NOVARS at The University of Manchester hosted Sines & Squares festival 2017, an exploration of analogue and modular synthesis. The festival had an international open call for academic papers and presentations and a live performance strand at the University and Islington Mill. The festival was interesting from a research point of view for our project meeting with synth buyers and builders and with debates around the re-emergence of analogue synthesizer market and the growth of modular synthesizers through Euro Rack format. Of particular note was a talk by Rob Hordijk, who gave a presentation on the role and process of the electronic music instrument designer being a mid way point between artist and scientist. His talk was practically helpful in thinking about the building blocks and electronic modules of signal flow. He discussed his method of design as a series of layers, Layer 1:Concept, Layer 2: List of Functions, Layer 3: Algorithmic Layer, Layer 5: Production Layer.
We were invited to showcase our work at the modular fair on the final day, this was an opportunity to meet other synth enthusiasts, spread the word about our project and interact with people on our circuit designs so far. We had a really positive response, particularly around the graphical sound and light response functions of the machines.