Synthesis & Sound Design Masterclass is a monster course spanning close to 50 videos with over 10 hours of total training. It will take you from a novice or even moderately accomplished synthesist to the next level, and then to the one beyond that. We’ll take a cross platform approach to sound design, looking at techniques and tips that are common to many instruments, allowing you to get the most out of what you already have.
This course is jammed full of practical knowledge, explantations, and concise breakdowns of why things work the way they do. Divided into two styles of video, each synthesis concept is explained in a “theory” video and then shown in action, in a series of “practical” videos where you get to watch a detailed construction of a high quality synth sound. These sounds are both cutting edge and classic, and are all hand crafted by Myagi on screen to give you an up-close view of each concept in action.
Preview Video: Monster Sync Lead
What You Get
- 4 in-depth modules of training from sound design guru, Myagi.
- Over 10 hours of HD streaming video tutorials.
- Over 12 hours of recorded question & answer periods with a past group of students.
- Full templates for each module and video (packaged as Ableton Live Packs).
- Tons of exclusive synth patches.
- All samples used in the demonstration of sounds.
- Student Discounts: 20-60% off third-party software and plugins from our affiliates.
Preview Video: Series & Parallel
After Taking This Course We Guarantee You Will:
- Have a whole new understanding of how synthesizers work and why.
- Have the ability to approach any synth and begin to command increasingly great results out of it.
- Be able create virtually any sound you hear in your head, or reverse-engineer the sounds you hear in other producers tracks.
- Develop a new skill set that will help you define your own signature sound as an artist.
Preview Video: Self-Oscillating Filter
About Your Instructor Myagi
Electronic music producer heavyweight, Myagi, is a veteran sound designer and synthesis guru. He produces presets and sounds for industry leaders such as FXpansion, Cableguys, and several more that are too top secret to mention until the sound sets go public. His work has received accolades from professionals and users alike, including a recent 9/10 in the esteemed Computer Music magazine for his “Bass Weaponry” preset pack for DCAM: Synth Squad.
His sound design work crosses into the mobile realm with a prominent selection of iOS apps using his material, including Soundtrends Looptastic and Meta.DJ, Finger-Pro’s Bassline and Modrum, and Vavoova, a generative music app. He regularly consults with tech companies on instrument architecture and design.
His production work as Myagi has garnered multiple world tours and thousands upon thousands of sales, from top charting releases in the days of vinyl to releases that crack the overall top 100 on Beatport. He has remixed music for The Crystal Method, Orbital, Si Begg, Ursula 1000, and innumerable others. His music has been featured in Hollywood movies, network tv, video games, commercials and virtually any other medium imaginable.
Note: Although all material is available right away, we suggest the following breakdown to allow you to get the most out of the course.
- Course Overview: A quick rundown of what we’re doing and why, along with a breakdown of what we’ll be covering when.
Modular programming and subtractive
- The Modular Approach: A quick touch on the conceptual difference between modular and contained methods of working, along with notes on how to approach work in Ableton.
- Series and Parallel: One of the most important things to grasp, we’ll go through how routing options make your sounds come alive, and how you can get the most of of what you have.
- Distortion and Feedback: Drive stages are an important way of shaping sound. We’re going to look at what the differences are between certain placements, and what happens when you create feedback loops.
- Analog Style Oscillators and Noise: Even though they might seem “vanilla” there’s often more to these classic waveforms than meets the eye, and we’re going to touch on a few useful things to know.
- Stompy Bass: Our first practical video, the Stompy Bass is a big funky analog style bass tone that uses all that we’ve talked about up until now, including some cool routings and macro controls.
- Layering and Tuning: We’re going to go beyond simple detuning here and look at chord creation, along with some modulations and important aspects of creating big sounds.
- The Hoover: A total classic sound, the Hoover is a great combination of cool tuning modulations and some effects to make it pop. This is a great starting point sound for unlimited options.
- The Prog Chord: In this vid we’re going to check out how to make a phat “prog chord,” the kind of sound that builds to a crescendo as the filter opens and is full of emotive tone and complexity.
- Oscillator Sync: Oscillator sync is a common function on subtractive synths, and a great source of complex harmonic tones. We’ll look at how it works and why.
- Monster Sync Lead: Using oscillator sync, we’re going to make a huge sounding bass/ lead reminiscent of daft punk, electro-rock and funk.
Exotic modules, modulations and filter FM
- Ring Modulation: An overview of ring modulation as an effect both onboard synthesizers and in Ableton, along with historical notes.
- Destructo Bass: A heavy gritty bass tone in Massive that makes use of LFO mappings to Sample and hold and Ring mod.
- Modulating a Modulator: The modular approach allows us to engage in meta-programming… we can use mod sources to control mod sources to control mod sources, and the results can be amazing.
- Wobble Monster: A super modulated complex bass tone that shows off what you get with multiple routings on routings.
- Advanced Envelope Functions: Looping and envelope curves are two ways of making a simple function do a lot more for you. We’ll look at some uses of each.
