Synthesizers! Using Synthesis for Sound Design & Production

Jason Allen, PhD, Ableton Certified Trainer

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25 Videos (2h 15m)
    • 1 Introduction

    • 2 About the software we will use

    • 3 The types of synthesis we will cover

    • 4 The 4 Elements to a synthesizer

    • 5 The Subtractor in Reason Interface

    • 6 The Oscillator

    • 7 The Filter

    • 8 Envelopes

    • 9 The Amplifier

    • 10 Putting it all together in Reason

    • 11 Using Ableton’s Analog for Subtractive Synthesis

    • 13 The LFO

    • 14 Portamento or glide

    • 15 Trigger Modes

    • 16 Velocity Control

    • 17 Subtractive Synthesizer patch deconstruction No

    • 18 Subtractive Synthesizer patch deconstruction No

    • 19 What is FM Synthesis?

    • 20 Using Ableton’s Operator Interface

    • 21 Making sounds using FM Synthesis

    • 22 Adding the bells and whistels (from before)

    • 23 FM Synthesizer patch deconstruction No

    • 24 FM Synthesizer patch deconstruction No

    • 25 Whats coming up in the Part 2

    • 26 Thanks!


About This Class

This classes uses the same system I've used for years in my college courses for teaching sound design: Identify and master the 4 main pieces of any synthesizer, and you will be flying when you first approach any other unit in the future.

This system keeps the technical jargon to a minimum and gets you making your own sounds quick.

J. Anthony Allen is an Ableton Certified Trainer, and a PhD in Music Composition and master of Electronic Sounds. His music has been heard internationally in film, radio, video games, and industrial sound, as well as the concert hall and theater.

He currently as an adjunct professor of composition at the University of St. Thomas, Macphail Academy of Music, and the CEO of Slam Academy in Minneapolis.

Praise for other classes by J. Anthony Allen:

  • "Dr Allen does it again with his music theory for electronic musicians series. This course really opened up everything I learned from the 1st section and now I understand more about the composition side of things for music. I highly highly recommend this course to anyone!!! Really opened my eyes to many things I wasn't aware of."
  • "The Best Teacher ever, who makes you understand the ins & outs of Music Theory by all mean without giving what you don't want to know."
  • "I have never had any formal training in music at all. Trying to learn all the notes and how everything translated was a serious challenge. After going thru this class, Dr. J has totally brought down the barriers. The content was very useful and was easy to grasp for me."

19 of 19 students recommendSee All

Hey Jason, I've watched all three of the Music Theory for Electronic Musicians courses and now this one. I have to say that you're one of the best online teachers I've ever had. That's saying a lot because I've taken many classes online in other subjects. I'm just getting into electronic music so I downloaded both demo versions of Live and Reason. I was completely sold on Reason until I started taking your classes. There doesn't seem to be something as comprehensive as your Ultimate Ableton Live series for Reason. Any plans to do something like that for Reason? And I know you probably answer this all of the time and maybe you've addressed it elsewhere, but why do you use Live instead of Reason or any other DAW? Thanks for the great classes, Steve
This is the best video instruction series I've come across explaining synthesis so far. Thank you so much, I've been messing around creating synth patches for the last few days!
great class! very clear instruction.





Jason Allen

PhD, Ableton Certified Trainer

J. Anthony Allen has worn the hats of composer, producer, songwriter, engineer, sound designer, DJ, remix artist, multi-media artist, performer, inventor, and entrepreneur. Allen is a versatile creator whose diverse project experience ranges from works written for the Minnesota Orchestra to pieces developed for film, TV, and radio. An innovator in the field of electronic performance, Allen performs on a set of “glove” controllers, which he has designed, built, and programmed by himself. When he’s not working as a solo artist, Allen is a serial collaborator. His primary collaborative vehicle is the group Ballet Mech, for which Allen is one of three producers.

In 2014, Allen was a semi-finalist for the Grammy Foundation’s Music Educator of the Year.

J. Anthony Allen teaches at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN., and is an Ableton Live Certified Instructor. He has a PhD in music composition, 2 Master’s degrees in music composition and electronic music, and a bachelors degree in guitar performance. Through his academic travels, Dr. Allen has received numerous awards along the way.

Born and raised in Michigan, Allen has worked with many forms of interactive media including audio, video, installation and dance. Mr. Allen’s work has been experienced all over the world, and has been called “a study in ominous sound and motion,”(Baltimore Sun) “An aural hallucinogen,” (Minnesota Public Radio) and “A beautiful and engaging use of technology. ” (Cogapp: The Art and Science Blog). In 2003 Allen joined the team of the Spark Festival of Electronic Music and Art where he was the assistant director and lead producer through 2009.