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Old 2010-09-13, 22:32
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Best Way To Learn Sound Design?


I have a fairly solid understanding of synthesis but I wanted to know if anyone has any tips for developing sound design skills so that you can produce whatever sound is in your head. At the moment I'm experimenting tweaking all the knobs in my synthesizer but there are endless possibilities so I was wondering if anyone has any advice or links?

Thanks a lot
Old 2010-09-13, 23:23
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clarktw clarktw is offline
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 6,280
Invent a brainwave-transfer-mechanism machine, put one helmet on you, put the other helmet on EditEd4TV, and turn it on. Make sure that the polarity is set properly.

Seriously, it's a slow but exciting learning process. There will be plenty of good posts with links to great articles about LFO, CV, ADSR, OSC, Waveforms, Resonance, Graintable (aargh!) and all kinds of good stuff. But, hearing and learning as you turn the knobs and slide the sliders is the true test. Hang tight and members will post. Enjoy the adventure!
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Old 2010-09-13, 23:34
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matt88 matt88 is offline
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This sounds like its gonna be a great thread!!
I now do what other people only dream. I make art until someone dies. See? I am the world's first fully functioning homicidal artist!!
Old 2010-09-13, 23:45
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ShelLuser ShelLuser is offline
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Posts: 415
Try. And then, "if at first you don't succeed, try and try again".

Knowing some basic theories behind synthesis is obviously a good thing, if you're running, for example, into "Niquist issues" (aliasing) its good to know where its coming from. But apart from that there's nothing better than hands on experience IMHO.
With kind regards,


Using the Big Trio: Live 9 Suite, Max (for Live) and Reason 6.5.

Old 2010-09-13, 23:54
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NewAtlantisAudio NewAtlantisAudio is offline
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 2,490
I think it really just comes down to years of experimenting. After trying a bazillion different things you eventually develop some go-to methods. I think equally important is to not to become complacent though. I know a ton of great ways to go about generating say, an explosion sound effect. But I'll always try to tackle it in a different way every time. Just experiment, experiment, experiment.

Create challenges for yourself. Take a piece of video you like and create your own sound design for it. This is a great way to practice. Use visuals as inspiration. Try to put yourself in a place. Create an environment with sound. Sample the shit out of everything.
Old 2010-09-14, 00:00
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Droog Droog is offline
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try to think about how sounds are created in the natural world and how they operate in natural surroundings apply this to synthesis and sfx processing and use the tools you have before you to create the results you want.

if you throw a stone down a large narrow plastic cylindrical drainage pipe what happens?

if you blow up a petrol can in a 40 ft long by 8 ft wide shipping container what is going on sonically?

a dart hits the board in the pub?

you let off a rocket in the sky?

you will notice the examples iv given are based on a sound being created in a space its important to always keep that in mind.

if you just want to create pad sounds and leads and bases this is all very well documented on the internet and should be your first port of call if your a noob to familiarize yourself with the various forms of synthesis and what the parameters do in a basic sense.

like others have said it takes time and im yet to meet someone who views sound from my perspective everyone has there own take on it which is probably for the best
Old 2010-09-14, 01:13
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reincarnationfish reincarnationfish is offline
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Posts: 204
I've posted this before (a year or two ago), but Gordon Reid who wrote the Thor demystified series on here also wrote an (really) big list of articles on a similar subject here
Old 2010-09-14, 01:56
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Bretstradamus Bretstradamus is offline
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,449
The tutorials here in the "Discovering Reason" series are very good if you're a beginner. They give a quick overview of how synthesis works in Reason and little bit of history as well. I still find myself referring back to them from time to time. You'll want to take notes, there's lot to learn!
Old 2010-09-14, 02:41
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Bretstradamus Bretstradamus is offline
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Originally Posted by reincarnationfish View Post
I've posted this before (a year or two ago), but Gordon Reid who wrote the Thor demystified series on here also wrote an (really) big list of articles on a similar subject here
These are awesome!!!! Thanks for the link. I got some readin' to do.
Old 2010-09-14, 04:56
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clarktw clarktw is offline
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 6,280
willbear - I mentioned EditEd4TV (aka, Ed) in Post #2. I see from your Profile that you joined about four months ago, so you may not be familiar with Ed. He's one of our illustrious experts here that gladly helps us out with anything to do with Reason (and Record, and ReWire, and ReCycle, and ...).

Anyway, Ed is a true artist at being able to hear a sound and create it with Reason. He's answered many posts asking ".. How do I get this sound? .." and the poster links a YouTube song with the sound. Attached is a .zip file with one of Ed's examples. This is recreating the sounds from the classic song "Cars" by Gary Numan. You can pull up the original song on YouTube to compare.

Just upzip it and Ed's .rns file can be played and seen in Reason. I think he did it in version 3, and there's not even a Combinator in the Rack: mostly NN-XT and Subtractor. The simplicity of the Rack is beautiful. It's amazing what we can do with Reason if we take the time to learn how. (Then again, Ed has admitted that he's actually from a different planet and just visiting here.)
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Last edited by clarktw; 2010-10-30 at 20:23.

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