FM8 in year 2017?

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
nichttuntun
KVRian
534 posts since 22 Nov, 2017

Post Tue Jun 12, 2018 7:07 pm

Okay maybe I was a bit overacting. I put my princess crown back in the cupboard now again. Sorry. 8)

EnGee
KVRAF
5178 posts since 7 Oct, 2005

Re: FM8 in year 2017?

Post Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:51 pm

nichttuntun wrote:Okay maybe I was a bit overacting. I put my princess crown back in the cupboard now again. Sorry. 8)
No need to be sorry. We are just learning from each other :hug:
Let's donate to help the kids and save our planet.

nichttuntun
KVRian
534 posts since 22 Nov, 2017

Re: FM8 in year 2017?

Post Wed Jun 13, 2018 2:39 am

:) :hug:

Sam Marks
KVRist
31 posts since 29 Dec, 2018

Re: FM8 in year 2017?

Post Sun Feb 10, 2019 12:34 am

For the impatient waiting for the arrival of FM9, I would recommend a very interesting and advanced FM synth called SY66. It is a Reaktor ensemble synth that has all the features that I would expect from a future FM9 (if it eventually appears).

I also like the features and sounds of other mentioned FM soft synths like FM8, Sytrus, Rhino, Octopus, Nemesis, Operator, Dexed, Blue 2, etc. But this great Reaktor ensemble is the FM synth that I like and use the most.

I enjoy a lot its RCM synthesis options (sample FM like the SY99 and TG77), the variable formant operators, the RM option, ZDF filters per operator and global, great real time MIDI control options, sheer number of envelopes and LFOs and its powerful sound design capabilities.

The best thing is that, as it is a Reaktor ensemble, you can customise it to suit your needs. Do you want 8 FM operators instead of 6, no problem you can add them, new filter types, multipoint envelopes, oscillator types or effect chains, you can easily implement them. So you could have all the synth options that you ever wanted in FM8 now, it is a dream synth in my opinion.

I was about to buy a Yamaha TG77, but having this soft synth I decided that it would be redundant. The same with the new MODX6 synth (for the FM-X part). This Reaktor ensemble has all the FM synth options that I have always wanted and more. I can also use with this synth my own sampled raw waveforms of SY and TG synths (and Korg, Roland and Kurzweil synths of my hardware collection) so I can replicate easily those 90s Yamaha synth sounds (FM, PCM or AWM, and RCM). As you can layer in your DAW as many synth instances as you like you can create very complex FM patches. You can even sequence the parameter modifications in the DAW.

It may be a little more complex and CPU demanding than FM8, but its possibilities are almost endless. For me it is like the FM9 that I always wanted. And its sounds are simply amazing.

The link below contains the list of features of this synth and information provided by its great developer (and the download link if you are a Reaktor 6 user). I hope you like it.

https://www.native-instruments.com/es/r ... show/9885/

nichttuntun
KVRian
534 posts since 22 Nov, 2017

Re: FM8 in year 2017?

Post Sun Feb 10, 2019 1:05 am

Hi. You totallly overlooked AUDIO NEBULAs fantastic FM synth AURORA FM. It's a real steal and continuously improves further on. It already has dope features and is very easy to program.

And why are you waiting for FM9 when the other synth you seem to love so much has everything on board you ever dreamed of?

Sam Marks
KVRist
31 posts since 29 Dec, 2018

Re: FM8 in year 2017?

Post Sun Feb 10, 2019 11:07 am

In my opinion every new FM synth would count, and FM8 is so great that a possible future FM9 would be a great addition to the NI synth line, if they are interested in updating it, which I am not so sure. Another interesting update would be that RP Blue 2 or Ableton Operator could load custom multisamples as FM operators. As you see, I am very interested in RCM (aka Sample FM) type of synthesis in the software world. Another great possible software synth would be the MOD-7 (Korg Kronos VPM synth) as a synth plugin.

It is true that with SY66 for Reaktor I have all the things that I wanted to see in a possible future FM9 version, so actually I don't need FM9 to be released when SY66 has all the functions I want and more. I think that is the most advanced FM synth for Reaktor and probably in general.

On the other hand, Audio Nebula Aurora FM is a very interesting FM synth with a very good value, my problem is that I am on Mac OSX, so I can not use it until there is a OSX version of this soft synth.

Another great FM synth is BioTek 2. Very flexible and powerful 4-op FM synth that can use custom samples, supersaws and granular synths as FM operators.

FXpansion Cypher 2 is also great and powerful FM synth, very flexible and with an excellent sound.

If you consider phase distorsion as a variation on the FM theme, Virtual CZ is also a good synth for interesting PD sounds.

