Ever looked at the controls of a synth in your DAW and been completely bamboozled? This short course will help you develop the knowledge and skills to understand the language of synthesizers and experiment with synthesis and sound design, all invaluable skills for aspiring music producers.

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Delivered: Online or In-Person

The Course

Following initial workshops to learn VCV Rack software, you’ll build your own performance instrument and demonstrate its capabilities in a final showcase performance.

During the course, you’ll develop an understanding of digital synthesis-related language and experiment with sound design.

Whilst on this course you will be using VCV Rack, which is available for free. 

Every course we deliver is made up of units specially created in partnership with Fife College and upon successful completion, learners will be awarded a certificate from the Academy of Music and Sound.

What are you waiting for? As this is a FREE course, spaces are very limited, so don’t wait around and miss out. 

Equipment Needed

  • Notepad and Pen
  • Wired headphones
  • 1/4 inch jack adapter (if in person)

Equipment Needed

You will be required to download a free version of VCV Rack to participate in this course. You can download the free version via Download VCV Rack

VCV Rack can operate on both Windows and Apple-based systems however, please ensure you check the system requirements.

In Partnership with

2023 courses now finished

Course FAQ's

All of our free short courses are accessible to those currently residing in Scotland and available to those aged fourteen and above. 

We often get this question but honestly, there’s no catch. One of the main reasons we can deliver a variety of free courses is through our partnership with Fife College which we are very honored to be working alongside.

Our free short-course delivery is now over six years long and we have issued qualifications to over two thousand students!

Your Scottish Candidate Number (SCN) is displayed directly under your name on any formal certification you’ve been given after your exams in High School or if you’ve achieved qualifications from a HE or FE college or university.
If you cannot find your SCN number you can reach out to the SQA for assistance

If you are studying at home you must provide all of the equipment in order to facilitate your studies. If you are studying at one of our centres in person we recommend looking at the equipment specifications list so you can start day one prepared and ready!

You are more than welcome to participate in our short courses even if you are undergoing full-time studies elsewhere. We do recommend that you check the dates of the course so they do not conflict with your other studies and that you make sure you aren’t overloading yourself with too much work.

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As this is an academic course in partnership with Fife College and the SQA our courses do have paperwork and assignments to complete, this helps us determine your level of understanding so we can help you develop and deepen your level of understanding.

All courses are different and for more information your course tutor can provide more detail.

Participating in courses that you may already be familiar with can be a great way of continuing your own CPD (continual personal development)

Although you may be experienced, adding additional qualifications can be a great way of showing other institutions or employers that you take your own development seriously.

Furthermore, you have the potential to meet like-minded individuals who all share the same passion as you. Ultimately, it’s up to you!

It’s always best to attend as much as you can however we do understand that opportunities or sometimes life gets in the way. All we do is recommend that we ask you to contact us as soon as possible so we can notify the tutor and support staff.

This is so that we can make sure tutors have a plan or are aware so they can help you catch up with any lessons you’ve missed.

We love chatting to potential students, if you’d like to contact us you are welcome to email [email protected]

What People Say


Tutor blew my mind with the practical and theoretical knowledge, cant wait to start adding VCV to my own productions


I often dabble and tinker at home with synthesis but this course opened so many doors for me, especially meeting other people with similar interests


Tutor was amazing, he’s got so many creative and practical ideas for soundscaping and making unique textures, highly worth while.


You either have to go through loads of YouTube videos, and forums or pay for a course that might not cover what you want. With this, you get everything and only for the cost of your time. Amazing.

Common Questions About AMS

AMS is an independent music academy specialising in post-16 music performance and production education. We prepare students for a career in the modern music industry with recognised qualifications, with options to study in-centre or online.

We have a variety! You can view all of our active short-courses here –

Of course! We always recommend checking the events page as you can sign up for one of our Open Events that give you a comprehensive taster of what it’s like being a student at AMS however, if you’d like to know right away you are welcome to contact our Glasgow office on [email protected]

You are more than welcome to drop by and visit the centre any time however so we can ensure that all of our attention is on you (it can get really busy from time to time!) if you could call in advance, a member of our team will book time for your visit.

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