Harnessing Synthesis

Take control of your synths, and using the power of synthesis, create the sounds you’ve always wanted. Learn exactly what’s going on under the hood of your synth today!

The first time I opened up a synthesizer plugin, I was in shock at all of the different knobs, sliders, and buttons. ‘How will I ever be able to understand all of this?!’ I thought. I’m sure I’m not the only one to get overwhelmed when it comes to synths.

After I had been producing for a couple of months, I was getting comfortable with my digital audio workstation (DAW), and decided to try and make my own sounds. I figured if the big names could make some amazing sounds like that, surely I could get something halfway decent! Boy was I wrong.

My sounds quickly turned from the basic saw/sine wave to noise no matter what I tried. I flipped through the presets in awe that something so amazing could come from the same synth that I was using. I thought I’d never be able to get great sounds. Synthesis was a kind of black magic to me.

Once I started to  dig a little deeper though, I realized that synthesis wasn’t all that bad after all. It took lots of studying and experimenting, but I finally started to make some progress in designing sounds!

It turns out what’s under the hood of a synth is fairly simple, even across different synths and manufacturers. Whether software or hardware, the basic building blocks are all roughly the same.

Now, you could take the same path I did and learn all of this on your own, researching everything, watching videos, reading articles, and practicing in your DAW every day. Or, you could take the fast track and learn from someone who did all the hard work already.

Introducing ‘Harnessing Synthesis’

My name is Jake. I’m an electronic music producer and avid sound designer.

I love to create new sounds and learn how other sounds are made. Sometimes I enjoy doing that more than writing actual songs! I started Cryonaut Media to share my knowledge and experiences in learning sound design and synthesis. It’s my hope that other music producers won’t have to stumble around trying to figure out sound design on their own, but will be able to have a consolidated resource for all things sound design.

There’s plenty of YouTube tutorials on how to make a specific sound. The trouble is, they almost never explain why they’re doing any of the steps, or how they figured out how to make the sound in the first place.

That’s where Cryonaut Media is different. I want to teach you how to approach sound design, and how to break things down to replicate them.

How to harness the power of synthesis

In this course, you will learn:

  • How synths create sound. From the waveforms, all the way to the effects, I’ll explain each section of a few common synths.
  • Signal flow. How the sound travels between each module, and why that’s so important to the final outcome.
  • Modules. What each module in a synth is really doing to the sound, even down to the waveform.
  • Sound examples. Reading about what each part of a synth does is fine, but hearing the differences each module can make will really help to understand what’s going on.
  • How to start bringing the sound ideas from your head into your synth.
  • Several methods to finally taking control of your synth and making it do what you want it to, instead of relying solely on happy accidents or experimentation.

What topics does the course cover?

  1. Creating sound
    • How waveforms work
      • The building blocks of all sound. Sound waves are all around us, so grasping how your synthesizer creates and modifies them is crucial if you want to move beyond simply experimenting with your synth.
    • Signal flow
      • The order in which the pieces of your synth affect the sound makes all the difference in the world. Understanding this key piece will unlock so much potential for your sounds.
    • Types of synthesis
      • Choosing which type of synthesis to use in your sound design will make the difference between getting frustrated with your synth (when you choose the wrong type) and having things go smoothly and enjoying the process of sound design (when you choose correctly.)
  2. Oscillators
    • Waveforms
      • Pick the right tool for the job- in this case, the right waveform. This is the base layer to creating a sound, all the effects and plugins in the world can’t help you if you don’t pick the right one!
    • Voices
      • Do you want a monophonic or polyphonic sound? Don’t know what those are? This is the topic is for you. The number of voices can also create a bigger or wider sound, helping to bring a lot of interest to your track.
    • Pitch
      • The tuning of each oscillator can create beautiful harmonies or chaotic dissonance. Just a little can fatten up your sound a lot!
    • Other Types of Oscillators
      • Ignoring the extra oscillators in your synth is kind of like going through your day with an arm tied behind your back. Learn how to use the whole thing and you’ll be amazed at the possibilities!
  3. Modulators
    • Envelope – ADSR
      • This topic is all about how your sound comes across to the listener. Do you want a pluck type sound, or a soft, gentle one? The envelope can work wonders for the mood of your next song.
    • Envelope – Sound Examples
      • Explaining how this stuff all works is great, but how about some examples? Here I’ll show you what goes into making a few common sounds, and how the envelope plays a huge role in them.
    • Envelope – Amp/modulation
      • Another great use of envelopes is for modulation. Imagine having your filter come in gently instead of the whole oscillator.    
    • LFO – Modulating parameters   
      • An easy way to bring movement to your sounds is by using an LFO, they can modulate so many different settings, you’ll always have something new to try!
    • LFO – Creating another oscillator
      • An LFO is basically another oscillator, just tuned so low you can’t hear it. In some synths though, you can bring it up into the audible range to add even more layers to your sound.
  4. Filters
    • Filter Types
      • Filters are another key element is sound design. For example, low pass filters can help take the edge off a harsh sound. Other types can be equally useful if you know how to use them.
    • Cutoff/Resonance
      • You can’t use a filter without understanding how the cutoff works. The Resonance goes hand in hand with it, and can drastically alter your sound.
    • Filter slope
      • Now we’re getting a little more technical, but this topic will help you create a cleaner sound especially for layering multiple synths.
    • Common Usage
      • Ready for some more examples? I’ll go over how filters are used to help create some more common sounds, and show you how to recreate them yourself.
  5. Effects
    • Reverb
      • One of the more difficult effects to use. Too much, and your sound become washed out. I’ll help guide you through giving your sound some life, without going overboard with it.
    • Distortion/Saturation
      • One of the best ways to fill out the audio spectrum is to use some distortion or saturation. Even if you want a chill sound, you’ll want to try this out.
    • Compression
      • Probably the most talked about effect ever. To most newer producers, it’s a total mystery. Let me help unravel that mystery and show you how compression works.
    • Delay
      • Ever shouted something in a canyon to hear your voice repeat? Same concept here! Only this time you have total control over it, and it can get really interesting results.
    • Other Effects
      • No spoilers here! In this topic I’ll choose a few other common effects to go over and show you one or two ways you can use them to bring more interest to your sound.
  6. Putting it All Together
    • Apply what you’ve learned
      • Now that you have all this knowledge, you should be all set! Right? Well, not quite. This topic is all about how to use this knowledge to actually become better at designing your own sounds. Skip this at your own peril!
    • Next steps
      • You made it! Now what? Here I’ll give you some tips on how to move forward after finishing this course. Hopefully you’ve learned a lot and are ready to put it all into practice and fully harness the power of your synth!


