Absynth Tutorial

ABSYNTH 5 Explained®

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20 Videos | Length: 4hr 9min 37sec
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Chapter 1 : Getting Started

  • image description 1:29

    Introduction

    ABSYNTH is an extremely powerful semi-modular synthesizer. It has a great many functions and features and can be rather daunting at first, but never fear, in this series of tutorials Al will go systematically through every feature of the synth and demystify ABSYNTH!

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    Setup & Overview

    In this video, Al gives a brief tour of the synth and makes sure the audio and MIDI settings are set up correctly.

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    Browser, Attributes & Mutator

    Explore the Browser and Attributes windows and look at how we can use ABSYNTHs database to find presets with the characteristics we're looking for. Also see how you can use the Mutator to generate completely new complex sounds with just a few clicks.

Chapter 2 : The Patch Window

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    Oscillators Pt. 1

    In these first three videos looking at the patch window, Al will demonstrate the 8 different oscillator modules which are available to you, starting with the Single and Double oscillator modules. Before this however, Al gives you a brief overview of the patch window, explaining the routing of the three main channels and your master channel.

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    Oscillators Pt. 2

    In this video Al moves on to the FM oscillator, which uses a second waveform to modulate our first waveform's frequency, generating interesting and complex timbres. He'll also demonstrate the Ringmod oscillator which multiplies two signals with each other, giving you the potential for very quirky and dissonant timbres. Finally, the Fractalize oscillator is shown which creates very unique sounds by copying iterations of the waveform to itself. If that sounds like a difficult concept to get your head around, never fear, Al will demonstrate the Fractalize function in the Wave Window to convey how the concept works in practice.

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    Oscillators Pt. 3

    In this video you'll explore the three remaining oscillator modules. Sync Granular splits our waveform up into many tiny sections called grains. You'll see how you can use the parameters in the Sync Granular oscillator to affect how the 'grain cloud' is re-synthesized. The Sample oscillator is a very basic sampler. It allows us to play .WAV or .AIF samples in ABSYNTH, either as one-shots or loops. The Sample Granular oscillator works in a very similar way to the Sync Granular oscillator except that rather than selecting a waveform to be split up into grains, we can load a sample to be granulized.

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    Waveshaper & Modulators

    Continue your exploration of the Patch Window by looking at the Waveshaper, Frequency Shifter and Ring Modulator modules.

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    The Filters Pt. 1

    In this video Al demonstrates the first 13 of the 16 different filter modules which are available to you in the Patch Window. These include six low pass filters, three all-pass filters, two high pass filters, a band pass and a band rejection filter. Some of the filters available to you have a feedback mode which you can use to send the filters output back to it's input, processing it on the way, with either a Waveshaper, a Frequency Shifter or a Ring Modulator.

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    The Filters Pt. 2

    In this video Al demonstrates the 3 remaining filter modules, the Comb, Supercomb and Cloud filters. These are all rather different types of filters from the filters you saw in the previous video. The first two being two types of Comb filters, which use an imperceptibly short delay to create a phasing or flanging effect. The Supercomb is a Comb filter equipped with a feedback loop. The Cloud filter is a granular filter, like the Sync Granular and Sample Granular oscillators, it splits the incoming signal up into grains and it is the baby brother of ABSYNTH's Aetherizer effect which you'll see later on in the Effects Window Part 2 video.

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    Channel & Module Templates

    See how you can load templates for channels and individual modules and how you can save your own.

Chapter 3 : Effects Window

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    Using Effects Pt. 1

    In this video we'll take our first look at the Effects Window. Al explains the routing in the effects window and demonstrate how to use the Surround panner section to alter the panned position of our effects in the surround sound or stereo field. He'll also demonstrate how to use the controller section to assign a macro control to control parameters in our effects.

