New to synths or simply want to learn more about them? “Intro to Synthesis” is a new, six-part series from the folks at music gear marketplace Reverb.com that promises to lead anyone interested in synths through the foundational building blocks of the instruments.
Intro To Synthesis Part 1: Oscillators | Reverb Learn To Play
The series begins with the starting point of any synthesizer’s sound — oscillators, or the generators that create the raw sound the rest of your synth’s features will modify. The first video features Reverb’s Justin DeLay as he explains the various sound waves oscillators generate, demonstrating each of his Korg Mono/Poly.
In the second part of Justin’s exploration of oscillators, he shows you how to take the raw sound of the generators and start to give them different shapes and characters with other parts of the synth.
"The cool thing about a square wave is it doesn’t just have to be a square," he says. "It can be a square all the way down to a narrow pulse. And every variation in between will give you a different sound."
Part 3 of “Intro to Synthesis” includes an explanation of filters, which help you shape your sound and give character and color to your work.
Intro To Synthesis Part 4: Exploring Attack, Decay, Sustain & Release
Next, it’s time to explore how to use envelope attacks, decay, sustain, and release. Even Justin has had questions about how these functionalities work in conjunction with playing techniques.
After you’ve mastered attack, decay, sustain, and release, consider some tricks and techniques that you can achieve using envelopes. Shape and sculpt your sound to really extend your sonic reach as a synth artist.
In the final installment of “Intro to Synthesis,” Justin explains how to use signals generated by your instrument to shape your sound (modulation) and the science of low-frequency oscillators (LFO.)