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Subtractive Synthesis

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Subtractive Synthesis


Subtractive synthesis is a method of sound synthesis in which partials of an audio signal (often one rich in harmonics) are attenuated by a filter to alter the timbre of the sound. During this amazing Subtractive Synthesis course you’ll joun professional instructor David Alexander, who is a Musician and Producer with years of experience, so he has plenty of insider tips to share with you. The course covers all the fundamentals of Subtractive Synthesis, and explores all the basic concepts of subtractive synthesis, the basis of most electronic music. Subtractive synthesis is achieved by “subtracting” the harmonic content from a source signal via sound synthesis and then applying different filters to the audio signal to generate a richer more complex or interesting tone.

Our learning material is available to students 24/7 anywhere in the world, so it’s extremely convenient. These intensive online courses are open to everyone, as long as you have an interest in the topic! We provide world-class learning led by IAP, so you can be assured that the material is high quality, accurate and up-to-date.

What skills will I gain?

  • Learn to work with oscillators, filters, the amlifier envelope, the filter envelope, the modulation envelope, LFO’s, and how to put it all together

Meet the instructor:

David Alexander is a multi-talented recording artist/producer whose career includes producing, mixing, scoring, remixing, programming, and co-writing. A co-founder of a digital music production school in downtown Los Angeles called Icon Collective, David seeks to empower and educate electronic artists in an environment that blends technology with creativity. His credits include scoring music for some of the top video games such as “Quake II” and “Terminator 3” and his music has been featured in major motion pictures including “Rush Hour” and “Friday.” Currently working with DJs and artists in the dance and electronica scene, David is producing several albums including working on the latest release by DJ Irene, a leading female turntablist. In addition, David has toured the States while playing keys for The Gap Band, George Clinton, Chaka Kahn, as well as many others. He is a frequent contributor to BPM Magazine. When not mentoring other musicians, David performs in his live audio/visual electronica band called Icon Underground that’s a unique blend of technology and soul with hypnotic visuals.

Course outline:

  • Module 01: Introduction
  • Module 02: Oscillators
  • Module 03: Filters
  • Module 04: Amplifier Envelope
  • Module 05: Filter Envelope
  • Module 06: Modulation Envelope
  • Module 07: LFO’s
  • Module 08: Putting It ll Together

What are the requirements?

  • You must be 16 or over
  • You should have a basic understanding of English, Maths and ICT
  • You will need a computer or tablet with internet connection (or access to one)

How will I be assessed?

  • You will have one assignment. Pass mark is 65%.
  • You will only need to pay £19 for assessment.
  • You will receive the results within 72 hours of submittal, and will be sent a certificate in 7-14 days.

What Certification am I going to receive?

Those who successfully pass this course will be awarded a Subtractive Synthesis: An Understanding certificate. Anyone eligible for certification will receive a free e-certificate.

What careers can I get with this qualification?

This excellent Subtractive Synthesis: An Understanding course will qualify you to be a Music Producer. As a Music Producer you could work for an existing organisation, or could work on a freelance basis. The average salary of a Music Producer in the UK is £29,032, and this will go up with experience ( With this course you could fulfil any of the following roles:

  • Audio engineering
  • Sound engineering
  • Recording engineering
  • Musicians
  • Music production
  • Music teaching

Key Features

Gain an accredited UK qualification

Access to excellent quality study materials

Learners will be eligible for TOTUM Discount Card

Personalized learning experience

One year’s access to the course

Support by phone, live chat, and email

Course Curriculum Total Units : 9
1: Introduction
1. Subtractive Synthesis Introduction
2: Oscillators
1. Wave In Harmonic Content, Sine Wave – No Harmonics, Saw Tooth – All Harmonics Even and Odd, Square Wave – Odd Harmonics, Triangle
2. Selecting Wave Shapes, Basic Pitch Controls
3: Filters
1. Cutoff, Resonance, Keyflow, LP, HP, BP, Notch
4: Amplifier Envelope
1. Attack, Decay, Sustain, Release
5: Filter Envelope
1. Attack, Decay, Sustain, Release
6: Modulation Envelope
1. Attack, Decay, Sustain, Release
7: LFO’s
1. What Is A LFO, Rate, Depth, Assign
8: Putting It All Together
1. Techniques for Learning Sound Design
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