Compose an Ambient Pad using FM8
In this video tutorial, Jonny shows how to compose an Ambient Pad using FM8!
In this video tutorial, Jonny showcases his sound design skills by building a versatile Ambient Pad using FM8. Though he labels it as an ambient pad, it is much more than that! This type of pad is well suited for a range of musical genres. An extremely versatile pad, it is easy to both manipulate, and incorporate into any mix. Give it a try and let us know what you think!
Start the Ambient Pad by turning on Operators B through F. Set Operator F to a Square Wave and set the Ratio to .5000. Assign Operator E a Sawtooth Wave Ratio and give it a Ratio of 2.5018. Assign Operator D a 3rd Formant Waveform and set the Ratio to 2.996. Set Operator C with a TX Wave 8 Waveform and assign it a ratio of 1.4993. Operator B should be given a Soft Tristate Waveform with a ratio of 1.5000.
Now in the Envelope tab of the Navigator, link Operators C and D, and drag the Sustain out a little bit. Pull back the Attack and give it a little curve. Link Operator E and F. Keeping their Attack sharp, pull out the Sustain a bit, and then add a little Release.
Switch to the Master menu, and increase the Unison Voices to 4. Turn up the Pan to about 75% and set the detune to about 40%. Under Quality, set the Analog fader to about halfway, and Digital fader to about 60%.
Then in the Easy/Morph menu, add a little bit of Tremolo and hit apply. LFO2 should now be modulating all the Operators when looked at in the Modulation Matrix under the Expert tab of the Navigator. In the Modulation Matrix, pull up the LFO1 affecting the Pitch and septet to 16. Turn the rate of LFO1 slightly, turn off Key Scale and Velocity Scale. Enable Key Sync, and change the shape of LFO1 to a 4th Formant Waveform.
As for effects, the only effect that is needed for the Ambient Pad is a Reverb. Turn up the Time a bit, and set the Bright to 80. Treble should be turned up, and the Dry/Wet should be boosted to about 60.
Now looking at the Filter, Operator Z, set the Mix all the way right to 100. Do the same thing for the Par/Ser parameter. Turn down the Cutoff and Resonance of Filter 1. Then under the Amplitude, set the Envelope Amount to 100. For the Filter Envelope, drag out the release so that the filter fades out fairly quick.
Under the FM Matrix, route all the Operators of the Ambient Pad through Operator Z (the Filter). Set Operator B to modulate Operator C at 16, and Operator D at 23. Then Set Operator F to modulate Operator B at 70. With the Operator Z routed to the output, you should now have your very own Ambient FM8 Pad!