IS FM synthesis your goto?

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
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toine6
KVRian
1309 posts since 29 Mar, 2002 from Salt Lake City, Utah - U.S.A.

Post Fri Jan 17, 2020 12:44 pm

I've only read the first page of this, not really sure the point of it.

FM synths are not on my goto list, though I may mess with them from time to time. It has a few cool sounds for things like bass, bells, and some fx sounds, but nothing I couldn't get by with. Hard to program, uninspiring sounds, and doesn't have a lot to offer over other forms of synthesis.

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.

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. From what I understand, you can use FM synthesis to do some really cool Skrillex kind of stuff, I just never got around to figuring out how to do that.

Korg's latest FM synths may have something new to offer, so here's hoping FM synthesis have evolved to the next level.

User avatar
toine6
KVRian
1309 posts since 29 Mar, 2002 from Salt Lake City, Utah - U.S.A.

Re: IS FM synthesis your goto?

Post Fri Jan 17, 2020 12:44 pm

[dual post]

simmo75
KVRAF
1867 posts since 25 Mar, 2016 from Seattle

Re: IS FM synthesis your goto?

Post Fri Jan 17, 2020 1:09 pm

pdxindy wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 12:01 pm
simmo75 wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 11:44 pm
pdxindy wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 11:18 pm
I would like to get a Digitone...

In software, Bazille is my favorite FM synth.
I love my Digitone, it’s so easy to make stunningly beautiful or absolutely filthy sounds from. Highly recommended.

Edit: and the sequencer is very good :)
I consistently love the sound of Digitone demos... that is always a good sign
It’s lush! Best purchase of last year for me.

Eirikur
KVRist
99 posts since 24 Feb, 2004

Re: IS FM synthesis your goto?

Post Fri Jan 17, 2020 1:54 pm

I so want a Digitone Keys. A used one is in my future. I've only owned the 2-op TG-33 and SY-35 in recent years. Oh, I'm forgetting my big DX period which was TX-802. I'm on the Team-Metlay albums playing it. I'm loving Dexed as a way to get back into those weirder DX sounds like the PPG emulations and vocal sounds. If you don't know it Aurora FM is a nice, modern, take on the DX area. It can inhale 6-op and 4-op patches and it even has a some graphics in the UI. I bought it. $17.00. Hard to go wrong.
http://www.audionebula.ca/

KBSoundSmith
KVRian
810 posts since 6 Jul, 2009

Re: IS FM synthesis your goto?

Post Fri Jan 17, 2020 2:01 pm

pdxindy wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 11:18 pm
I would like to get a Digitone...

In software, Bazille is my favorite FM synth.
Bazille has definitely become my favorite FM synth. I enjoy FM8 quite a lot too, but Bazille is special -- ease/speed/economy/power of use, with extremely clever oscillator design. There really isn't anything else like it.

As for hardware, the Korg Opsix prototype is looking interesting, as well as the KODAMO EssenceFM.

tylab
KVRer
5 posts since 23 Sep, 2014

Re: IS FM synthesis your goto?

Post Fri Jan 17, 2020 2:17 pm

I personally love the terrifying open endedness but also ease of use of sytrus. It is fun to twist random knobs on its matrix and see what happens.

User avatar
pdxindy
KVRAF
16331 posts since 3 Feb, 2005 from in the wilds

Re: IS FM synthesis your goto?

Post Fri Jan 17, 2020 3:39 pm

simmo75 wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 1:09 pm
pdxindy wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 12:01 pm
simmo75 wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 11:44 pm
pdxindy wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 11:18 pm
I would like to get a Digitone...

In software, Bazille is my favorite FM synth.
I love my Digitone, it’s so easy to make stunningly beautiful or absolutely filthy sounds from. Highly recommended.

Edit: and the sequencer is very good :)
I consistently love the sound of Digitone demos... that is always a good sign
It’s lush! Best purchase of last year for me.
Now you did it!! I just ordered one ;)

User avatar
pdxindy
KVRAF
16331 posts since 3 Feb, 2005 from in the wilds

Re: IS FM synthesis your goto?

Post Fri Jan 17, 2020 3:40 pm

KBSoundSmith wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 2:01 pm
pdxindy wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 11:18 pm
I would like to get a Digitone...

In software, Bazille is my favorite FM synth.
Bazille has definitely become my favorite FM synth. I enjoy FM8 quite a lot too, but Bazille is special -- ease/speed/economy/power of use, with extremely clever oscillator design. There really isn't anything else like it.

As for hardware, the Korg Opsix prototype is looking interesting, as well as the KODAMO EssenceFM.
Bazille is so unique... and just sounds stunning!

