Build a synth like you build a sandwich

Electronic music making can be hard the first time. You either start off extremely basic, or lose yourself in a whirlwind of tutorials as you try and figure out the intricacies of the complex software most professionals use. It takes a lot of willpower getting past step 1, and Colin Hearon wants to change that. The Tone Lab isn’t too basic or complex. It’s more of an experimental music tool that teaches you how synthesizers are constructed. With layered modules that you place one on top of the other, the Tone Lab feels a lot like working with real synths and modules that get connected in sequence to create more complex sounds. Take a waveform, layer it with an arpeggiator to make complex tunes, and then with effects to give it a certain flavor. Step two is actual melody building. Add chord modules to the sliding rails and slide them up or down to craft basic melodies, experimenting and switching things up by sliding them up and down, or swapping their places.

The Tone Lab’s idea isn’t to be an expert tool but rather an empowering one. Giving novices the means to create ‘good’ music through the power of good design thinking and the use of human intuition, the Tone Lab lets you take that first leap of faith into making electronic music!

Designer: Colin Hearon