Why Synthesizer Programming?

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Why is it important to learn synth programing when these days there are already so many patches or ‘sounds’ available. Surely all you have to do is dial up a patch and ‘hey presto’ – instant sound! Although in essence that is true, there are two main reasons why you might like to create your own sounds. Firstly you might not find the right kind of patch from the factory presets within your synth or sound module that you require for your project. Secondly and most importantly all the sounds used in your projects will be the same as everyone else’s, making your track sound indistinguishable from other artists who are also using those same factory presets, therefore having the ability to create your own unique sounds will give you the edge over most other artists and your tracks will stand out from the musical crowd.

What is covered in the Synth Programing course?

This is a hands-on course covering all aspects of Analog Synth programing as well as Digital synthesis. We will explain how a synthesizer works, and how to trace the signal flow from sound generator to final output as well as all the various stages, including VCO (Voltage Controlled Oscillator), VCF (Voltage Controlled Filter), VCA (Voltage Controlled Amplifier), LFO (Low Frequency Oscillator), and all other terms will be discussed followed by your chance to experiment with their functionality and learn how to ‘design’ your own sounds.

During your Synth Programing Course these are some of the instruments you will be using.

Korg MS20

There are up to 8 synthesizers available for participants to work on including the rare Korg MS20 pictured above, Roland SH101, Roland Juno 106, Roland JD800.

The Korg MS20 is a monophonic synth, meaning it can play one note at a time. You do need a good grasp of synth programing knowledge to get the very best out of the Korg and you will get the opportunity to discover the amazingly rich tonal sounds that this classic instrument can produce during your synth programing course. There are many software synthesizers, or soft synths, that try to emulate classics like the Korg MS20 and although they are pretty good, it’s only when you get to hear and experience the real thing that you really notice the difference.

Roland SH101 Synthesizer

The Roland SH101 is a monophonic synth with digital controlled sliding faders. The term monophonic means it can play one note at a time. Synth programing the SH101 is very intuitive once you understand how synthesizers work, and the SH101 is great for bass lines and solo performances.

Roland Juno 106

The Roland Juno 106 was one of the first analog Polyphonic synths available. By polyphonic, it can play more than one note at a time and manufacturers will state how many notes of polyphony are available. The Juno 106 can play up to eight notes at a time. Great for deep rich chord or pad structures that really help to build up a song during a chorus or later verses etc. Unlike the previous models, the Juno 106 is capable of storing up to 64 patches (sounds) that you have created.

The Sophistication of Digital Synth Programing

Roland JD 800

The JD 800 has 24 note polyphony, 108 PCM waveforms (sounds), and a great sounding digital filter that includes a low pass, band pass and hi pass settings. It also includes a powerful effect section with two groups with four effects connected in series, and the user can re-arrange these in any order as required.

Which instrument will I be using to gain my synth programing experience?

You will get to use a different machine at each session so that experience is gained on as many different types of synth as possible. You will be able to record your sounds on to tape, sample disks or USB sticks, for your own use or you can even bring in your own synths so as to get the best out of your equipment.

This course is perfect for those wanting to discover how to use the soft-synths found in many of the current music sequencers such as Cubase, Pro-Tools, Logic and Reason as all these so called ‘soft-synths’ are based on the original hardware, therefore if you understand how hardware synthesizers work, it will make it much easier for you to grasp the functionality of the numerous software products available today.

Requirements to attend the Synth Programming course.

You will need to understand the concepts of Waveforms & effects or you will have already attended and completed the TRW Music Production Foundation Course

Course Duration: 4 weeks

The synth programing course is £300 on its own or £270 with another course.

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