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    Using Effects Pt. 2

    In this video Al will demonstrate the first 5 of the 6 effects that are available to you in the Effects Window. These effects are Pipe, which uses the incoming audio to generate vibrations in a hypothetical 'pipe', Multi-comb, which is a comb filter offering as many as 6 delay lines, each equipped with a low pass filter, Multi-tap, which is a delay unit with multiple taps, Echos which is a more "dubby" delay effect and Resonators which offers as many as three 'resonating bodies'.

  • image description 10:05

    Using Effects Pt. 3

    In this video Al demonstrates the 6th and final effect available to us in the Effect Window, ABSYNTH's fantastic Aetherizer effect, which, like the Cloud Filter, splits the incoming signal up into grains to be reassembled or 're-synthesized'. The Aetherizer though, offers us even more parameters for affecting the re-synthesizing of the 'grain cloud' and is capable of creating some really amazing and 'spacey' ambient textures.

Chapter 4 : The Wave Window

  • image description 15:07

    The Wave Window Pt. 1

    In this first video Al will demonstrate the basic drawing tools available to you to create brand new waveforms and then he'll go through the various functions in the transform menu for further transforming the shape of our wave. As well as some fairly basic functions such as Offset Phase, Invert Phase and Reverse, this menu includes much more complex and interesting functions such as Fractalize, Filter, FM and Waveshape Distortion. The Transform menu also allows us to save our waveform in ABSYNTH's library of user waves.

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    The Wave Window Pt. 2

    In part 2, All demonstrates how you can use the Spectrum tab as an alternative or additional way of shaping and transforming your waveform, by changing the amplitude and phase value of your waveform's harmonics. He also demonstrates the Morph Tab which can be used to determine how two distinct waveforms morph between each other as a morph wave.

Chapter 5 : The Envelopes Window

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    Envelopes WIndow Pt. 1

    Over the next two videos Al demonstrates all the tools which are available to you in the Envelopes Window. In this first video he reveals using breakpoints to shape envelopes, the four different play through modes available to you and how two envelopes can be linked together.

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    Envelopes Window Pt. 2

    In Part 2, Al explores Control Driven Envelopes, which use a macro control, as apposed to time, to determine the position along the x-axis. He also demonstrates LFO envelopes and the various different functions which are available to you in the transform menu. Finally, he covers the Master Envelope and how you can assign breakpoints in each of your individual envelopes to correspond with the Master Envelope's Attack, Decay, Sustain and Release perimeters.

Chapter 6 : Performance Window and More

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    Performance Window Pt. 1

    Learn to access some important global settings, assign macro controls to control parameters in your synth and change the tuning of ABSYNTH.

  • image description 13:47

    Performance Window Pt. 2

    The Perform Window also contains the Audio Mod page which can be used as an envelope follower. Also see how you can use ABSYNTH as an effect in your DAW.

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    LFO Window & Audio Recorder

    So now that we've looked at every page in ABSYNTH, only the LFO window remains! Discover how to use up to three versatile LFO's to control multiple parameters in your synth. Also explore the LFO window and look at how to use ABSYNTH's Audio Recorder.

Product Overview


The true power of the incredibly deep ABSYNTH 5 virtual synth by Native Instruments is fully explored and revealed by NI super user Al Swettenham.

Al starts at the top with a detailed introduction to ABSYNTH 5 as well as an important setup and overview tutorial and in-depth browser coverage. Next, Al dives into the formidable Patch Window, demystifying the different Oscillators, Waveshapers and Modulators, Filters and Channel & Module templates.

You are then shown the powerful Effects Window, deciphering the multitudes of special effects you can add to your patches to create other worldly sounds. The Wave Window follows and the various tools available for crafting and transforming your waveforms is explored.

The Envelopes Window is next and is fully broken down, showing you how essential it is for shaping your sounds further. Al wraps up the series with a focus on the Performance window, LFO Window and the Audio Recorder.

If you use this mega synth, you owe it to yourself to unlock its true capabilities, features and functions. Tune in with Al now.. Watch "ABSYNTH 5 Explained" today.


