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How can we synthesize sound?

Think about

  • How can we use technology to create sounds?
  • What characteristics of sound do you like?

Get Started

To make a sound, type the A,W,S,E,D,F,T,G.Y,H,U,JK,O,L,P keys
  1. Select different instruments by using the drop down “patch” menu  [What’s a patch?]
    1. Keep playing the different letter keys on your computer keyboard to make sounds


Think About

  1. What happens to the sliders when you change the patch?
  2. What kinds of patches (instruments) do you like best? Why?
  3. What similarities and differences can you hear with the different patches?
  4. What words best describe the different patches and their sounds?

Get Advanced Info

All of the different sliders and drop down menus control parts of the sound – you can call these different parts, parameters.

Moving a slider, changes a parameter of the sound

Go Further

Creating an Instrument by Changing Parameters

  1. Experiment with the sliders by moving them while playing sounds
  2. Try to create a brand new sound by adjusting the sliders 

You are making an instrument with technology!

Go Even Further (Optional)

Curious about how this all relates to synthesizers? Find out more!

  1. Create three of your own very different sounding sounds and name them whatever you like
  2. You just created a digital instrument!
  3. For each instrument you create, click save and then choose whether you want to “lock it” so that people cannot edit your instrument OR keep it open for others to turn into their own instrument!

Share What You Learned

  1. Share the URL of a sound you created and saved
  2. Use text or video to explain how you designed the sound
  3. Use text or video to explain some of its characteristics and which sliders helped make the sound.

Take it to the Next Level

  1. Make up a simple pattern (riff) with the keyboard keys to play a melody
  2. Try playing your simple pattern (riff) with the instruments you created
  3. Record yourself playing a same simple riff with each instrument you created.
  4. Comment on the instrument you like best and explain why!
  5. Answer one of the following questions:
    1. How can we synthesize sound?
    2. How can we create a new sound from an existing one with technology?