DivKid Showed Kids How To Make Music With An Eurorack Synthesizer At The Deer Shed Festival

At this year’s Deer Shed Festival, DivKid showed young children the first steps into the big modular Eurorack Synthesizer world using a 16n controller!

Cables, peeking lights and knobs: probably a thrilling and exciting moment for toddlers when they first see an Eurorack Synthesizer. But the feeling is no different for adults too. To understand what exactly happens and how the sound are created, the synth specialist and YouTuber DivKid explained the world of Eurorack Synthesizer at this year’s Deer Shed Festival to many kids in a very easy way.

In order not to be attacked by all the technical terms, he has come up with a clever and kid friendly solution. He uses the 16n controller with which individual signals can be controlled. So the kids could play around with the fader and influence the sound without understanding the whole patch. An amazing way to excite young children with these music instruments and to transport it in a super simple way.

What DivKid Says About His Setup

I recently worked alongside Mylar Melodies showcasing and exhibiting modular synths (specifically Eurorack) to children (and some adults / parents) in the Science Tent at Deer Shed festival. Deer Shed is a family friendly festival with a large number of kids and parents and the Science Tent gives them a chance to come and try soldering, make slime, chemistry workshops, build raspberry pi units and come and make music and play on euro rack synthesisers or try out making music on a Ableton with guys from a local Ableton group.

For the event I tried to put together the best Eurorack synthesiser that I could that was a mean little groove box of beats, melodies, bass, FX and some more out there fun stuff. So here’s what I used, how I patched it and how it went.

DivKid’s Live Setup

What Is The 16n Controller?

The 16n is a open-source 16 channel MIDI/CV controller that can transmit CV signals to your Eurorack. You move faders on it. It emits output.

It has a number of outputs:

  • it sends MIDI data over USB; by default, a different continuous controller for each fader.
  • it sends MIDI data over a 3.5mm stereo (TRS) jack, which you can break out using any available converter. There is a switch to toggle between the two standards for this (so it’ll work with both Korg/Makenoise and Arturia/Novation products and converters directly). This can be the same CCs as the MIDI over USB, or different ones, if you’d like.
  • it sends 0-5V CV out of sixteen jacks, one for each fader.
  • it sends data over I2C, using a TRS jack: either as a master device, which could connect directly to (e.g.) an ER-301, or as a bus device for a monome Teletype

All outputs are sent simultaneously. 16n is built around a Teensy microcontroller. You’ll be able to customise the software yourself, if you’d like. 16n will eventually be open source: code, schematics, etc.

More information here: 16n Faderbank 

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