7 Subtractive Synthesis Tutorials

Roland Canada Product Specialist Jacob Watters shared this series of video tutorials that explore the basics of subtractive synthesis. The tutorials are created on the Roland System-1, but they are general enough to apply to most subtractive synths.

The first video, above, looks at making string synth sound.

The following videos demonstrate how to synthesize a variety of drum sounds, including snare, kick drums, synth toms and hi-hats:

The next synthesis tutorial video looks at how to create an acid bass sound on a subtractive synthesizer:

Next up, creating a funky synth bass sound:

The last video in the series explores the basics of frequency modulation (FM) synthesis and shows how to make bell sounds:

via Roland Canada Tribes

6 thoughts on “7 Subtractive Synthesis Tutorials

  1. These are cool videos. I am always impressed by this synth, though I will never likely own one.

    The Acid one on the 101 plugout in particularly interesting.

    It took me a bit to figure out why the red overlay had cutout areas on each of the slider tracks….be hard to put on and off otherwise.

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  2. Cool, but I have an addition to the string sound patch: Key modulation on the filter – making it slightly brighter up the keyboard. This is a trick that applies to almost all synth sounds where the “original” is an acoustic instrument. The feature of key modulation on the filter was one of the things that set the old minimoog apart from some of it’s competition back in the 70’s. I remember missing it on my old Korg 700S.

    It’s ok to use saw as a starting point, but personally I prefer the pulse wave with pulse width modulation on string sounds.

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  3. Let me know if you have any recommendations for future tutorials. Thanks for sharing my videos!

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    1. You are missing the wind/surf sound and the steam whistle!

      I always get a laugh when I see those in amongst the patches of most vintage synths.

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