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Hal Leonard Publishes Power Tools for Synthesizer Programming

The Ultimate Reference for Sound Design: Second Edition

Foreword by Stephen Fortner

Montclair, NJ – Synthesizers have evolved dramatically over the past four decades, and Hal Leonard, the musician’s best source of books on the music business, audio technology, instrument history, and more, is proud to now publish the updated second edition of the widely popular Power Tools for Synthesizer Programming.

The book covers everything today’s electronic music producers need to know to create new and exciting sounds with any type of synthesizer: from the preset-oriented instruments that faithfully reproduce piano or violin sounds and knob-covered analog offerings that produce synthesized sounds, to digital instruments and software programs that allow the user control every nuance of the tone. While manuals often tell the reader simply which button to press, they fail to explain what is going on “under the hood” or what it means musically and technically. Jim Aikin’s Power Tools for Synthesizers is currently the only book that covers the big synthesis picture while providing insightful details at the same time.

Jim Aikin is a synthesis expert and has had his finger on the pulse of the latest industry developments writing for Keyboard Magazine his entire career. On the writing of a second edition, he says: “This is not just an update but a wall-to-wall revised edition. A great deal has changed in the past ten years. Additive synthesis, granular synthesis, and physical modeling have gone mainstream, thanks to the power of today’s computers. The iPad is now emerging as a viable music platform. Alternative controller hardware is available in many shapes. And old-fashioned modular analog synthesis has made a surprising comeback.”

Power Tools for Synthesizer Programming is an essential resource for both musicians working with presets and for those who want to dig deeper and edit the presets or even design their own sounds. Chapters on oscillators, filters, envelope generators, LFOs, effects, and digital audio reveal how to get the most out of the instrument. To supplement the text, dozens of new illustrations have been added, and more than 30 streaming online videos, narrated by the author, explain the operational details of numerous software instruments.

About the Author

JIM AIKIN has been writing about music technology for more than 30 years. He is the author of hundreds of product reviews and tutorial features in Keyboard, Electronic Musician, and other magazines, as well as books on Csound, music theory, and cello technique. He also teaches classical cello privately and plays in community orchestras. In his PC-based home studio, he composes and records using software instruments from more than a dozen manufacturers. Hi music can be heard at and

Power Tools for Synthesizer Programming

$29.99 (US) Inventory #HL 00131064 ISBN: 9781480397941 Width: 7.25", Length: 9.25", 256 pages

For more information, please visit - Hal Leonard Books, An Imprint of Hal Leonard.

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