Audio Fundamentals Tutorial

Synthesizer Terminology Explained®

  4.8   (24)  - log in to review
21 Videos | Length: 29min 39sec
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Chapter 1 : Synth Basics

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    Oscillators

    Learn the definition of what an oscillator on a synthesizer is and the basics of how it functions.

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    Filters

    This video covers the definition of the filter section on a synthesizer, as well as how it is used to sculpt the synth's sound.

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    Resonance

    In this video, Thomas gives the definition of the resonance controls on a synthesizer.

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    Mixer & Amplifier

    Learn what the mixer and amplifier sections of a synthesizer are, and how they're used to control the audio levels of a synth.

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    LFO

    This video gives the definition of what a low-frequency oscillator is, as well as its function on a synthesizer.

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    ADSR

    Learn what ADSR envelopes are, and how they're used to sculpt and control various parts on a synthesizer.

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    Modulation Routing

    This video covers the definition of modulation routing on a synthesizer and shows how it is used to alter basic synth patches.

Chapter 2 : Synthesizer Controls

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    Pan

    See how the pan controls on a synth are used to adjust where a sound is placed in the stereo field.

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    Octave & Tune

    Learn what the octave and tune controls on a synth do and how they are used to adjust the overall pitch of a sound.

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    Arpeggiator

    Learn what an arpeggiator is and how it's used to automatically generate melodic patterns and sequences.

Chapter 3 : Types Of Synthesis

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    Subtractive Synthesis

    Learn the definition of a basics subtractive synthesizer and how it creates sound.

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    Wavetable Synthesis

    Learn the definition of a wavetable synthesizer, how it creates sound, and why it is different from other methods of synthesis.

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    FM Synthesis

    Learn the definition of frequency modulation synthesis and how it uses waveform modulation to produce a wide variety of tones.

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    Additive Synthesis

    Learn the definition of additive synthesis and how it uses sine waveforms as the building blocks for more advanced sounds.

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    Modular Synthesis

    Learn the definition of a basic modular synthesizer and how it produces sound.

Chapter 4 : Advanced Synth Features

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    Mono Synths & Mono Legato

    Learn the definition of a monophonic synthesizer and how its associated mono legato modes are used.

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    Polyphonic Synths & Polyphony

    Learn the definition of a polyphonic synthesizer and when to use it.

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    White Noise

    Learn the definition of what white noise in synthesis is and how it sounds.

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    Pink Noise

    Learn the definition of what pink noise in synthesis is and how it is used to make patches.

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    Ring Modulation

    Learn the definition of ring modulation, how it is used, and the types of sounds it is good for.

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    Pulse Width & Pulse Width Modulation

    Learn the definition of pulse width and how it's used to create a chorus style effect.

Product Overview


Synthesizer Terminology Explained™ is your definition based resource for quickly finding the meaning of common synth terms, features and functions! This growing collection of terminology definitions are short and sweet, and are designed for the beginner, to make sure you understand the basics and foundations of synthesizer technology.

Thomas Cochran takes you through all the basic terms you need to recognize and understand so you have the foundation to then operate and program any synthesizer, from old school analog hardware, to today's amazingly complex virtual synth plug-ins.

See the individual tutorial descriptions for more info. If you’re new to synthesizers and programming them, you need to know what these basic controls and functions do, so checkout and reference “Synthesizer Terminology Explained®” today.


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neilgilmartin
Submitted 4 months ago

Absolutely fantastic: takes the fear out of synth language

This is such a good - and thankfully brief! - introduction to the intimidating terminology of synthesizers. If you have a DAW and feel confused when using synth plug-ins because of terms like LFO, Oscillator, ARSD, and Envelope, then this is the course for you. The tutor is fantastic. His use of simple illustrations really helps you understand much quicker. Just be aware that you will need to re-watch many of these videos because it's very hard to get the full meaning in just one viewing. This is not a reflection on the tutor, however: he could not speak more clearly. I think some of the videos must have been recorded when he had a cold, because I thought it was a different guy speaking in some!


