I will be producing a number of posts with regards to getting started. This is a short overview of what I will be covering in the coming weeks.
Digital Audio Workstations (DAW) are software programs to produce and record music with your computer. DAW software also serve as a method of hosting software synthesizer plugins.
Software Synths and Effects
The most popular synthesizers used for recording these days tend to be software plugins. There are also plugins that can be used as audio effects. While many plugins are commercial products which can carry considerable cost, many are free. This is probably the best way to get started with learning synthesizers if one has a computer and is on a lean budget. In addition to desktop plugins, there is also the world of software synthesizers for mobile devices.
Synthesizers with keyboards have been a mainstay since the original minimoog. These often offer a relatively straightforward way to approach sound design. Previously the downside of these instruments, especially the analog ones, was the considerable cost involved. However, these days inexpensive analog synthesizers offer a great way to get started.
Modular synthesizers are a deep love of mine, and thus the name of the blog. These instruments offer a great deal of flexibility and frequently beautiful weirdness. Modular synthesizers are at their heart analog computers designed for music. Getting started with modular though can be a rather confusing, even for those who do have familiarity with synthesizers. In addition to that I will provide some basic information on getting started with DIY instruments.
Beyond the Keyboard
Synthesizers are not just about keyboards. Theremins, sequencers, ribbons, and touch-plates are all valid ways to play a synthesizer without a keyboard. Many of these open up the instrument beyond the black and white approach keyboards offer.
I will be covering everything from circuit bending, to exploring musical programming. There is a great deal to cover, and these guides will explore both the very simple and straightforward starter guides to some more advanced topics for those wishing to dive deeper into synthesis. This is all in addition to the normal blogging that will happen here.