IS FM synthesis your goto?

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
melodyz
KVRist
317 posts since 29 Mar, 2016

Post Thu Oct 13, 2016 6:23 am

Hi

I am polling kvr users to find out if FM synthesis is your favorite. I dont just want to hear from FM users. I want to really know when you listen to sounds you want to put in your song how likely are you to grab FM?

My purpose is to get an unbiased opinion of the true value of FM synthesis in todays music. So far I have gotten some really good feedback. Thanks
Last edited by melodyz on Thu Oct 13, 2016 2:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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wagtunes
KVRAF
18479 posts since 8 Oct, 2014

Re: IS FM synthesis your goto?

Post Thu Oct 13, 2016 6:38 am

For certain sounds, like bells, certain types of keys, etc. yes. But for the most part, no. I find the FM sound too harsh and/or sterile. I almost never go for an FM pad over an analog one. Leads? Sometimes, but not often.

Basically, not an FM fan, which is why I have only one FM based plugin (FM8) and have never made a library for an FM synth.

melodyz
KVRist
317 posts since 29 Mar, 2016

Re: IS FM synthesis your goto?

Post Thu Oct 13, 2016 6:41 am

Thats a great response. HI everyone keep them coming.

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shroom81
KVRian
641 posts since 26 May, 2008 from Iceland.

Re: IS FM synthesis your goto?

Post Thu Oct 13, 2016 7:12 am

I'm into Techno and Fm is just essential for creating sounds for that, whether it's bass, pads, drums, fx.

Fm synthesis can make some powerful sounds as well as complex unique ones and I'm currently in love with Softube Modular and I can highly recommend that for messing with Fm, best sounding Vst synth out there imo!
"People are stupid" Gegard Mousasi.

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fmr
KVRAF
9301 posts since 16 Mar, 2003 from Porto - Portugal

Re: IS FM synthesis your goto?

Post Thu Oct 13, 2016 7:13 am

I don't think that any type of synthesis alone will ever satisfy anyone. One of my favourite synths of all time is Yamaha SY99, which combines FM and PCM, and has good filters which allow it to also be a competente subtractive. Besides, we could even use the PCM as a modulator in the FM chain, which turned things even more interesting. That's the kind of approach I like.

That said, Synclavier-V, which was just launched by Arturia, and is FM/additive, is simply amazing.
Fernando (FMR)

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foosnark
KVRAF
5109 posts since 9 Jan, 2003 from Saint Louis MO

Re: IS FM synthesis your goto?

Post Thu Oct 13, 2016 7:21 am

I don't use FM as much as sampling or subtractive, but I do use it and like it. I tend toward experimental, ambient, noise types of stuff, so it's not like I'm hooked on FM basses or something.

The one VST synth I've written has FM features. Overall I tend to use Bazille for FM as much as any other plugins. In hardware, I have a Bastl Trinity Mono FM for drones. Going to start in on Eurorack with some FM stuff as well.

melodyz
KVRist
317 posts since 29 Mar, 2016

Re: IS FM synthesis your goto?

Post Thu Oct 13, 2016 7:38 am

shroom81 wrote:I'm into Techno and Fm is just essential for creating sounds for that, whether it's bass, pads, drums, fx.

Fm synthesis can make some powerful sounds as well as complex unique ones and I'm currently in love with Softube Modular and I can highly recommend that for messing with Fm, best sounding Vst synth out there imo!
Hi shroom81. Can you please point me to some FM samples that do this for you? Thanks

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filter303
KVRian
620 posts since 14 Jun, 2006 from Finland

Re: IS FM synthesis your goto?

Post Thu Oct 13, 2016 7:40 am

For me FM is not really a goto to anything but I have to say that after so many years of using mostly subtractive synths it's sometimes very refreshing to play with FM synths. Besides excellent bells and keys, FM synthesis can make some amazing bass making it a good alternative for typical analog bass sounds. It's also good for weird fx and dark atmospheric sounds. FM can be very expressive to play which I find important. It's also useful for layering with regular "analog" style sounds. Simple metallic sounding fm patches make good background rhythms for certain type of electronic music, especially if processed with a resonant filter.

I can't believe I am writing this as I used to hate patches that emulate acoustic instruments but these days I enjoy playing those type of sounds too (especially with additional effects like reverb and/or delay).
I rarely use FM for pads because the best ones for my taste come from WT + subtractive synths.

recursive one
KVRAF
4603 posts since 7 Feb, 2013

Re: IS FM synthesis your goto?