Ease of Use
 
 
 
 
 
Quality of Videos
 
 
 
 
 
Value of Training
 
 
 
 
 
Access to Videos
 
 
 
 
 

AND22
Submitted 5 months ago

Effective intro to synthesis

Simple and Effective Explanation of how the different components of a synthesizer works! this is agreat course for anyone starting to use any virtual or real synth

I am a: Semi-Pro, Musician, Producer, Audio Engineer, Mastering Facility, Ableton Live, Cubase, Logic Pro


Ease of Use
 
 
 
 
 
Quality of Videos
 
 
 
 
 
Value of Training
 
 
 
 
 
Access to Videos
 
 
 
 
 

wildenhainmusic
Submitted 7 months ago

Very helpful

Very good overview about different parts in a synthesizer

I am a: Professional, Musician, Audio Engineer, Ableton Live, Cubase


Ease of Use
 
 
 
 
 
Quality of Videos
 
 
 
 
 
Value of Training
 
 
 
 
 
Access to Videos
 
 
 
 
 

Sachin Mannath
Submitted 9 months ago

Simple and Effective Explanation

Simple and Effective Explanation of how synthesizer works



jandojando
Submitted 1 year ago

Clarifying

This was simple and very clarifying, good job!


Ease of Use
 
 
 
 
 
Quality of Videos
 
 
 
 
 
Value of Training
 
 
 
 
 
Access to Videos
 
 
 
 
 

bombota
Submitted 1 year ago

Nice intro for synth noobs like me

Simple and to the point, great quick intro

I am a: Hobbyist, Reaper



ZackLI
Submitted 1 year ago

Learned a lot.

Learned a lot.


Ease of Use
 
 
 
 
 
Quality of Videos
 
 
 
 
 
Value of Training
 
 
 
 
 
Access to Videos
 
 
 
 
 

ryz
Submitted 2 years ago

Helpful as a Refresher

Does explain core concepts concisely, but does skip a lot of important information. It is VERY brief and thus more served as a refresher rather than a beginner's guide.

I am a: Hobbyist, Musician, Producer, Beat Maker, Sound Designer, Game Designer, FL Studio


Ease of Use
 
 
 
 
 
Quality of Videos
 
 
 
 
 
Value of Training
 
 
 
 
 
Access to Videos
 
 
 
 
 

Sandoz
Submitted 2 years ago

Succinct, logical

Really succinctly and logically explained. Good work dude!


Ease of Use
 
 
 
 
 
Quality of Videos
 
 
 
 
 
Value of Training
 
 
 
 
 
Access to Videos
 
 
 
 
 

ooroor
Submitted 2 years ago

Fine walkthrough of concepts.

Should have been talking more slowly. More examples (there are a lot already) would also have been appreciated.


Ease of Use
 
 
 
 
 
Quality of Videos
 
 
 
 
 
Value of Training
 
 
 
 
 
Access to Videos
 
 
 
 
 

neilgilmartin
Submitted 4 months ago

Absolutely fantastic: takes the fear out of synth language

This is such a good - and thankfully brief! - introduction to the intimidating terminology of synthesizers. If you have a DAW and feel confused when using synth plug-ins because of terms like LFO, Oscillator, ARSD, and Envelope, then this is the course for you. The tutor is fantastic. His use of simple illustrations really helps you understand much quicker. Just be aware that you will need to re-watch many of these videos because it's very hard to get the full meaning in just one viewing. This is not a reflection on the tutor, however: he could not speak more clearly. I think some of the videos must have been recorded when he had a cold, because I thought it was a different guy speaking in some!

