Back in the summer Vince Clarke announced that he was running the first International Synth Gurning Competition to celebrate the art of making synth sounds while pulling funny faces. Well we received a lot of entries and after a great deal of consideration Vince has chosen the winner, Mr Gary Flanagan, whose video you can see below, congratulations Gary!

Gary will receive Vince Clarke’s own Mute Synth which will be personally signed. The runners up certificates were much more difficult however so we decided to award one to everyone who entered (well to everyone who responded to our emails) in recognition of their sterling work.

Vince also took all the entries and produced a special mash-up video featuring all of them which you can see below. Congratulations to everyone, and thank you all for being such good sports!

There is also a playlist of all the entries that you can view here.


We all know about ‘Air Guitar’ (a form of movement in which the performer pretends to play rock or heavy metal-style electric guitar) and ‘Beatboxing’ (a form of vocal percussion primarily involving the art of producing drum beats, using one’s mouth, lips, tongue, and voice).

But what about ‘Synth Gurning’? Synth Gurning is defined as the art of producing synth sounds or effects using just the voice whilst pulling a funny face.

In order to give this little known artform the attention and respect it rightly deserves, we’re launching the worlds first International Synth Gurning competition.

The concept is simple. We’d like you to video yourself making your own synth sound or effect with just your voice. We’re also looking for ‘interesting facial expression’ (gurning), to enhance the performance. Basically we want to hear you make silly sounds and see your face while you do so.

Like Vince you may already have a head full of synth sounds in which case you can freestyle your entry as in this example recorded by Vince himself:

Or perhaps, like Richard who runs the EIS, you don’t live in a world of synths and you’re not entirely sure exactly what constitutes a synth sound, in which case you can download the examples that Vince has recorded and reproduce one as best you can, as Richard has done here:

This is a just for fun project, but to give you a bit of added incentive Vince will be giving away his own personally autographed, limited-edition, Mute Synth to the best performer, and will sign certificates of distinction for the runners up.

All you need to do to enter is to video record yourself reproducing a synth sound with nothing but your voice . Once you’re satisfied that you’ve put in your best performance then upload the video to YouTube and send us the link before midnight (UK) on August 23rd 2013. Vince will personally view all the entries and the winners will be announced a fortnight later.

Remember, anyone can imitate synth sounds but this is just as much about the faces you pull to make them.

Good luck!

VINCE CLARKE - Synth Gurning (2013)