Funded! This project was successfully funded on September 22, 2012.

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Fully interactive training software that'll turn you into a synth programming guru.

Synthesizers are POWERFULbeasts. Indeed, no other musical instrument gives us so much control over our sound. But that control comes with a STEEP learning curve. For many of us, the wall of buttons, knobs and sliders is so intimidating that we resort to browsing through endless presets, or mindlessly tweaking parameters until we either stumble upon something interesting or quit in a flurry of curse words.

Enter SYNTORIAL (patent pending), the synth-tutorial-to-end-all-synth-tutorials. I'm sure your brain is just brimming with questions. Penny for your thoughts?

[UPDATE: We are officially funded! If you've arrived here after our Sep 22nd deadline, but you still want to be kept in the loop and notified when Syntorial is released, go to Syntorial.com and sign the mailing list.]

HOW IS SYNTORIAL DIFFERENT FROM ALL THE OTHER SYNTH TUTORIALS OF THE WORLD? 

In two very important ways:

1. It's software. The current offerings of synth tutorials are either books, videos, articles or websites. And while they can only present information, a program can interact with the user. And that's just what Syntorial does. Through a series of challenges Syntorial gradually builds up your sound design skills so that by the end of the entire tutorial, you're doing it. "Look Ma!" 

2. Most tutorials focus on the technical ins-and-outs of synthesizers. Or, they show you how to make a few specific sounds. They fail to address the MOST important skill needed to program synthesizers: a trained ear. Using our Synthesis By Ear method (patent pending), Syntorial takes you step-by-step through 58 different common synth parameters and trains your ear to instantly recognize how each one effects sound.  "Seriously, Ma! Look at me! I'm doin' it!!!"

HOW DOES IT WORK?

First you watch a video, demonstrating one specific synth component. 

That video is followed up with a Challenge. The following video will take you through a demonstration of a Syntorial Challenge:

Simple as that. With over 200 Videos, and over 200 Challenges (each with several sounds), you'll become so used to translating sounds you hear into knob twists, button pushes, and fader slides, that it will become second nature. Syntorial will transform you into a synth-programming guru!

BUT THERE ARE SO MANY SYNTHS OUT THERE. HOW DO I TAKE WHAT I LEARN WITH SYNTORIAL, AND APPLY IT TO MY FAVORITE SYNTH? 

At the end of every major section, you'll watch a video explaining the many ways in which each parameter is implemented in other synths. Taking the time after each of these videos to apply what you've learned to your favorite synth will have you up and running in no time. 

OK. WHAT IS SPECIFICALLY COVERED?

Hundreds of patches, covering a range of styles and genres. Both subtractive synthesis (AKA analog synthesis) and fm synthesis. Synth components include:

  • 3 Oscillators
  • 4 Waveforms
  • FM
  • Ring Mod
  • Oscillator Sync
  • 4 Types of Filters
  • 3 Envelopes
  • LFO
  • Mono, Mono Legato, and Poly Voice Modes
  • Unison
  • Velocity
  • Mod Wheel
  • Pitch Wheel
  • Portamento

As well as common effects used with synths:

  • Chorus
  • Delay
  • Distortion
  • Phaser

ANYTHING ELSE I SHOULD KNOW?

Syntorial will be available as a digital download for PC and Mac. 

GREAT! BUT WHO THE HELL ARE YOU?

Good question! I've been a professional musician for 17 years. My main instrument is synthesizer/keyboards, which I've used in a) performing for all 17 years, b) producing and composing for the last 6 years, and c) teaching for the last 9. I graduated from Berklee College of Music in '03. Also, I've been programming websites and applications on the side for the past 9 years. But enough talk. Here's some stuff of mine to check out and judge for yourself:

1. I've made several video tutorials for synth sound design and production. Some new, some old. I'll be posting more throughout the KickStarter campaign. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to check them out.

2. Several samples of my past work (production, composition and performance) are on my website so you can see that I'm no slouch. 

WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO WITH MY MONEY? 

We're going to hire graphic designers, web designers, purchase a code library called JUCE, purchase some development related software, and pay for some startup business related expenses. If we receive enough pledge $ over our goal, we're also going to bring in an additional programmer to finish this puppy quicker. We're currently at the halfway point and we're aiming to finish by March 2013.

WHAT DO I GET IN RETURN? 