Ease of Use
 
 
 
 
 
Quality of Videos
 
 
 
 
 
Value of Training
 
 
 
 
 
Access to Videos
 
 
 
 
 

AND22
Submitted 5 months ago

Effective intro to synthesis

Simple and Effective Explanation of how the different components of a synthesizer works! this is agreat course for anyone starting to use any virtual or real synth

I am a: Semi-Pro, Musician, Producer, Audio Engineer, Mastering Facility, Ableton Live, Cubase, Logic Pro

Ease of Use
 
 
 
 
 
Quality of Videos
 
 
 
 
 
Value of Training
 
 
 
 
 
Access to Videos
 
 
 
 
 

wildenhainmusic
Submitted 7 months ago

Very helpful

Very good overview about different parts in a synthesizer

I am a: Professional, Musician, Audio Engineer, Ableton Live, Cubase

Ease of Use
 
 
 
 
 
Quality of Videos
 
 
 
 
 
Value of Training
 
 
 
 
 
Access to Videos
 
 
 
 
 

Sachin Mannath
Submitted 9 months ago

Simple and Effective Explanation

Simple and Effective Explanation of how synthesizer works


jandojando
Submitted 1 year ago

Clarifying

This was simple and very clarifying, good job!

Ease of Use
 
 
 
 
 
Quality of Videos
 
 
 
 
 
Value of Training
 
 
 
 
 
Access to Videos
 
 
 
 
 

bombota
Submitted 1 year ago

Nice intro for synth noobs like me

Simple and to the point, great quick intro

I am a: Hobbyist, Reaper


ZackLI
Submitted 1 year ago

Learned a lot.

Learned a lot.

Ease of Use
 
 
 
 
 
Quality of Videos
 
 
 
 
 
Value of Training
 
 
 
 
 
Access to Videos
 
 
 
 
 

ryz
Submitted 2 years ago

Helpful as a Refresher

Does explain core concepts concisely, but does skip a lot of important information. It is VERY brief and thus more served as a refresher rather than a beginner's guide.

I am a: Hobbyist, Musician, Producer, Beat Maker, Sound Designer, Game Designer, FL Studio

Ease of Use
 
 
 
 
 
Quality of Videos
 
 
 
 
 
Value of Training
 
 
 
 
 
Access to Videos
 
 
 
 
 

Sandoz
Submitted 2 years ago

Succinct, logical

Really succinctly and logically explained. Good work dude!

Ease of Use
 
 
 
 
 
Quality of Videos
 
 
 
 
 
Value of Training
 
 
 
 
 
Access to Videos
 
 
 
 
 

ooroor
Submitted 2 years ago

Fine walkthrough of concepts.

Should have been talking more slowly. More examples (there are a lot already) would also have been appreciated.

Ease of Use
 
 
 
 
 
Quality of Videos
 
 
 
 
 
Value of Training
 
 
 
 
 
Access to Videos
 
 
 
 
 

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.

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    Ableton Live 11: Making a Song

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    Ableton Live 11: New Features Explained

    Ableton pro Thomas Cochran delivers in-depth Ableton Live 11 video tutorials! If you're new to Ableton Live 11 and want to know all about the new features and functions that were added, this is the video series for you. Thomas also provides a Live Project file so you can follow along with the comping video lesson on your Live computer setup. These videos are for those who already know Ableton Live, but want to learn specifically about the new additions to version 11.

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    Ableton Live: Producing Alternative R&B

    Studio pro Thomas Cochran delivers in-depth Ableton Live production video tutorials! See how to make a complete Alternative R&B song in the style of Frank Ocean and The Weekend from scratch, step-by-step using only Ableton Live. This course is for those who are already familiar with Ableton Live, but want to learn Alternative R&B sound design and production techniques. You also get the samples and presets used in the videos so you can follow along on your studio system.

