How to Make a Noise

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The How to Make a Noise books introduce the skills and tools you need to create and control sounds with synthesizers.

The Books

Synthesis and sound creation comes in many forms and so there are five books in the series, each looking at different aspects of synthesis and focusing on the particular strengths of that technique.

A key to creating sound with any synthesizer is understanding the advantages and the limitations of your chosen synthesis technique. By separating each aspect of synthesis into its own book, you can focus on using the tools and technique that best creates the sound you are looking for.

How to Make a Noise: Analog SynthesisHow to Make a Noise: Analog Synthesis

Analog synthesis works by taking a sound source and shaping it with a filter. This is a simple but powerful technique which allows you to create the warm, rich, energetic, and commanding sounds that are often associated with classic hardware synthesizers such as the Moogs, ARPs, and Prophets.

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How to Make a Noise: Frequency Modulation SynthesisHow to Make a Noise: Frequency Modulation Synthesis

Frequency Modulation synthesis adopts a completely different approach to creating sounds when compared with other synthesis techniques. Instead of using filters, FM works through a continuous and controllable interaction of two or more waves which gives a broad spectrum of detailed, highly nuanced, bright, rich, shimmering, clean, metallic, and solid tones that can be used to create many musical (and non-musical) sounds.

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How to Make a Noise: Sample-Based SynthesisHow to Make a Noise: Sample-Based Synthesis

Sample-based synthesis offers the facility to recreate the sound of real instruments with a high degree of sonic fidelity. However, you can also take a realistic sound, manipulate and mangle it to create a new—totally unrelated sound—with complexity and depth.

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How to Make a Noise: iPad Synthesizers EditionHow to Make a Noise: iPad Synthesizers Edition

How to Make a Noise: iPad Synthesizers Edition looks at how to create and control sounds using iPad synthesizers.

The book introduces sound creation from first principles focusing on each element in turn: sound sources, filters, envelopes, low frequency oscillators and other modulation sources, FX, frequency modulation synthesis, and brings the pieces together as you begin to create and control your own sounds.

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How to Make a Noise: A Comprehensive Guide to Synthesizer ProgrammingHow to Make a Noise: a Comprehensive Guide to Synthesizer Programming

The fifth book is the original in the series. How to Make a Noise: a Comprehensive Guide to Synthesizer Programming is a wide-ranging, practical guide to sound design and synthesizer programming using a variety of techniques. This version is a parallel edition, encompassing the materials covered by the other books.

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About the Electronic Books

All of the books (apart from A Comprehensive Guide to Synthesizer Programming) are exclusively available as electronic books and have been optimized for book readers such as the Kindle, iPad (and other tablet devices including the Samsung Galaxy), nook, Reader, smartphones (such as the iPhone and Android), as well as the online and desktop equivalent of the book readers.  They make extensive use of (color) graphics designed for this form of reading device and the internal links make it a breeze to find the detail you are looking for.

There are many advantages of electronic books: immediate delivery, lower costs, color images, searchable text (which you can highlight and annotate), shareable extracts, access from anywhere, and free samples to preview.

There is no hard copy (paper) version of the four electronic books—just the electronic version. However, How to Make a Noise: a Comprehensive Guide to Synthesizer Programming is available in paper format (to buy) and you can also download a free PDF of the printed version (in other words, a black and white version of the book which has not been optimized for viewing on a Kindle/iPad/other reading device).

When compared to the paper book, the electronic editions are shorter with a greater emphasis on hands-on working and much less focus on the detailed creation of specific sounds. In the hard copy version, there is an emphasis on creating specific, detailed sounds where the electronic books walk you through the general principles of creating a range of sounds and then let you use your own ears to decide when the sound is right.

If you want to preview the electronic editions, then a free sample is downloadable from the bookstores that carry the book.