- Wonky Bass: A morphing bass that uses envelope looping instead of an LFO to give us a complex wobble effect.
- Step and Mod Sequencers: Step sequencers are still useful within a DAW, as they change your work flow. Within a synth, these sequencers can often be one of the most valuable sources of modulation at your disposal.
- Moroder Bass: Using a step sequencer and a mod sequencer, we’ll create a poly rhythmic series of modulations on a rolling bass.
- Self Oscillating Filter: If you have a self oscillating filter, you always have a sine wave. We’ll look at the filter as a source of sub bass, effects sounds, rising tones and electronic blips.
- 808 Bass Drum: An oldie but goodie, we’ll use a self oscillating filter to create a booming 808 style bass drum.
- Spaced Out Riser: Using a few mod sources and a self oscillating filter, we’re going to create a big rising effect, then morph it into a dropper.
- Introduction to Audio Rate: Why does a low frequency oscillator behave the way it does and what happens when you apply it at a high frequency? Before we look at filter FM and FM synthesis, we’re going to define some terms and look at how audio rate modulation can be implemented.
- Filter FM: One of my absolute favorite effects, the application of the audio rate modulation of an oscillator to a filters cutoff imparts the character of that oscillator to the sound in a unique and ear-grabbing way. We’ll look at why.
- Talking Bass: FXpansions synth squad allows for some great analog style madness, and the filter FM is one of the prime sources of funk.
FM intensive, resampling
- Exotic Sound Sources – Beyond V/A: Besides virtual analog oscillators, there are many options in the sound creation department – heres an overview of the ones we’ll examine.
- Introduction to FM: An overview of FM synthesis, as distinct from Filter FM and audio rate modulation for effect, and a demystification of the approach. Historical overview and implications for sound design as well as limitations and areas of ideal use will be explored.
- Modulators, Carriers, Ratio: A focused look at the interplay between oscillators in FM synthesis. There will be little to no modulation and we’ll be looking at harmonic relationships.
- Metallic Bass: A big nasty FM tone, this metallic bass / lead will show off some of the interplay between oscillators in an FM synth.
- Timbre Control: FM uses a different approach to sound design, controlling the timbre with envelopes and feedback.
- The Bass Growl: By employing volume envelopes, we can shape the timbre of a bass sound, and we can push it even further with some feedback.
- The Donk: Analog and digital are a great combo – in this case we’re going to use Operator for a gritty top tone and analog for girth.
- Impractical FM: An examination of atonal results of inharmonic FM adjustments and their uses in percussion sound design.
- FM Percussion Sequence: Playing with a mod sequencer and some envelopes, we’ll create a great complex percussion sequence using Cypher.
- Notes on Resampling (Back to The Ring Mod): We’re going to look at re-enlisting one of the earlier sound design techniques (ring modulation) to demonstrate resampling as a means of taming inharmonic oscillator relationships.
- Kalimbic Bass: In this case we’re going to dial things back in our aggression, making an organic sounding bass that still slams.
Wavetable, Granular and Additive
- Notes on Wavetable: Wavetable synthesis is a beast, and we’re going to have a quick look at what a wavetable is, what its limits are, and why certain sounds can be created in wavetable synthesis that can’t be created in other means.
- The Scanner Bass: Morphing through our wavetable with an envelope, we’re going to create an industrial bass tone that moves with the track.
- Notes on Granular: Granular synthesis is an old approach that’s gaining lots of attention in recent years. Here we’ll look at why, what it can do for you, what its best at and how to easily integrate it.
- Granular Bass: A gritty, industrial bass tone with lots of modulation.
- Granular style effects in Sampler: Sampler has some looping options under the hood that can give us easy to use, granular style results.
- Found Sound Bass: A look at creating a bass tone using looped tones in sampler, in particular looking at looping and tuning.
- Space Pad: A combination of granular synthesis and virtual analog to make a beautiful complex pad.
- Mangler Bass: Creating industrial overtones using home made samples and then layering them with a huge distorted bass.
- Notes on Additive: As with FM, Additive invokes some fear in novice synthesists (and many experienced ones). We’ll break it down with a look at the first additives, and why you don’t need a degree to use it.
- Brainworm: A heavily modulated additive bass / lead with lots of punch and grit, this sound will benefit from lots of macro control.
- Recap of the Exotics: Summarizing our exotic oscillator/synthesis types, we can look at the strengths and weaknesses of each and brainstorm some uses.
- Recap: A quick look back at our course, with a recap of the modular approach and why its important.
Frequently asked questions
What skill level is this course?
Intermediate to advanced. This course is for producers who have had some experience working with synthesizers and doing their own sound design, but want to take their skills to the next level. We cover a range of techniques that will seriously amp up your skills. There are certainly plenty of pro tips for the advanced producers as well. If you are a total beginner with Live, start with Ableton Live 9 Jumpstart and the Producer Bundle over at Warp Academy, and then take Synthesis 101 and Audio Weapons on this site.
What software and plugins do I need?
