Neanderthal Electronics 2011 @ NK Berlin

Neanderthal Electronics 2011 @ NK Berlin

Wednesday 23 February 2011 – Sunday 27 February 2011, 12:00-19:00 daily.

This 5 day workshop is designed for up to 12 people, possibly with a background in sound, but with no previous electronics experience. They are shown how to use simple objects from our modern environment (resistors, capacitors, transistors, LEDs, integrated circuit chips…) to design and build their own personal, customized primitive noise synthesizers. Each is a tiny world of its own, using primitive analog computers in combination with feedback, sensors and audio inputs to create a unique sound. Even from the same plan, no two are alike!

Participants are encouraged to use found materials for the construction of their personal instrument, with an emphasis on discovering creative and physical methods of controlling them.

The workshop will conclude with a group performance at Experimontag @ Madame Claude on Monday 28 February and an invitation to the audience to experiment with each of the instruments which have been created. Previous Neanderthal Electronics workshop participants are welcome to join this performance with their own instruments, please contact “MACUMBISTA at_the_domain GMAIL.COM” directly to arrange.

More info and videos from previous workshops can be found here:

Participation is limited to 12 participants.
Registration: Pre-registration is required and can be done by sending an email to

DATES: 23-27 February 12:00-19:00 / Presentation 28 February 21:00 (Madame Claude)

FEE: EUR 120 including materials, with a deposit of EUR 27 to be paid beforehand.

LOCATION: NK, Elsenstr. 52/2.Hinterhaus Etage 2, 12059 Berlin Neukölln/MADAME CLAUDE, Lübbener Str.19, 10997 Berlin Kreuzberg

About the Instructor

Derek Holzer (1972) is an American sound artist living in Berlin, whose current interests include DIY analog electronics, sound art, field recording and the meeting points of electroacoustic, noise, improv and extreme music. He has played live experimental sound, as well as taught workshops in noise art technology, across Europe, North America, Brazil and New Zealand.



I will provide most of the tools and materials necessary for constructing your Neanderthal synthesizers, however there are a few things you should bring yourself:

1) A Box (REQUIRED): This should be made of thin wood or cardboard. Plastic can also be used, but it doesn’t sound very good, and metal is too difficult to cut and drill with the tools we will have. This box should be a minimum of 10x10x3cm, or bigger if you want to use a larger speaker or have more room to decorate and add objects. Cigar boxes, small suitcases, instrument cases or jewelry/silverware boxes are all good things to look for. At least one side of the box should be no more than 4mm thick, to allow the potentiometers, switches, knobs and jacks to be mounted.

2) A speaker (OPTIONAL): I will provide a selection of speakers ranging from approximately 6-12cm diameter. If you want to use a larger one, you’ll have to provide it yourself. Besides buying one, you can salvage one from old hi-fi systems or portable stereos.

3) Decorative materials/sonic objects (REQUIRED): Please bring as many found objects as you can to decorate your soundbox or use as a sound source via the contact microphone. Photographs, cloth, leather, paper or any other kind of material can be useful for covering the box and making collages. Bones, shells, small sticks, bells, springs, strings, wires or anything else made out of solid yet resonant material make great sound sources. Paint, markers and pens may also be useful.


–Weekend flea markets at Mauerpark, Arkonaplatz, Schlesisches strasse, Boxhagenerplatz, the canal in Kreuzberg and the Obi parking lot near Templehof
–Your local Humana or other second hand shops
– at Hermannplatz (expensive!)
– near Südstern (architect/designer supply shop)


Please check the videos from previous workshops here:

Some graphical inspiration from participants of Tore “Origami” Boe’s 2009 Acoustic Laptop workshop:

More advanced inspiration can be found by browsing the incredible selection of instruments on the Folktek website:

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One Response to “Neanderthal Electronics 2011 @ NK Berlin”

  1. Dominik Says: