You are here

SynthFest UK: All Things Synth!

Sat 7 Oct: Biggest UK synth event of its kind returns to Sheffield

Get hands-on with Modal Electronics' brand new CRAFTrythm drum machine/sampler, debuting at SynthFest UK.Now in its second year, SynthFest UK has been created by Sound On Sound to showcase analogue, digital, modular, keyboard and software synthesizers. This time, it’s not only bigger but it’s more diverse too. Building on the success of last year’s event, there are over 40 companies exhibiting, ranging from the boutique Eurorack modular brands to mainstream keyboard manufacturers, along with soft-synth and virtual instrument makers. Among them you’ll find the likes of Moog, Korg, Roland, Arturia, Roli, Dreadbox, AJH Synth and Soulsby. British brand Modal Electronics will be showing their new CRAFTrythm drum machine/sampler for the first time at SynthFest, too!

As well as being able to hear and touch so many different kinds of synthesizers, the ability to actually buy them on the day sets SynthFest UK apart from other shows. This year, top retailers Rich Tone Music, Rubadub, KMR and Red Dog Music will be at the show and stocking a wide range of synths and related products, all ready for you to buy at special show prices. And if it’s vintage gear you crave, check out the SoundGas stand.

If you want a break from all the exhibitors, there is a full programme of seminars on synth-related subjects — check out the programme below. Back in the main hall, there will be a gathering of home enthusiasts showing off their collection of rare and wonderful gear in the Modular Meet section. We are also pleased to announce an increase in female participation this year so come along and chat to the Yorkshire Sound Women Network, Nina and Zoe from Transistor Sounds Labs, Vicky from Noise Orchestra and Live Coder Joanne Armitage.

Check out all sorts of modular gear at SynthFest UK.Check out all sorts of modular gear at SynthFest UK.If you are interested in studying music technology and production, there will also be a number of university departments exhibiting. And you’ll have the chance to meet members of the SOS team in person, with many of our top authors and staff attending the show.

Finally, we’d like to thank Dynaudio PRO and their UK/European distributor Audio Distribution Group for sponsoring this year’s SynthFest event and providing a range of monitors for use in the Exhibition, Modular Meet and Seminar areas.

Tickets are on sale now from
£10 in advance or £15 on the door.
Discounts are available for students and children.


This year there will be six seminars on a wide range of subjects all designed to stimulate your mind and ears.

Martyn Ware in conversation
Heaven 17 and Human League founder, Martyn Ware, will present a talk about his life-long passion for synthesizers.

Modular synth performance in surround sound
John Crossley will talk about surround sound performance with modular synths based on the Sonic Emotion Absolute 3D system. The session will end with a live ‘Modular Jam’ through a multi-speaker setup of high quality Dynaudio monitors.

VIP round table discussion
This year’s discussion about synths will include Martyn Ware (Heaven 17), Adrian Utley (Portishead), Will Gregory (Goldfrapp), Steve Levine (producer) and Hannah Peel (solo electronic music artist), chaired by SOS writer Gordon Reid.

Deconstructing the Dr Who theme
Legends Mark Ayres, Roger Limb, Paddy Kingsland and Peter Howell will bring the music to life and talk about their time at the world famous BBC Radiophonic Workshop.

Ondes Martenot
Dorien Schampaert is one of the UK’s leading authorities on this bizarre early electronic musical instrument invented in 1928.

Daphne Oram was the co-founder of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop and is credited with the invention of a new form of ‘drawn sound’ synthesis: Oramics. Tom Richards has reimagined and built a fully working Mini-Oramics machine and will give a talk and demo before allowing visitors to SF-UK to try their hand at drawing their own musical ideas for the machine to play!


SynthFest UK is part of the week-long Sensoria X - Sheffield's Festival of Film and Music.
Also see the SensoriaPro Day music industry conference

Also in the news