sequencing to a whole new level. Supporting polyphony, multiple tracks, editing and scene-based operation, CV/Gate, MIDI and USB.

Bit Reduction (Craig Renaud)

Chaotic floor grinding in extreme harmonic content. An ambient noise wash.  Modular electronics, performed adhoc.  You can find Bit Reduction on SoundCloud and BandCamp

Benjamin Green

From recording cave echoes in the mountains of southwest Virginia to hosting underground parties in Brooklyn, Benjamin Green has explored sound, structure, and narrative in computer and electro-acoustic music. His interest in synthesis and composition was nurtured under the instruction of Elliott Schwartz, Bob Moog, and Pauline Oliveros during the mid-1990s. After moving to New York in 1998, Benjamin collaborated with artists such as Multipolyomni, Ben Neill, We ™, and DJ Olive on installations and performances at such venues as The Kitchen and Senspace. It was Ben Neill who introduced him to modular synthesis on a Synton 3000 system in 1999. After that, modular synths such as Serge panels, the Fenix, and Modcan A Series became staples in Benjamin’s toolkit. Benjamin moved to Toronto in late 2008 where he continues to work with local artists (such as Marker Starling), create mixed media works, and record songs with his daughter. In the last few years, he has switched to the Eurorack format, or the Dark Side as he prefers to call it.

Performers for Frequency Freaks #1

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We are both honoured and extremely excited to announce the following performers for Frequency Freaks Workshop #1.  Encompassing a wide range of styles from EDM to Ambient & Experimental this is promising to be an exciting workshop!  Following a tradition which began at TOMS there will be a Q&A after each performance:

Steve Castellano

Steve Castellano will be playing a new set on his Eurorack/Moog Sub 37 rig in his first public performance since last year’s Toronto Sound Fest. If you haven’t already, you can check his work out on Bandcamp and Soundcloud.

Derek Simmons (rezzn8r, Analognoisemonster)

Always interesting, Derek will be playing is Modcan system for us.
You can check him out on Bandcamp

Intrepita/Loose Ion

Paul Stillwell (member of the Candian Electronic Ensemble) & Dave Sutherland will be performing an improvised set with Paul on his Eurorack system and Dave on his Synthi AKS and Phenol. This will be their first time performing together after only one rehearsal in August of 2015!
You can check Loose Ion out at BandCamp, Intrepita at SoundCloud and The CEE at BandCamp

Frequency Freaks Workshop #1 – March 19, 2016

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Workshop #1 2pm – 6pm

Update 20160312

Matt has provided this little teaser for his talk next Saturday.  “In this track I have not used any filters .. Just the NW1 and a step sequencer multi tracked, with some delays and verbs from the sputnik 4 tap, and intelijel springray.” 

We are really excited about our new home at the Arraymusic Studio at 155 Walnut Ave in Toronto!

Moog Audio is presenting a talk by Matt Thibideau and we still have slots open for performance or other talks.  The current plan is for Matt to speak about the new Waldorf nw1 – the original ppg wave bank, making user wave tables, etc.

Please reach out to us if you would like to bring your modular synth and/or perform so we can make sure there is enough space and time.

Frequency Freaks Flyer 1b complete

Workshop Schedule

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Hi everyone,

Our workshops are held monthly, and are presented in association with Arraymusic.  They are held at the Arraymusic studio, 155 Walnut Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M6J 3W3.

Previously, TOMS Workshops were held every 3rd Saturday of the month from 4pm to 8pm.  Unfortunately, we are unable to keep to that schedule.  Our current Schedule is as follows:

March 19, 2pm-6pm
April 23, 2pm-6pm
June 11, 2pm-6pm
July 9, 2pm-6pm
August 20, 2pm-6pm

We are looking forward to seeing you there!