Sound Design & Synthesis

Sound Design & Synthesis Course | Bay Area

This is a Sound Design and Synthesis course that’s been created to take back creative control of your music-making. It’s very much for those of you who are feeling trapped by the repeating cycle of sample packs and factory presets. Following this course will teach you how to build sounds from scratch, how to manipulate and modify them, and to get 15% more out of ‘nearly-but-not-quite’ preset sounds.

We believe that the successful completion of this course will leave you confident that you’re able to program and develop your own sounds in all styles, using a wealth of production and synthesis techniques. You’ll head home to finish off those 8 bar loops that have been lurking, unfinished, on your hard drives! You’ll firm up your knowledge and drive your creativity to the next step.

You’ll learn to take the sound from inside your head and realize it in a studio situation. You’ll actually build and shape it from the ground up, learning how to modify it and then apply it to your chosen genre. This class is loaded with production tips and tricks and great ways to inspire your electronic music, and get it moving forward!

It’s a good idea to attend this course with a mind that’s open to possibility. Forget the tricks and devices that you might already know for a bit, and embrace the possibility of the new. We aim to give you great confidence in understanding how to use and manipulate any soft synthesizer or VST without stress. The sort of skills you can apply to any drum machine, sampler or synth.

This course gives you 36 hours of interactive instruction, and we encourage all of our learners to make the most of the classroom and bounce ideas and questions off both the instructors and the like-minded fellow students who will be there. The course is largely based on Ableton Live and Logic, but participants who are using other DAWs will find the instruction wholly suitable, too.

Garnish supplies audio interfaces, controller keyboards and headphones to students on their courses, but understand if you’d like to bring your own laptop along – you can get help getting it set up the way you like, and thus ensure that it looks the same at home as it does in the classroom. Better still, you can save yourself $75 by doing so! But if you’d like to use one of our machines, simply add the $75 supplement to your payment when you book the course and a fully-loaded iMac will be made available for your use during the course.

Sound Design and Synthesis 101

Overview of Sound Design and Synthesis

  • An advanced run-through of industry-leading soft synths.
  • Drum programming in-depth.
  • A complete understanding of tones, processing, resampling, and different effects.
  • Sound choice and genre production.
  • Arrangement techniques and components that create all parts of a song.
  • Course collaboration project – learning to work with other producers!

Subtractive & Wavetable Synthesis

  • Understanding Oscillators, Filters, Wavetables, Envelopes & LFOs.
  • Achieving analog tones with digital soft synths of today.
  • Creating pads, basses, and drums using subtractive synthesis.
  • Arpeggiating and advanced subtractive techniques.
  • Synth side-chaining, internal routing, layering & tuning oscillators.
  • Modulation and automation.

Sound Design and Synthesis 201

FM Sound Design

  • Attaining club-level sub-bass frequencies in your mixes.
  • Understanding the results of different tones and frequencies through the world of modulation.

Granular Sound Design and Synthesis

  • Randomness & control.
  • Achieving distinctive sounds by looping cycles of audio.
  • FX and rising techniques.

Track Mentoring Sessions in Sound Design and Synthesis

  • One-to-one mentoring and guidance on your masterpiece

Our Instructors!

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Check out the student feedback from our longer Electronic Music Academy Program

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    Both instructors were extremely knowledgeable, and quickly adapted to the areas which I needed the most work. There's also no substitute for being face to face with an instructor, to immediately address any logjams in the workflow.

    CJ DeLeo

    The course throughly covers the fundamentals of synthesis and has helped me understand concepts that go beyond the everyday Youtube tutorial. The course has made Youtube tutorials and other concepts of sound design easily understood.

    Daniel Tran

    The EMP course is a good time and super informative. I've been writing and producing music for the past year in Logic. There was so much I wanted to transcribe from my mind to my DAW, I just didn't fully know how. Fortunately, the EMP course changed that in just a few short weeks. Very exciting. Not to mention the Garnish LA folks are super cool.

    Patricia Seely

    If you're looking for in-depth knowledge about electronic music and how to create sounds using 3rd party software through Ableton or Logic then this course will definitely help you! Beginners can follow along but if you're a more advanced producer, then this will definitely show you more advanced techniques to apply to your productions! Extremely happy I found and attended this course!


    If you are trying to establish connections with local artists that have made a name for themselves in LA (the instructors) than this is a great program to join. You get to talk with them about their personal experiences and get a lot of really good inside tips about production from a professional point of view. Highly recommended not just to learn but to make industry connections.

    Zach Klein

    Garnish instructors do a great job at being in depth and detailed with everything so that no question or misunderstanding is left unsolved.

    Austen Greene

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