Sound Design Tutorial

Modern Synthetic Drum Sound Design Explained®

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13 Videos | Length: 2hr 41min 26sec
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    Trap Kick Pt. 1

    In this video Thomas introduces the course and talks about how to create trap kicks using envelope shaping and oscillator layering.

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    Trap Kick Pt. 2

    In the second part of this video, learn how processing is used to make kicks that properly hit in a modern production. This includes effects like distortion layering and transient shaping to make the kick extra heavy.

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    Layered Kick

    While just using a synthesizer can be great for some kick sounds, layering audio samples with synthesized kicks can unlock a wider range of more advanced sounds. See how.

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    Dance Kick

    See how to make a punchy dance kick that can be used in anything from House music to Experimental Bass. The kick sound makes use of multi-band processing to add extra punch and to round out the sound.

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    808 Type Snare

    To start off this section on snares, Thomas shows you how to make a simple snappy snare inspired by the 808 drum machine. These snare synthesis and processing concepts can be used to create a wide verity of snare patches.

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    Synthwave Snare Pt. 1

    Synthesizing snare sounds inspired by classic drum machines can be a bit tricky, but there are a few settings that can be used to make the process easier. This video covers the settings in serum that can be used to make your snares have that classic snap.

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    Synthwave Snare Pt. 2

    In the second part of this video, Thomas shows how you can process the Serum synth to make it sound like a proper snare drum sound.

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    Experimental Bass Snare

    Learn how to make snares for experimental bass and DnB. This snare patch will utilize transient shaping and distortion to add additional punch.

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    808 Clap

    Making clap sounds from scratch is surprisingly simple. It just takes some creative uses of the LFO?s inside of Serum to make it happen. This video covers the basics and how a verity of different claps can be made by using the 808 clap as a template.

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    Hi-Hats

    Hi-Hats can be a bit of a challenge to get right, but there are a few tricks to make it way easier to generate these percussion sounds. In this video Thomas shows how a simple white noise can be sculpted with re-pitching and envelopes to easily create trap hi-hats.

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    Clean 808

    Learn how to create clean 808's from scratch. This video covers the basics of setting up the patch as well as how you can edit the sound with effects to make it properly fit into a production.

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    Distorted 808

    This video builds upon the previous kicks videos and show how to make a distorted and aggressive 808 bass. This sound is perfect for a verity of electronic music styles.

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    Crash Cymbal

    With some creative layering and filtering, white noise can be used to create crash cymbals. This video also covers how EQ is used to make the crashes sound even more convincing.

Product Overview


Synthesizer wiz Thomas Cochran brings you in-depth sound design videos on crafting powerful, modern sounding drums for your tracks and productions. See how to make foundational sounds perfect for different popular genres, plus get the presets made throughout the videos for reference. These videos are for those who already have an understanding of synthesis and the terminology used when working with synths.

These drum synth sound design videos are shown using Xfer Serum, one of the most popular virtual synth instruments available today, but the info can be applied to practically any virtual or hardware synth. Thomas also uses some 3rd party effects including the NI Transient Master, FabFilter Saturn 2, Pro-EQ, Pro-R, and the Infected Mushroom Pusher, but you can supplement these plug-ins for any other similar plug-in and get the same results.

Thomas welcomes you and starts with a video tutorial on the all-important kick drum. Here you'll see what you need to know to craft huge sounding kicks by utilizing envelope shaping, oscillator layering, distortion, sample layering, multi-band processing, and more. The snares are next, and you'll discover how to make from scratch a simple snappy snare inspired by the legendary Roland TR-808, how to give your snares that classic vintage snap, as well as make snare drums that are perfect for Experimental Bass and Drum & Bass by utilizing transient shaping and distortion for that additional "punch".

Throughout the rest of the videos you'll watch how to design hi-fi Clap sounds, 808s, Crash Cymbals, Hi-Hats, and more all from a blank patch. After watching you'll have a grasp on how modern drum sounds are formed and manipulated, and have that professional full, powerful sound.

To see what these comprehensive drum synth sound design tutorials show you, and how they'll teach you to build powerful, hi-fi drums sounds from scratch, see the individual drum synth sound design video tutorial descriptions on this page. Start making drum sounds that are perfect for modern electronic genres like Trap, Synthwave, Experimental Bass, Drum & Bass, House and others now... Watch "Modern Synthetic Drum Sound Design Explained®" today.


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Thomas Cochran electronic musician and multi instrumentalist from Austin Texas, who now lives in Los Angeles. He focuses on creating electronic music that features both ambient and classical influences.

1. When did you start dabbling in music?

I started playing music at a young age, starting with classical guitar. This started my love for music and eventually expanded into learning other instruments as well. To date, I have had over ten years of classical experience and training as well as additional instrumental experience.

2. What training have you had?

I grew up studying classical guitar and composition and eventually started applying my classical knowledge to learning other instruments as well, ranging from violin, cello, keys, and drums.

3. When did you get intro recording?

I got into recording out of necessity when me and some friends started a band back in high school and couldn't afford studio time. Through this, I learned about music production and recording and haven't looked back since.

4. Why are you so good at training people?

I love learning about the technical aspects of music production, this helps me understand the how music production works under the hood. I have also worked for several years creating music production tutorials online.

Products by Thomas

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    Ableton Live: Beginner's Guide to Beat Making

    Thomas Cochran shows you how to make your very first beat with Ableton Live! See how to produce your first beat from scratch, using nothing but Ableton Live, including software installation and understanding Live's layout, all the way to exporting your finished beat and more. This series is designed for the absolute newcomer to Ableton Live.

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    Ableton Live: Things You Need to Know

    Thomas Cochran presents essential Ableton Live video tutorials! Discover the things you need to know when using Ableton Live, such as cool tip & tricks, workflows, helpful and creative ways to Sequence MIDI, use effects, mix and more! These videos are for those who already have experience with Ableton Live, but want to learn more and improve their skillset.

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    ANA 2: Sound Design Vol. 1

    Synth guru Thomas Cochran presents an in-depth ANA 2 video tutorial series! Follow along with Thomas and see how to create awesome, powerful sounds and presets for the ANA 2 virtual synth. These videos are great for those who know their way around ANA 2 and some basic synth terminology.

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    Thomas Cochran brings you beat making videos using Native Instruments MASCHINE! Learn to make a cool beat from scratch using nothing but MASCHINE. These MASCHINE tutorials are for those just starting out with MASCHINE as well as intermediate MASCHINE beat makers. You also get the MASCHINE project file so you can follow along and experiment.

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    Dark Synthwave Sound Design Explained

    Synthesizer wiz Thomas Cochran brings detailed you dark synthwave sound design video tutorials! See step by step how to make sounds from scratch that define this popular genre. In these videos Thomas uses some great 3rd party virtual instruments like TAL-U-No-LX, Serum, Korg Mono/Poly and u-he Diva, but you can apply the info to any comparable virtual or hardware synth. This series is for those who have a basic understanding of synth sound design and want to focus on understanding and creating the sounds found in dark synthwave music.

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