The Korg OPSix does look interesting. I only listened to one short demo of the Kodamo, but was a bit disappointed with the sound.

simmo75
KVRAF
1867 posts since 25 Mar, 2016 from Seattle

Re: IS FM synthesis your goto?

Post Fri Jan 17, 2020 4:15 pm

pdxindy wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 3:39 pm
simmo75 wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 1:09 pm
pdxindy wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 12:01 pm
simmo75 wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 11:44 pm
pdxindy wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 11:18 pm
I would like to get a Digitone...

In software, Bazille is my favorite FM synth.
I love my Digitone, it’s so easy to make stunningly beautiful or absolutely filthy sounds from. Highly recommended.

Edit: and the sequencer is very good :)
I consistently love the sound of Digitone demos... that is always a good sign
It’s lush! Best purchase of last year for me.
Now you did it!! I just ordered one ;)
You won’t regret it! :)
When I travel I take it with me, you can get full pieces together on it and it’s built really well.

Check out this dude, he does some great sketches and tutorials for the Digitone.
https://youtu.be/Vf-CoDcSXA0

User avatar
BONES
GRRRRRRR!
9555 posts since 14 Jun, 2001 from Somewhere else, on principle

Re: IS FM synthesis your goto?

Post Fri Jan 17, 2020 6:07 pm

Jesus H. Christ on a bike! That big fat pad that comes in at 1:07 you would swear was a V/A with tons of unison. It sounds very out of place with the rest of the piece, though. I had dismissed Digitone out of hand because it's an FM synth but since I've been getting into Aparillo, I may have to give it another look.
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.
NOVAkILL 4.0 : Dell G7 17 (Core i7, 8GB RAM, Win10), UR44C, Cubase, DUNE, Thorn, TRK-01, Equator, Hive, Substance, Arcsyn, Aparillo, Phase Plant, Pigments, Trueno, Analog Keys, MicroMonsta, Uno, Skulpt, Craft 2.

User avatar
pdxindy
KVRAF
16331 posts since 3 Feb, 2005 from in the wilds

Re: IS FM synthesis your goto?

Post Fri Jan 17, 2020 6:51 pm

simmo75 wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 4:15 pm
pdxindy wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 3:39 pm

Now you did it!! I just ordered one ;)
You won’t regret it! :)
When I travel I take it with me, you can get full pieces together on it and it’s built really well.

Check out this dude, he does some great sketches and tutorials for the Digitone.
I'm getting on an airplane next week... it's coming with me!

Your recommendation and a couple videos I found online convinced me. These 2 videos sound great and both are nothing but the Digitone recorded in one take. Lots of beautiful tones throughout both.

https://youtu.be/FzsclFey118

https://youtu.be/HB-UK4EcuVA

User avatar
BONES
GRRRRRRR!
9555 posts since 14 Jun, 2001 from Somewhere else, on principle

Re: IS FM synthesis your goto?

Post Fri Jan 17, 2020 8:29 pm

Yeah, nah, those demos don't do it for me the way this does -

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vRii8U-jA8
NOVAkILL 4.0 : Dell G7 17 (Core i7, 8GB RAM, Win10), UR44C, Cubase, DUNE, Thorn, TRK-01, Equator, Hive, Substance, Arcsyn, Aparillo, Phase Plant, Pigments, Trueno, Analog Keys, MicroMonsta, Uno, Skulpt, Craft 2.

User avatar
pdxindy
KVRAF
16331 posts since 3 Feb, 2005 from in the wilds

Re: IS FM synthesis your goto?

Post Fri Jan 17, 2020 9:40 pm

BONES wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 8:29 pm
Yeah, nah, those demos don't do it for me the way this does -
Good different people can get synths they like...

I find Aparillo one of the least sonically appealing synths I have tried in recent years.

simmo75
KVRAF
1867 posts since 25 Mar, 2016 from Seattle

Re: IS FM synthesis your goto?

Post Fri Jan 17, 2020 10:10 pm

I like Aparillo but I prefer my Digitone.

User avatar
BONES
GRRRRRRR!
9555 posts since 14 Jun, 2001 from Somewhere else, on principle

Re: IS FM synthesis your goto?

Post Sat Jan 18, 2020 3:57 am

Of course you do, you have the fortune you spent on it that you need to justify.
pdxindy wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 9:40 pm
Good different people can get synths they like...
And you feel the need to tell us this, why?
NOVAkILL 4.0 : Dell G7 17 (Core i7, 8GB RAM, Win10), UR44C, Cubase, DUNE, Thorn, TRK-01, Equator, Hive, Substance, Arcsyn, Aparillo, Phase Plant, Pigments, Trueno, Analog Keys, MicroMonsta, Uno, Skulpt, Craft 2.

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