User avatar
V0RT3X
KVRAF
7563 posts since 4 Jul, 2012 from Canada

Re: FM8 in year 2017?

Post Sun Feb 10, 2019 11:30 am

FM8 is great

I suppose if they wanted to do a radical new approach to FM8, NI could implement a modulation system like Kontours.

https://www.native-instruments.com/en/p ... s/kontour/


Having 8 Operators each with the kind of modulators that Kontour has would be pretty mind blowing for sound design.
Sound Experiments -> |https://soundcloud.com/user-841453413|
Join the Anti-EDM movement :borg:

EnGee
KVRAF
5178 posts since 7 Oct, 2005

Re: FM8 in year 2017?

Post Sun Feb 10, 2019 12:19 pm

There are several powerful FM synths/modules as different alternatives to the DX7 style.

Currently I have (besides FM8) Nemesis, Aparillo and some oscillators/filters that generate FM in Reaktor blocks. Usually those alternatives sound more interesting and detailed than FM8 (to me). So I'm using FM8 less and less now.
Let's donate to help the kids and save our planet.

CS_TBL
KVRer
2 posts since 19 Nov, 2007 from NL

Re: FM8 in year 2017?

Post Sun Feb 10, 2019 12:35 pm

I can't believe it, but after many years of just being idle (had to create an account in order to download something, back then), I'm now writing my first post here. ^_^ I'm this bloke: https://www.youtube.com/user/mvsmsx/
Recently also did this one: https://www.msx.org/sites/default/files ... ntro-1.mp3 (all sounds are FM8)

Now, no-one at NI is probably reading this, nor taking it into account, but here're my points about FM8:

The pros:
- speed; it came out in 2006'ish or something, and it had to run comfortably on the computers from that era. I can run tens of instances these days, all with effects and whatnot. For larger arrangements (which is kind of my thing) FM8 is outstanding.
- vast; drums, strings, brass, woodwinds, mallets, you name it, FM8 can do it. Whenever something in my projects is synthetic, FM8 is my to-go synth. Always.
- organic; due to free-running operators, although that's actually the essence of FM itself and not unique to FM8.
- effects; there are many. Often enough I see new VST's with only a handful of effects (the usual bunch: reverb, delay, mod, distortion) with which they're missing the point. Often my basic FM-tone is rather simple and I actually spend more time in the effects section to shape my sound.
- free FM matrix; I also own a DX7, FS1r, and yes: fixed algorithms are very counter intuitive and far from spontaneous. I also have an SY77, which does a better job at that, but that one also hasn't been turned on for over a decade, I think. Long story short: I won't touch any synth with fixed FM algorithms anymore, ever.

The cons:
- bugs; there are some, like the unison on slow-attack sounds once you hit the polyphony brickwall. And there's a bug with the scaling (deleting a node). And there's a weird redraw bug that sometimes occurs in the equalizers, tweaking a parameter usually solves this.
- setting values in the mod matrix is sometimes arcane as the range of a parameter is greater than the allocated mouse range to scan. E.g. if you have a mouse range of 100 and a parameter range of 128 (just an example) then you are bound to see jumps here and there. This also happens with the FM matrix. Often, setting a value is truly pixelwork.

Wishes:
- random fluctuations on about all parameters
- more effects, not just variations of current effects, but also more effect slots. Think of bitcrushers, resampling, dynamics, vocoding, ER etc.
- operator copy
- random note-on timing fluctuations; especially with unison this gives you the impression of a section of humans playing instruments (e.g. strings, brass)
- drumkit mode, kind of how the Roland JV/XV synths do this: a complete set of parameters per key (including effects)
- make FM8 truly multi-timbral and store a set of 16 individual FM8 instances into one large bank.
- I would like more operators and additional noise operators (including true S&H noise)
- add user drawn operator waveforms
- include CC value transformers so that the effect of e.g. a pitchbend-up on operator A could be different from the effect on operator B (use a table editor)
- include a real frequency envelope per operator
- include operator waveform phasing, like in the SY77/99
- an extra LFO, I usually use one for random fluctuations on pitch, which costs me an LFO. In the Roland JV/XV there's at least the 'analog feel' parameter that doesn't cost you an LFO.
- a smooth random wave for the LFO, current steppy one isn't ideal for pitches 'n such.

Things which others have mentioned; better filter... I guess, if it makes you happy, sure. As long as they don't wipe the current one. I could imagine another character attached to a better filter (so we'd have two filters in the matrix).
Sound designer, composer, writer, FM8-galore, Win/SSD/i7/32GB

Sam Marks
KVRist
31 posts since 29 Dec, 2018

Re: FM8 in year 2017?

