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FM Synthesis (techniques, anecdotes)


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1 hour ago, Grain Bastard said:

Lol.

yeah 2008, I thought SND used just a Monomachine as when they finished they took it off stage and on the way back to the VIP they stopped and chatted to Rob - Rob didn’t touch it, he was Monomachineless at the time.

 

could well have been an MD though as I said. I should have referred to Elektron box.

 

At the time I thought it was feasible as even though I really liked the set and Album it is quite minimal and probably didn’t need a ton of equipment to produce....

That’s much better, thnx! This time it was more of a normal post and less of a riddle lol 😉

yes, I remember Ae’s 2008 live in Zagreb (the best concert in my life) and the snd’s part and id never thought snd would use a monomachine but now when you said this and if i try to remember the sounds that actually really could be a monomachine 

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This thread made me finally try Dexed. I hated the experience so much that it kind of made me want to get rid of my Volca FM.

Some nice FM acid in this one :     

Posted Images

Most of the glitching in this track, and especially the first 30 seconds, was made using FM on a modular Eurorack that i used to have access to. I really wish I wrote down what I did because I have tried to re-create it with digital modular plugins, and while I often get awesome sounds, it isn't what I got before.

I only remember what i primarily used. Lots of semi-random panning and enough modulation in each of the 'plops' to make it sound like it's alive or something I may have sampled in a swamp or something. lol.


 

I describe how I did it in the description of the track. The thing about modular synths is that you can spend a million hours making awesome sounds, but harnessing said sounds is another thing entirely. So it was a very good workflow to spend a lot of time making the awesome sounds, and then being forced to bring them back to my DAW and make a track with them.

Edited by Brisbot
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I like a lot of the current Elektron gear but it still feels to me like nothing quite replaces the Monomachine. A wavetable synth in their boombox form factor would be wicked. Throw in some percussive one-shots and you could easily write full tracks on it.

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On 2/21/2021 at 7:04 PM, kuniklo said:

I like a lot of the current Elektron gear but it still feels to me like nothing quite replaces the Monomachine. A wavetable synth in their boombox form factor would be wicked. Throw in some percussive one-shots and you could easily write full tracks on it.

The cycles is the closest thing they’ve done. I hope they add some more machines to it. I will always want a monomachine...

...but some nice parameter locked patterns on the cycles gets you pretty close. 

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9 hours ago, sheatheman said:

The cycles is the closest thing they’ve done. I hope they add some more machines to it. I will always want a monomachine...

...but some nice parameter locked patterns on the cycles gets you pretty close. 

I haven't had a chance to play with one yet but looks fun. I regret selling my Monomachine a bit.

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1 minute ago, kuniklo said:

I haven't had a chance to play with one yet but looks fun. I regret selling my Monomachine a bit.

i sold my MDuw bc i wasn't using it at all and i got 2k euros, so yeah... but i can't imagine ever selling my Monomachine! 

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If you pull apart some of the more complex in a synth like FM8 you'll often see that there are distinct, independent groups of operators acting like a single oscillator in a subtractive synth. So it's a bit less mysterious than it seems at first. And with most modern FM synths offering complex waveforms and not only sine waves you often can do a lot with 4 or fewer operators.

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I have a Volca FM and when I finally solved the Velocity problem I realized it lacks Portamento. 😞 

I maybe gonna buy a Yamaha DX11 for $100 in good condition. 

I already got a Monomachine and Machinedrum. 

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9 hours ago, cern said:

9 Operators
 

 

That looks incredibly nice and easy to use. Also happy to see them go with ADSR envelopes instead of that R1-R2-R3-R4-L1-L2-L3-L4 thing that no one really understands. I'm guessing this is only available in Reason and not as a general VST?

Also at 6:36: Seriously, call Kenny Loggins 'cause you're in the danger zone!

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I’ve just remembered an FM anecdote....

 

If you own an OP-1 then some of the presets for its FM synth I created!!!

 

You would think that would enable me to contribute more to a thread about FM synthesis but in reality the OP-1’s 4-OP FM engine is a combination of just four knobs to tweak. Just messing with it enables the creation of usable sounds but obviously lacks the depth of more complex FM synths.

I suppose that I could say that if you want an FM synth that is easy to make sounds good enough to impress the manufacturer but you don’t know much about FM synthesis, then get an OP-1 😂

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11 hours ago, Nil said:

11 Operators 

 

I moved from Reason ages ago to ‘more powerful options’ and to hw toys but in all actuality it’s a fantastic piece of sw and id probably be fine with today’s version for all of my music production needs.

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My current favorite FM plugin is the DX10 by mda. Lately I’m tired of all the flashy GUIs and feel like I spend way to much time looking at fake wood grain when I’m making music in ableton. So just using basic free stuff and then doing further mixing and mastering in audacity is feeling very good to me right now.

i feel like too many people try to push FM to extremes when I’m always trying to get it to be very subtle. 

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1 hour ago, sheatheman said:

i feel like too many people try to push FM to extremes when I’m always trying to get it to be very subtle. 

fm synth elitists are the best kind of elitist imo 

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6 hours ago, xox said:

I moved from Reason ages ago to ‘more powerful options’ and to hw toys but in all actuality it’s a fantastic piece of sw and id probably be fine with today’s version for all of my music production needs.

I really like Reason and I think they've been hitting the sweet spot between flexibility and ease of use better than any other DAW lately. All the algo stuff they've added via the players is really fun and useful and their built-in instruments are actually really good and don't require all the menu diving that other apps do. Europa in particular is a really powerful little synth. Performance could be better though.

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I love u-he Bazille's mix of Yamaha's FM, Casio's PD, semi-modular architecture (as in a fixed set of modules), audio-rate modulation... and overall tone. Some sort of MSEG would be awesome.
Hive 2's wavetables can be scripted, and the FM ones sound astonishingly good and pristine, I wish u-he'll publish a WT editor. Custom FM based WTs into the newly added comb filters would be glorious.
And I can't wait for Zebra 3, pretty sure it'll do FM gloriously.

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I really want to create a TB-303 FM synt. Instead of a SAW or Square wave just 1 OP. 

I think I will look to creat something in Max. 
FM Acid is so lovely! 

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Wouldn't you need at least one more operator to do the actual modulation needed for frequency modulation ?!

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18 minutes ago, cern said:

I really want to create a TB-303 FM synt. Instead of a SAW or Square wave just 1 OP. 

I think I will look to creat something in Max. 
FM Acid is so lovely! 

 

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