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Welcome back to the third installment in this series looking at designing FX sounds with FM8....

FM8 Tutorials

FX Sounds with FM8 Part 3: Down & Uplifter

Welcome back to the third installment in this series looking at designing FX sounds with FM8. This week, Jonny shares how to make a sweet down and uplifter!

In continuing with our series on how to design unique and original FX and transition sounds in FM8, this week the focus is on making a clever down and uplifter with plenty of modulation to help build up tension and interest as it develops. As you follow along with this video keep in mind that there are two separate things happening here, the sound design and the modulation assignments. So if you like the action on this FX, you can apply similar modulation to different sounds and achieve good results. And you can extend this type of FX even further with some clever programming in the Morphing Matrix, moving from one kind of sound to something completely different by the time it ends.

The synth made in the FM Matrix is a pretty classic electro funk kind of sound, but this approach to FX design will work with just about any kind of sound you can think of. So don’t hesitate to start off this lesson with a sound of your own! Once the sound itself is set up, it comes down to modulation. First a simple LFO is assigned to the high pitched element that comes in part way through the FX. The rest of the magic is made possible by the awesome flexible envelope system of FM8.

Although the modulation assignment system may not seem as intuitive or robust when compared to some of the most popular soft synths out there, FM8 is actually capable of making just about anything you can imagine happen without having to spend too much time on it. The envelopes make life really easy, once you understand how they work and what they can do. As you can see in the last parts of this video tutorial, a lowpass filter sweep is easily achieved by programming the envelope for Operator Z and the delayed rhythmic high pitched element is largely made possible by programming the envelope for Operator C.

If, at any time, you become confused or overwhelmed with this instructions in this lesson, just start over and try to focus on the fact that the sound design is totally separate from the programming of the LFO and envelopes. Once you get to the point where you realize that any sound can be plugged in, things should be much easier for you. And when you are ready to try this type of effect with entire on your own, you may want to begin with some envelope curve presets to help keep things moving along. Layering modulation/automation in a synth like FM8 should be just as easy as layering sounds from the various oscillators available.

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