Session 6: Synthesizers

Below are resources from the fifth session of the Digital Music Production Workshops at Carnegie Hall's Weill Music Institute provided in partnership with Building Beats.



A circuit or instrument for producing an alternating current or voltage of a required frequency.


The sounding of the notes of a chord in rapid succession instead of simultaneously.  Arpeggiation is often included on synthesizers.

Wave Forms (Square, Triangle, Sine, Sawtooth)

A usually graphic representation of the shape of a wave that indicates its characteristics (as frequency and amplitude). Also called a wave shape.


An oscillation, for example in voltage pulse, that alternates between two fixed values with a negligible transition time between the two, giving a rectangular waveform.


A wave consisting of a series of triangular pulses.


A waveform that represents periodic oscillations in which the amplitude of displacement at each point is proportional to the sine of the phase angle of the displacement and that is visualized as a sine curve.


Having an amplitude that varies linearly with time between two values, the interval in one direction often being much greater than the other.


  1. Explore the different synthesizers.  Play around with the available effects and filters.
  2. What are some of the unique features on each synthesizer?
  3. How does using the physical equipment differ from using similar fx or filters in a DAW?
  4. What is the difference between a keyboard and a synthesizer?


Spotify Playlist with songs that utilize synthesizers:

Youtube playlist with songs that utilize synthesizers:

Synthesis Fundamentals:

The digital music production workshops and these resources are the result of a partnership between Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute and Building Beats.  These resources are made available under the Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International Creative Commons license.


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Digital music workshops produced by Carnegie Hall in partnership with Building Beats are supported by the Hive Digital Media Learning Fund in the New York Community Trust.


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