FM8 Epic Trance Pad in 10 mins!
We welcome back Tom with another solid tutorial, this time on how to design an FM8 epic trance pad. He walks you through the steps necessary to make this sound and does a good job of trying to explain the mechanics behind what he does along the way. FM Synthesis is only really difficult if you allow it to be, and sometimes the best way to move forward is to stop caring about the technical words and labels used to describe the different operations (not to mention the complicated routing and signal flow that stumps so many people). I feel that the more people I help to learn this amazing synth, the more I realize that the key to mastering it may just lie in succumbing to the fun and not focusing any energy or anxiety on why things work the way they do – At first. Of course, the goal is to learn everything about FM8 to become a true Jedi master. Or perhaps your goal is to become a ninja with this synth. Either way, tutorials like this one can help you get there over time. Let’s take a look at this sound.
Beginning with the FM Matrix, Tom explains how it can be related to Massive, Sylenth and other popular subtractive synths to help you get started. He also walks you through the routing of this particular sound, it’s operators and how the carriers and modulators differ. It actually makes this step of the process easier to understand if you are unfamiliar with FM Synthesis in general.
On the Master window, there have been a number of changes made from the default settings. The number of Polyphony voices has been increased to 64, the number of Unison voices has been increased to 8. This makes the synth much bigger sounding right away. Both the Detune and Pan settings have been turned up to make the sound wider. And the Digital Quality parameter is turned all the way up for more character.
The various operators each have their own unique envelope shape, which helps to create the delivery and development of the sound. You can probably copy the settings he shares a bit easier if you do it in the Expert Env window, where you can see and make edits to all of the envelopes in one place.
The last big step in this session is setting up the Effects window. This is where the final shaping of the sound takes place. A total of four effects are inserted. The Shelving EQ and Peak EQ are both used to accentuate both high and low frequencies. The Reverb provides the sound with more space to move around in. And the Chorus/Delay effect provides more depth and some movement to keep things interesting.
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