In a world before computers and virtual instruments and long before MIDI, electronic music was made with analog modular synthesizers, with real 3-dimensional knobs, faders, and switches. Sounds were constructed by routing electricity from module to module with patch cords and turning potentiometers to sculpt sound and music real time. This was an awesomely creative period in the history of music. Composers/performers, like Morton Subotnick and The Electronic Art Ensemble, stood before their vast arrays of analog synths and towering sound systems performing otherworldly atmospheres of sound that to this this day are unmatched in their expression and primal audio pyrotechnics. These amazing synths were not controlled with your typical B&W keyboards that permeate today’s bleak controller landscape. Rather, they were triggered by “Touch Activated Voltage Sources” and “Multiple Arbitrary Function Generators”. It was an exciting time. But all things must pass...
The next wave in electronic music history was the era of presets and MIDI and suddenly everyone stopped turning knobs! Instead of making connections we started making selections and the fundamentals of synthesis and signal flow became a lost art.
Now analog synths are back and these new instruments are excellent tools to teach the art and science of synthesis. We at MPV are proud to bring back synthesizer wizard and performer , Richard Lainhart, to show us just how these modular synths work. In his tutorial, Analog Synthesis in a Digital World, Richard demonstrates his Buchla Series 200e and takes us on a educational excursion to through the world of basic synthesis explaining the fundamentals of waveforms, signal flow, additive and subtractive techniques and how they apply to today’s software synthesizers. So get out your virtual patch chords and plug in to “Analog Synthesis in a Digital World.
Section 1: Section 1: An Introduction to Analog Synthesis
Become an affiliate and earn 50% of every sale you send our way - Sign Up!
Temporal Space Club wrote on May 9, 2017
A very thorough and clearly explained overview of basic synthesis theory and technique. As a guitarist with very little background in synthesis I found this very helpful!
Ivan Dubinsky wrote on February 3, 2016
Both this and the Advanced course (301) are excellent. I'm just getting into analog synthesis and Richard Lainhart's clear and concise explanations have really helped me to understand the basic concepts. Well done!!
Hindie wrote on January 27, 2016
Such a pleausure to learn from somebody who knows so much. From beginning to advanced, anyone who likes synthesis should watch this course.
Baza wrote on June 15, 2015
This is a very good course on Analog and FM Synthesis by Richard Lainhart. He explains the subject very well. The teaching method that he adopts makes it easy to follow and digest.
He gives good practical demonstrations with the hardware and the software synths and offers some useful advice too. He also includes some theory which I personally welcomed as it helped me to understand what's happening and it gave me food for thought with Synthesis.
Well done Richard and thank you for this. I look forward to watching the next part.
Martin wrote on May 12, 2015
I really love the course. Sometimes I am wondering why it is a 201 because Richard goes down into the basics like the 101 course of the Bob Moog Foundation but it adds up to a nice repetition and therefore helps to grasp some basics that are necessary to memorize for later chapters. The extensiveness of this course is "insane" and it really covers so many bases.
Nice job and thank you for making this wonderful tutorial Richard.
n4Sphere wrote on March 26, 2015
Great introduction into synthesis of analog and digital. ⅔ is covered with analog synthesis and the basics and ⅓ with digital synthesizers. Thumbs up
erictf wrote on February 2, 2015
Richard is an excellent teacher. These videos are clear, concise and insightful (and also very careful kept at just the right length). Looking forward to Advanced Synthesis!
Paul wrote on January 16, 2015
This is the best course I have watched on the foundations of analogue synthesis. This course is a must watch for beginner and intermediate sound designers.
Tass wrote on July 21, 2014
Although Mr. Lienhaldt says this course is basic synthesis, it contains great amount of ideas you can find from.