Refining Sound is a practical roadmap to the complexities of creating sounds on modern synthesizers. As author, veteran synthesizer instructor Brian K. Shepard draws on his years of experience in synthesizer pedagogy in order to peel back the often-mysterious layers of sound synthesis one-by-one. The result is a book which allows readers to familiarize themselves with each individual step in the synthesis process, in turn empowering them in their own creative or experimental work. The book follows the stages of synthesis in chronological progression, starting readers at the raw materials of sound creation and ultimately bringing them to the final "polishing" stage. Each chapter focuses on a particular aspect of the synthesis process, culminating in a last chapter that brings everything together as the reader creates his/her own complex sounds. Throughout the text, the material is supported by copious examples and illustrations as well as by audio files and synthesis demonstrations on a related companion website. Each chapter contains easily digestible guided projects (entitled "Your Turn" sections) that focus on the topics of the corresponding chapter.
In addition to this, one complete project will be carried through each chapter of the book cumulatively, allowing the reader to follow - and build - a sound from start to finish. The final chapter includes several sound creation projects in which readers are given types of sound to create as well as some suggestions and tips, with final outcomes is left to readers' own creativity. Perhaps the most difficult aspect of learning to create sounds on a synthesizer is to understand exactly what each synthesizer component does independent of the synthesizer's numerous other components. Not only does this book thoroughly illustrate and explain these individual components, but it also offers numerous practical demonstrations and exercises that allow the reader to experiment with and understand these elements without the distraction of the other controls and modifiers. Refining Sound is essential for all electronic musicians from amateur to professional levels of accomplishment, students, teachers, libraries, and anyone interested in creating sounds on a synthesizer.