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Learn Additive Synthesis With Our Sound Design Lecturer, James Malone

Additive Synthesis is an essential part of sound design. At its core, additive synthesis involves combining multiple sine waves of different frequencies and amplitudes to create a more complex sound. Each of these sine waves is known as a “partial,” and the overall sound is created by summing up all of the partials. In this video, James Malone, the Point Blank sound design module leader, shows you the basics of how additive synthesis works, as well as how to create a simple patch using Alchemy in Logic Pro X.

As part of our sound design module, students learn the fundamentals of additive synthesis and how to utilize it in their music production. Sound design is an important part of our popular Music Production Degrees, which we offer as a three-year and two-year accelerated course, both in London and Online. Coupled with your choice of DJ, Sound Engineering, and Vocal Performance, this degree will take your music to the next level.

In the first part of the video, James Malone shows you the principles of additive synthesis by running multiple sine waves of varying frequencies simultaneously and analyzing how they affect the final waveform. He then puts that into practice by creating a patch with Alchemy in Logic Pro X. Alchemy is a powerful synthesizer that allows you to create and manipulate a wide range of sounds. It offers a variety of sound sources, including virtual analog, wavetable, granular, and, of course, additive synthesis. It also gives you a wide range of modulation and effects, which James demonstrates later in the video, using features such as the filter and LFO to affect the partials.

Although this video focuses on Logic Pro X, you can perform additive synthesis in DAWs such as Ableton Live. Students at Point Blank decide at the start of their degrees whether they want to specialize in either DAW, and this forms the basis of their first module, Music Production, which is a general overview of how these DAWs work and the basic building blocks of making music. We then progress deeper into the music production landscape with modules such as Music Composition, Composing for Media, and, of course, Sound Design. If the thought of becoming a world-class music producer excites you, take a look at our degree offerings and contact our team to find out which one is best for you.

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When you register with Point Blank, you access an array of free sounds, plugins, online course samples and much more! Simply register below and visit our Free Stuff page to get your hands on a range of exclusive music-making tools and tutorials provided by the team. Fill your boots!

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