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

The MusicRadar team

MusicRadar is the number 1 website for music makers of all kinds, be they guitarists, drummers, keyboard players, djs or producers...

GEAR: We help musicians find the best gear with top-ranking gear round-ups and high- quality, authoritative reviews by a wide team of highly experienced experts. TIPS: We also provide tuition, from bite-sized tips to advanced work-outs and guidance from recognised musicians and stars. STARS: We talk to musicians and stars about their creative processes, and the nuts and bolts of their gear and technique. We give fans an insight into the actual craft of music making that no other music website can.