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ABSYNTH 5 Explained® is rated 4.7 out of 5 by 17 .
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Quite useful and well explained Absynth 5 tutorial I've made another Absynth 5 tutorial before, bur I felt missed many details to explain. So, I decided give a try to this tutorial, and although I've not finished it yet, I can say it fill these gaps and goes further my expectations. The only bad thing I've noticed is some noise in the instructor background .
Date published: 2021-02-09
Rated 4.5 out of 5 by from Very Thorough This is a good video to watch to learn the ins and outs of Absynth as well as basic synthesis.
Date published: 2021-01-15
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Went deeper as Native like to say. Had Absynth for years. This tutorial gave me insight to details which helped in both workflow and creativity. Now I know how to save & recall templates throughout the synth things are quicker as I'm building a reservoir of templates to build new sounds. Also I now feel fully in control of the envelopes. Small details I'd missed but after watching it all makes sense. Thanks
Date published: 2020-04-13
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from A walkthrough that goes everywhere! The presenter is calmly enthusiastic, deeply knowledgeable, and conscientiously walks you through every feature, button, and capability that Absynth5 has to offer (even shows a workaround for an apparent bug). Very organized and thorough. Highly recommended for anyone who wants to demystify Absynth and learn about the impressive number of features and capabilities it has.
Date published: 2019-12-16
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Superb Tutorial One of the best tutorials so far that i watched on Groove 3. He goes in into every detail.
Date published: 2019-11-06
Rated 4.5 out of 5 by from well explained very well explained and straightforward. only thing i miss in general for Groove3 videos is a speed up button (x1.25 or x1.5) for when you've already seen a video but just want to refresh on something.
Date published: 2019-02-25
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Detailed and comprehensive All the functionality is explained with examples. I've been following along with Absynth running, and I try all the examples. Will pause and replay until I get it. Excellent teacher, excellent course.
Date published: 2018-10-20
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Thank you! Absynth 5 is NOT a very "intuitively obvious" software tool, and NI's PDFs can be a little hard to follow. Because of this, I've never really used this tool over the 6 or 7 years that I've had it, besides trying out some Presets. This video does a great job of walking through each screen in a logical order, explaining all the features and functions, highlighting the various aspects of Absynth that set it apart from other complex software synthesizers. Now, when I open Absynth, it isn't a big blue blob, but rather a powerful sound synthesis tool that, after watching this video, doesn't seem nearly as frightening to try and use.
Date published: 2018-03-23
Rated 2.0 out of 5 by from Might as well read the manual. Yes it was explained, but the information was given in a way that in my opinion will not be retained. There is no practice and learn section, no recommended workflow for creating patches, and the recording section lacked for me.
Date published: 2017-12-05
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from No Absynth tutorial can be better than this. Everything about Absynth is covered in detail and in a very user friendly and clear way. Can't ask for more. The tutor has really done a stupendous job!! 5 stars for everything.
Date published: 2017-07-18
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from So helfpul I learned SO much about not only the synth, but electronic music in general.
Date published: 2017-05-21
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Excellent ! As usual, each tutorial is crisp, and well explained. Great !
Date published: 2017-05-19
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from amazing so dope
Date published: 2017-04-21
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Awesome. Super helpful. I'm so happy I found a place that can help with me with virtual instruments. The instructor is very easy to understand, and very insightful.
Date published: 2017-03-13
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Very thorough I came at this as a synthesizer novice who bought Absynth 5 for sound design work. The thoroughness of the presentation made this not only a tutorial on this product, but on how synths work in general. Highly useful. From my standpoint sometimes he went very quickly. Not a problem. That's why you can pause and back up video. So while I'm far from being an expert, I now feel like I know my way around what is hardly an obvious user interface, and I'm already making cool sounds and turning my voice into space robots.
Date published: 2017-02-10
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Great and comprehensive tutorial... ...presented in a straight and effective style from a very competent teacher!
Date published: 2017-02-09
Rated 4.0 out of 5 by from Good introductoty course! Good introductoty course. May be is only me that it was expecting little more, I don't know. The course works anyway!
Date published: 2016-05-10
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