Creating Sounds for Electronic Music

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Below are the top discussions from Reddit that mention this online Coursera course from Berklee College of Music.

What you’ll achieve: In this project-centered course*, you will create sounds and use them in your own musical compositions.

Create an electronic composition Create custom synthesizer patches Manipulate preset patches Sound Design Create custom patches in Strobe 2

Next cohort starts July 13. Accessible for free. Completion certificates are offered.

Affiliate disclosure: Please use the blue and green buttons to visit Coursera if you plan on enrolling in a course. Commissions Reddsera receives from using these links will keep this site online and ad-free. Reddsera will not receive commissions if you only use course links found in the below Reddit discussions.

Taught by
Loudon Stearns
Assistant Professor

Offered by
Berklee College of Music

Reddit Posts and Comments

4 posts • 24 mentions • top 20 shown below

r/synthesizers • post
165 points • userfish
Reminder: Berklee school of music has a Synth course starting next week free to audit.

The course is free to audit and comes with Strobe 2 free for 3 months. Useful to have a working knowledge of a DAW and a programmable midi controller but neither are necessary. I am a week ahead and am already happy with the content and flow.

I have been spending the last few weeks preparing for the course so if you guys have any questions or concerns feel free to ask me about it.

r/synthesizers • post
94 points • test822
Coursera offering free Synth Programming course
r/synthesizers • comment
15 points • test822

going to go against everyone here and say don't mess with Synth Secrets until you've really gotten most of everything down. it goes insanely in-depth, and a lot of techniques in it can't be pulled off without a very complex modular system with advanced routing.

if you just want to get a deeper feel for programming synths, I'd heavily suggest this free online course

you can "audit" the course for free (which means you have access to all the videos and tutorials, you just don't receive the worthless certification thing after it)

it comes with a softsynth and gives you a few different programming challenges (make an organ-like sound, make a bass, make an arpeggiated sound, etc) and even I who have been programming synths for like 6 years learned some great new techniques to make patches sound more natural and expressive

r/WeAreTheMusicMakers • post
11 points • gabrielcaetano
Creating Synthesizer Sounds for Electronic Music (Project-Centered Course) - Berklee | Coursera
r/edmproduction • post
6 points • notaponzischeme
Creating Synthesizer Sounds for Electronic Music (Coursera) Course has just started!
r/synthesizers • post
5 points • akejavel
Creating Synthesizer Sounds for Electronic Music (Project-Centered Course) - Berklee | Coursera
r/synthesizers • comment
5 points • test822

I've been programming synths for like 10 years now, and I downloaded Syntorial thinking it would be perfect, but something about going through Syntorial is just inherently un-fun, and that's coming from someone who already knew everything going in.

like, some of the stuff it quizzes you on is useful (like if there's a square wave mixed with a saw) but other stuff is stupid (like asking whether the second oscillator volume is at 40% or 25%. you'd never need to know to this level of precision).

>Would the things i learn in synthorial be directly transferable to other synthesisers like the ES2 and such?

yes, and samplers as well

taking this free online course is a much better and more fun way to learn how to program synthesizers imo

I don't have access to Logic Pro's ES2, but if you want to download Firebird 2 for free I can make you a tutorial video showing you around all the parts and how to program it, and you can use that knowledge to program ES2

r/synthesizers • comment
15 points • test822

that sucks dude.

for a synth, Novation Peak ($1300), and a Linnstrument ($1500) to play it, especially since you're already familiar with guitar, as the note layout is very similar and probably easier to learn than a standard piano keyboard. the Peak supports the Linnstrument's polyphonic aftertouch, which means each note you press has its own individual pressure sensitivity, which you'll have a blast with.

for drums, I'd look for something that gives you a ton of built-in sounds to choose from so you can just go in and put together a drum kit that fits your style without too much trouble. the NI Maschine MK3 ($600) would probably be your best bet, as it comes with 8GB worth of samples (not only drums, but synths, instruments, tons of stuff). it also integrates with your computer and has its own DAW to write/record/compose on, so that's another thing you won't have to worry about. the NI DAW also supports VST plugins, expanding your capability considerably. I also looked into the Maschine Studio, but the MK3 is a newer unit and the pads on it are said to be better.

