chapter  9
11 Pages

The theory of sound design

WithRick Snoman

An understanding of synthesizer architecture is only part of a much larger puzzle. This chapter shows how to create interesting sounds with them and how to process and mix these sounds. Of all these, sound design is perhaps the most difficult to master. Poor sound design is the main contributing factor that separates an amateur production from a professional. Sound design can be divided into three distinct categories: audio design, synthesis design, and processing/effects chain order. Understanding the basic concepts of how envelopes will interact with one another is essential for sound design and programming. Almost all synthesizer patches are designed to sound their best in isolation, but when these are combined to the final mix, the effects tails, delays, and chorus all blend to produce a cluttered and indistinct result. Many sounds should be in mono rather than stereo. Most plug-in and hardware instruments will exaggerate the stereo spread to make individual tones appear impressive.