We’ve come full circle: the informal meetup seems to be eclipsing big trade shows. And for modular and boutique makers, KnobCon is now an American mainstay.
We saw Russia’s upcoming Synthposium. Moscow is as much music festival as it is gear conference. KnobCon in Chicago is mostly just gear – mentions of performances double as demos, and even the Friday party promises “gear-centric performances.”
With the ever-growing cadre of small modular makers in the USA, though, Chicago’s KnobCon is looking like the one place everyone will come together. A handful of bigger manufacturers (Roland, Yamaha, Elektron) join a mostly-boutique lineup – and Doepfer from Germany, who started the whole Eurorack thing.
Tom Oberheim, who’s gone from being historical legend to modern-day gear rockstar, will “headline” the event with a keynote. Maybe the most interesting feature is the Demo Derby. Sign up for dedicated time slots on a system, with the venue open to people bringing their own studio setups. (It’s a bit like a model train meetup – you can create any modular setup you like, in a defined area.)
Here’s the full lineup of gear makers:
Art For The Ears
Blue Lantern Modules
Chase Bliss Audio
Dave Smith Instruments
Doctor Synth’s World of ROMplers
Family Room Recordings
Great Lakes Modular
Industrial Music Electronics
JMLS – Logan Soloman Synth Research
Metalphoto of Cincinnati
Michigan Synth Works