Designing Electronic Percussive Sounds in FM8
In the last few videos from Jonny, we have learned how to create hi-hats, claps and kick drums. This last installment shares how to make your own tuned percussive sounds, like electronic toms. After following along with all four videos, you should be able to design many more percussive sounds for your own projects from scratch. This gives you an advantage over people producing with common samples, as you are able to quickly customize each percussive sound to your specific needs, and of course the fact that your sounds are original will be a big difference maker. Let’s take a look at today’s lesson.
We begin on the Master window where the synth is set to run in Monophonic mode and all Detuning is removed. Then the FM Matrix is set up. This sound is very basic in its structure, with only two main operators running Sine waves routed directly to the output strip. Operator F is set up with a Pitch Ratio of 0.5000 and with Key Sync turned on. Operator E is set up with a Pitch Ratio of 1.2000 and also has the Key Synth feature enabled. Then some subtle noise is introduced via Operator X, which is routed into Opertor F.
Now we set up the envelopes. All three operators that are being used will need an envelope adjustment, and since we are looking for a very even and consistent deliver of sound we can simply Link all three together so they have the same exact curve in the end. You are shooting for a short plucky sound, while still maintaining some body to allow the tonality of the instrument to shine through. Now the Pitch Envelope is set up and we move onto the Effects window so we can add the finishing touches to this sound. A small amount of Reverb and a volume boost via an EQ unit and we’re done! For a nice rhythmic effect, you can try adding the Chorus/Delay effect as Jonny does at the end of the first part of this tutorial. The second sound covered in this lesson is just as useful and just a fin to make as the first sound. Just keep following along with the video and you’ll be designing your own percussive sounds like this in no time!