Custom Hi-Hats with FM8
Extracted from the archives, this is the first in a series of videos based on creating percussive instruments with FM8. In this tutorial, we share how to make a sweet hi-hat sequence!
This sound only requires two of the main operators and Operators X (the noise and saturation operator) and Z (the filter operator). The way this one starts is by routing Operator E into Operator F, which is then routed into Operator X, which is fed into Operator Z. So this sound is gaining in complexity and interest as we move through the audio chain from left to right.
Notice that the Key Sync feature is turned on for both Operators E and F. This helps to ensure a consistent delivery of sound. Of course, you can make yourself some hi-hats in FM8 using just the noise and filter operators so it should be noted that these first two operators are in play to bring a certain tonal quality to the sound.
Starting to construct the feedback scenario in the FM Matrix takes a little bit of time and attention to detail. You may prefer more or less distortion in your hi-hats, which is just one of many elements easily tweaked when designing your own percussive instruments like this.
The total number of voices used is increased to four, on the Master window before moving along to the envelopes. The envelope curves we set up here will be the key to not just the sequence of the hi-hat pattern, but also the overall delivery of sound. Linking the envelopes in use will ensure a consistent delivery across all operators. Also make sure to turn on Tempo Syn and set the envelopes to run in FIX mode, rather than SLD (SLiDe) mode. After you successfully recreate what is shown in the video, take some time to have a play with the seemingly endless options made available by the flexible envelope system to generate your own custom patterns!