Sound Design & Synthesis Course | London
Our Sound Design & Synthesis course is for those of you who want to take back control of music. Don’t be held hostage by sample packs and presets; learn how to modify, manipulate and create your own sounds from scratch, and squeeze an extra 15% out of those presets that sound just not quite there.
We aim to equip you with all the necessary knowledge to program and develop sounds in all styles using a broad range of synthesis and production techniques. You can finally finish those 8-bar loops you’ve had kicking around on your hard drives and for the more intermediate, you can crystallise your knowledge and take it to the next step.
During our lessons in London, you will learn how to craft the sounds you can hear in your head from the ground up, and apply them to your genre of choice. The class is full of production tips, tricks, and advice on how to get your electronic music moving.
We teach the skills that you can apply to any synth, sampler or drum machine. Don’t confine yourself to what you know, we’ll equip you with the confidence and understanding to look at any soft synth or vst and without being phased.
The lessons are interactive and we encourage you to ask questions and bounce ideas off your fellow learners as well as your instructor. This course is based in Logic and Ableton Live but is suitable for people from all DAW backgrounds. The total class duration is 36 hours.
Many learners these days prefer to use their own laptops on our courses for things like getting help customising their set-up, and they have their project exactly as they left it in class to work on at home. So we made the course more affordable, but added a £50 supplement for learners who wish to hire an iMac loaded with software. Please ensure you book an iMac when you book your course if you need one. Controller keyboards, headphones, and audio interfaces are always provided for everyone.
- Course introduction and overview
- Audio and MIDI fundamentals
- Envelopes, frequency, phase and waveform displays and more
- An introduction to spectral analysis and oscilloscopes
- Synthesising, sampling, layering and processing drums with Ultrabeat
- The history and foundations of analog synthesis
- Oscillators, waveforms, filters, amps, and LFOs
- How to make basses, pads, leads and FX using only limited tools
- How to make your presets work for you
- Advanced subtractive techniques
- Oscillator Sync, ring modulation and more
- Wavetable synthesis – Internal routing, layering & tuning oscillators and making kinetic sounds
- Customisable LFOs, waveshaping, sample rate reduction and distortion
- Endless modulation possibilities!
- Audio-rate modulation of oscillators, amplitude, and filters
- Getting to grips with frequency modulation synthesis
- Using EFM1 and Operator to make huge expressive pads to digital basses
- Advanced arpeggiating
- FM8’s modulation matrix and breakpoint envelopes
Sampling, Granular and more
- Granular and Additive Synthesis
- Absynth, Razor, Reaktor, Kontakt and more
- Manipulating recording beyond recognition
- Sampling and Resampling in your DAW
- Vocoding basics
Reaktor, Modular Synthesis, and Production Techniques
- An introduction to Reaktor, building and editing pre-existing ensembles
- Drum machines, sequencers, effects and synths
- Eurorack modular synthesis on our very own modular system
- Advanced production techniques
£599 (multiple courses and returning student discounts available)
Monday & Thursday Evenings | 7pm – 10pm
January 8th, 11th, 15th, 18th, 22nd, 25th, 29th, February 1st, 5th, 8th, 12th, 15th
Sundays | 11am – 6pm
February 18th, 25th, March 4th, 11th, 18th, 25th
Monday & Thursday Evenings | 7pm – 10pm
April 9th, 12th, 16th, 19th, 23rd, 26th, 30th May 3rd, 7th, 10th, 14th, 17th.
Summer School | 11am – 6pm
July 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th
“The reason I took the course is because I wanted to get more in-depth with different types of synthesis, electronic sound design and programming beats. I’ve been working on music the whole time on the courses here and at home, putting the tricks and methods I’ve learnt into practice. I’ve found that the way I approach things now is different to how I did before. I find now I work in a kind of optimised way, not only saving so much time when I work on music by getting what I want quickly. I now just know what to do to improve a song with production. There’s so much more scope now, so many more options than I had before I did the EMP (now SDP) course in particular. Great tutors with experience, good teaching techniques, and well structured lessons. I wouldn’t change anything on both courses, and next I am going to take your mixing course.” Stefan Olsdal – Read interview
“Being on tour most of our life means there is little time to make records let alone read manuals or learn new bits of kit. We got a tour of the course, and I was blown away with the amazing usable textures you can get from the most basic of source sounds. The manipulation of the audio is incredible – really inspiring. This course is awesome and perfect for DJs who want to take that all-important leap and produce their own music to progress. The mixing course looks great too!” – Anthony Middleton –Audiofly
“Having a variety of tutors come in who specialise in each area that is being taught provides an invaluable wealth of specific knowledge as well as keeping the course really interesting and engaging. I’ve learnt more in this course in a week than I learnt at Point Blank over 3 months.” Craig Gordon
“I thought at first I might be surrounded by full-on EDM type students and instructors but it became clear very quickly that no genre was shunned and that the course focused on bringing techniques to your own style of work. It really opened up what synths can do and how to use them effectively. This will add great depth to a huge selection of my pop-based songs.” Jamie Rushton
“The tutors are very knowledgeable and respond well when asked questions. This made it easy to understand the fundamentals and therefore made it simple to put them into practice!” Matthew Khabbaz @mattkhabbaz
“I think it’s really good for people starting out using programs like these and it’s a fast, easy way to learn the basics…and even the finer details to music production.” Stevie Fitchett
“During these past 6 days learned a lot of useful stuff, from subtractive synthesis to how the music industry works. The instructors that I had were really professional. They would spend huge amounts of times with us till we had the sound that we wanted, or helped us to get at least the understanding of the sound itself. They were all super nice guys and I also enjoyed the lunch times with them. The studio is as a good as expected. It has everything you need and it does not look cheap at all. You can tell it’s been designed with taste and with the purpose of offering a service of quality. I see myself coming back here in the future for another course, probably the mixing one.” Ignacio Masa González
Ive been DJing for years now and realise that the only way to progress these days is to produce my own releasable music. As a beginner, I tried out some private tuition from a bloke I found on Gumtree. I wasn’t getting much out of it at all and I even started to question myself. I did the Ableton diploma course at Garnish after a friend recommended it. The course is brilliant, our instructor Irfan was amazing, his enthusiasm when teaching is something else. Also very comforting knowing that he had released a new dance album I was already well aware of. A great mix of people on the course, and per hour, only a third of the price of the private tutor I had in the first place! I’ve just finished my first track, it’s such a wicked feeling 🙂 I can’t recommend the course enough!
“I found the beginners’ Logic course really inspiring and completely relevant to what I am trying to achieve. In such a small time I have progressed immensely and now can have solutions for what I had been struggling with for so long. I’ve even leant how to record vocals properly too! Online tutorial videos were just bewildering and I wish I had done this course years ago. Next up is EMP (now SDP) and I can’t wait!” Sam Ball
“Overall, I’ve found the majority of information provided by the course to be of practical value to someone with an intermediate level of skill and knowledge of electronic music production. I also thought the teachers had a good level and range of knowledge, communicated well and were all very approachable.” Well known DJ who’d prefer we didn’t publish his name