-use the source

Page contains links to sound design tutorials and examples


Practical synthetic sound design
- by Andy Farnell

Finally this part of the site is starting to come together. Today (24/5/206) there are 16 tutorials, which is about a quarter of my original target for a book, not including some chapters that will be entirely background discussion and theory. I hope progress continues at the current rate, and those of you who keep sending in corrections and advice have my most sincere gratitude. Eventually all patches will be normalised against the latest Pd-extended version. The target date for completion is somewhere in September/October when I hope to find a publisher. Keep the feedback coming in and enjoy the tutorials.

Andy J Farnell (May 2006)


Some hows, whys, and whatjamajigs of native digital synthetic sound design.

Introduction for games developers

Introduction for film, radio and TV sound

Part 1: Three telephone bells

Some exercises to explore essential principles by building a sound in 3 ways.

1980s telephone sounds

Old style telephone bell

Efficient alarm bell

Part 2: Earth, air, fire and water

Traditional staple elements for games and film sound designers



Running water



Thunder and wind

Part 3: Project Mayhem

How to build guns, bombs, rocket propelled grenades and all that stuff.



Part 4: Engineering

Make machines that go ping, lifts, fans, clocks, engines and other mechanics.

Introduction to machines




Part 5: Future shock

Unreal weapons, lasers, pickup sounds, everything SciFi and outer-space.


Laser beam

Alien blood / Biosludge

Part 6: Monster mash

How to make scary beasts and animals come alive.

Human Footsteps


Part 7: Runtime sourcery

Advanced parameterisation of realtime synthesis.

Part 8: Reference section

Maths and synthesis theory references for alpha geek boffins.

If you are interested in learning more or want to exchange patches, software or ideas relating to digital synthesis I'm usually happy to receive emails. Address messages to padawan12 at this website.