Other than a tool that will turn you into a synth monster?! Depending on your pledge amount you'll get one or several of the following rewards:

  • Personal thanks and a contribution credit.
  • "Top Ten Synth Sound Design Tips" in PDF.
  • 50 of my favorite synth patches from Syntorial, programmed for either Ableton Analog, FL Studio Wasp XT, Reason Thor, or Logic ES2. For those of you who don't use any of those programs, 50 patches for Tal-Noisemaker (great free vst/au synth).
  • Syntorial Keychain.
  • Syntorial T-Shirt.
  • Syntorial itself for half of the currently planned price.
  • Custom tutorial video, with a personal thank you message.
  • Skype chat with myself.
  • Collaboration on an original track. 

See the right side of the page for more details.

ANY FINAL THOUGHTS YOU'D LIKE TO SHARE WITH ME, ONE OF YOUR POSSIBLE BACKERS? 

I love you? No, I barely know you. But I am open to feedback and questions. So please feel free to contact me with anything. Just scroll up to the top of the page and click "Contact Me" next to my photo on the right side of the page. I am super excited about making this a reality!  Be a part of it and let's make it happen together!

TUTORIALS

Here you'll find some tutorials I've made on synth programming and production. I'll be posting more as the KickStarter campaign continues. Enjoy!

1. CALVIN HARRIS "LETS GO" - MAKING THE BEAT

Download the synth presets, midi files, audio files, instrumental, Ableton session and Reason session.

2. ELLIE GOULDING "LIGHTS" - MAKING THE BEAT

Download the synth presets, midi files, audio files, instrumental, Ableton session and Reason session.

3. DAVID GUETTA "I CAN ONLY IMAGINE" - MAKING THE BEAT

Download the synth presets, midi files, audio files, instrumental, and Ableton session.

4. JAY-Z "EMPIRE STATE OF MIND" - MAKING THE BEAT

Download the instrumental, midi files and Reason session. 

FAQ

  • No. Syntorial is a completely self-contained app, that requires no additional software. As long as you're running Windows or Mac OS X, you're golden.

    Last updated:
  • Yes. The synth used in Syntorial is a subtractive synth (AKA analog synth) with an FM component that allows the 2nd oscillator to modulate the 1st, giving you FM synthesis as well.

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  • In order for Syntorial to be able to provide detailed feedback, you can only use the built-in soft synth that comes with Syntorial. You can, however, control it with a midi controller if desired. And, each level in Syntorial ends with a video that can help you apply what you've learned to your own synths.

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  • Pledge $5 or more
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    3 backers

    A personalized thank you message from yours truly, plus your name listed on Syntorial's website as a contributor.

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  • Pledge $10 or more
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    8 backers

    Same as $5 reward, plus my "Top Ten Synth Sound Design Tips" in PDF.

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  • Pledge $25 or more
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    8 backers

    Same as $10 reward, plus 50 of my favorite synth patches from Syntorial, programmed for either Ableton Analog, FL Studio Wasp XT, Reason Thor, or Logic ES2. For those of you who don't use any of those programs, 50 patches for Tal Noisemaker (great free vst/au synth).

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    2 backers Limited (48 left of 50)

    Same as $25 reward, plus a Syntorial keychain. Add $5 for outside U.S. shipping.

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    4 backers Limited (21 left of 25)

    Same as $25 reward, plus a Syntorial T-Shirt. Add $15 for outside U.S. shipping.

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    82 backers

    Same as $25 reward, plus a copy of Syntorial (current price planned for $129.99, so this could save you up to $54.99!)

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  • Pledge $150 or more
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    5 backers All gone!

    Same as $75 reward, plus a custom tutorial video, showing how to make 5 synths sounds of your choosing, from any recording. Patch downloads included for one synth of your choice from either Ableton, FL Studio, Reason, or Logic. For those of you who don't use any of those programs, you'll get patches for Tal Noisemaker (great free vst/au synth). AND a personal thank you message at the beginning of the video.

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  • Pledge $250 or more
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    0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)

    $75 reward, plus 1 hour Skype chat with yours truly. Ask me anything! We can talk synths, I can show you some tips, how to make certain sounds, life adivce, philosophy, vent about work, whatever!

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  • Pledge $500 or more
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    2 backers All gone!

    We gonna make-a some music together! Same as $75 reward, plus collaborate on a synth-driven track with me, and have it featured on Syntorial's website with your name and a link to your site. If you live in NYC we can do it in person! Otherwise we'll make it an online collab.

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Funding period

- (30 days)