See your sounds

One of the most important abilities that I’ll be teaching you as you make your way through these tutorials is the ability to visualize sound.

Now what do I mean by that? Most of the times, when you program synths, you’ll usually have a sound in your head that you’ll want the synth to make. Maybe you are very clear about the sound, or you have some vague idea that you want to explore. Either way, the sound is in your head and you “hear” it mentally. But, when you open up your synth, it’s all very visual. You see knobs, pictures of waveforms and filters. Of course, you can hear what you are doing by playing a few notes, but, unless you know what you are doing, it’ll result in a whole lot of trail and error. Which is obviously not very efficient.

You need to be able to “see” the sound that you hear. Once you become good at synth programming, you’ll be able to do just that!

For example:

You’ll be able to hear a sound, observe its timbre and instantly know whether a sine wave or a triangle wave is best suited to make that sound.

You’ll be able to say what filter type and cutoff frequency needs to be set to remove some of the frequencies you don’t need.

You’ll be able to make a sound “sit” well in your mix by tweaking the synth’s parameters itself, without adding external EQ or other effects. You’ll resort to external effects only when you know you can’t fix it in your synth.

If you are a beginner, all this probably sounds a bit too far-fetched. But, as with any skill, this is learnable.

Don’t worry. You are not expected to know any of this yet. We are still picking a simple synth apart, and learning what the knobs and buttons do. Once we learn the basics, we’ll start tutorials where we take some sounds, and program them on freeware synths. Then, as you follow a few tutorials step by step, these abilities will start developing in you.

The power of being able to do all this is obvious. If you are serious about music production, you really should commit to yourself to learn this. Stick with it! I’ll do my best to get you there! 🙂


3 Responses to “See your sounds”

  1. January 4, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    Amazing job man! Cleared my mind a lot.
    Keep up the good work!

    Fergo (from Reaper’s forum)

  2. 3 DJ Bizzy
    February 27, 2010 at 8:47 am

    Thanks alot for these tutorials ! I’m finding them very simple and effective as I have never used a synth before. I can see the possibilties with this equipment is endless and it is exciting to think that a person can truly make their own unique sounds. Keep up the good work!

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