Strange Sounds

There's a lot of science behind a spooky soundtrack. From Dr. Who to Stranger Things, if we take a deeper listen we'll find educational opportunities lurking in the shadows. To shed a light on this, STEM Modular has put together a hands-on workshop where participants will make some creepy sounds using electronic instruments.

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what will be covered

In this workshop we will talk about the science of sound waves and how they can be made electronically. We will use a STEM Modular music system to create sounds and will explore how some simple math can make them musical. An oscilloscope will also be on hand to see what our waves look like, and to connect our music making to the world of engineering. The end result will be our own custom soundtracks, which we can record and take home digitally.

STEM Modular music system

The STEM Modular music systems that will be used in the workshop are handmade in Brooklyn, NY, and are used to convert electricity into music. The approach is commonly called modular synthesis, and it allows us to experiment with the fundamental properties of sound. This method of patching different audio blocks together to make music was developed by physicists and engineers, but has become popular with artists and musicians as it allows for a maximum amount of creativity. While it is more conceptual than strumming a guitar, it is easy to dive into and provides a fun way to interact with technical ideas. Check out the video below to get a clearer idea of what the system is all about.

 
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Wesley Marcarelli will be leading the workshop. He is a musician, electrical engineer, and educator based in Brooklyn, NY. In 2017 he launched STEM Modular as a playful and empowering approach to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) concepts through electronic music production. He has toured as a synth/keyboard player through North America and Europe, taught in NYC after-school programs, and currently works as a radio repair mechanic for the New York City Fire Department.

Below you will find examples of his soundtrack work using music synthesizers.