Learning Thor Synthesizer

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Mohammadyarahmad
Posts: 9
Joined: 15 Jan 2023

Post 01 Feb 2023

Hello
I am a beginner in sound designing.
I asked my teacher to learn a synthesizer (among Serum, Sylenth and built in devices, like Thor and Europa). He suggested to learn Thor first because he believes that it is the god of synths.
Also, he has created lots of amazing sounds with it which I really enjoy.

When I looked at the factory sounds of Thor, the sounds was kind of old-fashioned. They may barely use in an modern EDM music.
I watched the Youtube tutorial :
https://reasonstudios.com/blog/tutorial ... through-2/
And I can't design my the sound that I want yet.

All in All, what is the best way to learn Thor?
and is Thor suitable for using in modern music styles?

Thanks

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_andreypetr_
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Post 01 Feb 2023

In my opinion, you should learn Thor mechanics and after just try to understand synthesis types this synth uses. After basic understanding what thing doing what you could try to learn creating specific sounds.

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motuscott
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Post 01 Feb 2023

Thor is an excellent intro to synthesis because of the switchable oscillator, filter and modulator slots.
Start here
https://www.youtube.com/results?search_ ... ynthesizer+
Vlad the Hi Sheriff of Turdburgher 🧂

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Pepin
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Post 01 Feb 2023

If you're completely new to synthesis, I would recommend starting with a fixed architecture synth like Subtractor (or a comparable VST).

I wouldn't worry about features at this point. You're not making a lifetime commitment to whatever synth you choose to learn first.

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arnigretar
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Post 01 Feb 2023

Yes, thor is the god of synths :) and you can pretty much create everything with it.

Here you can dive into the signal flow: www.youtube.com/watch?v=SwAUu_DII6gZ

Learn the step seq: www.youtube.com/watch?v=KXz_IGV9Eq0

Tips and tricks: www.youtube.com/watch?v=SwAUu_DII6g
https://futuregrapher.bandcamp.com/

Reason 12, Ableton Live 10 Suite, Roland Cloud, Arturia V9, Korg Legacy 3, Soundtoys 5, Waves Mercury, Sonic Charge Bundle, N.I.: Massive, Reaktor 6, FM8. + a lot of Hardware. Windows 7/10.

TritoneAddiction
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Post 01 Feb 2023

I'm gonna go against the grain here and say go for Europa instead of Thor. Imo Europa is more user friendly. It just looks cleaner and is easier to understand. Thor looks like a mess. Europa has the basics but it also has depth and lots of options too. It's more modern sounding too. If you're diving into synth tweaking it's important to have fun. Europa is more fun.

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Loque
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Post 01 Feb 2023

I agree to TritoneAddiction. Use a simpler synth to start.

I would go for Subtractor. I took quite long to understand why I could need Noise or RM, what a Mod Envelope or Filter Envelope is good for and finally what kind of crazy sh!t FM is and I didn't talked about Sync of oscillators yet.

If you can make a modern sound out of Subtractor, you understood synthesis and sound design quite well. Than you can make very good use of bigger synths.
Reason12, Win10

Heater
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Post 01 Feb 2023

For folks learning I would recommend Subtractor as well. Very straightforward and no hidden menus and a very capable and good sounding synth to boot. Also you can have a ton of them on a track as they use very little cpu.

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jam-s
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Post 01 Feb 2023

In addition to what was already said here keep in mind that quite a lot of the "modern" sound of synths like Serum or Sylenth is coming from the built in effects. When you want to compare those to Thor you should disable those and then compare the raw sounds or the comparison is not fair to begin with as the philosophy of Reason is/was to be modular and not to have all kinds of FX built into the synths themselves but instead to put them after the synth and then use a combinator to keep everything organised.

Chi-Individual
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Post 01 Feb 2023

TritoneAddiction wrote:
01 Feb 2023
I'm gonna go against the grain here and say go for Europa instead of Thor. Imo Europa is more user friendly. It just looks cleaner and is easier to understand..
+1 for this one. I’d been using Reason for years and didn’t start to understand synthesis until Europa hit. That’s when I realized, at least for synthesis, the visual feedback of the oscillators and envelops helped to make sense of what was actually going on. Only then was I able to start making sounds with Thor, and even now I still don’t understand everything Thor can do, but I can make my way around Europa pretty good.

robussc
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Post 01 Feb 2023

My only complaint against Subtractor is that the waveforms become a mystery after the first standard options. You need to refer to the manual to understand the later waveforms. Not terrible, but Europa is so lovely and visual in that department.
Reason user since version 1 (I recently stumbled upon my version 1 license card)! Getting back into making music after too long a hiatus.

rorystorm
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Post 02 Feb 2023

I'm also +1 for learning with Subtractor, mainly because it's a relatively simple synth but still flexible enough for a bunch of different sounds. The Subtractor manual in the Reason manual is where I learning synthesis myself and IMO is gold standard. The best way is to have Reason open and as you read through fiddle with each control as you read about it and see what it does for yourself. And then just tutu around in Subtractor to see what you get. Another helpful thing is to go through the presets and see how the different settings achieve particular sounds, once you've got your head around the basics. But yeah, also, we're always still learning too.

