knobcon 8

One of the lowkey best music conventions in America will be setting up at the Hyatt Regency Schaumburg in the Chicago suburbs next week.

Knobcon 8 will be held September 6 through 8 and just confirmed their line-up. Among the most anticipated events is a workshop on FM synthesis by the man who created it: Dr. John Chowning, whose breakthrough discovery powered one of the best-selling synthesizers in history and fixture of ’80s pop, the Yamaha DX7.

Unlike many other music-centered conventions which are focused more on retailers and exhibitors, Knobcon is heavily focused on workshops. The convention is mainly about musicians, music producers, music creators and the people who make their instruments (or the science behind it).

Other workshops include “The Basics of Synthesis” with Marc Doty (aka automaticgainsay on Youtube), plus Bradford Kinney of Warm Star Electronics, Todd Barton (creator of the Krell Patch) and more. The complete workshop schedule is below. Tickets cover all 3 days of Knobcon and are available here.



The Basics of Synthesis 11:00am (Maize/Sage)
Marc Doty, the undisputed king of YouTube synthesizer videos provides as comprehensive a primer about synthesis which could be reasonably expected to fit in ninety minutes.

Summit: Novation’s Flagship Synthesizer 12:30pm (Copper)
Novation Technology Evangelist Enrique Martinez will talk through the features and technology of Summit and how it gives the serious producer or performer everything they need to design and play stunning basses, leads, arps, pads, effects and beyond.

Buchla Music Easel Masterclass 1:30pm (Maize/Sage)
Synthesiser virtuoso and discoverer of The Krell Patch, Todd Barton demonstrates advanced patching and listening techniques using the Buchla Music Easel.

Sequencing with TORAIZ SQUID 3:00pm (Copper)
SQUID stands for ‘sequencer inspirational device’ since it provides a feature-rich and user friendly workflow that can be used to sequence a variety of analogue and digital hardware, and software. Get an in-depth look at what the TORAIZ SQUID can do.

Sample-Proof Instruments 4:00pm (Maize/Sage)
Jon Sonnenberg explores concepts of “sample proof” instruments and the limitations of sampling as he demonstrates intentional non-repeatability as a feature in new instruments.


Ergonomics for Artist 11:00am (Maize/Sage)
Industrial designer Brian Alexander (Herman Miller, Design Within Reach) breaks down the correlation between cognitive processing, the physical body, and your ability to perform in the electronic music environment. He will detail key principles and practices for creating an optimal workflow from studio to stage.

Warm Star Electronics’ Orbit 12:30pm (Copper)
Experience a live modular infomercial! Bradford Kinney of Warm Star Electronics will walk us through the world of his odd and powerful modules, including the newly-unveiled Orbit! Something will be raffled!

Learn FM Synthesis from Dr. Chowning Himself 1:30pm (Maize/Sage)
FM synthesis has a reputation for being as impenetrable as it is dynamic. Fortunately its inventor Dr John Chowning is here to help us understand it better. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity you won’t want to miss!

Modular for the Masses 3:00pm (Copper)
Extreme synth DIYer and circuit sculpture specialist Juanito Moore (@juanitohm) returns with his unique approach to synthesizer design. Learn to break free from the confines of the PCB to create functional, musical art.

The Horror of Marketing-Driven Nomenclature 4:00pm (Maize/Sage)
The history of synthesizers has been a wild blur of technological development, visionary composition, and manic entrepreneurial spirit and as a result, synthesizer terminology can be very confusing. Presented by Marc Doty.