Post Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:23 pm

CS_TBL wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 12:35 pm
I can't believe it, but after many years of just being idle (had to create an account in order to download something, back then), I'm now writing my first post here. ^_^ I'm this bloke: https://www.youtube.com/user/mvsmsx/
Recently also did this one: https://www.msx.org/sites/default/files ... ntro-1.mp3 (all sounds are FM8)

Now, no-one at NI is probably reading this, nor taking it into account, but here're my points about FM8:

The pros:
- speed; it came out in 2006'ish or something, and it had to run comfortably on the computers from that era. I can run tens of instances these days, all with effects and whatnot. For larger arrangements (which is kind of my thing) FM8 is outstanding.
- vast; drums, strings, brass, woodwinds, mallets, you name it, FM8 can do it. Whenever something in my projects is synthetic, FM8 is my to-go synth. Always.
- organic; due to free-running operators, although that's actually the essence of FM itself and not unique to FM8.
- effects; there are many. Often enough I see new VST's with only a handful of effects (the usual bunch: reverb, delay, mod, distortion) with which they're missing the point. Often my basic FM-tone is rather simple and I actually spend more time in the effects section to shape my sound.
- free FM matrix; I also own a DX7, FS1r, and yes: fixed algorithms are very counter intuitive and far from spontaneous. I also have an SY77, which does a better job at that, but that one also hasn't been turned on for over a decade, I think. Long story short: I won't touch any synth with fixed FM algorithms anymore, ever.

The cons:
- bugs; there are some, like the unison on slow-attack sounds once you hit the polyphony brickwall. And there's a bug with the scaling (deleting a node). And there's a weird redraw bug that sometimes occurs in the equalizers, tweaking a parameter usually solves this.
- setting values in the mod matrix is sometimes arcane as the range of a parameter is greater than the allocated mouse range to scan. E.g. if you have a mouse range of 100 and a parameter range of 128 (just an example) then you are bound to see jumps here and there. This also happens with the FM matrix. Often, setting a value is truly pixelwork.

Wishes:
- random fluctuations on about all parameters
- more effects, not just variations of current effects, but also more effect slots. Think of bitcrushers, resampling, dynamics, vocoding, ER etc.
- operator copy
- random note-on timing fluctuations; especially with unison this gives you the impression of a section of humans playing instruments (e.g. strings, brass)
- drumkit mode, kind of how the Roland JV/XV synths do this: a complete set of parameters per key (including effects)
- make FM8 truly multi-timbral and store a set of 16 individual FM8 instances into one large bank.
- I would like more operators and additional noise operators (including true S&H noise)
- add user drawn operator waveforms
- include CC value transformers so that the effect of e.g. a pitchbend-up on operator A could be different from the effect on operator B (use a table editor)
- include a real frequency envelope per operator
- include operator waveform phasing, like in the SY77/99
- an extra LFO, I usually use one for random fluctuations on pitch, which costs me an LFO. In the Roland JV/XV there's at least the 'analog feel' parameter that doesn't cost you an LFO.
- a smooth random wave for the LFO, current steppy one isn't ideal for pitches 'n such.

Things which others have mentioned; better filter... I guess, if it makes you happy, sure. As long as they don't wipe the current one. I could imagine another character attached to a better filter (so we'd have two filters in the matrix).
Great tune using only FM8! Your Youtube videos are also very inspiring and interesting. FM8 is a truly synth beast.

I agree with you regarding the possible FM8 improvements (wishes). Lets see if someone at NI is reading this post on FM8 :)

ghettosynth
KVRAF
11433 posts since 13 Oct, 2009

Re: FM8 in year 2017?

Post Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:38 pm

Sam Marks wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 12:34 am
For the impatient waiting for the arrival of FM9, I would recommend a very interesting and advanced FM synth called SY66. It is a Reaktor ensemble synth that has all the features that I would expect from a future FM9 (if it eventually appears).

ZDF filters per operator
No, not that it's that big of a deal, but that isn't true. It has the oversampled R5 filters, which I think are much better than the primary filters, but they are not ZDF. You could certainly add ZDF filters but it would push the CPU usage up.

Also, typical fugly Reaktor U/I, and I'm a huge Reaktor fan.

Don't get me wrong, it's cool enough that someone glued that stuff together, but it's not really 2018. It's really more like 2006 Reaktor except it wouldn't actually run on a 2006 CPU.

There's still room for a motivated dev to do a great Reaktor FM synth, but I wouldn't hold my breath. Getting the U/I right in Reaktor is a lot of work.

IMO, the best 2018 FM synth in Reaktor is Kontour. It's not FM8, but it is, so to speak, fashion forward.

Sam Marks
KVRist
31 posts since 29 Dec, 2018

Re: FM8 in year 2017?

