Becoming a Synthesizer Wizard: From Presets to Power User

Becoming a Synthesizer Wizard: From Presets to Power User
9781598635508
26 May 2009
Course Technology PTR

Becoming a Synthesizer WizardBecoming a Synthesizer Wizard: From Presets to Power User is an exploration into the world of synthesizers which will guide you through:

  • Understanding Synthesis. The introduction to synthesis, synthesizers, and sound creation in the digital realm will walk you through the basic principles. If you have never looked under the hood of a synthesizer before, this section will get you up and running with a firm grasp on the principles of synthesis.
  • The Building Blocks of Synthesis. The modules that are available to create and shape sounds, such as oscillators, filters, envelopes, and LFOs, provide the palette from which you can create your sounds. The book looks at each element, the function of each element and its effect on the sound, and how each element interacts with the other elements.
  • Synthesizer Construction. The book looks at synthesizer construction principles, focusing on the choices that are available from different oscillator and filter types, through to the audio path construction, the modulation that can be applied, and the implications of those choices in terms of flexibility, control, and sound.
  • Sound Design and Synthesizer Architecture. The principles of synthesis and sound design, are often closely allied to, and highly affected by, a synthesizer's architecture. Throughout the book there is an emphasis on how to create the sound you want and which is right for your music.

The book looks at subtractive (analog) synthesis, frequency and phase modulation, sample-based synthesis, and additive techniques and makes extensive use of illustrations from four popular modular synthesizers:

The book is also accompanied by a free downloadable synthesizer, SynthWiz Simple Synth, (in PC VSTi format) which illustrates further some of the sound design and synthesizer construction principles.

Although specific synthesizers are used for illustration, the principles in the book can be applied to any synthesizer.

Build Your Own Synthesizers

With SynthEdit (one of the featured modular synthesizer environments) you can create your own synthesizer. You can then share—or sell—any synthesizer you create with SynthEdit.

SynthWiz Simple Synth—the free synthesizer which accompanies the book—was built with SynthEdit and you are walked through the construction of this synthesizer in the book. In addition to the synthesizer itself, the underlying SynthEdit files are also available for download, so you can further develop your understanding of synthesizer construction.

Who Should Read This Book?

Becoming a Synthesizer Wizard: From Presets to Power User is for:

  • People who are new to synthesis and who want to understand the basics and take their first steps in creating and controlling sounds with synthesizers.
  • Musicians who are familiar with synthesis, but who want to solidify or expand their knowledge so they can use their tools more fully.
  • Anyone who wants to build, share, and perhaps sell their own synthesizers.

Where to get the book

If you want to take those first steps From Presets to Power User, or if you already know something about synthesis and you want to consolidate that knowledge and become a Synthesizer Wizard, then check out the book. Becoming a Synthesizer Wizard: From Presets to Power User is available from leading book retailers including Amazon and the iBookstore: