Synths Tutorial

Analog Synths Explained®

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28 Videos | Length: 1hr 17min 30sec
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Chapter 1 : Introduction

  • Introduction 2:01


    Scottie welcomes you to the series.

Chapter 2 : Oscillator

  • Quiet Already 10:32

    Quiet Already

    We will start it off with the Moog Modular Clone’s Oscillators. The Oscillator is the sound source of any synth. They come in a variety of shapes and sounds and these guys just don’t know how to be quiet. We will take a look and listen to the four most common wave forms and what makes them different. We will also quickly visit the noise generator.

  • CV 4:06


    Next we talk about the ancient synth language, Control Voltage, or CV for short. This is the analog signal used to control older style synths like the Modular. After converting MIDI to CV we have Control Voltages for Pitch, Velocity, Gate and Trigger.

  • Oscillator Master 4:22

    Oscillator Master

    Now that you know what an Oscillator does, let’s mix their signals together. We will control pitch via Control Voltage, mix multiple Oscillators together, then add noise. We will also take a look at the complex Wave Form we create when mixing multiple Oscillators together.

  • Other Oscillator Flavors 2:43

    Other Oscillator Flavors

    In this video Scottie takes a look at the Oscillator Section of the Juno-60 and the MiniBrute. You will see how much easier it is to get up and running with them being hardwired and not worrying about tuning.

Chapter 3 : Filter

  • Trim the Fat 1:48

    Trim the Fat

    Next let’s start removing stuff. By stuff I mean frequencies. Let’s use a Filter to remove some of the sound. This process involves setting a Cutoff Frequency and adding resonance if desired.

  • Filter Master 5:17

    Filter Master

    Now that you know what a Filter does, let’s take a look at what it’s doing with a Spectrum Analyzer. We will get to visually see exactly how subtractive synthesis got it’s name.

  • Other Filter Flavors 1:45

    Other Filter Flavors

    Next we’re off to the Juno and Brute again to see what the Filter section looks like on other Synths. Also, we take a listen to how different they sound.

Chapter 4 : Envelope Generator

  • Work Smarter Not Harder 2:57

    Work Smarter Not Harder

    In this video let’s make the Synth do some work for us. By using an Envelope Generator we can add movement that changes the sound whenever we play a key. We will go over the most common EG called an ADSR and control the Synth’s Amplitude.

  • EG Master 3:00

    EG Master

    Let’s head back to Live and visually take a look at what the Envelope Generator is doing when it controls Amplitude. If you’re familiar with the iconic ADSR info graphic, this is what we will be creating.

  • Move the Filter 1:53

    Move the Filter

    Now we will take a look at automatically moving the Cutoff Frequency of the Filter with the Envelope Generator, with the only difference being the starting point. The Amplifier always starts at 0% volume and goes to 100%. The Cutoff Frequency starts wherever that parameter is initially set.

  • Other EG Flavors 2:12

    Other EG Flavors

    In this video we take a look at the Envelope Generators on the Juno and MiniBrute. Notice how some synths might not have a separate EG for both the Amplitude and Filter.

Chapter 5 : LFO

  • Make it Move 3:21

    Make it Move

    Let’s take it to the next level. Please welcome Mr. LFO. The Low Frequency Oscillator is responsible for adding another layer of Modulation. With it we can add complexity, movement and rhythm.

  • FM Synthesis 3:23

    FM Synthesis

    Next let’s explore what happens when the LFO modulates pitch. Instead of the LFO being a true LFO we will bring it’s Frequency into the human hearing range. This is a very basic form of Frequency Modulation Synthesis.

  • Other LFO Flavors 4:33

    Other LFO Flavors

    Now let’s take a look at how our other two synths incorporate the LFO into their workflow. The Juno and Brute both allow control over the depth of the LFO using a button, mod wheel or even aftertouch. This gives us more expression when playing them. We will also take a look at both synth’s build in Arpeggiator.

Chapter 6 : Sound Design

  • On Board Effects and Patch Recall 2:58

    On Board Effects and Patch Recall

    In this video we apply our knowledge and create some patches. I’ll also show you why digitally controlled synths took off so quickly.

  • MiniBrute - Lead 1:46

    MiniBrute - Lead

    In this video we will also take advantage of the MiniBrute’s great modulation section. Aftertouch will control Vibrato and the Mod Wheel with control LFO depth. The LFO will modulate Amplitude, the Filter and Pulse Width.

