Intensive Circuitbending and Instrument Building workshop @ SOTU Fest!

May 11th, 2013 midday until May 12th, 2013
OT301, Overtoom 301, 1054HW Amsterdam OT301, Overtoom 301, 1054HW Amsterdam

A two-day hands-on workshop with master electronic artists Phil Stearns (Year of the Glitch) and Peter Edwards (Casperelectronics)


Register for this workshop using this online registration form. Advanced registration is required no later than one week before the workshop.

Just in time for the Queensday flea markets, STEIM is teaming up with the Sounds of the Underground festival to bring you a two-day intensive workshop on learning to create hand-made electronic instruments by hacking old toys, radios, and other sound-making devices. We’re especially happy to have as teachers two of the most preeminent hand-made electronic music experts around, Phil Stearns and Peter Edwards (Casperelectronics).

In this workshop participants will be introduced to the basic principles and practices of circuit bending as well as other forms of creative electronics. We will talk about what to look for when opening circuits and how to find the best modifications as well as how to use the necessary tools correctly. Our goal is to guide every participant through the process of modifying a simple device successfully. We want everyone to leave with a new and fully functional instrument. Attendees MUST bring at least 3 circuits to work on!! Devices must be simple, battery powered and must already make some sound. Children’s toys work best.

The topics and information in the workshop will be fit to the interest and experience levels of the group. We can cover the whole range of electronic instrument making from the basics of soldering all the way up designing your own custom analog sound circuitry.

A bare minimum of topics we expect to cover include:

  • Identifying the basic layout and components of most electrical circuits.
  • How to do Circuit Bending safely.
  • Proper soldering practice.
  • Which circuits are best to modify and why.
  • Typical circuit modifications and how to implement them.



DATE: 11-12 May, 2013
TIME: 12:00 – 17:00 both days
COST: €80
LOCATION: OT301, Overtoom 301, 1054HW Amsterdam
Teachers Speaks: English
Payment must be paid in exact cash at the start of the workshop.
Reserve a spot via the registration link above no later than one week before the workshop!


What is Circuit Bending?

Circuit bending is the art of creatively short circuiting audio electronics in order to uncover exciting new functionality and invent novel new musical interfaces. It is a fun and experimental process which is especially appealing to artists and musicians who wish to work with electronics but find the math and physics of traditional engineering unappealing. More info on circuit bending can be found here:


Circuit bending Pete Edwards

Casperelectronics Pete Edwards Speak and Spell



Each attendee MUST bring at least 3 toys or simple electronic devices to be modified. The device must run on batteries and must generate sound. Devices should also be inexpensive as it is very likely one of them will be destroyed in the process of the workshop (we will be opening up the devices and experimenting with them in a very hands-on way).

The Queensday flea markets are a fantastic opportunity to find electronic devices to modify. The tendency in consumer electronics over the last years has been to make things smaller and smaller – hence harder to hack. Often times the older the better – look for things from the 80?s or 90?s, or even older if you get so lucky. Don’t be afraid to turn them on and see what kinds of sounds they make before buying them.

If you would like to bring an enclosure for your electronics that’s also a nice idea. Often times the original casing of the device is too small to fit all your modifications in, and needs to be transplanted into a new body. VHS tape cases and cigar boxes are marvelous candidates.

Batteries will not be provided, so please bring adequately fresh batteries to power your electronics. No knowledge of electronics or special tools are necessary to participate in this workshop, although both will help! If you have a set of tools you like to use, please bring them along!



Phillip Stearns (US) is the creator of Year of the Glitch and Glitch Textiles projects, Phillip also teaches creative electronics at 3rd Ward, an artistic resource and hub located in Brooklyn, NY.

As an artist, his work deals with the idea of extension and expansion through hands on intervention. Since 2007, he’s led numerous workshops on Circuit Bending, Glitch Art, Electronic Design and Fabrication, Solar Electronics, Audio Amplification, and Homebrew Music Synthesis.

Peter Edwards (US/NL) has been circuit bending and designing electronic instruments for a living for over a decade through his business Casperelectronics. Edwards has taught circuit bending workshops around the world and developed the Creative Electronics lab at Hampshire College in the United States where he taught circuit bending.