How Do You Learn Sound Design Basics For Music Production?

General How Do You Learn Sound Design Basics For Music Production?

One of the most important things to learn in contemporary computer music production is understanding sound design basics (sound synthesis or synthesizer programming).

Hence, the best way to approach the basics of sound design is done by picking a simple to use virtual software synthesizer (whether it's a VST plugin, Audio Unit plugin or even sometimes a hardware synthesizer).

From there you wanna start making simple synth presets (or basic synth patches) in different categories like:
  • Bass sounds
  • Electric pianos
  • Basic Pluck chords
  • Gliding Synth leads
  • Simple Synth pads
  • Synth Bells
  • Basic Synth Brass (or Horns)
  • Mallet presets
  • [...] etc

As you proceed with sound design basics, you can later on take things a little step further and try to replicate sounds you hear in popular music. This will reinforce your sound synthesis abilities.

Although sound design possibilities are innumerable, it's a good idea to stick to the sound of "one genre of music" you are interested in, rather than trying to be a jack-of-all-trades.

For example, in most cases there might not be a need for you to use wub-wub aggressive synth presets at all. So you can actually save your time and skip the process of learning how to make them.

In the long run your time will be of more use if allocated into designing smooth synth bass presets, and better yet applying your synth programming skills into making mellow synth keys or whatever style of music suits your needs.

Things To Avoid When Learning Sound Synthesis

The major thing you don't wanna do when learning sound design is trying to master all kinds of synthesizers for a sound that can be done easily with a synthesizer you are familiar with.

For example, if you can quickly make a sawtooth synth lead the way you like it then it makes no sense time-wise to try to do that with FM synthesis because that may be so time-consuming!

Yes, FM synthesis has a unique sound but the question is about whether it fits into your workflow to have FM synths or you are comfortable with wavetable virtual instruments?

The choice is yours to make!

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