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arnigretar
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Post 02 Feb 2023

Yes, also agree withthe fact if we are only talking about learning how to create basic sounds with a synth, then it's subtractor. There every basic part is layed out perfectly. Read the manual about it while playing it out :)
https://futuregrapher.bandcamp.com/

Reason 12, Ableton Live 10 Suite, Roland Cloud, Arturia V9, Korg Legacy 3, Soundtoys 5, Waves Mercury, Sonic Charge Bundle, N.I.: Massive, Reaktor 6, FM8. + a lot of Hardware. Windows 7/10.

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arnigretar
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Post 02 Feb 2023

arnigretar wrote:
02 Feb 2023
Yes, also agree with the fact if we are only talking about learning how to create basic sounds with a synth, then it's subtractor. There every basic part is layed out perfectly. Read the manual about it while playing it out :)
https://futuregrapher.bandcamp.com/

Reason 12, Ableton Live 10 Suite, Roland Cloud, Arturia V9, Korg Legacy 3, Soundtoys 5, Waves Mercury, Sonic Charge Bundle, N.I.: Massive, Reaktor 6, FM8. + a lot of Hardware. Windows 7/10.

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jam-s
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Post 02 Feb 2023

In case somebody does not know, this website tutorial is also a very useful synth101: https://learningsynths.ableton.com/

RobC
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Post 02 Feb 2023

I also vote for Subtractor. I wouldn't say it's the simplest, at all - but once you grasp it, you'll realize what many people don't: that it's a one of a kind synthesizer.

The most awesome and unique feature of Subtractor is, how it lets you combine phase offset modulation and FM with unique oscillators as well as noise.

From there, the only things that sound noticeably different, are granular synthesis, and sampling synthesis. I'm not trashing other types of synthesis - just didn't find them all that impressive.

Sample your Subtractor synth / and or layer in a Combinator, and you can kick the ass of any genre of any time.

The thing is, there's not much to invent. Newer synths are just refined technology, in more and more fancy looking packaging.

The true question is always: does it sound all that different?

You'd be surprised how many modern EDM synths do not much more than layering and spreading, to sound huge.

Heck, I listened to a house song from 1994 - if it weren't for the 909 drums, you'd think it was at least made in Reason 6 (2010+)! So it's up to the sound designer's creativity - and current music and sound design trends of course.

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visheshl
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Post 02 Feb 2023

jam-s wrote:
02 Feb 2023
In case somebody does not know, this website tutorial is also a very useful synth101: https://learningsynths.ableton.com/
Great tutorial to brush up the skill, i had forgotten to notice the subtle changes each parameter makes, instead i was focused on more dramatic changes...this brought back the sound designer in me 😁

MuttReason
Posts: 331
Joined: 28 Jan 2021

Post 02 Feb 2023

And another +1 for Subtractor as the best soft synth to learn basic synthesis principles. It it so well laid out.

My suggestion would be to start with Subtractor first then move on to Thor *and* Europa equally as the basics the OP would learn from the Subtractor are easily then applied to either synth.

And yes I think Thor has held up amazingly well over the years, I still use it daily.

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selig
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Post 02 Feb 2023

Going against everyone here, if you want to learn a simple analog synth start with MonoTone. Even Subtractor has features you won’t find on other synths. Why not start with the most basic and classic architecture if you want to learn the basics? Everything you’d learn on MonoTone will apply on some level to just about every other synth you’ll ever see, I would think. :)

That said, and stating the obvious based on this thread alone, I don’t think there is one universal “best first synth”. The best for you may be different than for me. So I’d say the best for each of us is the one we want to spend the most time with, because the more time you spend the more you’ll learn IMO!
Selig Audio, LLC

robussc
Posts: 205
Joined: 03 May 2022

Post 02 Feb 2023

selig wrote:
02 Feb 2023
Going against everyone here, if you want to learn a simple analog synth start with MonoTone. Even Subtractor has features you won’t find on other synths. Why not start with the most basic and classic architecture if you want to learn the basics? Everything you’d learn on MonoTone will apply on some level to just about every other synth you’ll ever see, I would think. :)
Excellent point.
Reason user since version 1 (I recently stumbled upon my version 1 license card)! Getting back into making music after too long a hiatus.

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visheshl
Posts: 1162
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Post 02 Feb 2023

selig wrote:
02 Feb 2023
Going against everyone here, if you want to learn a simple analog synth start with MonoTone. Even Subtractor has features you won’t find on other synths. Why not start with the most basic and classic architecture if you want to learn the basics? Everything you’d learn on MonoTone will apply on some level to just about every other synth you’ll ever see, I would think. :)

That said, and stating the obvious based on this thread alone, I don’t think there is one universal “best first synth”. The best for you may be different than for me. So I’d say the best for each of us is the one we want to spend the most time with, because the more time you spend the more you’ll learn IMO!
Agree...start with monotone...its got even lesser parameters than subtractor, its well layed out...also im sure selig would agree, connect a scope to it...see what changing each parameter does to the waveform.

EdGrip
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Post 02 Feb 2023

TritoneAddiction wrote:
01 Feb 2023
I'm gonna go against the grain here and say go for Europa instead of Thor. Imo Europa is more user friendly. It just looks cleaner and is easier to understand. Thor looks like a mess. Europa has the basics but it also has depth and lots of options too. It's more modern sounding too. If you're diving into synth tweaking it's important to have fun. Europa is more fun.
I agree with this ^
Or Monotone

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