Making a Children's Toy Piano in FM8
Sometimes I need to have a certain sound that is simply not found elsewhere, actually it’s often the case. But when it comes to kid’s sounds, I begin to imagine a specific sound and then I basically have to find a way to recreate it or I won’t be satisfied. This tutorial shows the steps taken to make a synth that is kind of like a children’s toy piano in FM8.
Beginning with the FM Matrix, you can see that I wanted to make sure that this sound would be unique and that there would be a bit of difference in sound when it comes to short notes compared with sustained notes. It had to be a synth, rather than a standard toy piano for this reason. As I progressed I found that it is not necessarily a simple task to make this kind of toy piano in FM8. All that said, the most important elements of this matrix setup are the envelope shape of each operator, the offset pitch values and the panning, which provides a sense of natural width that makes this instrument more believable. In the end it becomes a mix of a few different childhood favorites – a toy piano, a toy xylophone and a classic wind-up music box. All with a touch of synth!
A quick stop at the Master window to add a small amount of Pan, and Digital Quality.
A few small adjustments were then made to the main amplitude envelope and the timbre envelope.
And lastly, the Effects window. I used four subtle effects in total. First the Shelving EQ and Peak EQ were used to add a little extra emphasis on the higher frequencies to provide a little more ring. A small amount of reverb was added to give it a more natural development and release. And the Chorus/Delay was used to add more depth, and a bit of playful singing quality to the instrument.
In the audio example below you can hear it in action, playing a classic childhood singalong song.[audio:https://www.fm8tutorials.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Childrens-Piano.mp3|titles=Childrens Piano]
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