5 Essential Sound Design Tips For Beginners

Just starting out in the music production world? Get a head start with these 5  essential sound design tips. We've put together our top tips especially for Beginners new to sound design.

So, here's our 5 Top techniques to help when starting out with Sound Design.

Start a blank Preset

Always better to start from an Initialisation patch than a pre-programmed preset. It'll give you a good grounding to start your sound design and you won't get lost in a sea of parameters trying to find you way out.

Start with small synth tweaks

Start by using a simple sawtooth waveform, add a lowpass filter and play with the (ADSR) Attack, Decay, Sustain, Release settings first on the AMPplifer envelope then next on the FILter and build an awareness of how this influences the sounds timbre (colour/tone). Once you've grasped the basics of how these 4 elements interplay with each other you can start building up from there.

Leave the synth FX

Don't be tempted to load up on FX, particularly early on. It will cloud your ability to hear minute changes as you experiment with different settings. It can make the sound artificially 'more attractive' to your ear slowing your progress in learning and honing your craft.

Reverse Engineer Presets

Don't be afraid to reverse engineer some of your favourite presets from different sound designers. Sometimes the best way to learn is to understand how others got there in the first place. Use these learnings to create something new you can then call your own.

Look out for our follow up article coming soon to help answer the common question How do I create my own sounds?

Cut your losses

Sometimes you can paint yourself into a corner when in experimental / learning stages. Don't be afraid to cut your losses and reinitialise the preset to rebuild on your previous learnings rather than trying to introduce too much into your existing attempts. Adding too many random parameters can often overload a sound. Good sound design is as much about effectiveness through simplicity as it is audio gymnastics via wild modulation settings.