Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Index Of Beatportal Tutorials

From 2007-2009, I was technology editor for Beatport's EDM blog, Beatportal.

During that time, I wrote a comprehensive set of tutorials on subtractive synthesis - the underlying technology behind 99.9% of analog synths - as well as sampling, effects, tips for getting the most out of Reason's Thor, and a smattering of production master classes with techniques from some of the top EDM producers.

Since starting this blog, I've been asked to create an index of the Beatportal tutorials, so here ya go.

Subtractive and analog synthesis

- Introduction to Synthesizer Programming, Part 1
- Introduction to Synthesizer Programming, Part 2
- Some call it analog: How subtractive synthesizers work
- Oscillators: Essential Waveforms
- Oscillators: Mixing and Blending
- Filters: The Wow Factor
- Filters: Going Deeper
- Understanding Envelopes, Part 1
- Understanding Envelopes, Part 2
- Essential LFO facts
- Grasping MIDI Controllers

Introduction to sampling

- Sampling Essentials – Part 1
- Sampling Essentials – Part 2

Tutorials on Reason’s Thor synthesizer

- Stealing Thor’s Thunder – Part 1: Oscillators
- Stealing Thor’s Thunder – Part 2: Filters
- Stealing Thor’s Thunder – Part 3: Modulation

Introduction to effects

- Tutorial: How to use compression
- Tutorial: How to use a delay
- Tutorial: How to use reverb
- Tutorial: How to use a noise gate
- Tutorial: How to use modulation effects

Production Master Classes

- Production Master Class: Intros and Outros
- Production Master Class: Kick and bass
- Production Master Class: Hi-hats and top-loops
- Production Master Class: Automation
- Production Master Class: The Whoosh


  1. Francis, what about layering a sine wave under a kick drum? Do I put a sine wave around 50-100hz depending on how deep I want the tone and sidechain the kick to it then lower it -20db or so? Never got this concept.

  2. Gotta be careful with that, since the sine has to be tuned to whatever frequencies are already in the kick. In that situation, you might want to just use the kick as the attack (shorten it and use decay) and the sine as the "meat". I'm more of a fan of just choosing two kicks, tinkering with the envelopes, blending them, then running both through a limiter.

    Hope that helps...