Post Thu Oct 13, 2016 7:42 am

I often use FM for really edgy, metallic psytrance sounds. But I prefer simple FM design, 6-op FM monsters are too complex for my tiny brain.
You may think you can fly ... but you better not try

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justin3am
KVRAF
10984 posts since 7 May, 2006 from Southern California

Re: IS FM synthesis your goto?

Post Thu Oct 13, 2016 7:56 am

I don't tend to use any one method of synthesis in isolation but I use FM in a lot of sounds, perhaps most.
When using FM to add harmonic content to a sound, I find it's easier to keep the fundamental tone at a more consistent volume than when using a filter. I still use filters but more as a tonal shaper or a resonator. I also like the way that a sound can start as a simple sine which can become enharmonic as you increase the modulation depth, it can be like a filter that adds a noisy component as you open it up.

Depending on the synth and the available FM algorithms, you may get more metallic or glassy sounds but all sorts of timbres are possible with FM synthesis. Particularly if you have a routing matrix rather than a fixed set of algorithms.
My favorite FM synth currently is u-he's Bazille. The great thing about that synth is that you can modulate practically anything at audio rate, not just the phase of the oscillator. Since it's got a modular interface, the possibilities are practically endless.

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layzer
KVRAF
6727 posts since 11 Jun, 2006

Re: IS FM synthesis your goto?

Post Thu Oct 13, 2016 8:14 am

unprocessed FM tends to sound quite thin. i tried to get the OXE dev to make a version of OXE that layered 8 voice channels similar to the way the yamaha TX802 can layer voices. with independant panning, detuning, ect... he never showed much
interest. would have made OXE one fat sounding synth IMHO. oh well.
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HW MODULES [OBi M1000 - ROLAND MKS-50 - ROLAND JV880 - KURZ 1000PX]
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DJ Warmonger
KVRAF
3685 posts since 7 Jun, 2012 from Warsaw

Re: IS FM synthesis your goto?

Post Thu Oct 13, 2016 8:29 am

There are several sounds (charpichord, house bass), which are originally FM and I stay with that.

FM is also great way of generating lots of nasty psy-tech or electro/dubstep sounds quickly. In general I tend to use FM touch a lot, good thing Serum has it.
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Tricky-Loops wrote: (...)someone like Armin van Buuren who claims to make a track in half an hour and all his songs sound somewhat boring(...)

xalama qo
KVRian
1236 posts since 7 Jun, 2007

Re: IS FM synthesis your goto?

Post Thu Oct 13, 2016 8:39 am

I've been dabbling with FM synths quite a lot lately, both FM-centric synths like Dexter and FM-inclusive subtractive synths...Curve 2 being my absolute favourite atm with its fantastically thick and warm character. It does basic FM sounds extremely well, and nothing thin or sterile about it either.
It was fun to revisit Crystal synth and surf the presets full of MSEGed motion. So impressive for an old free synth.

I've also realized lately that more and more of the synth sounds so influential in my youth were probably made with a DX7 and not some juicy analog synth! Kinda humbling :) (And I'm not talking bout Whitney Houston tinkly pianos either!)

chk071
KVRAF
23225 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Re: IS FM synthesis your goto?

Post Thu Oct 13, 2016 8:41 am

The FM-capabilities of "typical" VA synths are enough for my uses. I do like to make use of those though, a lot of interesting sound potential. Not a big fan of pure FM synths though. And i must admit that i barely get the concept anyway.

Lotuzia
KVRAF
10225 posts since 19 Feb, 2004 from Paris

Re: IS FM synthesis your goto?

Post Thu Oct 13, 2016 9:00 am

Fm shines, Fm is beautiful, FM is full of colours, ... and it's the most predictable synthesis method, because it's easy to determine the precise harmonic content you want in a patch.

These are some sounds I made with Fm and NI FM8 synthesizer :

Chakadelic

6 mns of fm8 Keys

6 Mn of FM Pads and Atmos

A few mns of Basses and Leads

And, in case of, this Fm8 soundbank can be found there
http://www.lelotusbleu.fr Synth Presets

77 Exclusive Soundbanks for 23 synths, 8 Sound Designers, Hours of audio Demos. The Sound you miss might be there

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