In 2024, the world of synthesis is paradoxically both more accessible than ever before, and also more of a deep and baffling rabbit hole. On the one hand, it’s possible to pick up excellent synths for a very reasonable amount of money, and it’s perfectly possible to make excellent music just engaging with these instruments on a surface level of preset sounds and basic controls.
Look beyond those simple approaches though, and there’s an enormous variety of different styles and approaches available, often relying on complex ideas and unique terminology. This issue, we’re aiming to demystify some of these ideas, explaining concepts such as complex oscillator shaping, semi-modular patching and modern digital synthesis.
Let us help you start on your journey down the rabbit hole of synthesis. Who knows how deep it goes?
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Matmos – We hear how the US’s favourite musical minutiae-merchants went federal with a new Smithsonian commission
Airhead – Experimental guitarist and longtime James Blake collaborator Rob McAndrews on his latest LP
Karl Bartos – The former Kraftwerk member shares his thoughts on digital technology as he embarks on his first soundtrack project
Classic Album – Techno icon Richie Hawtin talks us through his seminal F.U.S.E album Dimension Intrusion
Pioneers – We explore the influence of dub icon Lee 'Scratch' Perry
Master Your Synths – Stuck in a rut with the basic features of your synth collection? Enter the next phase with jargon-busting tutorials and useful tips and tricks
Masterclass: 'alternative analogue' – We dig into the potential of some of history's lesser-known and overlooked analogue instruments
Producer's Guide to Roland RE-201 Space Echo – Discover what make's the iconic hardware tape echo so influential and master it (and its many emulations!)
Knowledge – Everything you need to know about delay
Teenage Engineering K.O. II
Endorphin.es Golden Master
Kali Audio IN-UNF
Presonus Eris Sub 8BT
Native Instruments Kontrol S61 MK3
Arturia MiniFreak V2.0
Asus Zenbook Pro Duo 15 OLED
Cinematic Impacts – Add Hollywood-worthy drama to your productions with this pack of high-tension impact sounds, FX and ear-catching one-shots
Convolution Reverb – Get creative with space using our bundle of out-there sounds created via the use (and misuse) of convolution reverb
Access the FM sample archive – UPDATE FOR 2024! Download the ‘Archive’ packs and get over 20GB of loops, hits and instruments from our back catalogue of high-quality and royalty-free samples. From vintage synths and drum machines to esoteric instruments and FX – think of it as our best of. All the samples you need to create great music!