Synth Design Hackathon

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Build a Synthesizer

Organized by Synthux Academy, this four-day hackathon brings together students from eight leading academies in exploring the future of electronic musical instrument design. As a participant, you'll work with a team and mentor to design and fabricate a synthesizer based on a surprise collection of microcontrollers, sensors, and electronic components. 
 

Application to Participate

Space is limited to 30 students. No experience is necessary. Familiarity with programming, electronics, synthesizers, or fabrication technologies is helpful. We'll continue to accept applicants until Monday, February 28.
Apply Today
 

Event Details

  • Participants receive a surprise box with a microcontroller and sensors. No additional fancy ICs are allowed.
  • The challenge is to design unique instruments and experiences that are human-centered, inspiring, and engaging.
  • The instrument enclosure can be built in whatever shape or form, using any materials and fabrication technique. 
  • Teachers can guide students and work together with the teams. 
  • Industry leaders and manufacturers serve as mentors throughout the event. 
  • The hackathon will conclude with an online conference where all participants meet and connect with industry leaders.
     

Prototyping in StudioLab

The hackathon will take place in The Council on Science and Technology’s StudioLab. StudioLab is a hybrid fabrication and performance space that questions the division between the arts and sciences through hands-on experiences. Some of the technologies that will be available for use during the event include laser cutters, 3D printers, soldering stations, Raspberry Pi kits, theatrical lighting, surround sound, and VR headsets. To find out more about StudioLab, visit https://cst.princeton.edu/studiolab
 

Hackathon Mentors

Brendan Byrne, CST StudioLab Artistic/Technical Manager
Gulli Björnsson, Composer/Guitarist/Programmer
Jeff Snyder, Director of Electronic Music, Music Department
Liam Elliot, Ph.D. Candidate, Princeton University 
Mike Galvin, MAE Senior Technical Support Staff
 

Culminating Conference

The hackathon will be followed by a conference on February 16 and 17. Students will have the opportunity to share their designs, meet design teams and faculty from the other participating academies, and get feedback from industry professionals. Live performances and technical talks will accompany the project presentations. The conference is open to the general public.
 

Wintersession

Participants will be able to attend Wintersession courses during the hackathon. Students should coordinate with their teammates to avoid conflicts. 

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About the Organizer

The Synthux Academy was founded on the premise to enable musicians to design and build their own synthesizers and sound art devices. They run physical and online workshops and courses of synth design, electronics, programming, fabrication and everything in between. There's great reward in designing your own sound, let alone your own instrument. Visit their website here https://www.synthux.academy/
 

Contact

Brendan Byrne
StudioLab Artistic/Technical Manager
brendan.byrne@princeton.edu
brndnbyrn#7999 on Discord