I'm been producing electronic music for a while now. I create most of my music with analogue synths but I'm no stranger to digital synthesis using a a variety of methods. This year, I'm going to take a year off songwriting and concentrate on digital sound design. The aim is to bring my skill level up and start working on a completely different sound. I already own NI Komplete 7, and next year I will be buying a Symbolic Sounds Paca unit so that I can use the Kyma system. I know this site is mainly oriented toward film/game sound design but I believe that there's no real different between the two disciplines.

So, I would like to do a sound design course. I'm happy to do an online course, but I don't want to get ripped off, and I don't want to pay for a course where I am just going around and around in circles on the basics. I want to be swamped with new practical information and challenges.

So, please tell me about your experience with formal sound design courses. Here are a few online courses that I have found. I'm particularly interested in hearing from you if you have done one of these courses. I would also love to hear from people who have done Kyma courses.

http://www.dubspot.com/programs/sound-design-komplete-progra m/?from=295#courses (looks ludicrously overpriced) http://www.pointblankonline.net/sound-design-course.php (looks reasonably priced) http://www.berkleemusic.com/school/course/sound-design-for-t he-electronic-musician?course%5fitem%5fid=1325180&page=&tab= &program=&preview%5fp=0&usca%5fp=t (looks reasonably priced)

PS: Please, no comments on YouTube tutorials, or web sites where I can download ad hoc technique vids. I'm looking for a formal course where I can get grades and feedback.

  • Can you go over what variety of methods you're already familiar with?
    – user5613
    Jan 5, 2013 at 5:58
  • I produce ambient electronica. I work a lot with Analog Synths. It would be safe to say that I have a very firm grasp on the basics on Subtractive Synthesis. I understand FM synthesis and can apply it sometimes. I have a decent knowledge of sampling and FX etc. I work a fair bit in Max, and I sometimes play around in Reaktor. But, I guess I don't really consider what I already know to be relevant. The point isn't to learn new theoretical knowledge. The point is to go through a structured course where I am tested, challenged and there is feedback given. A course on subtractive would be good
    – Chris
    Jan 5, 2013 at 7:25
  • @Chris What makes you want to take a course as opposed to e.g. writing good electronic music or doing presets and sample packs? You sound like you know the stuff already that you'd study in a course. Jan 5, 2013 at 14:28
  • @Chris - yes, this statement is very confusing: "I know this site is mainly oriented toward film/game sound design but I believe that there's no real different between the two disciplines" - what is it you want to learn exactly?
    – user49
    Jan 5, 2013 at 18:07
  • "What makes you want to take a course [..]" Not this again... What is everyone's problem with education? I know that there are a lot of courses on the net will rip you off - hence this thread! I've tried to argue this point in the past but I'm not going to go in to it here. I'll just re-emphasize this point: I want to a do a formal course to expand my skills, go over the basics, get challenges,have someone tell me what I don't know, get feedback and so on. "what is it you want to learn exactly" Subtractive, additive, FM, sampling, field recording, all sound design
    – Chris
    Jan 6, 2013 at 1:48

1 Answer 1


There will be a free course on Sound Design on Coursera: https://www.coursera.org/course/digitalsounddesign

Sounds and music are embedded in almost every aspect of daily life. This course will provide an overview of the fundamental principles of sound and the factors that determine our audio perception. It will also explore techniques of recording, mixing, processing, synthesis, sampling, analysis, and editing of digital audio.

I believe it will mostly cover basics, but just wanted to mention it.

EDIT: The course has now finished. I think there will be a rerun at some point in time.

  • 1
    Awesome!! Thanks so much. I signed up for this yesterday. I can't vouch for the quality of the course but this is exactly the kind of thing I'm looking for, and the price is definitely right. If it's a good course, I may go on to study more units through Emory. Brilliant!
    – Chris
    Jan 7, 2013 at 21:30
  • No problem at all! :) I've also signed up and can't wait to get started.
    – Asimov
    Jan 9, 2013 at 11:49
  • Just finished that course actually. I really just signed up for the content and something to listen to on the way into work. It was pretty cool, and there was definitely some good info.
    – Dave
    Feb 28, 2013 at 16:15

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