The 4 Element Synth!
Rob Papen is probably best known for teaming up with top-notch programmers and developing some of the most popular virtual synthesizers currently available, He’s also perhaps one of the best known sound designers in recent years.
For those who don’t know though, Rob Papen is the guy behind such great virtual synths as Albino, Blue, Predator, Sub Boom Bass and Blade as well as a very nice drum synth called Punch, A quick Google search will reveal a deeper insight to Rob Papen’s work.
However, All of use should be very pleased to know Rob’s skills don’t stop at creating great soft synths and cool sounds, He’s also extended his skills into developing his own method of teaching sound design!
No Longer Out Of Reach…..
In 2001 Rob developed and started teaching this method which he named “The 4 Element Synth” a great yet very simple and unique way to understand sound design and subtractive synthesis, providing you with enough understanding to allow you to push and develop your own individual sound and skill set.
Indeed if you are a fan of Rob Papen then there is a good chance you may have spotted some time ago that “The 4 Element Synth” was planned to be released by Rob Papen as a DVD tutorial, But that would have been quite some time ago, Like us though you may have almost given up on the idea that it was ever going to grace our screens.
In fact as the years whizzed by and Rob’s collection of mighty virtual synths built we had slowly convinced ourselves that he had sidelined this project in favour of something more profitable and who could blame him, everyones gotta eat.
No wonder it took so long, not even Lord of the rings is this epic!
Thankfully!! we are only human and do get things wrong from time to time, Rob had not dropped this project. In fact as well as beavering away on all those other goodies he’s graced us with he’d also been putting together a very nice book and four, Yes four! very lengthy DVD’s with over 10 hours of great info.
We can honestly say that the book is indeed very nice, Well laid out and the choice of colour make it look and feel almost as if it should be part of a vintage analogue collection….
If indeed thats even remotely possible from a book!
Either way it feels and looks the part and very fitting for the subject Subtractive synthesis.
The book itself is a good weighty hardback with thick heavy quality paper pages that should stand up to the constant referencing the book will undoubtedly receive with out too many accidental rips and tears.
Inside the front and back cover you’ll find four DVD’s all in their own plastic sleeves and amply protected from damage.
Although having said all that we are sure if you decide not to treat the book with a little respect the DVD’s and book could very well become damaged from resting heavy objects or throwing it down.
Multitasking Is A Must!
The videos on the DVD’s relates to that in the book and you’ll find you are often referred to the pull out diagram at the back of the book as a learning aid.
The information provided by Rob is brilliant and no matter what your level of synth programming knowledge is “The 4 Element Synth” will help extend and strengthen your skills.
Rob Papen does a really good job through out the DVD, although on occasion “The 4 Element Synth” tutorials can become a little dry, Its with out a doubt worth working through and you’ll indeed benefit from every bit so we’d recommend if you have a short attention span not trying to watch and learn this to in one session.
Despite the sections we didn’t enjoy so much, The information was all still invaluable and has already had an impact on our sound designing skills.
We’d consider buying Rob Papen’s “The 4 Element Synth” even if it was considerably more expensive.
As far as we are aware its the only book/DVD combo of its kind and at a level which will suit both beginners and pro’s, If indeed there are others we’d find it hard to believe anyone has covered subtractive synthesis this deeply any better or even competitively close to what Rob Papen has managed to deliver for this price.
If you’er into synthesis and sound design or would like to get into it, Then you really need to jump on this and don’t let an opportunity pass you bye.
It really could be a kick start you’ve been looking for!
Should you decide to dip your toe or dive in head first we can promise you won’t be disappointed.
If you’ve not already purchased a synthesiser then we can highly recommend one of the Rob Papen bundles, Not only are they great for just about every occasion but they are also extremely inexpensive compare to almost all hardware and most software alternatives.
You’ll also be pleased to know Rob has recently added a few extras via his web site www.robpapen.com which we think shows true support for his product.