Learn the fundamentals of creating the sounds you love with vintage and modern day hardware and software.

24 hours
12 classes (2 hours) 
Instructor: Brandon Smith

What is this course about?

The goal of Synthesis I is to provide students with a fundamental understanding of how synthesizers work and where they came from.  The history of synthesizers, from the earliest electronic instruments of the 1900s through to the powerful soft-synths commonly used today, will be covered with plenty of interesting A/V material and hands-on experience with real vintage hardware. ie: (Theremin, MiniMoog, Oberheim OB-8, Korg DW-8000, Korg M-1)

In addition to a solid historical background, essential synth elements such as oscillators, filters, and envelopes will be explored: what they do, how they work together, and how to go about creating sounds beyond the manufacturer’s pre-set patches.

Upon finishing this course you will know:

  • How to identify just about any synthesizer by type, old or new, and how to use it

  • How to create any sound of your own concept using a hardware or software synthesizer

  • How to incorporate synthesizers and synth-style processing techniques into DAW programs like Ableton Live

  • How to distinguish where your favorite “retro” synth sounds come from along with other classic sounds like those made by Moog, ARP and Oberheim

Who is this class for?

  • Producers of any level looking for a deeper understanding of synthesis and synthesizers

  • Producers looking for new tools and sounds that best suit them

  • Music Enthusiasts interested in how music is made and what sounds they are hearing in their favourite tracks

Topics Covered

  • Synthesizer history

  • Synthesizer modules – (VCO, VCF, VCA, CV processors, LFO, Wave Shapers)

  • Common synthesizer layouts

  • Different methods of synthesis (subtractive, additive, FM, wavetable etc.)

  • Incorporating synth elements into audio production

  • Sequencing in Live using combinations of soft-synths and hardware

  • The merits and pitfalls of using vintage equipment vs. new

  • Hardware vs. software - finding the right synth for you