“A simple-yet-comprehensive course that combines video tutorials, text, actionable steps, and quizzes to ensure that you never feel lost or confused. Would definitely recommend to anyone who feels overwhelmed by sound design and doesn’t know where to start” – Louay

“Anybody out there who has minimal knowledge and experience with producing music, of which I have zero experience, needs to take this course. Everything is broken down very precisely and explained in terms anyone can understand. I highly recommend the Harnessing Synthesis course to anyone who is just starting out, or to the advanced producer who needs that extra step to get them to the next level.” – Jason

10 things you’ll learn from ‘Harnessing Synthesis’

  • How synthesizers create sound, and how the various waveforms change the sound
  • How different waveforms sound on their own and with some modification
  • The general signal flow for many synthesizers, regardless of type or manufacturer
  • What each module does in a synth, with actual sound examples to hear the difference
  • What to focus on first when designing your own sounds from scratch
  • Several common uses of each module in a synthesizer
  • Some common types of sounds and how to create them
  • What to look for when using a new synth in order to get familiar with it
  • Breakdown of several common effects – what they do and how to use them
  • What to focus on the next time you design your own sound from scratch

Course Details: Here is what you’ll get

  • Full Harnessing Synthesis course (6 lessons with video and PDF guides)
  • Downloadable Ableton Live sets used in the course (The entire collection of sets used for this course, including instrument racks, midi clips, and settings – all exactly how you see in the videos)
  • Downloadable presets used in the course (Any sound I create in this course will be yours to use however you want, or to reverse engineer and study. You’ll get a wide variety of sounds for use in multiple genres and styles.)
  • Access to the Harnessing Synthesis private Facebook group where you can ask me any questions, or get help or feedback on your sound design. (Access is granted immediately after purchase, you do not have to wait for the course to launch)
  • Personal access to me (Jake) throughout the whole course to help guide you throughout the course

How much does it cost?

The entire Harnessing Synthesis course is broken into 6 manageable lessons that you can work through at your own pace so you are not overwhelmed with all of the information at once.

One time payment: $57

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Once the course is finished and available, you’ll have a 30-day, full money back guarantee after going through all of the content. We just ask that you show that you actually went through the content and put it into practice before requesting a refund.

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start/end?

The course will start as soon as you join! Since it is a self-paced course, you can go through the material at your own pace, and start/stop whenever you want.

How long will the course take?

That depends entirely on you! Sure, you could breeze through all of the lessons in a day or two, but will you really learn anything that way? I’ll answer that for you. No. You need to take your time and really pay attention to each lesson, then go put it into practice! I’ll usually have some sort of homework for you after each lesson, so my goal for you is that you would take it seriously and spend time working on your new skills. I’m designing the course so that each lesson can be completed in one week, so the whole course should take roughly 6 weeks if you really put the time in to learn each concept.

What do I need to get the most out of this course?

Check the course page for specifics, but in general you will need a DAW, at least one synth plugin, and preferably some good headphones or monitors.

What if I have more questions?

Just send me an email, and I’ll do my best to answer any other questions you have!

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