Synthesizers are mysterious and intimidating boxes for me, but electronic music company Ableton sets out to explain and demystify the instrument. The company has developed an interactive browser game called "Learning Synths" that teaches users the basics of synthesizers. The easy-to-use tool comes with fun illustrations and widgets that make it easy for beginners to tinker.
Learning synthesizers begins with a lesson on amplitude and pitch. However, if you want to continue with synthesizer concepts, you can do so by clicking on the Hamburger menu in the upper left corner to learn more about envelopes, LFOs and oscillators. The lessons culminate in the playground shown above, where users can play with presets and sequences. The site works in Mobile Safari. However, you can also connect a MIDI keyboard to your laptop if you use Google Chrome.
Use the drag and drop sliders to set the desired sound. As you move through the lessons, there are small surprises. In this way you can learn how synthesizers produce certain sounds and visually adapt waveforms to their sound.
When you're done, you can continue the lessons by going to the basics of making music in one of the previous Abletons browser tools or take the lessons learned and switch to Ableton Live.