Creating FM8 Mid-Range Bass - Skrillex, Kill the Noise, Etc.
This is actually the second part of a two-part video tutorial that focuses on using FM synthesis to design this style of bass synth, and if you are a Reason user you will probably find the first installment of the series incredibly helpful. For all of you who just want to learn how to go about this task in FM8, this is the video for you! The first few minutes are spent wrapping up the end of what was covered in the first video, so feel free to skip it if you did not follow along with the first one. Chris Petti, the presenter of this video tutorial, refers to FM8 as the deepest and most comprehensive frequency modulation synthesizer ever created. I think he’s right, and we can spend the next few years covering exactly why in the many tutorials yet to come!
He starts off in the FM Matrix where the main routing of the sound occurs. Following a quick explanation of the interface and the difference between operators and modulators, Chris quickly begins to create his FM8 mid-range bass synth. It only requires one modulator, but a total of three operators will be routed directly to the main output strip.
Next the envelopes are set up via the Expert Env window. This begins to shape the delivery and development of the synth and you can hear the effects in real time as he makes adjustments. One this is set, he moves back to the operator and selects some waveforms that will provide the sound he’s after. Using a Sawtooth and a Formant waveform in a couple of the operators provides a human speech element to the bass, which is exactly what we’re after. One step closer to our FM8 mid-range bass!
Next, more unison voices are added via the Master window, and the synth is set to run in a mono polyphonic mode, which allows only one note to be played at a time. This is also where you can Detune, Pan or even add Analog and/or Digital Quality to your sounds. After this step, effects can be added. In this example some Overdrive is applied to introduce some saturation to this FM8 mid-range bass synth. From here, it is up to you whether you decide to use the Pitch Envelope feature within FM8 or apply some EQ automation in your DAW. Depending upon what the exact sound is that you are going for, the processing workflow can vary greatly. After you are done following along with this lesson, you should spend some time experimenting on your own and developing your own sounds.
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