Post Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:07 pm

ghettosynth wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:38 pm
Sam Marks wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 12:34 am
For the impatient waiting for the arrival of FM9, I would recommend a very interesting and advanced FM synth called SY66. It is a Reaktor ensemble synth that has all the features that I would expect from a future FM9 (if it eventually appears).

ZDF filters per operator
No, not that it's that big of a deal, but that isn't true. It has the oversampled R5 filters, which I think are much better than the primary filters, but they are not ZDF. You could certainly add ZDF filters but it would push the CPU usage up.

Also, typical fugly Reaktor U/I, and I'm a huge Reaktor fan.

Don't get me wrong, it's cool enough that someone glued that stuff together, but it's not really 2018. It's really more like 2006 Reaktor except it wouldn't actually run on a 2006 CPU.

There's still room for a motivated dev to do a great Reaktor FM synth, but I wouldn't hold my breath. Getting the U/I right in Reaktor is a lot of work.

IMO, the best 2018 FM synth in Reaktor is Kontour. It's not FM8, but it is, so to speak, fashion forward.
The manual of the SY66 ensemble references the research paper of V. Zavalishin regarding the design of ZDF filter models, so I think that the ZDF filters in this ensemble should be good ones, if they were built according to the theory of the paper (something that I could not investigate yet). The paper is called The Art of VA Filter Design. It is a very interesting paper, by the way.

viewtopic.php?t=350246

The creator of the ensemble cites: "6 filter types per operator including Zero Delay Feedback (ZDF) versions" in the specifications of the ensemble. I it is certain that when you activate the ZDF switch in the filter section of the ensemble it certainly improves the filter sound, in my opinion.

The GUI of this Reaktor synth of course I agree that is not comparable with the commercial FM synths like FM8 but it is a logical compromise given that it is a free synth. It is complicated to design a good interface in Reaktor, you are correct.

I also like ZDF filters from Dune 2, Bazille or Diva. But the most interesting part for my needs in the SY66 however is the FM sample part (RCM in SY99 jargon). For this, any type of simple LP filter is valid to clean the high harmonics present in the multisamples. Then the FM can work magic creating analog-like weird filter sweeps from the filtered sample material, when FM-modulated.

I don't know if it would be feasible to replace the mentioned ensemble filters with the ones derived from something like Monark or Kontour, or some Reaktor blocks ZDF filter models. I like Kontour a lot also. It is a brilliant synth and one of the best Reaktor ensembles (for PM synthesis).

User avatar
ew
KVRAF
9161 posts since 23 Jul, 2002 from Pequot Lakes, MN

Re: FM8 in year 2017?

Post Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:13 pm

ghettosynth wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:38 pm
Sam Marks wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 12:34 am
For the impatient waiting for the arrival of FM9, I would recommend a very interesting and advanced FM synth called SY66. It is a Reaktor ensemble synth that has all the features that I would expect from a future FM9 (if it eventually appears).

ZDF filters per operator
No, not that it's that big of a deal, but that isn't true. It has the oversampled R5 filters, which I think are much better than the primary filters, but they are not ZDF. You could certainly add ZDF filters but it would push the CPU usage up.

Actually, it does. Martijn Zwartjes built them for Jonathan (you might know Martjin as MatZ from the SyncModular days).

ew
A spectral heretic...

ghettosynth
KVRAF
11433 posts since 13 Oct, 2009

Re: FM8 in year 2017?

Post Sun Feb 10, 2019 6:28 pm

ew wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:13 pm
ghettosynth wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:38 pm
Sam Marks wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 12:34 am
For the impatient waiting for the arrival of FM9, I would recommend a very interesting and advanced FM synth called SY66. It is a Reaktor ensemble synth that has all the features that I would expect from a future FM9 (if it eventually appears).

ZDF filters per operator
No, not that it's that big of a deal, but that isn't true. It has the oversampled R5 filters, which I think are much better than the primary filters, but they are not ZDF. You could certainly add ZDF filters but it would push the CPU usage up.

Actually, it does. Martijn Zwartjes built them for Jonathan (you might know Martjin as MatZ from the SyncModular days).

ew
My bad, I didn't notice that the ZDF filters were not in the "filters" macro. The filters that are in the filter macro are all the pre-zdf R5 filters.

It's still fugly though :)

Sam Marks
KVRist
31 posts since 29 Dec, 2018

Re: FM8 in year 2017?

Post Mon Feb 11, 2019 4:46 am

I think that its sound is beautiful and it is what interests me the most.

I don't need a hardware SY99 or TG77, with their cryptic interfaces and programming, to do proper RCM synthesis anymore ;)

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