IS FM synthesis your goto?

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
201 posts since 11 Jun, 2019 from Darmstadt, Germany

Post Thu Jan 23, 2020 6:39 am

pdxindy wrote:
Wed Jan 22, 2020 9:14 am
GRUMP wrote:
Wed Jan 22, 2020 6:05 am
I have tried Bazille and thought "EDM Monster". I don´t really know if this Judgement is justified, but Bazille and its Presets imposed it. Wild Modulations and i. m. O. harsh Overtones everywhere. It seems not the right Synth for siny Vibes and smooth Elegance.
Spire is an EDM Synth... Bazille isn't. Bazille is not aimed at that. It is a complex and diverse synth that is not genre specific. It is up to the user to shape it into what you want.

I find Bazille gorgeous for smooth, soft, flowing tones. It can be so expressive and nuanced and deep while remaining coherent and present. That is why I love it so much. But if you are not aiming for that, it tends by default to be more sharp and cutting. Bazille requires some learning and it is not like say Diva which pretty much sounds great no matter what you do. Bazille can make all sorts of discordant racket! But just on the edge of chaos, there are amazing tones not to be found anywhere else.
That may be. But the Presets .. I mean EDM was maybe the false Expression. Lets better say "experimental". We call it "Alternative" here. Berlin Noise. But it´s none Tone2 Creation and yes - Uhe is fine - but as you already said - "if you are not aiming for that" ...and "amazing tones" would be an intensive Discussion with me. I can still remeber Ronald Reagan, I have seen Walls collide and Nations rise - but I would never have imagined that someone could call differnt Kinds of Noise [...] beautiful and amazing :/

However ... there has been a dark Period in the 90s when I had lots of Fun with even noisyer Stuff called "Oldschool Techno" today. But all that is "an old shoe". Stoneage Stuff. Its 2020 and we´re heading for AI-Music. I don´t know if we should really teach them Noise :/
Sound Design - VOX, Airy, Choir

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1309 posts since 29 Mar, 2002 from Salt Lake City, Utah - U.S.A.

Re: IS FM synthesis your goto?

Post Mon Feb 03, 2020 6:20 am

BONES wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 6:07 pm
toine6 wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 12:44 pm
I've owned many FM synths over the years, both hardware and software. I sold my Yamaha DX-7 a few years ago, not just because it was hard to edit and make your own patches, but because it doesn't seem to cover a lot of ground sound-wise. Many patches sound very similar, and after long editing sessions it wasn't worth it. Even when you make a patch that is little different, it still has a similar sounding tone, and while you may eventually make somewhat unusual sound, it's basically useless gibberish. I might as well have just sampled static interference from an old television.
That's how I felt about my DX 9 but FM can be a lot more than that.
But... It's always seemed like maybe it was a form of synthesis that had potential if someone could expand on it and figure out how to make it easy to program, but more importantly, figuring out a way to use it to make groundbreaking new sounds.
The first FM softsynth I used was Maxx Claster's Toxic and it was something of a revelation to me. Using a matrix to control your FM, instead of discreet algorithms, meant your timbres could be as simple or as complex as you needed them to be. It took so much of the hassle out of FM but kept all of its strengths. We used it quite a bit on our I Hate God album and a couple of songs on (D)anger as well.

Now I use Aparillo all the time and a word you can use to describe its sound is "unique", if not actually ground-breaking. And it is dead simple, just two oscillators. I also downloaded the trial version of PhasePlant last night, as it's currently on sale for NAMM, and it seems to use a lot of FM to good effect.
I have Toxic III and Biohazard, but had not used them in a while. After your post I went and fired up Toxic and made a song with it. They are pretty intuitive and have some great sounds. That said, much of the coolness factor comes from the sequences built into them. But yes, I really should spend more time learning those synths.

I bought Rob Papen's Blue, back in the day. It's pretty interesting and capable, I tried Blue II and it was even better, but there were some things that made me not want to support Papen anymore.

I thought more about all the different fm type softsynths out there, after my initial post, which I made while half asleep. I guess there are actually quite a few different FM type synths. Still don't use any of them as my GOTO synth though. When I do use them, I always end up tweaking presets instead of starting from scratch.

I bought your I Hate God album back in the day. I can see how FM synth can be used in interesting ways for your kind of music. Lots of FM sounds can be quite useful in a stabby, aggressive, somewhat metallic sounding way, especially if you play FM synths in a range that is more harsh and distorted. BTW, I thought including the Godkiller VST (if I remember right) with the album was a cool concept at the time, back when CD's were still somewhat alive.

I'll have to take a look at Aparillo, the sound examples sound pretty huge.

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600 posts since 7 Aug, 2015 from H2O

Re: IS FM synthesis your goto?

Post Sun Mar 01, 2020 3:43 pm

Definitely what I tend to use. The most mellow and beautiful pads when the modulation is slight. Adding a chorus (processing was mentioned earlier) and detuning really thickens it up, the ladder giving sporadic and random movement.

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1124 posts since 10 Jul, 2008 from Orbit Sol III

Re: IS FM synthesis your goto?

