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26 essential synth tutorials

26 essential synth tutorials

26 essential synth tutorials

Thanks to today's über-powerful, super-affordable software instruments, making synth-based music has never been easier. However, while it's possible to buy, download and install a plug-in in seconds (there are many that you don't even have to pay for), the fundamentals of synth programming still apply.

Happily, MusicRadar is here to help you master them: we have an abundance of step-by-step guides, videos, tips and other tutorials that will get you to the sound you're looking for in no time. Whether you want to emulate a synth patch that you've heard on record or create something completely original, there's a lesson for you.

Below, you'll find a directory of MusicRadar's very finest synth tutorials. Find one that grabs you, click through to it and get busy.

Step-by-step guides

How to make a Prodigy Breathe-style bassline
Six steps to a Liam Howlett-esque growl

How to make a massive synth bass sound
A house/trance bassline using a virtual Minimoog

How to make a Justice-style bass sound
A free route to their mighty low-end



How to make a massive lead synth sound
Craft a beefy high-end patch using Sylenth1

How to make a Giorgio Moroder-style bassline
Feel the love using Reason's Thor synth

How to make a Kanye West Stronger-style synth sound
Create a polysynth patch for chords and leads

How to make a Prodigy Voodoo People-style lead sound
Get ready to wreak some distorted havoc

How to make a Tiësto-style Dance 4 Life stab sound
Get some detuned dirt going on in Albino 3

How to make a dubstep bass sound
Program one today in Albino 3

How to make a Dr Dre Gin & Juice-style lead sound
Recreate a classic G-Funk synth

How to make a Deadmau5 Faxing Berlin-style synth sound
Tweak your way to a progressive house patch



NEXT: More essential synth tutorials

Step-by-step guides (continued)

How to make a Van Halen Jump-style synth sound
An '80s classic recreated

How to make an 8-bit video game FX sound
Get the '80s lo-fi vibe using a free synth

How to make a Noisia Diplodocus-style old-skool bass sound
A Jurassic drum 'n' bass monster

How to make a Pink Floyd-style lead synth sound
Welcome To The Machine via Logic's ES2

How to make a Calvin Harris-style '80s lead synth sound
We think you'll find this more than acceptable

Calvin harris

Calvin harris

How to make a 303-style acid bassline in Ableton Live
Have yourself some squelchy low-end fun

Better synth bass in 9 easy steps
Improve your sound today


How to make a dirty drum 'n' bass lead sound
Create a throbbing monster in ZebraCM

How to make a swelling pad sound
Use modulation to give your synth some movement

How to make a Chicago house bass sound
Give your low-end some bounce

Other synth tutorials

Old-school synth tips
Learn some classic synth programming techniques

Classic synth sounds revealed
Discover the machines behind the great synth sounds

6 synthesis methods in a nutshell
And a brief guide to the rest of them, too

8 seriously useful synth tips
Sound design ideas you might not have considered

The best hardware synths available today
We reveal MusicRadar users' favourites