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FM Synthesis (techniques, anecdotes)


Guest skibby

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Guest skibby

if you do a search in youtube, you might find this video about making a bass in fm:

 

 

however, i am afraid that most of the videos on youtube seem to be tutorials on how to make a skrillex bass.

 

however, a skrillex bass to me isn't really a bass, although it contains some bass fundamentals.

 

i am a little old school, so i prefer a bass instrument to contain mostly bass fundamentals, for the purpose of creating harmonies and other syncopated events.

 

I envision this thread to be a place where we can share patches or discuss getting actual bass sounds out of an fm synth, (also leads, fx, whatever) and produce some knowledge about the subject for composers who like to use an FM synth as an instrument, not just a full frequency sausage effect.

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https://mmontag.github.io/dx7-synth-js/

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I have a Preen FM and use it all the time, but I'm afraid I don;t have much to offer in terms of theory or technique. :p Only that 2 or 3 operators at the same time seem to be the easiest to get workable sounds from. :D

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if you search google for "fm presets" or "fm reece" you should find some decent patches. of course i would recommend changing them a bit (even if you dont know wtf you're doing, you can always tiwddle some knobs)

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This was the first [part of a] tutorial that actually made it click in my brain what FM synthesis is all about -

 

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Guest chunky

feedback is your friend for creating sawtooth and noise waveforms

sine and noise for all kinds of percussion

sawtooth for strings and bass

layer two sawtooths at same pitch, invert one then shift the phase for PWM

bells are easy

organ = use sinewaves like on an additive synth

 

if you have a modular with a multimode filter you can bring one of the outputs into the cv input. highpass, lowpass, bandpass feedback all give different wave form shapes. tuning might be out but you can use an analogue sequencer to control the pitch... then you have a sawtooth oscillator where you can control the harmonics all in one little module haha.

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Guest maersk

Just use the sine wave, maybe with a little subtle modulation. Give the modulator a percussive attack and low sustain. Yeah, the fundamental, that's all the bass is. If you put higher frequency partials in there it will cloud the mix with too much information, it's not rocket science.

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Guest RadarJammer

you can find the FM instrument patch rips from nearly every sega genesis game in a zip file somewhere on the net and then find your favorite sounds and load them into vgm music makers FM engine and you can try and translate those ratio and envelope settings into another 4 operator FM synth of your choice. that's how i got most of the presets for the 4FMmod ens i sent you. i forgot how i did or got all that though just google it.

 

you learn a lot by doing things like that

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you can find the FM instrument patch rips from nearly every sega genesis game in a zip file somewhere on the net and then find your favorite sounds and load them into vgm music makers FM engine and you can try and translate those ratio and envelope settings into another 4 operator FM synth of your choice. that's how i got most of the presets for the 4FMmod ens i sent you. i forgot how i did or got all that though just google it.

 

you learn a lot by doing things like that

I got this .zip with the VOPM vst that loads them perfectly.

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I think someone posted this in another thread here a couple of years back:

 

 

Messing with the coarse tuning of op4 (2:45-3:00) reminds me of some of Squarepusher's modulation freakouts:

 

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you can find the FM instrument patch rips from nearly every sega genesis game in a zip file somewhere on the net and then find your favorite sounds and load them into vgm music makers FM engine and you can try and translate those ratio and envelope settings into another 4 operator FM synth of your choice. that's how i got most of the presets for the 4FMmod ens i sent you. i forgot how i did or got all that though just google it.

 

you learn a lot by doing things like that

 

Just remember that VOPM patches have their output levels reversed (i.e. a D1L of 15 means no sustain and a TL of 127 means that operator is off). I guess this is pretty obvious but it got me a bit confused at first because I'm daft like that.

 

Also, I haven't figured out the best way to convert operator outputs that go from 0 to 127 to the DX21 scale which goes from 0 to 99. Doing it proportionally sounds similar but getting the exact same sound requires a bit of tweaking.

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every other time i try to load a patch in vopm, it crashes.

 

im still trying to understand what about some FM sounds is the 'cool' sounding part, and how to repeat that.

 

why do fm synths need 4 to 6 operators? what is gained from the 3rd one for example? juts more complexity in the harmonics?

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every other time i try to load a patch in vopm, it crashes.

 

im still trying to understand what about some FM sounds is the 'cool' sounding part, and how to repeat that.

 

why do fm synths need 4 to 6 operators? what is gained from the 3rd one for example? juts more complexity in the harmonics?

are you on OSX? I Could never get any of the patch loading features to work on VOPM for intel mac. The PC version is the only one that seems to work properly for me

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just messed for a while with an fm7 patch last night, spent a while editing the envelopes of all the operators and it was just a reminder of just how deep fm synthesis goes. like, all i wanted to do was come up with a funky, raw but also nice sounding pluck, and it took me years just to figure out which operators to use and which not.. by that time, i just said fuck it and started turning knobs and drawing slopes and having fun, and ended up making a weirdish square synth bassy pad thing, which i slapped some yummy valhalla ubermod on, and started making a trip hop beat over it. it was fun. but im still never patient enough to go all deep into fm.. like id rather just produce and make the music. although i have been able to come up with a few cool unique things by tweaking presets. Most of the time, ill just use the fm7 presets when im using fm 7, cuz i love a lot of em (ill do slight changes, and process them differently of course.. but man, that warm brass sound.. can't get enough. i could make a whole album with just that patch haha

 

i know thats lazy but i dont really care, id rather focus on the vibe/music/atmosphere.

 

i bought myself a yamaha ys200 (4 op synth) a while back and actually tried to use the atari st editor which is super fun cuz its so stipped down, non-intuitive, and an awesome eye sore lol. i feel like a hacker from the 80s when im programming it lol. ive made some really cool (bad) digital sounding bass squawks, but 4 op is really hard to make sound good, even in a cheap way, unless you devote a shit ton of time into it. the ys200 actually has some presets that i still love to this day that i havent heard on the fm 7 anywhere, or in any of the original tx or dx patches.

 

fuck, i love the fm sound.

Edited by Lane Visitor
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Guest EleminoP

Been circuit bending a Yamaha Portasound PSS-270 lately. You can make various connections that mess up the patch parameters. Stuff gets Autechre fast with this thing.

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anyone got any good tutorials or starting points to begin with fm on a dx100, i know its a simple starting point but seems a little daunting at the moment, trying to make nice deep pads and some dub techno stabby synths

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Anyone already used a DX200 here? Never heard about this synth before and it looks nice.

 

After 3 years of owning a DX9 I'm starting to get more consistently into programming it and I feel frustrated about its limitations (the main one being the absence of velocity response ; bad MIDI implementation is also a problem).

 

Anyway everything seems to lead me towards purchasing a DX7 but I'm still looking for alternatives and this one looks nice.

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