I recently stumbled upon an absolutely incredible piece of software called Syntorial. Developed by Joe Hanley of Audible Genius, Syntorial is a “video game style training program” that teaches you the ins and outs of synthesizers one step a time.
The learning process that the app uses is brilliant. For each lesson, you are given a single parameter, with an explanation for what it does and how it can be applied. That part is great and all, but what makes Syntorial stand out is what comes next. You then face a challenge where you must recreate a synth patch using that parameter entirely be ear.
My listening has already developed a whole new level of refinement thanks to these lessons. Just listening to music like I regularly do I’m suddenly identifying which waveform is at a sound’s source, or what type of filter envelope they’re using. I’ve known all about how synths work for many many years, but this is the first time that I can truly hear it.
I’ve only been using Syntorial for about a week, yet my skill creating and manipulating sounds has increased by 1000%. I have been having a lot of fun developing my own patches and using them in my writing. Creating my own patches instead of using factory presets has always been something I’ve made an effort to do, but I’ve never been able to create something as rich and interesting as I’ve wanted. Now I feel like I finally have the knowledge I need to put my tools to work.
It’s admittedly quite expensive, at $129 for the full price course. There are 22 free lessons, however, which give you a good grasp of what the program is all about. The free demo is a great way to get a feel for whether or not you want to go all in and buy the remaining lessons.
If you do enjoy the demo as much as I did and decide to get the full version, please consider using this affiliate link which adds no cost to you but helps me cover admin costs for this site.