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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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Synthesizer Terminology Explained® is rated 4.8 out of 5 by 24 .
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Absolutely fantastic: takes the fear out of synth language This is such a good - and thankfully brief! - introduction to the intimidating terminology of synthesizers. If you have a DAW and feel confused when using synth plug-ins because of terms like LFO, Oscillator, ARSD, and Envelope, then this is the course for you. The tutor is fantastic. His use of simple illustrations really helps you understand much quicker. Just be aware that you will need to re-watch many of these videos because it's very hard to get the full meaning in just one viewing. This is not a reflection on the tutor, however: he could not speak more clearly. I think some of the videos must have been recorded when he had a cold, because I thought it was a different guy speaking in some!
Date published: 2021-01-14
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Effective intro to synthesis Simple and Effective Explanation of how the different components of a synthesizer works! this is agreat course for anyone starting to use any virtual or real synth
Date published: 2020-11-27
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Very helpful Very good overview about different parts in a synthesizer
Date published: 2020-10-19
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Simple and Effective Explanation Simple and Effective Explanation of how synthesizer works
Date published: 2020-08-19
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Clarifying This was simple and very clarifying, good job!
Date published: 2020-05-12
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Nice intro for synth noobs like me Simple and to the point, great quick intro
Date published: 2020-04-30
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Learned a lot. Learned a lot.
Date published: 2020-01-03
Rated 4.0 out of 5 by from Helpful as a Refresher Does explain core concepts concisely, but does skip a lot of important information. It is VERY brief and thus more served as a refresher rather than a beginner's guide.
Date published: 2019-11-03
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Succinct, logical Really succinctly and logically explained. Good work dude!
Date published: 2019-09-05
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Very useful. As a hobbyist i found this explanation of basics of synthesis to be very useful & interesting.
Date published: 2019-07-21
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Very good but simple and easy to understand tutorial! Very good but simple and easy to understand tutorial on the basics of Sythesizer Terminology, and exactly what I needed to help me understand Synthesizers before I delve into more involved and complex tutorials and synths. Thanks for the clear explanations and examples. Coming from outside of the synth world, this was a very helpful introduction to what can be an overwhelming subject. Great job!
Date published: 2019-07-14
Rated 4.0 out of 5 by from Synthesizer Basics. If you are after a very basic explanation of Synthesizers, this is the one to get.
Date published: 2019-05-01
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Not just good for synth, but for all sound theory. Not just good for synth, but for all sound theory.
Date published: 2019-04-28
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from The was a Rossetta Stone for me. The section on modulation routing was the key to helping me understand how the parts communicate with each other, never had a clue how that was achieved til now.
Date published: 2019-04-14
Rated 4.5 out of 5 by from Very helpful. Informative and simply explained introduction to synth definitions. Great for a newcomer to electronic music. Tool tips on the video interface buttons would be helpful, but are easily discovered with trial and error.
Date published: 2019-04-01
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from VVG Excellent basic training, I found it very helpful
Date published: 2019-03-21
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Great basic knowledge with nice illustration. Good for anyone begin to learn synth
Date published: 2019-03-17
Rated 4.0 out of 5 by from Great For Beginners Quick and easy way to get a 30,000 foot view of synthesis. Excellent explanations without getting overwhelmed and confused by the moderator's expertise.
Date published: 2019-03-14
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Good stuff Definitely geared toward the beginner. Contained useful info.
Date published: 2019-03-08
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Clear and Helpful This course really simplifies, demonstrates and explains the terminology clearly. Making it easier to understand how controls and elements of any synthesiser can be used in practice. Some great tips on specific uses such as ring modulation, pulse width modulation, pink and white noise.
Date published: 2019-03-06
Rated 3.5 out of 5 by from Good for beginners A basic introduction to synthesis. Could do with better visuals and better sound examples. The compression of the audio in the videos creates unpleasant artefacts . When talking about modular (hardware) synthesis, it would be great to actually show at least one example. Overall it looks like a beta version of a Groove3 course.
Date published: 2019-03-05
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Great Basic Info This really helps understand all the parts of the synthesizer and what they do. It's a great overview without going into exhaustive detail.
Date published: 2019-02-25
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Synth Basics First time I've ever understood synthesis...and how to control patch movement. Fantastic fundamental explanations. Bravo.
Date published: 2019-02-23
Rated 3.5 out of 5 by from Fine walkthrough of concepts. Should have been talking more slowly. More examples (there are a lot already) would also have been appreciated.
Date published: 1969-12-31
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