Due to the rapid progress in technology, the world of music has changed dramatically in the last few years. Nowadays hardly any modern music productions can do without synthesizers that have long become a part of our daily listening habits. In these times of virtual studio technology and software instruments, entire music productions are meanwhile being created on home computers. Acoustic designers, musicians and sound artists now have the possibility to help themselves to a vast range of software synthesizers and their presets. Many users still swear by hardware because they miss the haptics and intuitive handling in the virtual alternative. Whether analogue devices or software – particularly the inexperienced find it hard to make an appropriate selection in order to create their own individual sound. The traditional approach of actively making music has also changed. Initial musical experience today is no longer only gained with piano lessons but rather on the computer. However, as is the case with every classical instrument,
certain basic knowledge is also necessary here in order to be able to use the wide range of new technical possibilities in a meaningful way. Nevertheless, especially beginners lack the basics needed to deal with complex software intensively. How can a virtual instrument be made tangible? How are sounds even created? What influence do different parameters have? This paper aims to remedy this and, based on subtractive synthesis, gives an insight into the world of sound synthesis, thereby enabling easier access. In addition, this paper makes the hypothesis that a synthesizer is sufficient to produce different qualitative sounds, in order to create one’s own songs with it. It is intended to illustrate by way of example how useful it is to establish a theoretical connection to the practical side of making music. For this purpose various methods are presented and, based on a few acoustic examples, ways are shown how these can be put into practice.