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FM Synthesis (techniques, anecdotes)
look into the abyss. look into it.

fm synth synthesis modulation

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#51 Mesh Gear Fox

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    not even going to read the thread lmao but check this out →

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Posted 29 October 2014 - 08:42 PM

i just crashed my fb01 and had to reboot it. the tx81z gets midi buffer overflow errors. anybody else have hardware fm synth anecdotes like that?

yep the tx81z has a notoriously shit midi buffer, but you can get some cool results by overloading it.

here's me demoing some patches i made on my sy77
Yamaha SY77 custom presets:

i edit it with a patch i made in max, pm me if interested

Edited by Mesh Gear Fox, 29 October 2014 - 08:43 PM.


#52 poblequadrat

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Posted 29 October 2014 - 08:43 PM

Wow that's some serious french accent in that preenfm2 video on the official website, it made it hard for me to concentrate! I don't really have time to watch now but it looks like a nice DIY project. I'm not afraid of soldering and I'd be glad to support such a "home-made" project if the synth happens to suit what I'm after.

 

I kind of missed it but the DX11 looks like a good option for me, thanks to point it out Mesh Gear Fox. I'd have another question for those of you who already compared 4-OP and 6-OP FM synths : how big is the difference? Is 4-OP a big limitation when you're used to 6-OP? For me FM is still a kind of unknown land where a lot of surprises can show up so I still have a lot to learn with 4-OP, but once you get more familiar with FM, do you feel frustrated about having just four operators?

 

Another one : I more or less just now FM with sine waves. Is it a big plus to have other waveforms to use for modulation?

 

And the last question goes to John "honest-man" : what do you mean when you say that DX200 is harder to "deeply" program as other Yamaha FM units? I just saw a couple of videos yesterday and have no idea how you program it really but it seems more user-friendly. Though, I asked myself if it provides the same amount of control as say a DX7 where you can tweak really a lot of stuff for each operator.

 

Loving this thread right now, thanks guys!

 

4-op is great. 6-op is even greater. if you're used to the DX9 you'll like the DX7 because it's very similar, just with two more operators and a velocity sensitive keyboard. the midi implementation is still rudimentary though (on the mark1 at least). other 4-ops have a grittier sound as modulators and especially feedback have a stronger effect, also the envelopes are different. generally the later 4-ops are easier to get your head around, part of it is the patches are simpler and there are less algorithms to choose from, and part of it is the envelopes are simpler. but any yamaha DX synth is great and all have a definite family resemblance!

 

i can't comment on the extra waveforms as i've never used a DX11/TX81z - but I think the main selling point of these two is that they are 8-part multitimbral and you get 2 LFOs. Not 2 LFOs per part, mind, but 2 LFOs of which you can route one to each part. This is important because on, for example, the DX21, you have a single LFO while on dual mode so both parts will be modulated in the same way, which sometimes produces great results but which can be limiting sometimes. As long as you don't need too much polyphony, multitimbrality really adds a lot to 4-op FM and makes it really powerful if you're willing to program complex, multi-part, patches.

 

from what i've heard, the dx200 might be unfriendly because you can't really do much editing from the front panel and there aren't many editors available.



#53 rst

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Posted 30 October 2014 - 05:16 AM

here's me demoing some patches i made on my sy77


i edit it with a patch i made in max, pm me if interested

 

wow! some nice sounds there, especially the pads! seems like i should get my tg77 out from under the bed again! (it's true btw. i'm currently keeping it under the bed.  :cerious:

 

i even remember dling your max editor, but can't find it on my computer anymore. revenge of the digitals i guess for all the analog rytm love in the past couple weeks... will pm you when tg77 vital signs are confirmed! i guess the editor will work with the tg version as well??

 

nice camera work too btw. :wink:


Edited by rst, 30 October 2014 - 05:19 AM.


#54 mcbpete

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Posted 30 October 2014 - 08:02 AM

In the FM world, what makes certain chipsets better over other - Is there like a distinct DX7 sound to differentiate it from say an opl-3 one ? Likewise in the VST world: would a free VST FM like FM-Four have much of a difference in the sound to the fully fledged s'pensive FM8 ?

How do FM gurus feel Ableton's Operator performs in its FM sound ?

#55 foresense

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Posted 30 October 2014 - 12:11 PM

pretty cool: http://thump.vice.co...s-dos-interview

 

FM lushness: 

 

If you listen to the emulated FM version of the same track you will hear a huge difference.

 

been playing with the SDL version of Adlib Tracker, but I want to get a CRT for my Pentium now :)


Edited by forlon, 30 October 2014 - 12:14 PM.


#56 Antape

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Posted 30 October 2014 - 01:15 PM

I'm definitely up to participate to another thread on FM hardware. I actually almost created one instead of bumping this thread.

