Knobcon Workshops




The Basics of Synthesis 11:00am

Marc Doty, the undisputed king of YouTube synthesiser videos, provides as comprehensive a primer about synthesis which could be reasonably expected to fit in ninety minutes.


Random Applications in Electronic Music 1:00pm

Jon Sonnenberg demonstrates the various ways that randomness and probability can be harnessed in electronic music production and performance.


Michael Boddicker: Ask Me Anything 3:00pm

Mr. Boddicker has been a session musician and film composer for over four decades, working on countless recordings you’ve certainly heard from Michael Jackson to No Doubt. Moderated by Suit & Tie Guy.


Whiskey Tasting: A Primer 5:00pm

Winston Edwards of Texas-based Balcones Distilling gives a crash course in how to taste whiskey in a critical environment. Must be 21 to participate.



Harald Bode: Innovator Unsung 11:00am

Marc Doty presents an exploration of one of the least-known yet most-relevant inventors in the field of electronic music technology. You won't believe how much this guy impacted your life.


A History of Reverberation in Recorded Music 1:00pm

William Beith maps out how reverberation developed in recorded music in the twentieth century and describes the mechanics behind the ambience. He is Chicagoland's very own plate reverb craftsman, having built plates for many facilities including Van Halen's 5150 Studios.


Tom Oberheim: Ask Me Anything 2:30pm

The legend opens himself up to your questions. Maybe you’d like to know "why paddles?" or “Why eight voices instead of seven?” Here's your chance. Moderated by Suit & Tie Guy.


BBoy Tech Report LIVE 4:00pm

Corry Banks takes to the digital airwaves for a live broadcast of his beloved music production podcast.


BUILD WORKSHOPS - Saturday and Sunday

Click images to learn more about each workshop and how to reserve your participation.

Learn to solder SMT kits!

2 2-Hour Sessions (intermediate)

Build an Ornament & Crime eurorack module and learn to solder SMT. Raph Wlodarczyk (Altitude909) will give a brief demonstration for hand soldering surface mount components prior to the build workshop.


Build a Benjolin stand-alone synth at Knobcon!

Build a Benjolin!

2 2-Hour Sessions (intermediate)

Pete Hartman of Frogleg Synthesis will guide you through the process of assembling the Benjolin Stand-Alone Synth. This is a great entry into synthesizer DIY.

Build a Jarmageddon Synth-In-A-Jar with synthCube at Knobcon!

Build a Jarmageddon Noise Synth!

2 Hours (beginner)

Learn to solder! synthCube will show you basic soldering techniques and lead you through building a Jarmageddon synth-in-a-jar. 

Exhibitor Registration 

Exhibitor Opportunities

Exhibit Tables 

Pay the fee and use the space as you see fit. No extra fees if you want to sell merchandise. Each table location has power provided at floor level.

Deluxe Exhibit Tables 

Put your display on the main drag. Prominent display locations with room to sit behind, two chairs and pipe/drape backdrop. Power provided at floor level.

10’x10’ Booth 

For those wanting a larger, more formal footprint. Booths have power, 2 tables and chairs if needed.

Deluxe Booth 

Larger, prominent corner location with nearly double the square footage of a standard booth. Reserved for Gold Sponsors only, let us know if you're interested.

Location Choice!

New for this year, choose your location during the registration process! Take a precursory look at the floorpan below to get an idea of what this year's event will look like.

Private Showroom 

Make a statement by having an entire room dedicated to your company. Requires Gold Level sponsorship of the event. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. us for details.

Paid Programming Room 

New for this year, is a second lecture hall dedicated to product announcements and sales presentations. Reserve your time-slot today, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. us for details.

Build Workshop

A great opportunity for those focused on synth DIY. If you would like to host a build workshop, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. us for details.

Knobcon Reveals and Exclusives

Commit to reveal new product or consider creating something exclusively for Knobcon. Reveals and exclusives will help drive people to the event and to your booth! We will feature all exclusives on the website and social media posts.

Commemorative Trade Show Bags

Messenger bags are back! The first 1000 people who check in at the event will receive a Knobcon bag full of swag. What is in that bag is up to you! Have your literature/giveaways pre-inserted into the bags for a small fee, or for free by becoming an event sponsor. Items will need to be shipped to an outside location for arrival no later than September 1.

