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Berklee College of Music

Designing Synthesizer Sounds

Berklee College of Music via Kadenze


This course is designed to explore practical contemporary synthesis techniques in the context of creating a musical composition. It focuses on the musical and emotional implications of synthesizer components and techniques: envelopes, LFO’s, filters, oscillators, modulation, and audio effects. Frequent peer feedback on both the synthesizer patches and musical composition help to develop the student’s technical and musical capabilities.

At the conclusion of the course the student will have a solid foundation in practical contemporary synthesis techniques within an industry standard synthesizer, will have created a piece of music to demonstrate his or her skills, and will have developed the ability to critique synthesizer patches based on their appropriateness, emotional impact, category, and expressiveness.


  • Getting Started with Synthesis in Strobe 2
    • This session will introduce you to synthesis and electronic music and getting started using Strobe 2. You will be asked to submit a mock up of initial ideas for your final project, to help you set their goals and begin to think about the overall vision for your song.
  • Creating Custom Synthesizer Patches
    • This session will dive into different types of synthesizer sounds from lead synths to organs & keyboards, and more. You will learn how to start crafting your own patches to use in your compositions.
  • From Preset to Perfect Patch
    • This session will take a deeper look at building and tweaking patches to get the perfect sounds for your song. We will also start to discuss your audience, and how to direct their focus, attention, and energy throughout the various sections of your piece.
  • Putting it All Together: Timbre, Sequencing, FX
    • This session will look at incorporating timbre, sequencing, special FX, and texture into your music. You will be asked to submit the final version of your song.

Taught by

Loudon Stearns


4.5 rating, based on 2 Class Central reviews

Start your review of Designing Synthesizer Sounds

  • Charles Durbin
    So, this course is mostly really good. The instructor is clear-speaking and engaging. It's an interesting topic - if you're interested in learning Synthesizers, I haven't found anything that's better than this. The frustrating thing for me is that…
  • Anonymous
    Great course for learning sound design with Strobe 2.

    Any course taught by Loudon Stearns (Associate Professor at Berklee College of Music) is worth taking.

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