Essential Guides

The science of wavetable synthesis

Over the last 40 years, wavetable synthesis has become a staple of the music-production world, with the ability to seamlessly soar between waveforms an indispensable ingredient of sound design and electronic music-making. Here, we take a look back at the origins and mechanics of wavetable synthesis, as well as vector synthesis, to get a contextual understanding of this crucial element of the synth world.

10 tips for looking after your studio

Spent a fortune on gear? Got it all set up correctly? Now you need to look after it. You can have the best equipment in the world installed and working, but it won’t be for long if you don’t maintain it. Here are 10 tips for keeping that gear – and you, for that matter – working and working well

6 best ways to turn ideas into songs

You have a melody, a bassline, a synth lead, or a guitar riff. It’s either spinning around in your head or looping around in your DAW. What to do with it? How to turn it into a song? Follow these nuggets of song-creation wisdom to find out…

Tracing the origins of hardware ROMplers

In this part of our Understanding Synthesis masterclass, we look back at the origins of hardware ROMplers and the idea behind Roland’s Linear Arithmetic synthesis technology.

The history of sample-based synthesis

The quest for creating super-accurate acoustic instrument emulations began at the same time as the very earliest electronic instruments were appearing, but it took many years for technology to rise to the challenge. In the third part of our series, we look at the revolution that was sample-based synthesis.

10 synths that defined dance music

Boiling down the 10 synths that shaped the sound of dance music is a tall order, but it’s a challenge we’re prepared to undertake! Here’s a guide to those beasts that defined the last few decades…

6 easy ways to make music anywhere

There are many ‘rules’ with technology. The better it gets, the faster, more powerful and the smaller it gets. Music-making gadgets have boomed in power but shrunken in size and now you can get a studio in your pocket. Here’s how…
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