Door Prizes

We are happy to accept donations of door prizes for the banquet. We will post these prizes on the website and in social media prior to the event. Winners will be drawn at random from the pre-registrations for the banquet and awards will be distributed during the event.


Sponsor Registration

Sponsorship Opportunities

Become a Knobcon sponsor and help underwrite the cost of the event from top to bottom. In addition to the perks listed below, sponsors have the added bonus of choosing their table/booth locations prior to the event.

Sponsor registration is open through August 15. Fees are collected at time of registration.


Gold Sponsorship

Prominent Logo on Event Shirt and Sponsor Banners
Logo on Trade Show Bag
1 Item in Trade Show Bag
$100 Exhibit Credit*
4 Event Admissions


Silver Sponsorship

Logo on Event Shirt & Sponsor Banners
1 Item in Trade Show Bag
$50 Exhibit Credit*
2 Event Admission


Sponsorship, Exhibit Registration and Event Admission are separate transactions.

After successfully purchasing your sponsorship, we will contact you requesting additional information and will issue coupon codes for the exhibit credit and event admissions.

Note - If you wish to reserve your exhibitor space immediately, you can proceed to the Exhibitors event and reserve your space. We can apply the credits (minus the fees) as a charge-back to your card. This can take up to a week to process.


2018 Floor Plan

 Floor Plan

The Fine Print


Friday 4-7pm - Exhibitor Set-Up
Saturday 10am-6pm - Exhibits Open
Sunday 10am-5pm - Exhibits Open
Sunday 5-7pm - Exhibitor Tear-Down


A $50 refundable good faith deposit is required for all Knobcon exhibitors. This deposit is added to your online registration and will be refunded via check beginning at 5pm on Sunday. Failure to follow these guidelines could mean forfeiture of deposit. Checks will be made payable to the primary exhibitor on this registration.


Set up is to be completed by 7pm on Friday. During this time the exhibit halls will be accessible by exhibitors only. Once you have completed your set-up, please be courteous and leave the exhibit hall to allow others to finish.

Table and Booth locations will only be pre-assigned for our event sponsors and are otherwise first-come, first-served at set-up. Table fees for exhibitors are collected during online event registration.


Exhibits must be in working order for the duration of the exhibit hours. This does not mean that exhibits must be occupied by a person, but that cases should be open and systems powered up for attendees to explore. Outside of exhibit hours, the doors to the exhibit halls will be locked. This also means that the room will be inaccessible until exhibits open the following day, so plan accordingly.


In past years, we have had exhibitors begin packing up early which starts a chain-reaction in the exhibit halls. Not only does this disrupt traffic flow, we feel is is not fair to the attendees who have paid admission. Packing up and leaving before scheduled tear-down on Sunday will mean forfeiture of deposit.


  • Exhibit tables are 72"x30" and will be covered with cloth.
  • Deluxe Table locations have 2 chairs, standard tables do not.
  • Standard Booths are 10'x10' and will have 2 covered tables and 2 chairs. Tables and chairs can be removed during setup if needed.
  • Power is provided at floor level, please bring your own power strips and extension cords.

Hotel Shipping Policy

Special arrangements must be made for receiving any equipment, goods, displays or other materials, which will be sent, delivered or brought into the Hotel.

Any materials sent to the Hotel will be subject to the following incoming and outgoing charges:

Incoming Outgoing Type
$2.00 $2.00 Envelope/Letters
$10.00 $10.00 Box (small 1-20 lbs.)
$15.00 $15.00 Box (medium 21-60 lbs.)
$20.00 $20.00 Box (large 61-101+ lbs.)
$100.00 $100.00 Pallet

All packages and shipments must have information on the package label located below.

PLEASE bring your tracking numbers with you to assist our staff in locating your boxes in our package room or to track any boxes that might not have arrived by exhibit set up time.

Incoming packages will not be accepted any earlier than 72 business hours/ (3) days prior to the start of your meeting.

Please number all boxes (Example: Box 1 of 2 and Box 2 of 2).

All outgoing packages must be packed and clearly labeled prior to shipping.

