Sound Design Program


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…


6 Month Program

Intro Classes: 






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

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 and music producer, co-founder of Slam Academy, and Ableton Certified Trainer; James Patrick uses his professional involvement in both academic and popular electronic realms to unite the creative energy, ideas and people of his community.

Software Requirements: Ableton Live Suite software

Prerequisites: Ableton Live Program or intermediate knowledge of a DAW

Enrollment limit: 15 students

Interested in multiple programs? Check out our Program Packages

Weekly Outline

  • Sound Design Level 1: Analog and 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 its 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!

Interested in multiple programs? Check out our Program Packages


Classes will run every Tuesday either from 11am-2pm or from 7pm – 10pm, for a total of 24 weeks.
There is no application, and all experience levels are welcome. Just signup with the red buttons!

To enroll in the Sound Design Program, purchase below. This price includes all the required classes, at a significant discount from buying them individually.  

After payment for the program is received, we will contact you to welcome you to the program and answer any additional questions.
Price: $3600 (Includes all classes, All Access pass to all Slam Academy regular classes, (including online classes) and 1 year of SlamPass)
Payment plans are available for this program.

Join the Sound Design Program for only $235/month using our simple payment plan.
If you have any questions about the program, please contact us.

Software Requirements: Ableton Live Suite software

Prerequisites: Ableton Live Program or intermediate knowledge of a DAW

Enrollment limit: 15 students

Enrollment Includes:

  • Admission to all Sound Design Program Classes
  • Admission to 1 year of SlamPass (6 months during the program & a 6-month complimentary SlamPass membership)*
  • Weekly feedback on tracks and projects during class Lab Time
  • Feedback on midway and final projects from Slam Teachers and Guest Artists
  • 25% Returning Student Discount on all future enrollments**
  • Free Instant Access Pass (access to complete non-program online video library)
  • Discounts and Special Offers on hardware and software from our friends at Foxtone Music

*SlamPass is only available to students currently enrolled in a program; students who have completed a program in the last 6 (or 1.5 or 3, program depending) months; or students who directly purchased a SlamPass

** Not valid with other discount offers & coupons.

2 week Add/Drop period – Money Back Guarantee

Upcoming Start Dates



New start every 6 months!

Dates my be subject to change.

Interested in multiple programs? Check out our Program Packages


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

Need help?
Inquire about our scholarship programs.