Synthesizers are mysterious and intimidating frameworks for me, but the electronic music company Ableton tries to explain and demystify the instrument. The company has created an interactive browser game called Learn from Synths that teaches users the basics of synthesizers. The friendly tool is carefully designed with nice illustrations and widgets that make it perfect for beginners to tinker with.
Learning Synths starts with a lesson on amplitude and pitch, but if you want to move on to synth concepts, you can click on the hamburger menu in the top left corner to find out more about envelopes, LFOs and oscillators. The lessons end with the Playground, above, where users can play with presets and sequences. The site works on mobile Safari, but you can also connect a MIDI keyboard to your laptop if you use Google Chrome.
Drag-and-drop sliders let you adjust to find the sound you want, and there are few surprises as you go through the lessons. It's a great way to learn how synths generate certain tones and visually match waveforms to their sound.