By koushks

Welcome to SynthStudent!

Here you’ll find tutorials on synthesis techniques using freeware synths. These tutorials are “absolute-beginner” friendly. They don’t assume any prerequisite knowledge, apart from the ability to load up software synths in your DAW. They’ll guide you through the world of software synthesisers, starting with the basics, and then moving on to more advanced concepts.

I’m also soon planning to write some “Make a sound” tutorials where we start with a sound and learn to program it using freeware synths.

Below are the links to the tutorial posts so far.

Synth basics

1: Quick Introduction to Clearsynth

Download and install Clearsynth. We’ll be using this synth for our first set of tutorials.

2: Introduction to Subtractive Synthesis – Part 1

Introduction to the concept of subtractive synthesis.

3: Introduction to Subtractive Synthesis – Part 2

Learn what oscillators and filters are.

4: Anatomy of a synth

Explore some of the controls of Clearsynth, based on the concepts discussed before.

5: Filters

Learn the concept of filters, and their role in subtractive synthesis.

6: Filters in action – Part 1

Basic filtering using Cutoff frequency.

7: Filters in action – Part 2

Learn to use Resonance and Key tracking.

8: The second oscillator

Learn to make sounds using both the built in oscillators together.

9: See your sounds

The benefits of being able to visualize the sounds you hear.

10: s(M)exoscope

Download and use this free visualization plugin to see your waveforms in realtime.

11: Understanding envelopes

Learn about the basics of volume envelopes.

12: Controlling the volume envelope

Learn how to change the volume envelope in Clearsynth

13: From How and What to When and Why – Part 1

Learn why waveforms sound the way they do, and what sounds can be made with them.

14: Oscillators FAQ

Answers to a couple of common questions on oscillator usage.

15: From How and What to When and Why – Part 2

get to know about what filters to use when.

16 Responses to “Welcome”

  1. 1 agf
    January 5, 2010 at 10:23 pm

    This is what I call a very good work.

    Many thanks.

  2. 2 david
    January 12, 2010 at 2:37 am

    hi there, ive been looking all over to find some information on programming a voice patch similar to the one on the Tortoise track “Lithium Stiffs”. All i get are voice synthesis software ads. Would you be able to post something on this subject by chance?

    • 3 koushks
      January 13, 2010 at 10:36 am

      I’ll be doing some sound generation tutorials soon.

      However, I don’t think you can get that sound using basic subtractive synthesis, at least using the synths that I’ll be featuring. 🙂 If I get time, I’ll try to make that sound and send you an email about it.

  3. January 12, 2010 at 11:53 pm

    defiently a invaluable information everyone !!

  4. 5 Poppa!
    January 13, 2010 at 10:25 am

    I knew most of it but could remember only some of these tricks when needed. The concept was a bit fuzzy before. Thanks to your site I understand in a better way now. Please continue with additive, FM and granular also.

  5. 7 Eric Layne
    January 13, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    (Found this site via the KVR forum)
    A big ‘Thank You’ for taking the time and effort to make these tutorials. There is a lot to learn about sound synthesis and it can get confusing for newbies like myself 🙂 Your tutorials are concise and easy to follow. Please keep them coming!

  6. 8 smar
    January 19, 2010 at 6:21 am

    you are an absolute legend

  7. 9 boo
    January 29, 2010 at 12:05 am

    Thanks for the basics. This information for me was very useful. Great tutorials which is easy to read and follow. Keep on going!

  8. 10 jobo
    January 29, 2010 at 1:01 am

    What is Mod Envelop? And could you explain LFO to me?

  9. 11 aircrashesp
    February 9, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    Awsome man, this is really helpful! Keep the good work!

  10. 12 durrrrr
    February 16, 2010 at 11:25 pm

    thanx mate! awesome tutorial, i was just starting to learn how synths work and i found this on the KVR forums. can’t wait for the next part 😀 thanks once again

  11. 13 ffr
    February 24, 2010 at 3:40 am

    i’ve tried to learn synthesis various times in the past but the texts i found were far too technical (mathematical equations and all.)

    i quite like the approach you’ve taken with the material here. its been presented in a way that is easy to understand.

    looking forward to future tutorials.

  12. 14 pouranat
    April 22, 2010 at 7:45 pm

    great courses !!

    do u know when the part 3 would be out ?
    i can t wait !! 😉

  13. 15 demoga
    May 13, 2010 at 11:44 pm

    Thanks, the tutorials are great. 🙂

  14. 16 Crystal
    December 28, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    You are great! Thank you so much:)

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