Post Sun Mar 01, 2020 8:00 pm

No particular type of synthesis is my go to. There are certain synths i will pull up if i have a strong idea, means i will either create a patch or find something that sorta works and change it. Sometimes that will be FM.
I don’t want to paraphrase justin3am but similar to what he posted 4 years ago.
gadgets an gizmos...make noise

1279 posts since 28 Sep, 2012

Re: IS FM synthesis your goto?

Post Sun Mar 01, 2020 8:11 pm

Lately, it absolutely has, both Chipsounds synths by Plogue, PortaFM and MD. Especially PortaFM.

1279 posts since 28 Sep, 2012

Re: IS FM synthesis your goto?

Post Sun Mar 01, 2020 8:18 pm

foosnark wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 7:59 am
I see I have a 4 year old response to this thread and I'm finding it hilarious.
foosnark wrote:
Thu Oct 13, 2016 7:21 am
I don't use FM as much as sampling or subtractive...
Since getting into modular, my use of subtractive synthesis fell way off and sampling has almost disappeared from use. FM is one of my most common synthesis techniques -- though inspired more by "West Coast" synthesis than Yamaha-style.

I'm circling around a bit. I have an Akemie's Castle module, which is a big 4-op FM synth with vintage Yamaha OPL3 chips, only with knobs and CV. It's dirty and full of glitches and weirdness and I love it. But I also quite like 2-op FM synthesis with analog control paths, slightly off-tuned ratios etc. and sometimes exponential FM.

I'm planning to make my next album kind of a combined study of Akemie's Castle and subtractive synthesis... the former to dive deep and really get to know it, the latter to reacquaint myself. I know there's more to it than supersaws and boring same-old filter sweeps, and in particular, drive/saturation and filtering can interact with each other in some nice ways.

But anyway, yes, FM synthesis is my go-to in general. I also am big into resonators and feedback patching though.
Wow - that’s almost exactly what I’m into as well: FM, resonators, feedback.

351 posts since 18 Sep, 2010

Re: IS FM synthesis your goto?

Post Sun Mar 01, 2020 9:23 pm

Surprised Rhino hasn't been mentioned. Under the radar, I guess.

1574 posts since 23 Jun, 2006 from Hungary

Re: IS FM synthesis your goto?

Post Sun Mar 01, 2020 9:41 pm

Almost all synth contain a small fm feature, but the best is to have some synths that are full fm synths. I like fm sound, tried fm7 /8, rhino, hexter, sytrus, blue2, dexed, arturia dx7.

1324 posts since 22 Aug, 2019

Re: IS FM synthesis your goto?

Post Mon Mar 02, 2020 6:03 am

To me FM often sounds dirty when it is part of subtractive synths, I don't want that.
I do like some DX7 sounds, though, which sound clean.

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DJ Warmonger
3672 posts since 7 Jun, 2012 from Warsaw

Re: IS FM synthesis your goto?

Post Mon Mar 02, 2020 6:15 am

I recently record a series of FM synthesis courses.

It's a bit of schizophrenic as I didn't use FM in ages. Too many different synths to try out... :shrug:
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(...)

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5409 posts since 8 Jun, 2009 from UK

Re: IS FM synthesis your goto?

Post Mon Mar 02, 2020 6:54 am

rj0 wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 9:23 pm
Surprised Rhino hasn't been mentioned. Under the radar, I guess.
If/when it gets the update, it will probably get a bit more attention. It's got a great bunch of features. But right now it suffers badly from the tiny-GUI issue and is flaky on newer versions of OS X to the point that programming presets in it is near impossible because the menus say one thing but the synth does another.

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263 posts since 23 Jun, 2012

Re: IS FM synthesis your goto?

Post Mon Mar 02, 2020 7:08 am

I'm using FM for aggressive sounds, for fluid sounds, for pads, for machine like sounds and SFX. For me, real FM is the most plausible and I usually use 2 OSC. Very rarely a third one, and if so, then at most to enhance the existing effect.

It's important to me that I can use my own waveforms. Two wavetables (instead of constant waveforms) would be even better. That's why Avanger and Fathom works very well for me there, unfortunately I'm annoyed by the DC-Offset killer, which probably comes from the fact that the waveforms are converted into partial tones.

When it comes to FM, anti aliasing is extremely important. Fathom has aliasing, but not the typical digital sound, it sounds rather noisy, distorted which I like a lot. Avenger on the other hand can create FM tables that are alias free (only sync for sure), pretty awesome. With MSF you can increase the quality extremely, 16x oversampling is no problem. But here you notice that it is still not enough. Sytrus can oversample 64x and it is still not enough. Maybe 512x is adequate (I read that's standard at UHE)?
Serum can FM two wavetables, too. It's PM, but sometimes this is also the means of choice.

I have already spent too much money on VST synths, but I need a synth that does FM really well, it seems to me that UHE is ahead of the game, but custom waveforms, wavetable mod?

91 posts since 9 Jun, 2019

Re: IS FM synthesis your goto?

Post Mon Mar 02, 2020 1:18 pm

I like too enjoy Fathom for its aggressive FM. I just picked up Lion, and am finding it's FM very useful, especially for quickly dialing in some smooth bells and percussive sounds.
Wiggle is another I always go back to, lots of options, custom waveforms, nice modulation, all wrapped in a very intuitive interface.
And then there's good old Operator. Very powerful but I'm yet to really unlock it's true power.

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