instructor: Brandon Smith
Duration: 12 Weeks
Cost: $799cad | $611usd | £483
Payment plan available

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Lesson 1

  • What is a synthesizer?
  • How is sound made?
  • Signal Generators and Modifiers
  • Hardware and Software Tour
  • Analog in Ableton – A/B with Novation Bass Station (hardware synth)
  • Saving and Loading Patches

week 2

  • Oscillators and common waveforms
  • Analyzing a Waveform using an Oscilloscope
  • Recognizing waveforms by ear
  • Audio examples of classic synthesizer waveforms
  • Assignment (See Appendix A)

week 3

  • Oscillator waveform quiz
  • More varieties of waveforms
  • Pulse Width Modulation
  • Introduction to Filters

week 4

  • Filter Quiz
  • Using filters in Live (Auto Filter, EQ-8)
  • Introduction to Envelope Generators
  • Applications of Envelopes

Week 5

  • Envelopes Quiz
  • Introduction to the LFO
  • Applications of LFOs
  • Oscillator Sync
  • The Master section in Analog

Week 6

  • Mid-Term Quiz
  • The Harmonic Series (Overtones)
  • Spectrum Analyzer and figuring out Harmonic Content
  • Introduction to Operator and FM-8

Week 7

  • Operator Level II
  • Classic FM Synths & Sounds
  • Operator’s Envelope section (pitch envelopes, looping envelopes etc.)
  • Introduction to instrument rack (combining Operator and Analog) 

Week 8

  • The Sound Analysis Chart
  • Categorizing Sounds
  • Creating Percussion Sounds With Operator

Week 9

  • Reverse Engineering a Synth Patch Exercise
  • Introduction to Collision
  • Introduction to Tension

Week 10

  • Reverse Engineering A Synth Patch Exercise
  • Introduction to Electric
  • Simpler and Sampler as Synthesizers
  • Introduction to Massive
  • Max For Live

Week 11

  • Reverse Engineering A Synth Patch Exercise
  • Massive Level II
  • Layering Synthesizer Sounds using Instrument Racks
  • Creative Uses For Macros In Synth Patches
  • Final Test

Week 12

  • Class review of final assignments
  • Using External MIDI Synthesizers with Live
  • Other types of synthesizers (Additive, Wavetable, Phase Distortion Etc.)
  • Useful Max for Live Patches (Step Sequencers, Synths etc.)

Instructor: brandon smith


Brandon Smith is a sought after session keyboardist, musician, synth programmer and avid student of keyboard history. His love of vintage equipment and history eventually led him to work for the National Music Centre in Calgary, where he demonstrates many of their instruments and artifacts (including a world class collection of synthesizers) for the public.  



  • Every week we unlock a new lesson including, videos, project files, worksheets, samples and assignments
  • The instructor will provide 1-on-1 video feedback on assignments every second week 
  • During the course you will have six 15 minute 1-on-1 video chats with your instructor
  • Group chats will be held every second week to ask specific questions and go over assignments
  • You can network and collaborate with your classmates on a daily basis in our private online classroom


  • Each lesson will contain 30 minutes to 1.5 hours of video lectures. You can review whenever you wish and as often as you want.
  • Assignments will take between 15 minutes to 1.5 hours. Submission of assignments is optional however, for every assignment you submit you will receive personalized video feedback on your assignment.
  • Each week there is either a group online chat (1 hour) or 1on1 chat (15 minute) with your instructor.


  • You will have 12 weeks with access to the instructor
  • You will have 1 year access to the online videos and resources.
  • After 1 year you can subscribe to the course for $29 per year, which will include new updates and revisions.