Synthesizers and Samplers Explained
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Synthesizers and Samplers Explained

Taking the guess work out of sound design
4.7 (39 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
165 students enrolled
Created by Matt Hayes
Last updated 2/2016
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  • 4.5 hours on-demand video
  • 12 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Create custom original instruments on samplers and synthesizers
  • Route and control effects on a synthesizer
  • Follow the internal signal flow of a synthesizer
  • Map samples to MIDI controls
  • Understand the process of sampling
  • Do basic MIDI sequencing
View Curriculum
  • Students should have an audio/MIDI software application (DAW) they can use to follow examples (I.e. Garageband, Pro Tools, FL Studio, Reason, etc.)
  • A MIDI keyboard is recommended.

Musicians, Producers, Audio Engineers, Beat Makers, and Artists: Odds are you have used a sampler and a synthesizer already. These instruments do amazing things, but do you truly understand what you are doing when you turn those knobs and push those buttons? Or are you just trying stuff until it sounds cool?

I can help you take the guess work out of that, as well as improve your workflow when making music. Whether you use hardware instruments or plug-ins, these controls and concepts are universal to every synthesizer and sampler. If you are creating using music software such as FL Studio, Logic, Pro Tools, Reason, Nuendo, Cubase, MPC Renaissance, etc., it doesn't matter. Again, these concepts are universal.

This short course (less than 30 lectures, all less than 20 mins) will dig in to how synthesizers and samplers create and manipulate sound. I will show you how to create a custom synth patch from scratch and how to create your own sampler instruments, as well as some basic MIDI sequencing and editing.

Who is the target audience?
  • Music Producers
  • Beat Makers
  • Artists
  • Musicians
  • Songwriters
  • Sound Designers
  • Audio Engineers
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Curriculum For This Course
24 Lectures
Introduction to Course
3 Lectures 28:27

Welcome to "Synthesizers and Samplers Explained!" By the end of this course you will be comfortable with all of the controls on synths and samplers, as well as be able to create your own custom synth patches and original sampler instruments.

Preview 03:10

An introduction to how sound works and the characteristics of a sound wave.

Sound Waves

A review of sound waves with audible examples.

Preview 15:36

A review of concepts covered in the "Introduction to Course" Section.

Quiz on Sound Waves
4 questions
6 Lectures 01:02:45

A basic look at the controls commonly found on most synthesizers. Oscillator, Filter, Amplifier, Envelope, and Low Frequency Oscillator(LFO) are explained.

Preview 12:10

An explanation of how additive synthesis works, with demonstrations.

Additive Synthesis

An explanation of how subtractive synthesis works, with demonstrations.
Subtractive Synthesis

An explanation of how frequency modulation(FM) synthesis works, with demonstrations.
Frequency Modulation (FM) Synthesis

An explanation of how granular(a.k.a. graintable) synthesis works, with demonstrations.
Granular Synthesis

An explanation of how modeling synthesis works, with demonstrations.
Modeling Synthesis

A review of the concepts covered in the "Synthesis" section.

Quiz on Synthesis
5 questions
Manipulating a Synthesizer's Controls
5 Lectures 01:16:23

This lecture digs deeper in to the controls available for manipulating how an oscillator creates sound.


A deeper explanation of how to use filters to control the sound of a synthesizer (or sampler).


An in-depth look at envelopes. Includes demonstrations of utilizing envelopes to manipulate the sound of a synthesizer (or sampler).


This lecture explains how a LFO works, and how to route and manipulate the LFO controls.

Low Frequency Oscillators (LFO)

Let's take all of the concepts covered thus far and create new synthesizer patches from scratch!

Putting it all together: Creating a custom synth patch

A review of the "Manipulating a Synthesizer's Controls" section.

Quiz on Synthesizer Controls
5 questions
5 Lectures 01:13:06

In this lecture I'll define what makes a sampler different from a synthesizer, as well as take a basic look at how samplers function.

Preview 09:33

A demonstration of how to load your own samples in to a sampler instrument.

Loading Samples

A demonstration of how to record and create your own original samples to use within a sampler instrument.

Creating Samples

This lecture is a more in-depth look at how to assign samples to various MIDI controls.

Mapping samples to a MIDI keyboard

Now that our samples are recorded, loaded, and mapped to our MIDI controller, let's see how else the sample can be manipulated by the instrument.

Using DSP on Samplers

A review of the Sampling section for the course.

Quiz on Sampling
5 questions
MIDI Sequencing
4 Lectures 29:30

An introduction to what MIDI is, and how to use it.

MIDI Basics

Basic recording techniques using a MIDI controller plugged in to your Digital Audio Workstation(DAW).

Recording a MIDI sequence

An example of how a MIDI sequence can be created without using a MIDI controller. You can use your mouse to add notes to a sequence offline.

Offline MIDI Sequencing

This is the final MIDI lecture for the course. It's a little bit of review, and a little bit of new concepts.

A Bit More MIDI

A review of the "MIDI Sequencing" section.

Quiz on MIDI
5 questions
1 Lecture 10:22

Congratulations for making it to the end of the course! This is a final review of all of the material covered in this course.

Review of Concepts
About the Instructor
Matt Hayes
4.7 Average rating
129 Reviews
536 Students
4 Courses
Recording and Mixing Engineer

Audio Instructor at SAE Institute of Technology

BBA, Florida International University

Avid Certified Pro Tools Instructor

Waves Audio Certified

Certified Higher Education Professional from NASASPS

I have been involved in the music industry for 15 years, and engineering (recording and mixing) for 10 years. Originally, I started out as a musician before becoming involved behind the scenes in recording studios. I have worked in many different genres of music through the years, and I am a voting member for the Grammy Awards.