Sequenced Ambient FM8 Pads
In this tutorial we are going to walk through making a sequenced FM8 pad sound – perfect for chill out or ambient.
Sequenced pads are useful when you want to create movement easily and without too much effort. In this tutorial, Jonny shows us how to create a Sequenced FM8 Pad that would be great for ambient and chill music.
Start the Sequenced FM8 pad by enabling operators A through F. Set Operator A’s ratio to 2, and assign it a 1+4 waveform. Leave Operator B in it’s default setting, but Operator C should be given a Ratio of 4, and a PWM Ramp Mod Waveform. Operator D should be assigned a Ratio of 2, and have a selected Waveform of 1+8. Operator E should be assigned a Sawtooth Waveform, and Operator F should be given a Ratio of 1.5 and assigned a 2nd Formant Waveform. You will want to enable the Key Sync and Pitch Envelope for all of the Operators.
Next in the FM Matrix, Assign Operator B to modulate Operator A at a level around 25. Operator A should also self-feedback at a level of 26. Staying with Operator A, route it to modulate Operator D with a level of 62, then assign it to modulate Operator Z fully, and then Operator A to the output with a level around 40. Assign both Operators C and D to modulate Operator F, and route them fully to Operator Z. Set Operator F to modulate Operator E with a level around 20, and then route both Operator E and F fully to Operator Z as well.
Next we want to change the envelope for our Operators. Assigning new envelopes and changing the pattern will add a lot of movement to the sound. In the video, Jonny uses Operator A to configure a repeating musical pattern. This part is critical if you want to get the desired movement.
Lastly we can set the settings for the Filter. Here you will want to change the envelope settings to have a slow attack. This will provide that nice warm up sound that many pads offer. Now that the sound is pretty much finished, you can think about adding a bit of LFO and effects. You will want to experiment with the effects you use, as well as the settings for the LFO.