~~You might also need an audio interface if you don't have one already, in order to get your synth and guitars into your computer to record them. a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 ($150) is said to be a great bang for your buck~~ Actually shit, the Maschine MK3 has 2 line-ins on the back, so you might be able to just use that as an interface.

that leaves you a fat ~~$450~~ $600 left over to buy weed/mushrooms/adderall

>I'm torn between making something fun and danceable, or something dark and more experimental

make tracks of both, but the most important thing is to focus on your songwriting before your sound design. trying to spice up a boring chord progression through sound programming and effects is a fool's errand. there are so many "electronic musicians" these days that just twiddle knobs but can't chord progress their way out of a paper bag.

here's a good youtube channel I found that teaches how to learn songwriting

if you don't know how to program synthesizers, here's an excellent online course you can "audit" and do for free. another option is to use the Syntorial program, but I tried it and it felt too much like work to me.

r/synthesizers • comment
1 points • WinchesterSipps has a synthesis class that's free to "audit" that is incredibly good

edit: here it is

r/edmproduction • comment
1 points • MutedChildhood


r/explainlikeimfive • comment
1 points • s3x2

If you're unsatisfied by the physical explanation, perhaps some hands-on experience can be more enlightening. I recommend this course to anyone who wants to find out how they can create musical sounds from simple waveforms.

r/synthesizers • comment
1 points • ilostmytoaster

Try out coursera's class on synthesis:

I know it's not Minilogue specific, but covering the basics of subtractive synthesis will take you very far no matter what subtractive synth you get your hands on. The instructor even mentions this a bit, asking you locate certain parameters on your particular synth. You'll start to recognize the same design patterns across many of the synths available. :)

r/synthesizers • comment
1 points • test822

this is the best way to learn how to program synths I've found

choose "audit this course" and it's free

r/synthesizers • comment
1 points • fight_for_anything

Berklee online has this free 4 week course that just started. I think its not too late to sign up.

> Do I need to buy a synth?

pretty much all DAWs, like Abelton, come with softsynths (software based synthesizers). there are many others that are available for free in VST format, which can be integrated into abelton or other DAWs. I would really recommend getting your feet wet with those. you may prefer softsynths over hardware synths, and even if not, softsynths will let you try many different types and synths with different features.

>Drum pad?

not necessary. some MIDI controllers include drum pads. there are many DAWS and VSTs that have on screen drum pads, but I think most producers simply input their beats with the sequencer/piano roll. drum pads can still be useful for triggering loops during live performance, or for general MIDI use. by all means, if its in your budget and you just want one, go for it, but otherwise, its really not needed.

>Midi keyboard?

not absolutely necessary either, but I would recommend one. it makes it a lot easier to try various presets for your softsynths, as well as noodling/jamming to create your groove. its also nice for recording real time modulation automation.

Searching for guidance, thanks!

r/synthesizers • comment
4 points • test822

learning to program synths on that Korg N1 is going to be a huge bitch because everything is buried in menus. you kind of already have to know what you're doing and what you're looking for to be able to program that keyboard easily.

I suggest you instead download Reaper (or whatever DAW you already have), ASIO4ALL (for low-latency playing), and TAL-Elek7ro and learn about the oscillators, filter, ADSR envelopes, LFO's etc and how they all interact before migrating those skills to your korg.

>So how did you go about learning proper synth techniques? Was there books, videos, lessons?

there used to be a really good "Beatport" learn synthesis blog series that I learned on but it's gone forever now unfortunately.

here's a really good free course though

>Was there a moment when everything just clicked for you and if so, what triggered it? If not, was it just time and hard work?

not really, it was just getting used to all the controls, knowing exactly what everything did, and listening to songs and thinking about how the sounds in them were made

>What were your choices when choosing a synth?

for a hardware synth? tons of knobs/sliders all over the front for quick and easy programming, and sound quality
for a software synth, good layout/interface for easy programming and sound quality

>Any advice on connecting this or other non-usb synths to a DAW?

you'll have to buy a USB Audio Interface and run the audio output of the korg into the interface and record it into your DAW

but honestly I'd just use the N1 as a giant midi controller and use it to play softsynths that you use/program in Ableton or something. you'll probably be able to get a much wider range of sounds much easier using software instruments in a DAW.

r/IWantToLearn • comment
1 points • EduGuy33

Maybe this Coursera Specialization can help you with a general understanding of music production. I think if you take the individual courses without a certificate, it´s free (not sure, check the course details).

This course is specifically about electronic music.

Some other online courses at Udemy may be relevant as well.

r/WeAreTheMusicMakers • comment
1 points • GraveyardZombie

You have FL Studio Right? Which version? Couple of routes you can go.

For free: You cant go wrong with my boy SeamlessR Watch his tutorials he also uses FL and only stock plugins and sounds.

