Uncover the basic elements at the heart of all your favorite synth sounds.
We freakin' love synths. From laser noises to thick atmospherics, synthesizers can produce an incredible world of sound. But what do all those mysterious buttons and knobs actually do? The path to understanding the wide world of synthesis begins with oscillators.
In this first section of our free Demystifying Synths series, you'll learn more about oscillators — what they are, and the role they play in creating the synth sounds we love. Think of oscillators as the main ingredient in your synth sound. The different ways you choose to prepare and alter that ingredient while you're "cooking" will help you turn that one main ingredient into an infinite number of possible sonic dishes.
Ready to learn how to use synths in your music? If you’re looking to take your skills to the next level, check out Advanced Synths and Patch Design for Producers.
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.
People with no prior knowledge of synths. Or people who think they know something about synths but really don't. They just know that tweaking that one button makes a slingshot sound.
Simply an interest in playing around with some knobs and sliders. You'll probably want a synth of your own to play with, but you can also use the built-in ones from GarageBand or find one online. We like a free software synth called Helm.
This section of the course takes 20 minutes. The whole Demystifying Synths series can be done in 2-3 hours.
Well, round one: a basic understanding of oscillation, which is the central building block of synthesis. But if you keep going with the whole series, you should be able to make any synth sound you hear...