Demystifying Synths

Envelope Generators

Learn to control your patches over time with part three of our new synthesis series.

20 Minutes
3 Sections

Do you want a hard-hitting staccato sound, or a longer evolving texture? Envelope generators give you the ability to control your patches and parameters over time.

In this installment of our free course series, we’ll break down the controls of envelope generators (attack, delay, sustain, and release), see how they relate to real world instruments, learn to recognize different settings by ear, and put them to use in creating your own synth sounds.

Start generating the sounds you hear in your head! Bleep bloop wub wub wub.

Martin Fowler

Composer, Producer, Bassist

Martin composes and produces music for commercial, educational, and artistic media, and records and performs internationally with many NYC-based artists. He also produces original electro and house music and remixes as MDFX, plus trap/jungle/bass music and remixes as WNNR, and will release his debut solo record later this year. His favorite cloud type is the lenticular cloud.

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music production
sound design
demystifying synths: envelope generators
martin fowler
subtractive synthesis

Course Outline

  1. Section 1

    Intro to Envelopes

  2. Section 2

    Using Envelopes

  3. Section 3



Who is this course for?

People with no prior knowledge of synths or anyone who wants to brush up on how synths work.

What are the requirements?

This is the third course in this series. You don't need to go in order, but you'll be better able to understand LFOs and Modulation if you first have a good grasp of Oscillators, and Filters.

You'll probably want a synth of your own to play with. We recommend a free software synth called Helm.

How long does it take?

This section of the course takes 20 minutes. The whole Demystifying Synths series can be done in 2-3 hours.

What can I expect to get from this course?

By the end of this course, you'll have the ability to manipulate the texture of your synth sounds using envelopes.