What is a Synthesizer? A Comprehensive Guide

Synthesizers have never been more popular than they are now. They currently play a dominant role in the production of the world’s most in-demand music. Synthesizers are the sound of pop, hip-hop, EDM, and more. But you certainly wouldn’t be…

Using MIDI Controllers to Play Virtual Instruments

MIDI controllers are keyboards that let you play virtual instruments and transmit MIDI information to your DAW for recording. Most of the time they connect to your computer via USB for easy integration and very little set-up. They’re about as…

Understanding Additive and Subtractive Synthesis

Additive and subtractive synthesis are two of the 4 fundamental ways synthesizers create sounds, next to wavetable and FM. If you plan to get into synths at all, or even just use them occasionally in your work, it’s a good…

FM Synthesis: The Classic Synthesizer Sound

Lots of classic keyboards like the Yamaha DX7 use FM synthesis to generate sounds. If it seems daunting at first, that’s because FM synthesis really is more complex than other types of synthesis. FM is much more theory-driven, so trying…

Sound Synthesis: Basics of Granular and Wavetable Synthesis

Whether we’re aware of it, many of us are using sound synthesis technology everyday. As engineers and producers, we’re often relying on virtual instruments and plugins which use granular and wavetable synthesis to make sounds! Granular synthesis is the technology…

Fred Mandel: Touring & Session Musician for Queen, Alice Cooper, & More!

Fred Mandel is a keyboard player, guitarist, and touring/session musician. Entirely self-taught, he started piano at just age 4, and guitar a few years later at age 8! After moving to Toronto from his hometown in Saskatchewan as a teenager,…