  • Juno-60 - 80s Bass 1:31

    Juno-60 - 80s Bass

    This patch will take advantage of the built in Arpeggiator. The LFO is used to create some subtle movement with Pitch and the Filter. The Envelope Generator is set to create a very staccato sound by having a short Attack, Decay and Release time along with the Sustain level set to zero.

  • Modular - SciFi 1:46

    Modular - SciFi

    In this video Scottie how the Modular’s Filter Resonance can be turned up so high that it will make a sound all by itself. This patch will take advantage of this Self Oscillation. The only Oscillator being used is in LFO mode controlling the Filter’s Cutoff Frequency.

  • MiniBrute - Drum Machine 1:24

    MiniBrute - Drum Machine

    Now let’s take a look at how to create a percussive sound. We will set both EGs to a fast ADR time and low Sustain level creating that punchy sound needed for a kick or tom. Just a little bit of White Noise and the Brute Factor also helps by bringing in some dirt.

  • Juno-60 - Stab Comp 0:57

    Juno-60 - Stab Comp

    This patch also gives us a percussive type sound. We will use the EG to close the filter very quickly. Turning up the resonance accentuates the closing of the Filter’s Cutoff Frequency.

  • MiniBrute - Sub Drop 1:56

    MiniBrute - Sub Drop

    Let’s really take advantage of the Brute’s Modulation section. The LFO is set to a Sawtooth Waveform and controls pitch in a positive way while controlling the Cutoff Frequency in a negative way.

  • Modular - Drum Machine 1:13

    Modular - Drum Machine

    In this video Scottie shows how this patch takes advantage of a high Resonance setting, White Noise and the LFO reset option. The sound this Synth makes is reminiscent of some of the “non-real” drum machines that play different types of noises instead of trying to emulate actual drums.

  • Juno-60 - Pad 1:30

    Juno-60 - Pad

    Next we take advantage of the Juno’s polyphony and onboard Chorus. There is also some very subtle modulation of the Pitch and Filter using the LFO. Creating a long Attack and Release gives us a very gentle and smooth sound.

  • Modular - Bass 0:58

    Modular - Bass

    Finally we go back to the Modular for a huge bass sound. The LFO is modulating Pulse Width while the Filter movement is giving just a little bite. We can also detune the second Oscillator to create a fifth.

Chapter 7 : Effects

  • Stereoizing 3:29


    Now let’s look at some effects that can help a mono synth spread out into the stereo field. We will use Delay, Chorus and Reverb to trick our Ears into thinking we have a stereo instrument.

  • Creating Movement 1:39

    Creating Movement

    We can also use effects to create movement. Of course, the LFO and Envelope Generator can do this, but let’s take it to the next level. We explore how adding a simple pan and delay can transform our sound into something very complex and interesting.

  • Thicken Up That Bass 2:30

    Thicken Up That Bass

    Finally, in this video we will specifically look at bass. A good bass holds down the bottom end but it doesn’t need to be boring. Let’s look at ways to fatten up a bass patch and bring it more to the front of a mix by making it sound interesting and thick.

Product Overview

Remember the good old days when synths had wooden sides and a knob for each function and feature? Well if you don't, Scottie Dugan is going to reveal the magic and mystery of these wonderful machines, teaching you the basics of analog synthesis from the ground up, using both classic and modern analog synthesizers. (Moog Modular clone, Roland Juno 60 & Arturia MINI Brute) Shown in HD video, you'll learn everything you need to get going with that old synth in your closet, or apply the info to any virtual synth in your DAW.

Scottie starts with an introduction covering what you'll learn in the series and then jumps right in to Oscillators and Waveforms and what they do. Next, Control Voltage is revealed and you'll see how this pre-MIDI technology is used and get creative tips on using it with today's synths. Filters are next, and Scottie shows you all about these powerful sonic sculptors.

Envelopes and LFOs are then explained in detail as well as how they're used to creatively control other parts of the synth. Scottie now takes what you've learnt and shows you how to design sounds from scratch with your analog synth. Watch as Scottie makes screaming leads, fat basses, powerful stabs, sub-drops, pads, percussive sounds and more!

If you have an old or new analog synth or a virtual analog synth in your DAW, you need to know the important basics before you can program your own sounds or edit existing ones. Let Scottie show you what you need to work that magic analog synth and have a whole new sonic world revealed... Watch "Analog Synths Explained" today.

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