 

@ skibby : I also experienced MIDI buffers problems on my DX9 and I'm concerned to hear that it also happens on more elaborate FM synths like the TX81Z...

 

@ poblequadrat : thanks for the insights, I know feel I got all the information I need to make my way into the world of FM hardware synths.

 

I took a closer look at preenfm2 and it looks great. Less than 200€, a couple of hours to build (which must be quite fun actually), both simple and complex algorithms (from 3 to 6 OP), multipart (4 instruments addressable on different MIDI channels), interface looks nice, compatible with DX7 patches, overall project looks like the kind of thing which deserve to be supported, Christmas is not too far now, etc... Can someone here elaborate on his experience with a preenfm synth?



#57 Antape

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Posted 30 October 2014 - 01:23 PM

whoops, I have another question concerning this thing with the impossibility of making feedback loops with the PFM2 : on Yamaha DX synths, feedback is a quite important parameter to modify the character of a sound. Is there anything equivalent on preenfm?



#58 telefunken

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Posted 30 October 2014 - 01:47 PM

preenfm has Saw waveshape, so you can mimic feedback somehow, i guess

 

i have pfm2. i love it, it's fantastic. however, don't expect sy77 or fs1r lushness. it's pretty lo-fi, noisy, sounds flanging (a bit of dc-offset is still present in more-than-2op-stacks) and aliased on octaves higher than 5. it's low end is badass though.



#59 Guest_skibby_*

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Posted 30 October 2014 - 01:59 PM

i have to decide right now if I want the necronomicon of fm synths or not.  knowing it might eat my soul and cause me to be broke for the next two months.



#60 sweepstakes

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Posted 30 October 2014 - 06:38 PM

you can program the tx81z via computer, and imo it sounds better than most software

I guess this is a little too vague for me to prove or disprove but I don't always find that the TX sounds better than software. To me it has a sort of "glassy" sound, which I guess means that it's not super accurate but is pleasantly and musically inaccurate, mostly due to the aliasing and lookup tables. For basses this is just great, for some dull pads, and for stuff like hi hats or snares it can mangle the high end nicely, depending on the situation. But for clarity I think software whoops its ass, at least in my experience with FM7, Reaktor, Max, and the Nord G1 (would you call that hardware or software?). I get a lot more crispness and smoothness, especially in the high end, with the improved sampling and bit rates, the faster envelopes, and the dynamically calculated sinusoids. Also I think the attack on the TX's envelopes is often too slow and shitty.

 

 

i just crashed my fb01 and had to reboot it. the tx81z gets midi buffer overflow errors. anybody else have hardware fm synth anecdotes like that?

yep the tx81z has a notoriously shit midi buffer, but you can get some cool results by overloading it.

 

Interesting - mine has never done anything cool when I overload it. It just sits there until I push a button on the front panel.

 

Also you guys cataloguing & lusting over old FM synths may want to check some posts, especially on gearslutz, by this acreil guy. He's done his homework and knows a lot of details on the guts of these beasts:

 

https://www.gearslut...thesiser-2.html

https://www.gearslut...dx7-fm8-10.html

 

You can pretty much just google "acreil FM" and get your mind blown.



#61 Mesh Gear Fox

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    not even going to read the thread lmao but check this out →

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Posted 30 October 2014 - 07:10 PM

thanks for that link!

regarding the tx, i guess i find it has a bit more 'life' than software but yeah it's subjective. as for the overloading, the best results are on the verge of triggering the 'midi buffer full' error

and yeah the envelopes are pretty meh, they squeak at med-fast rates

Edited by Mesh Gear Fox, 30 October 2014 - 07:12 PM.


#62 Guest_skibby_*

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Posted 30 October 2014 - 08:51 PM

yamaha had software that could turn a sample into a voice (fm voice, not referring to formants) in an fs1r patch.

 

im pretty sure they had a rudimentary 'resynthesis' engine that could derive parameters when they made some of their fm patches for other machines.

 

these softwares to my knowledge, never made it public.

 

but a talented developer like xoxos could probably make a program that can analyse a waveform and convert it to an FM patch.


Edited by skibby, 30 October 2014 - 08:54 PM.


#63 telefunken

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Posted 31 October 2014 - 12:46 AM

 

You can pretty much just google "acreil FM" and get your mind blown.

 

 

 

He is also good at PD

 


Edited by telefunken, 31 October 2014 - 12:49 AM.


#64 Mesh Gear Fox

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    not even going to read the thread lmao but check this out →

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Posted 31 October 2014 - 04:09 AM

oh that's cool!

something else i thought i'd share, here's something i made in max a while ago set up with some algorithmic sequencing.

591f6101bbcc1c1a69b6b0192d632aaf.jpg

you can download it here:
https://www.dropbox....p-v0.9.rar?dl=0

Edited by Mesh Gear Fox, 31 October 2014 - 04:12 AM.


