Noise Sculpture: Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the questions that people often ask me (along with a few observations). Please take a moment or two to look through them before getting in touch.Here are some of the questions that people often ask me (along with a few observations). Please take a moment or two to look through them before getting in touch.

General Questions

Questions about Cakewalk Synthesizers: from Presets to Power User

Questions about How to Make a Noise

Questions about the Choice of Book

General Questions

I’ve got a question about the synthesizer book.

I’m happy to answer any questions, but could you let me know which synthesizer book are we talking about? There’s more than one…

return to the list of questions

I’ve got a question about the downloads.

I’m happy to answer any questions about the downloads. Which downloads are we talking about?

return to the list of questions

Where can I get the downloads?

You can get the downloads here:

The downloads for Sample This! third edition, are accessible by mailing a copy of the form at the back of the book to the publisher. A download link will then be emailed to you. Alternatively, you can email your receipt and we’ll get the download over.

return to the list of questions

Where’s your privacy policy?

Here.

return to the list of questions

Questions about Cakewalk Synthesizers: from Presets to Power User

Wasn’t there an update for Cakewalk Synthesizers: from Presets to Power User?

Yup. There’s been an update to the most recent version to cover Z3TA+2. You can find it on the Cakewalk Synthesizers page.

If you’re still using the first edition of the book was published in 2006 there have been a number of changes to the featured synthesizers and there is an update to the book that is available for download. Click here to get Cakewalk Synthesizers: From Presets to Power—Update#2, September 2007. However, this update doesn’t cover all of the changes that are featured in the second edition of the book, so you should check out the new edition.

return to the list of questions

I’ve got the Cakewalk Synthesizers download. When I try to load the patches I get an error message.

Unzip the whole package and look closely at the file names. Compare the file names/folder names with the synthesizer in which you are trying to open the files.

return to the list of questions

What is covered in the second edition of Cakewalk Synthesizers that isn’t covered in the first?

Since the first edition of Cakewalk Synthesizers: From Presets to Power User was published there have been a number of changes to the featured synthesizers and the Cakewalk line. This new edition includes four new synthesizers:

In addition, this new book reflects the significant updates since the first edition was published which have been made to:

return to the list of questions

Questions about How to Make a Noise

I’ve got the free download/paperback edition of How to Make a Noise: a Comprehensive Guide to Synthesizer Programming. Is the content in the ebooks in the How to Make a Noise series already covered or do these books have new material?

There is a lot of new material in the ebooks (How to Make a Noise: Analog Synthesis, Frequency Modulation Synthesis, Sample-Based Synthesis, and iPad Synthesizers Edition), but the basic principles of synthesis remain unchanged.

These new books are not synthesizer-specific. Sure, there are synthesizers mentioned in the book—but these are there only to show you how the principles can be applied in the real world. You don’t lose anything by not owning any of these synthesizers.

As for the new material:

There is some overlap between the books, for instance, they all talk about envelopes. However, by breaking the books down to look at specific aspects the books have been able to focus on how the common elements are used in different ways in different situations.

I bought the patches to accompany How to Make a Noise, but have lost them/didn’t download the update, etc… Can you send them to me again?

No need! The patches are now included in the free download. Grab that and your problems will be sorted.

return to the list of questions

Questions about the Choice of Book

Which one of your synthesizer books should I get?

Well, that really depends on what you're trying to achieve...

How to Make a Noise: a Comprehensive Guide to Synthesizer Programming is available for free download, so you've got nothing to lose by downloading that book.

When you've looked at the free book, then perhaps the next step is to consider the specific techniques that interest you (so for instance, if you want to create frequency modulation sounds, then How to Make a Noise: Frequency Modulation Synthesis is for you).

After that I would suggest you look at which synthesizers you have available. If one book closely mirrors your arsenal (or at least your main "go to" synths) then get that book.

return to the list of questions

I'm a Mac/ProTools/non-Windows VSTi user. Should I still get the book?

Yes.

How to Make a Noise: Analog Synthesis, How to Make a Noise: Frequency Modulation Synthesis, and How to Make a Noise: Sample-Based Synthesis all demonstrate techniques that are applicable to a wide range of synthesizers and are illustrated with cross-platform synths.

As for the other books, well... that really depends on your expectations.

Some of the synths used in Becoming a Synthesizer Wizard are Windows-only/not available in Mac/ProTools/non-Windows VSTi format, etc. I wrote the book with the expectation that readers would have maybe one of the featured synths--perhaps only SynthEdit (as it's free) or a demo version of one of the others. I certainly did not (and still do not) expect a reader to have all of the synths. Indeed, I think it is detrimental to learning and understanding to have too many choices. I think someone should pick one synth and learn how to use that really well rather than have a range of synthesizers which they only partly understand.

This approach means that the potential reader needs to understand that there will be parts of the books that will not be relevant to them. Let me elaborate: most of the content of the book is directly applicable to all of the synthesizers, however, some is applicable to specific synthesizers. For instance, some of the synths have modules that do not have a comparable module in the other synthesizers. Equally, some of the sounds are created with a specific synthesizer. These sounds can (generally) be created with any of the other synths but I did not create EACH sound with EACH synthesizer because that would have made a really dull (not to say really long) book.

That being said, the synthesizer that gets most exposure is Zebra 2 (since it's a great synthesizer and it is available in the widest range of formats, including Mac formats).

So, back to the question... should you still get the book if you don't have all the synthesizers or if some of the synths aren't available in your format? In my opinion, yes. However, that is just my opinion. If you want/expect EVERY SINGLE WORD to be applicable to you, then you will be unhappy. In reality, if you only have one synthesizer, then probably 90% to 95% of the book will be applicable.

If you're still not sure, then why not browse through the book on Amazon and make sure that it is what you want.

return to the list of questions