Free Circuit Workshop Series: Wolfgang Spahn

808 Kick Drum Module workshop

4. - 6. November 2015
Ljubljana, Slovenia

In the two-day workshop participants build a Paper-Synthesizer 808KD, a Kick Drum Module, a Functional Clone of Tr-808 Bass Drum. It is The sound of 80´s hip hop and electro and one of the most cloned and copied electronic musical circuits of all time. Clever functionality of this particular circuit provides a good starting point for learning analog percussive sound synthesis.



This board is a functional clone of the circuit, using contemporary replacements for op-amps and transistors. The module has controls for Accent, Decay, Tone and Level, like in the original. It has a trigger input and a sound output with a jack connector and possibility to use external accent input. All the known modification points are marked in the paperboard.

The original circuit expects two different triggers, the actual trigger and the accent trigger, to arrive exactly at the same time and to be 1 ms long. To allow triggering with a button, we have to add in a small conditioning circuit. This makes it possible to also trigger the bass drum with another sound that has a strong and fast transient, for example hi-hat sound. it also can be triggered with any CMOS style triggers, for example with an Arduino. You can find a more detailed explanation on the modifications here. Read more >


About the host

Wolfgang Spahn is a visual artist based in Berlin. His work includes interactive installations, videos, projections, and miniature slide-paintings. After having studied mathematics and sociology in Regensburg and Berlin he founded the screen printing studio at Tacheles. He also managed various art projects e.g. Schokoladen Mitte and was one of the artists at Meinblau, Berlin. He currently teaches at the BBK-Berlin, Medienwerkstatt and is associated lecturer at the University of Paderborn, department of art.


Wolfgag Spahn

Photo: Katja Goljat


How to participate

Contribution for two day workshop (8 hours) is 25€ and needs to be settled before the start of the workshop on site. All expenses for materials are included, workshop products remain in your possession. Workshop will be in English language, the number of participants is limited, so please apply/announce yourself to delavnica [at] No previous skills are needed. Newbies are welcome.


DATE: November 3rd and 4th // 5pm – 9pm
LOCATION: Ljudmila, Rimska 8, 1000 Ljubljana

The workshop is part of Ljudmila's Free-Circuit workshop series.


Art and education programme at Ljudmila Art and Science Laboratory is supported by the Slovene Ministry of Culture (in the co-production with Zavod Projekt Atol), MOL – Department for Culture and Employment Service of Slovenia.


Photos: Katja Goljat




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