#65 rst

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Posted 31 October 2014 - 04:53 AM

so this thread made me revive my hidden under the bed tg77! still works like a charm and sounds way better than i remembered! i was actually about to sell it but now i have some serious doubts... i'll check out that editor by mr. gear fox; greetings & thx to you, sir!

 

yamaha tg 77
100pounds
very.good.

 

lol. i really thought you were joking about its weight.  :confuzzled:  it is a huge beast though...



#66 mcbpete

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Posted 31 October 2014 - 05:20 AM

You can pretty much just google "acreil FM" and get your mind blown.

 
 
He is also good at PD
 

That's grand - It so reminds me of :



#67 poblequadrat

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Posted 31 October 2014 - 05:28 AM

Oh, yeah, acreil is very knowledgable about synthesizers in general. Does he/she/they/it have an account here? I don't know what he/she/it's doing at gearslutz!

 

@MGF: great stuff!


Edited by poblequadrat, 31 October 2014 - 05:29 AM.


#68 Mesh Gear Fox

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    not even going to read the thread lmao but check this out →

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Posted 31 October 2014 - 05:43 AM

thanks! let me know if the patches work and all that, gang. i'd like to release them more widely but i need to check they're understandable and usable enough for people as perhaps some of the functions aren't so clear. you don't exactly need to understand them either, as long as they're making interesting sounds to use that's enough for me heh got other things to do :p

here's an updated version of my yamaha tg/sy77/99 editor for max msp
https://www.dropbox....77edit.rar?dl=0

#69 poblequadrat

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Posted 31 October 2014 - 05:43 AM

btw, acreil posted once about an artist named utabi hirokawa. i recommend him to any fm enthusiast.

 



#70 th555

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Posted 31 October 2014 - 05:50 AM

That's cool stuff Poble :)

 

I've been playing around with JuceOPL:

0.9.7-screenshot.png

It's a vst emulation of the adlib soundcard that was used for DOS game soundtracks:

download here:

http://bsutherland.g...io/JuceOPLVSTi/



#71 sweepstakes

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Posted 31 October 2014 - 06:54 AM

oh that's cool!

something else i thought i'd share, here's something i made in max a while ago set up with some algorithmic sequencing.

 

(picture deleted so as not to crowd thread) 

you can download it here:
https://www.dropbox....p-v0.9.rar?dl=0

Awesome! Much appreciated by this Max noob  :w00t:



#72 sweepstakes

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Posted 31 October 2014 - 07:17 AM

btw, acreil posted once about an artist named utabi hirokawa. i recommend him to any fm enthusiast.

 

Really nice stuff! I love those beefy drums  :) That machine on the front looked familiar and in fact it looks like he's rocking a Sharp x68000 just like Hizmi of the Ground Zero Organization: http://hizmi.bandcamp.com/

 

Also reminds me of this page, which mentions the handy fact that manipulating timbre/sidebands in FM does not result in changes in overall amplitude, which makes it much easier to mix, etc.: https://ccrma.stanfo...snd/snd/fm.html



#73 hoggy

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Posted 31 October 2014 - 07:21 AM

pretty cool: http://thump.vice.co...s-dos-interview
 
FM lushness: 
 
If you listen to the emulated FM version of the same track you will hear a huge difference.
 
been playing with the SDL version of Adlib Tracker, but I want to get a CRT for my Pentium now :)


man I love these kind of sounds so much - on the megadrive and on the adlib monkey island and stuff

why is FM so awesome?

#74 rst

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Posted 31 October 2014 - 09:03 AM

thanks! let me know if the patches work and all that, gang. i'd like to release them more widely but i need to check they're understandable and usable enough for people as perhaps some of the functions aren't so clear. you don't exactly need to understand them either, as long as they're making interesting sounds to use that's enough for me heh got other things to do :p

 

as i pm'd you already, thanks a lot! both patches seem to work just fine! however, i wouldn't recommend editing the big bpatcher in mfg8op. - man, i thought i'd seen a lot of patch cords in my time! only for the steel nerved... max seemed to think the same as it crashed right when i set eyes on the ungodly chaos therein! (i should prob mention that dsp was on, when turned off it works perfectly)

kudos, mesh gear fox!  :beer:

 

btw. this is one of the most inspiring threads in a long time for me! the acreil stuff is brilliant as well! i just wish i'd never sold my mega drive (= sega genesis)...

 

 

 

why is FM so awesome?

 

because even intelligent people can dance to it!  :cisfor:



#75 Guest_skibby_*

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Posted 31 October 2014 - 10:04 AM

whats the difference between megadrive and fb01?  ...googles...

 



Edited by skibby, 31 October 2014 - 10:07 AM.






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: fm, synth, synthesis, modulation