In this course we teach cross platform technique and approaches, with the result that you will be able to approach any synthesizer and work with it. The following synthesizers are used to demo the sounds and techniques, but are not necessary to gain knowledge from the course – Native Instruments Massive and Razor, FXpansion DCAM Synth Squad, Camel Audio Alchemy, Ableton Operator and Analog. If you want to purchase some of the software used in the course, we work with developers to provide discounts for many of the products we demo.
Is this course applicable to my genre?
In a word – yes. This course is designed to rigorously demonstrate a very wide variety of techniques that are applicable to any and all genres. Rather than showing off how to create a particular single style of music, this shotgun approach will let you identify how sounds in all types of music are created.
What if I don’t like the course?
We want you to be as excited about your course as we are. If for any reason you’re not 100% happy with it, we offer a no-hassle, no-BS, super easy 30 day satisfaction guarantee. Any time within the first 30 days after purchase we will refund your money.
What version of Live do I need to use the course?
The majority of videos come with accompanying sets, and all you need to open the sets Live 8.4.1, although to gain full functionality, Live Suite or at least Ableton’s synths Analog and Operator are ideal. A demo of Live suite available at https://ableton.com, though be sure and wait until the course begins if you go this route as it will expire after 30 days.
What if I don’t have Live?
This is course is designed to teach concepts, and because of this, Ableton itself is not 100% necessary so long as you have a comparable DAW to work with. The concepts taught are designed to transcend synthesizers and pieces of software, and so regardless of your setup, you will learn approaches to improve your sound. You won’t be able to open the sets, but as mentioned, Ableton does have a timed demo that will give you the ability to open the files for 30 days.
How do I access the material?
Course content such as set templates and synth patches will be available after sign up on the Course page. To access the downloads, simply log in select My Account > My Courses, then click this course. We recommend downloading the supplementary content prior to starting the course so that you can follow along with each video.
Important: To get the best experience, we highly recommend you use the most updated version of Google’s free Chrome browser. This functions best with our streaming video players https://google.com/chrome
How long can I access this course and the videos?
You have lifetime access to this course.
Can I download the videos?
No we don’t offer downloading of the videos. The videos are available as on-demand streaming HD players that you can access from a computer or virtually any mobile device.
Are there any system requirements?
Yes, a broadband internet connection and computer are required. Minimum requirements are obviously the ability to run Ableton Live 8 so any computer with Mac OS 10.5 & Windows XP or newer should do just fine.
“This course was worth every penny. I learned more from this course, then I did from the online course I am taking offered by an accredited university, that also costs 2.5 times as much. What you and Myagi are doing is awesome and I have nothing but respect for sharing your knowledge with the world. It would take years to learn what I have gained through this course through other media.”
– Ryan Morris
“The Synthesis & Sound Design Masterclass is a masterpiece. I was really in a creative dry season and this class has inspired me. Only wish the videos were available for download so I can put on my iPad to watch anywhere but it’s not a big deal and the class was worth every penny. Thank you for your time and I hope you all keep helping us to make the art we love.”
– Octavian Soto
“The masterclass was incredible. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to join. The webinars were great too. The information was a bit overwhelming for me… I take a long time to learn. I have to watch videos over and over until it clicks. Will these videos be online indefinitely for my account? Thanks again!”
“I’ve enrolled in the Sound Design Masterclass, and have just gone through the first round of tutorials; all I can say is “Wow”! The tutorials are excellent…the best I’ve ever seen. I’ve already learned so much, and I consider myself a pretty competent sound designer. For me, the focus on the concepts and philosophy behind the techniques is so valuable, and really makes it stick. It’s also great to be reminded of the power of Ableton Live. If anyone is on the fence about this course, just do it. You’ll be glad you did. Thank you Myagi and Vespers!”
– Preston Hart
“The Sound Design Masterclass with Myagi went above and beyond all of my expectations. Not only are the fundamentals of each type of synthesis reviewed, but they are each clearly communicated and explained, in depth, and then shown in a practical application tutorial.
As you learn what each knob, parameter, and effect does, you’re also learning how to use this knowledge to go after specific types of sounds, regardless of what synth, sampler, or DAW you’re using. Knowing the strengths, weaknesses, and uniqueness of different types of synthesis allows you to shed yourself of the presets and take charge of building your own soundbanks.
Even FM synthesis is explained, and demonstrated, in the most demystifying way I’ve come across, so far. Other areas of sound design, such as resampling, layering, and multi-band splitting effects, are thoroughly covered, as well.
Add in all of the Ableton projects, templates, VIP downloads, and several hours of face time with hands-down ace professionals in the business (as with all of the Vespers courses), and you have all of the tools necessary to effectively make big, professional sounds.
Team this course with the Audio Weapons course, and you’ll be light years ahead of anyone just starting out making electronic music. Not to mention, you’ll also be saving yourself the years of frustration some of us have endured before finding these types of resources.”
– James Turlington
“I learned more in one session with you than a year of magazines and tutorial videos.”
– Mike Young