Electronic Music and Sound Design Vol 3

electronic music and sound design vol 3

This book, the inaugural volume in a three-volume series (also announced for 2012), provides both theory and practice of digital synthesis and sound design. The text follows a logical organization with theory chapters interspersed between practice chapters to allow concepts introduced in one to be put into effect during another chapter.


Synthesis refers to the process of synthesizing information from multiple sources into new ideas. It’s an advanced form of summarization, where key points from one source are shared before moving onto the next source.

Synthesis helps make your paper more cohesive by connecting its various ideas together and giving the paper an organic flow. Furthermore, it demonstrates that you have conducted sufficient research into a topic so as to fully engage with it.

A synthesis matrix chart can help you organize your sources and main ideas on a topic to see how they relate. Furthermore, it enables you to see how your sources differ from each other – essential when showing how they support one central point differently.

Sound synthesis refers to the process of using electronic instruments to generate sounds not normally heard in real life. Early techno producers used synthesizers to produce futuristic and otherworldly sounds which could not be accomplished using traditional instruments – this helped set techno apart from other forms of electronic music and gave rise to its distinct style of music.

Assembling music requires taking many factors into consideration, including timbre, frequency, amplitude and waveform. Furthermore, an extensive knowledge of electronics and software is also essential.

If you’re eager to expand your knowledge of synthesis, there are various resources that can help get you going. One such book is “Creating Sounds from Scratch”, a detailed book which explores sound design across many genres as well as topics such as microphone selection, field recordings, digital audio signal processing and foley workflow.

Experienced musicians may benefit from trying a software synthesizer to better understand synthesis. Many software synthesizers include presets that you can use to produce different sounds; then experiment with these sounds when changing parameters.

Synthesis is an integral component of sound design and will enable you to produce the sounds you’d like for your work. Furthermore, this process teaches various techniques and tools, such as filters, oscillators and modulators, which you will then be able to utilize when designing soundscapes.


This book offers a great introduction to sound generation and its principles, along with numerous examples from films, documentaries and video games to get you started in sound design.

The first part of this book covers fundamental concepts like frequency, amplitude and waveform as well as discussing physiology of ears and brain which is necessary to grasp sound properly. The second part covers sound effect creation with exercises to hone techniques and theories behind sound production.

It contains some of the best illustrations and diagrams to guide you through this intricate process, while its author is an acclaimed figure in sound design, having collaborated with several acclaimed artists and companies. Therefore, this book serves as an ideal resource for audio professionals seeking more knowledge about how sound works and why certain components are essential.

Getting Started With Noise provides an excellent introduction to sound synthesis, filters, noise generators and control signals. It outlines both theory and practice aspects of synthesis in an accessible way.

This book is ideal for people interested in computer-based or generative audio, and provides plenty of information on Max/MSP (a programming language used by musicians, artists and designers). With fantastic reviews from readers worldwide and great instructional materials included within, this book can provide all the fundamentals necessary for understanding audio synthesis.

The third part of this book focuses on learning to program using Pure Data’s visual programming environment, with detailed explanations and exercises designed to help readers grasp how best to utilize this visual programming tool. The authors offer ample explanation and practice exercises so readers can become proficient users.

Guy Marc’s seven-volume exploration of noise and electronic music provides another excellent work. Each volume traverses 20th century in an achronological order.

This book is ideal for anyone seeking to understand the history and development of noise and electronic music, with interviews of pioneering musicians who helped establish this genre.


Filters are one of the fundamental building blocks of sound design, enabling users to adjust frequency content within signals using synthesizer hardware or digital audio workstation (DAW) platforms.

Filters can cut out or boost specific frequencies. They can also produce phase shifts similar to that produced by phaser effects and alter the tone and timbre of audio recordings.

Low-pass filters are one of the most prevalent types of filters, and can be especially useful in balancing out an instrument’s low end or attenuating harshness in cymbals.

Band-stop filters isolate certain frequencies within audio. This can be particularly helpful when working with multitap delay chains as only select frequencies need effects applied to.

Peak filters may not be as commonly used, but they’re an effective solution for boosting specific frequencies without attenuating others – an especially helpful feature when performing live performances and trying to prevent mic feedback.

Resonance filters can be used to notch out a narrow range of frequencies with an increased slope, ideal for attenuating feedback when recording drum kits or loud sounds, as well as adding depth and dimension to audio files. Resonance filters may even add depth by subduing specific frequencies more heavily than they otherwise would do.

An all-pass filter is another type of filter designed specifically to be used with other effects, like phasers. It does not boost anything but instead modifies its phase.

This book is the second volume in a three-volume series dedicated to digital synthesis, signal processing and electronic music theory and practice. Intended to be used as part of university courses, it includes hundreds of sound examples and interactive examples along with videos, glossaries of theory and practice terms, tests as well as programs written specifically in Max as well as an object library created especially for these volumes and practical activities.


This book is exceptionally well organized, providing an effective learning agenda on digital synthesis and signal processing theory and practice. Together with its two upcoming companion volumes, this volume provides an ideal basis for an in-depth course in computer music either under the tutelage of an instructor or on your own.

The initial two chapters, 1T (theory) and 1P (practice), introduce the fundamentals of digital sound synthesis, including delay lines, MIDI, OSC, realtime control, delay line dynamics and graphics.

One of the hallmarks of this book is its impressive range of programming examples, many of which can prove truly useful to readers. This is particularly evident in Chapter 1, where readers are introduced to Max/MSP language and its unique quirks.

I found the glossary at the end of this chapter particularly helpful; it provides numerous acronyms related to audio and synthesis concepts and offers links to downloadable programs – the perfect way to test out an unfamiliar concept.

Cipriani and Giri put great care and effort into making this book both practical and entertaining, offering interactive examples to download on their Web site that not only help readers comprehend the material but also demonstrate practical applications of newfound abilities. Furthermore, the website includes useful additional features like an Errata section where readers can quickly check for any discrepancies or missing pieces of data.