Modular Synthesis

07 Sep 2017

This September, Nova Iskra starts its fifth program season. The first lecture and course of the season is devoted to the fields of music and technology, with the first educational program dedicated to modular synthesizers. Jan Nemeček and Branislav Jovančević will open up an exciting and unpredictable world of contemporary music hardware to interested participants, starting with a public introductory lecture on Thursday, September 7th at 6 PM.


Modular Synthesis course, presented by Nova Iskra for the first time in our region, offers the opportunity to get acquainted with the ever-growing scene of modular synthesizers. Modular synthesizers are definitely the most popular "buzzword" on the contemporary music scene. From academic beginnings in the middle of the last century, through small, specialized producers and users, the overconsumptuion of digital and virtual tools for composing and playing (electronic) music has restored the fascination with modular synthesizers, the unpredictable sound textures and the possibilities they provide. Popular performers such as Aphex Twin, Nine Inch Nails, Deadmau5, Gus Gus, Ricardo Villalobos, JamesHolden or Depeche Mode actively use this type of synthesizers in their performances or productions, while the list of avant-garde and experimental authors who active in this domain is endless.


Even though they reached the peak of their popularity only in the last five years, modular synthesizers are the forerunners of all of today's synthesizers, created way back in 1963. The return of modular synthesizers was initiated by the company Doepfer and their A-100 format (now known as "Eurorack"), which enabled the emergence of relatively cheap components for making synthesizers and universal power supplies. This has increased the number of manufacturers from the initial few, to today's several hundreds, only in the world of Eurorack. A strong community around the users of modular synthesizers evolved in parallel with the development of hardware itself. Initially reserved exclusively for those with a deep pocket and spare time, it gradually began to expand and integrate very diverse profiles of users.


Therefore, the course and the introductory lecture (De)mystification and integration of modular synthesizers that will be open to the public (in Nova Iskra on Thursday, September 7), are intended for all those interested in this topic, not exclusively to musicians and sound designers. Technical knowledge is not a prerequisite for attending a course. You can read all details about the course, the method of registration and participation fee at


The mentors and lecturers are Jan Nemeček and Branislav Jovančević. Jan Nemeček ( has been engaged in music since 2003, when he started working with digital and early soft synthesizers. His performances over the last few years largely follow his fascination with the sound potentials of modular synthesizers. Branislav Jovančević ( is actively engaged in music from his early days. After classical music education (piano and baroque lute), he turned to more contemporary forms and instruments, and has been working on sound synthesis over the past five years. From 2015, he performs under the name kīr. Bane is also a part of the team of  Drugstore, a popular Belgrade nightclub. The mentors of this unique course also have a joint music project Stepn‡ak, through which they channel their dedication to new music hardware, with an emphasis on modular synthesizers.


The Lecture (De)mystification and integration of modular synthesizers by Jan Nemeček and Branislav Jovančević will be held at Nova Iskra, on Thursday, September 7th at 6 PM. Entrance is free.