Not sure if free its on coursera: This one is done by a Berklee Professor and it uses Fxpansion Strobe 2 which you dont need as most Harmor contains most of the same parameters if not more. Creating Sounds for Electronic Music

If you want to buy a course Check our Syntorial

r/WeAreTheMusicMakers • comment
2 points • Schoekah

learn on the cheap, then get a good synth when you know what you're doing

I think this is free:

this is considered by many to be the best free synth :

hybrid is on sale for $1 at pluginboutique, I think vacuumpro is also


r/synthesizers • comment
1 points • test822

yeah that should do everything you'd need for a long time, and with AU plugins you can always buy new instruments and effects and expand your abilities

but MAKE SURE you can plug that stuff into the ipad, that the ipad will be able to power them over USB, or whatever they would need. I have a big clunky desktop with like 18 USB ports and zero experience plugging things into ipads with their weird proprietary ports and adapters so you may have to do your own research on that.

alright, so as someone who's personally experienced the rookie pitfalls to this synth daw stuff, you now have ~~two~~ three things to learn how to do, that are kind of at odds with each other.

  1. learn how to program your own synth patches

  2. learn how to produce completed tracks

and actually also

----3. learn how to write songs that don't suck

if you try to start out trying to learn all three things at the same time, you will get completely overwhelmed, you will never finish a track. you will never. finish one. your desktop will be littered with files named "shittysongassCOPY.proj" that are just little 2 bar loops you made when you were stoned. you will spend all your time twiddling knobs and dicking around and getting burnt out and going and watching netflix instead.

so what order should you learn them in. you won't like this answer, but I almost want to say 2, 3, then 1. so it would be:

  1. learn how to produce completed tracks

  2. learn how to write songs that don't suck

  3. learn how to program your own synth patches

you ultimately want to make cool songs, right? well trust me, your notes you choose and your chord progressions, the actual NOTES that make up your song can achieve so much more than a nifty sounding patch or synth texture ever can. I hear so many electronic musicians who have amazing sound design skills, but trash songwriting, and their music gets boring for me fast because there's not enough to chew on. on the flipside, I enjoy listening to a lot of well-written songs made with terrible equipment or terrible recording quality. you can always worry about your sound design and effects later.

1. so the easiest way to start learning a DAW, getting used to its workflow, is to make cover songs with it. take songs you already know, they can either be stuff by your favorite band or a well-known classic rock song on the radio all the time, whatever, the important thing is that you can recite the entire thing in your head from memory, because you'll be recreating it.

load up some quick presets in your daw, generally at least 4 tracks: drums, bass, chords, and lead(vocal). but you can get away with only the first three, and forget the lead for now. choose drums that are generic and can be used for whatever genre, same with the other instruments/patches on the other tracks. I'd recommend an electric bass, and as for the chords idk, depends on the genre, you can do piano, synth pad, acoustic guitar, flutes, whatever as long as its texture is more subdued and can play full chords without it overwhelming the other parts.

you can create patterns/sections in one of two ways. you can click the notes in by hand on the "piano roll", and manually sequence everything, or you can play them live and record them. I tend to find the latter more fun to do, at least if it's something I can physically play. I find that I make more timing mistakes if I try to sequence something in the grid. If your timing isn't 100% perfect, you can slow down the song's tempo, record the part, and then speed the tempo back up to normal. I'm also sure garageband has a "quantization" function that automatically sets your notes on the beat.

record the different sections of the song, chain them all together, maybe have a little fun playing the lead vocal yourself by hand on your 4th track as your "backing track" plays behind you. it's great fun, and it helps you with a few things: learning your daw, and developing your musical ear.

after making a bunch of cover songs, you will start to internalize how songs are written, how they are structured, etc, which will make it easier for you to write your own songs later.

2. so for learning topic #2, learning songwriting, uh I would go on youtube and learn what a song's "key" (aka "scale") is, how a song's different chords are born from that key, the emotional effects of different movements from chord to chord within that key, when you can change key (also called "key modulation), etc.

unfortunately songwriting is a big vague topic and the research is still very much ongoing lol. but at least get down some basic music theory, learn what a "Major 7th" chord is and all that good stuff, etc.

edit: here's a great book on learning music theory, the first 6 chapters are free on their website, if you want a full copy PM me.

3. and finally we get to what you actually wanted to do, which is program synth sounds. the website BeatPort used to have this amazing article series for teaching synth programming but those fucks have since deleted it. I don't really know any great tutorial series anymore.

here's a video that's lame as hell featuring background music that nobody could fuck to but is still a great into to all the parts of a synth and what they do:

and then after that I would make a coursera account and "enroll" in this free online course, just to watch the video lessons and follow along. it will teach you a lot of advanced synth programming techniques

r/Guitar • post
1 points • eridal
[DISCUSSION] Berklee offers free courses

Maybe it's already known but I'm sharing anyway hoping to help somebody.

Berklee provides quite a few free courses on the cloudera platform. Check them!






And there are many other institutions giving free courses. Here's the link to the arts section:

Anybody have done any of these? What was your experience?