Looking for the best way to learn sound design can be an overwhelming task and can often leave people stuck not knowing what to do, so they give up. We’ve been there countless times and it sucks… we know your pain.
That’s why we took the time to create a comprehensive guide on the best sound design resources on the internet.
Each entry has been placed in order of its difficulty and has a label beside it to signify how advanced it is. So look out for the “Beginner”, “Intermediate” and “Advanced” tags in this post.
Whether you’re completely new to sound design, you know a little bit, or you know a great deal and you’re looking to brush up on some knowledge, there’s something here for you.
Let’s get started!
BEST WAY TO LEARN SOUND DESIGN FOR BEGINNERS
Syntorial is one of the coolest programs we’ve come across for learning sound design and wish it was around when we first started on our production journey (it would have made things so much easier to understand!)
It’s a fully interactive learning experience for musicians that works by having the user take interactive lessons where they’ll learn the fundamentals of synthesis.
Designed with the musician in mind, Syntorial doesn’t talk about the science and physics behind synthesisers, but instead, takes you through each individual control and sets tasks so, once you graduate, you know how to apply your knowledge to real-life situations.
You can grab Syntorial to try out for free on the website and, if you decide to upgrade to the full version, you can do so for $129.99. If you’re serious about learning sound design to improve your productions, then this is a quality investment that will save you heaps of time!
This collection of articles from Sound on Sound articles that takes a deep dive on the science and physics behind synthesis. If that kind of thing interests you, then this collection of posts would be a great place to start.
Synth Secrets is a great series for producers looking to brush up on some of the basic concepts of sound design.
Now we know you’ve probably heard this on the internet multiple times and thought that it was one of the most ignorant responses you’ve ever heard.
When we took to the internet, and posted the classic question “How do I design the sounds I hear in my head” all those years ago, we got the same response over and over again.
“Read the manual”
There’s a reason for this… the manual of any synthesiser you are using is like the bible of synthesis. It tells you exactly what each module does and how to use the everything in that particular synth.
Whatever synth you are using, whether it be Serum, Massive or Omnisphere (if you’re loaded), each program will have a manual. Although it might be daunting to read it at first, this is where you are going to get most of the information you need to learn a synth inside and out.
Learning one particular synth inside out is crucial to furthering your understanding of sound design. So, if you’re serious, you’ll take the time to read your chosen synth’s manual.
We personally recommend learning on Serum. It’s really easy to use, has an incredibly beautiful interface and has out of this world sound. It’s also really popular, so you’ll find tonnes of YouTube videos that run you through how to use it.
Kermode YouTube Channel
If you don’t know who Kermode is, he’s an incredible producer that’s been making hits for over 6 years now.
He’s also got a great YouTube channel that covers a lot of sound design knowledge for beginners and advanced. The channel also dives into some cool marketing techniques that you can also use to get more plays on your tracks.
Also, you know how we talked about learning a synth inside and out above? The great thing about Serum (as we mentioned), is that there’s tonnes of great content you can use to learn on YouTube. We’d highly recommend Kermode’s Serum for beginners course.
BEST WAY TO LEARN SOUND DESIGN FOR INTERMEDIATE
Production Music Live Courses (Beginner -> Advanced)
If you’re into production, you probably already know who these guys are.
Production Music Live, in my opinion, have the best value for money courses out there and their sound design courses are top drawer.
They offer some incredible video training on the most popular synths on the market and their trainings will take you from a complete beginner to advanced in synths from Massive, Serum, Sylenth & more.
Seamless YouTube Channel (Intermediate/Advanced)
Seamless’ YouTube channel is one of the biggest resources for learning sound design using video tutorials you’ll find online, and it’s all free!
There’s loads of content for both the new producer and the seasoned veteran, so be sure to have a look through the archives and check out his videos.
ADSR Sounds (Intermediate/Advanced)
ADSR Sounds has both free and paid options if you’re looking to learn sound design. If you’ve ever gone searching for sound design tutorials on YouTube, you’ll have come across them. They offer some absolutely amazing videos that help you understand the basics of Massive that can help you design some pretty awesome sounds.
Their free content is great and easy to follow, but it can take a while to take everything in and learn sound design entirely. They have some great paid options for people looking to take their sound design to the next level.
ADSR Sounds also has an incredible library of samples and an even more impressive collection of their very own plugins.
BEST WAY TO LEARN SOUND DESIGN FOR ADVANCED
MrBill YouTube Channel (Advanced)
We got shown this channel recently and it’s quite possibly one of the best channels we’ve been recommended.
For those of you who don’t know, Mr Bill is an absolutely ridiculous Dubstep producer who is also stupidly good at sound design.
Guess what? He also has a series where he goes in huge depth on sound design and tips & tricks you can use to better your ability at producing.
If you’re not on Reddit or in Facebook groups as a producer, you need to be.
Joining communities is a great way of not only connecting with producers and like-minded people, but also a great way of learning.
There are some brilliant communities and forums out there and you can find most of them on Facebook or Reddit. They are great places to ask about sound design and, particularly on Reddit, there are multiple threads that go under “How to make this sound” titles.
Some Facebook groups and Sub Reddits you should join are:
Designing Sound (Advanced)
Designing sound is a massive library of content that will help you become a sound design wizard 🧙♂️.
Not everything on the site is applicable to sound design, but you can learn some amazing stuff from these guys. The site has now been shut down, but it still remains up on hosting for people to learn from.
It’s been around since 2009, so make sure to make use of its huge library of posts!
That brings us to the end of this post, but there’s one thing we want to say before we leave you to process all the information you’ve just been given, we want to say something.
You can have all the sound design resources in the world, but without practising consistently, you won’t make any progress. Don’t be afraid to go into a synthesiser and mess around with the settings.
Making mistakes and playing around with stuff is where the real learning is done. Once you have the basics, go wild in your favourite synth and remember to have fun.
And that’s a wrap!
Also, if this article helped you in any way and you know someone who could benefit from it, hit that share button!