A few of you might know me from posting about free/affordable Vst's the other day, and also thanks for anyone who responded to that! Anyways, I've been interested in making sound design the focus of my studies in 2012. Though I can not afford school so I will mostly be teaching myself/using the internet for all that it's worth.

I should be alright though, My current day job is Freelance Illustration mainly for the smaller publishers of the comic book industry. I have been freelance for the last 3 years and also did all of that without school, money or help. Also as you can tell from here on I'm working with a bare bones setup and using mostly free tools< a midi keyboard and Reaper to learn.

With that said, let me get into my questions.


I currently use Eq's on sounds to change them as needed, more low end for thumps, less low end for metal hits, ect. Though I would like to know how real sound designers use them. Is it best to EQ each track, EQ everything in one pass? Both? or use other methods of manipulation?


Everything I record myself is 96k, 24bit PCM. Though when there is something I can not record or create I will often check out Free Sound, or hit one of the free libraries out there by HISSandaROAR, ect. The question is though, should I try to keep all the different sounds from different sources the same bitrate/sample rate, ect?

Creating Sound

I have also seen that when in doubt, good sound designers are able to use synths to create sounds. I have Reason 4, a lot of free synths along with Komplete Elements and I can do a wide range of sounds, but they all kinda just sound like a synth, lol. Is there any good guides out there or videos on reverse engineering sound with Synths?

Using Reason

Like I said before, I also have a copy of Reason 4, I use the NN-XT quite a bit in reason, but would there be a way to use it combined with some other things to create something like a poor mans Alchemy?

General Workflow Questions

Alright, I figured I would throw in my workflow on a typical sound I record just to see if what I'm doing is correct, also to make sure I'm not starting off with bad habits and also to see if there are better ways of doing things I might not have considered.

I record with a Tascam Dr-05 96k, 24bit, Stero. I then use Audacity to amplify the sounds if needed, recorder seems to be a bit quiet. Also cut and export multiple clips for each sound.

Load sound into reaper and arrange it as needed, Usually apply the plugin Ambiance from Smart Electronix to model the space the sound should be in. Sometimes EQ with something simple like a 3 band para EQ.

Sometimes I will use the free Alchemy player instead to "Preform" a sound but after that the rest is pretty much the same.

I know as I build my collection of gear a lot more options will open up but for now does this seem like the best way to tackle things with what is out there for cheap/free?

  • Your question would benefit from being separated into several separate ones ... it's hard to answer all of these questions at the same time. Oct 26, 2021 at 8:50

3 Answers 3


What I suggest is to head over to Designing Sound website and start reading the articles from sound designers and some of the SFX Lab posts for ideas/inspiration. Also the sister site Designing Sound TV has lots of great interviews and tutorials.


The best online resource for learning synths = http://synth.tk/

Also maybe check out audio.tutsplus.com for more software-based tutorials.

There is an epic free online sound fundamentals website, but I lost the link... Hope that helps!


Whatever you do, if sound has to do with it, its allways try and error.

Every situation has plenty of variables and surely enough to send most of the theory out of the window, that said theory is very important at the same time!!

Start doing it, whenever you stumble search and overcome the obstacle then repeat the process!

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