Sound Design Online Program

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In this program, you will be guided through everything you need to know to create incredible sounds from scratch. The course begins at the heart of sound creation with an in-depth study of the nature of both acoustic and electronic sound through analog and modular subtractive synthesis…

Slam Academy is proud to host the only Sound Design program with four Ableton Certified Trainers. Our instructors have presented at Ableton’s own Loop festival in Berlin, toured the world as DJs and Producers, and taught Ableton to some of the most highly respected producers on the scene.

But don’t let that intimidate you. Our Ableton Certified Trainers run this class like all Slam Academy classes: with the emphasis on learning, and not dogma. Motivation instead of intimidation, and inspiration instead of humility. We value the experiences of everyone in every class, so join in and become part of the most powerful Sound Design class online!

The Sound Design Online Program has hundreds of hours of video, in addition to two weekly live sessions.

Live Sessions

Live sessions happen two times per week and are optional. You do not need to join in, but once you do we think you will be hooked. In them, you can ask questions, get feedback on your track, or you can just sit quietly and listen.

Most students come to one live session per week. The scheduled will be posted in the class, and the two sessions are usually spaced apart to allow for students in different time zones to attend.

Joining the live session is as easy as clicking the link for the session provided in the class – no additional software is necessary. If you have a webcam the teacher will be able to see you, but if you don’t that’s fine too. You will always be able to see and hear the teacher, in real-time.

Video Library

Sound Design Overview

Sound Design is our intermediate-level program that will take you out of the frustration of entry level synthesis and into a new realm of understanding, where you explore and create sounds never heard before! During this course you will be able to carve out your own signature sound while you navigate the possibilities of higher level synthesis and design. For Small Business Saturday we are offering 40% off of this program ($1,749.50 at once, or $139.96 per month). Visit the link below to register and visit the rest of our website for the same 40% off deal on all other programs!

Posted by Slam Academy on Saturday, November 25, 2017

If you’ve spent time combing YouTube for tutorials, then you know what an advantage it is to have a structured curriculum. When you work with our lessons, you will get top quality videos, organized by topic, that will lead you through every conceivable situation. And if we don’t have it, you can always ask in the Live Session!

All of our videos have been updated with the latest version of Ableton Live: Live 10 Suite. If you are using an earlier version, you will be just fine. But we encourage students to always be using the latest versions.

When you work with the library, you will be able to go at whatever pace you like. One video a day, one a week, or binge a whole section at a time – it’s totally up to you.

Walk, step by step, through 6 levels of weekly exercises and demonstrations as we explore all that is possible in the realm of modern electronic sound design. Leave with a complete portfolio of sound design work!

… Apply that knowledge to modern synthesis types (FM, wavetable, granular, and physical modeling), sampling, re-sampling, and finally advanced signal processing. Create, observe, sculpt, sample, and process sounds using the same exact tools and techniques of the world’s leading sound designers. Use cutting-edge devices by world leading developers such as Glitchmachines, U-He, Applied-Acoustics Systems, Madrona Labs, and more!

James Patrick teaches Slam Academy’s Sound Design Program. 15-year DJ/ music producer, curator of the International Spark Festival, owner of Timefog Recordings, and Ableton Certified Trainer; James Patrick is a sound artist who thrives on bringing together the creative energy and ideas of his community.

Software Requirements: Ableton Live Suite software

Prerequisites: Ableton Live Program or intermediate knowledge of a DAW

Always On – Start Anytime

The Slam Academy Online Programs are available to start whenever you like. Once you enroll, you will immediately have access to over 100 hours of video, projects, session files, and more. In addition, if enrolling with the interactive component, every week there are multiple live video chat sessions where students can interact face-to-face with their instructor and fellow students.

How does it work?

Once a student enrolls in the Sound Design Online Program, they will be given access to their own custom portal page. On it, they will have access to all of the class files, separated into 6 different “levels”. From there, the student can go at their own pace. We recommend that this content should take 6 months to complete, as it does in our in-person classes.

They will also see in their portal a link to access to the Live Chat. Students are welcome to access the chat at any time and talk to each other about what they are working on. The instructor will have hours posted for when they will be in the room as well.

Program Overview

  • Sound Design Level 1: Analog Subtractive

    Become familiar with the history and origins of electronic music through the exploration of the Analog Subtractive Synthesizer. Start with historical accounts and innovations, and then look into virtualized versions of these classic machines. In particular, the Ableton Analog will cover all of our Analog Subtractive bases for Level 1, so let’s keep that loaded onto a MIDI track for the duration of Level 1. We will also be configuring our first Audio Effect Rack in Live, in the Oscilloscope and Spectral Analysis equipped Visualizer Rack. We will be applying those tools in the creation of classic bass, lead, pad, percussion, and sound effects, and saving those presets into a well-organized sounds directory to submit for our final project on the end of Level 1.

  • Sound Design Level 2: Advanced Modulation

    We will begin this level still in the Analog world, building on what we learned in Level 1. Still working with the Subtractive language, but adding on to it’s capabilities through advanced modulation and waveshaping techniques. For the 2nd half of the level, we will be introducing computer technology to the equation through the use of true FM Synthesis. First we break down the core elements through the creation of lead and bass sounds, and then we finish the level by designing our own custom FM Drum Machine for the Level Project! Gonna be a good one!

  • Sound Design Level 3: Effects Processing

    For this level, we will begin with the fundamentals of audio signal processing, based on the 3 primary dimensions of sound. We will then relate those dimensions to our audio effects device collection in Live. We will begin with EQs and Filters, move through time based effects and modulation effects, and then finish off the level with our Dynamic Signal Processors like Compressors and Gates. The final elements of polishing up our mix and timbre will be covered in Level 6 with saturation, distortion, and mastering techniques.

  • Sound Design Level 4: Sampling

    For this level we learn the art of sampling, from top to bottom. Beginning with recording techniques and professional audio file management, moving through the basics and tricks of sampling audio with the Ableton Simpler. Through this, we learn about time compression and Warp Modes, proper gain staging, and a whole slew of Ableton Live audio engine tricks. We then apply that knowledge to the Ableton Sampler and the creation of complex and intricate sounds on the Timeline, known as “composite sounds.”

  • Sound Design Level 5: Advanced Synthesis

    For this level, we will be covering a variety of advanced synthesis languages. All of which take advantage of modern computing power and cutting edge interface designs. We will begin by furthering our control of “playback speed” inside of a sampling instrument with Wavescan Synthesis, and then we will be smearing and spraying those slices into clouds of texture with Granular Synthesis. We will add harmonics and organic warmth and nuance to our textures with Physical Modeling Synthesis. Then, we will relate that scanning and morphing waveform concept back to the oscillator, but now with a collection of waveforms to morph between within Wavetable Synthesis. WOW! Big stuff in this level! All of the major components of modern, cutting edge electronic music get covered here! *Be sure to check out “Synthesis Language Building Blocks” PDF to help visualize what language to reach for, and when!

  • Sound Design Level 6: Distortion and Mastering

    Learn to finalize the creation of world class sounds through the professional application of timeline-based editing and compositing of your own original sound design creations. Polish them up to scream with spectral processing, analog and digital distortion, and world class mastering techniques. Finish the program with final projects that include an original short film score, or sample pack of all original sounds, presets, wavetables, and more!


Have a question about the program? Email us anytime at [email protected]

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All Sound Design Short Courses

Interested in buying individual classes from our library? Below is a list of all our Sound Design short-courses that are available as individual purchases.