Designing Analog Audio Electronics Workshop

During this workshop, I introduce students to the fundamentals of designing audio circuits, specifically focusing on CMOS ICs and various resistive inputs. The session is designed to be hands-on, with students learning to solder a printed circuit board kit I developed. This kit is not just a learning tool for the workshop but also a resource for any future designs that students might undertake, aimed at simplifying breadboard prototyping. The workshop is aimed to be completed in under 3 hours.

The curriculum for the CMOS design workshop was significantly inspired by the book “Handmade Electronic Music.” It was a privilege to teach this workshop alongside Nicolas Collins for his sonic arts class at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), bringing the concepts from the book to life. The workshop was also conducted for Jesse Seay’s electronic sound arts class at Columbia College and at Pumping Station: One, Chicago’s largest and oldest hackerspace.

At each session, we explored different sound applications, allowing students to immerse themselves in the practical aspects of sound circuitry. Particularly at Pumping Station: One, students not only learned about different sound applications but also gained valuable skills in soldering and reading schematics. This workshop was a comprehensive exploration of audio circuitry, offering students foundational knowledge and skills that they could carry forward into their own creative and technical endeavours.

The success of this workshop series was significantly bolstered by the generous donation of circuit board prodcution, courtesy of OshPark. This contribution was instrumental in mitigating the costs associated with PCB production, thereby enhancing the accessibility and quality of the workshop for all participants.

Workshop Conducted at SAIC for Nicolas Collins’ Hardware Hacking Class


Footage from Jesse Seay’s Electronics Class at Columbia College.


Darcy Neal and Nicolas Collins

Nicolas Collins, the esteemed author of “Handmade Electronic Music: The Art of Hardware Hacking,” has been a significant influence in my formative years in the field of electronic arts. His book provided not only inspiration but also foundational knowledge that propelled my journey in electronics and music. Therefore, it was a great honor to attend and conduct a workshop for his electronics class at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). This opportunity allowed me to share my experiences and knowledge with a new generation of creators, all under the guidance of a figure who has been so pivotal in my own educational and professional development.


Footage from the electronics workshop held at Pumping Station: One. Special thanks to Jesse Seay for their assistance in organizing this event!