Any materials being sent to the Hotel must be marked as follows:

  1. Hold for Arrival - Attn: Guest's Name, Knobcon, Sept 7-9
  2. Complete return address
  3. Hyatt Convention Services Manager
  4. Number of Boxes (Example: Box 1 of 2 and Box 2 of 2)
  5. Address Package to Hotel as follows:

1800 East Golf Road
Schaumburg, IL 60173


The secret cave with all the hidden knowledge! (aka: frequently asked questions)

We get plenty of emails asking some of the same questions, so we've put together this handy FAQ page. If for some reason you don't find the answer to your question here, send us an email and we'll be happy to sort you out.

Golden Knob Banquet


Catered Banquet with keynote speaker and live music. $50 per person


Join us Saturday Evening for our annual Golden Knob banquet featuring VIP keynote speaker Tom Oberheim. Admission includes catered buffet with vegetarian options, and each ticket is an entry into the door prize drawings.

Enjoy live music by the Knobcon Supper Club All Stars featuring Ed & Judy Howard and Cory Flanigan.



Cocktails 6:30p

Dinner 7:00p


Guest of Honor and Keynote Speaker

Tom Oberheim is the progenitor of the American polyphonic analogue synthesiser and designer of electronic music devices ranging from the Maestro Phase Shifter to the Oberheim DX drum machine. If you have listened to the radio in the past 40 years, it is impossible for you not to have heard sounds he had a hand in.



(Photo courtesy of Roger Linn)


Knobcon is proudly partnering with TASCAM to rev the Demo Derby into high gear!

TASCAM is providing DP-006 Digital Pocketstudios for Knobconners to record 4 track demos at the show!

Manufacturer-specific rigs will be set up in the Demo Derby room, and since the Pocketstudios are battery powered, you can actually take them from station-to-station and multi-track record a demo using all the various instruments. State-issued photo ID deposit required to walk around with the Pocketstudio, you understand.

After you record your tracks, take the Pocketstudio to our mixing station. TASCAM Demo Derby mix engineer (and Youtube talkbox king) Moot Booxle will gladly help you finish your demo with a Track Factory turnkey PC DAW.

If you make a demo and allow us to make it available for download, you'll be entered into a very exclusive drawing to win one of several TASCAM recorders.

Don't be shy. Make a demo, be a winner!

Want to Curate a Demo System?

We aren't limiting demo systems to manufacturers - anyone can curate a system for the Demo Derby! There are a few special requirements listed below. If you are interested, please contact us!

  1. The entire system must fit on one table or in a 6’ x 6’ area (you must provide all stands)
  2. Systems must be set up before the show begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday, and remain available until Sunday at 5 p.m.
  3. Have provision for mixing/headphone monitoring
  4. Provide final stereo output for connection to Pocketstudio
  5. System must contain needed accessories (patch cables, head phones etc)
  6. Must have quick start sheet explaining the basics of the system

Manufacturers: Get in touch if you're interested in curating a demo system for 2017. 



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Synthesizers, Workshops, Synthesizers, Performances and more Synthesizers!

Friday night is a party!

Hang out with other knobcon attendees, have a drink and catch gear-centric performances.

Gear, Gear, Gear!

Get your hands on amazing vintage pieces and the latest and greatest boxes. Monosynths, polysynths, modular and more will all be there.

Meet The Makers

Many boutique manufacturers will be on hand demonstrating and even selling the gear they produce.   

Feedback from previous Knobcons

As expected, a spectacular event

Learned a lot, laughed a ton, listened to good music, met great people and bought too much new gear. I have no complaints at all!


The whole thing was extremely enjoyable

I made more friends last weekend than I have in years that are in to the same stuff as me. Cheers to everyone involved in planning it!


Had a great time!

Even though I did not know anyone there, I was made to feel welcome and part of the gang.


Thanks for the awesome time everyone!

I saw tons of amazing things for the first time and met tons of cool people, not a bad one in the bunch!


Had a great time!

Learned a lot about modular synths and other gear. Enjoyed the "low-key" relaxed environment and the Knobcon staffers were helpful and very professional. Hope to make it back next year.


Knobcon was amazing!

Loved getting to try out the new and old gear. Everyone there was super cool, and I will definitely be back next year.

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