Get started: Learning the fundamentals of synthesis with Marc Doty

The Foundation of Synthesis six part tutorial series with Marc Doty is a seven hour course hosted by Get a preview of these tutorials through our website. We’re featuring five video segments from each tutorial to demonstrate the science of sound and the principles of synthesis. The excellent videos are full of informative graphics  and hands-on demonstrations in which Marc Doty uses a variety of classic analog synthesizers from many different designers. These tutorials explore the history of synthesis, sound generation through oscillators, the functionality of the filter, the mysteries of control voltage, advanced synthesis techniques including the VCA, and more!

Click on the links below to start learning.

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Part One: The Synthesis of Synthesis

Reviews of The Synthesis of Synthesis from

“This was just brilliant! Informative and very well presented. I never knew the history of the synth was so interesting.” -Stephen Macleod
“Just watched this first series & its truly amazing. Very detailed and informative and explains years of history leading to the Synthesizer. Great job with this series. Looking forward to seeing the others!” -Johnny Zana

Part Two:  The Oscillator

Reviews of The Oscillator from

“Great course. Really enjoyed how the use of synthesis and oscillators were displayed through analog systems (making the concepts easier to understand) as well as with oscilloscopes.” -Mark
“Watched the first one and loved it. Interesting methods to get across the concepts. Good use of props and visuals to drive home ideas. Great layout of the course to build a greater picture. Lots of interesting footnotes. Excellent video!” -joseph

Part Three:  The Filter

Reviews of The Filter from

“This was a really good course! Mr. Doty is splendid in this series. Even though I’ve never owned any hardware synths, the knowledge is helping my with the use of my software synths.. Good gig MacPro!!” -BPGeez
“Very good tutorial. I have spent much time with very good voltage controlled synths and such equipment. The way that the video is delivered, helps us consider sound as a raw material that can be sculpted. The removal of a portion of a signal from the precursory signal, is an interesting concept to explore. I hope to see more from this series, perhaps a look at some larger modular systems. It was a very enjoyable show.” -Kocianchich

Part Four:  Control Voltage

Reviews of Control Voltage from

“Good overview of how voltage is used within a synth (and from external sources) to control amplitude, pitch, filters, using envelopes, etc.” -C1ph3rd”
Marc Doty’s examples are second to none!! I really enjoyed the section on envelopes, as it helped me understand some nuances that have been plaguing me for some time! Great series MacPro!” -BPGeez

Part Five:  The VCA and Other Tools

Reviews of The VCA and Other Tools from

“Super clear explanation.” -marlh”
This series continues to lay the foundation for understanding the components of synthesis! Mr. Doty continues to give great examples through each course!! Can’t wait to watch the next one!” -BPGeez

Part Six:  Designing Timbres

Reviews of Designing Timbres from

“I started to watch these tutorials, just to see a little bit about voltage control, and got hooked on the whole series. I think the delivery is very sincere, and engaging. The sounds of the old synths alone, makes this tutorial fantastic. I feel inspired to dig up my old analog rack unit and start making patches.” -sam
“Putting it all together. This shows multiple examples, primarily on the Voyager, MiniMoog and the CS-15. There’s discussion on how the sounds were made and how the pieces affect the end result.” -C1ph3rd