Synthesizer Boot Camp - Frequency Modulation Synthesis
Welcome to boot camp! This is a two-part special feature, where we look at the basic mechanics of frequency modulation synthesis, very applicable to FM8!
This short series is very basic in it’s approach and it’s content covered, but it provides a very clear explanation and therefore gives you the chance to gain a true understanding of the way FM Synthesis actually works at its core. When you know and really understand the way the way sounds are created and manipulated within FM8, then you will be able to make just about any kind of sound you want to! You will also need a good knowledge of various filters, effects, envelopes, etc to really round out your abilities and potential, but this is where it all starts, with the basics.
Beginning with an introduction to LFOs and simple sine waves, it moves then into frequency, depth and ratios. Each step of the tutorial, you are provided with an opportunity to hear the examples put into action so you have a clear idea of the cause and effect of everything discussed. Eventually it moves into adding more than one modulator and how it can quickly alter the original sound with very little change in parameters. This is because there are more things in play, and each ripple in the soundwave carries a greater impact as it interacts with and is affected by the other modulator. It is very easy to generate noise this way, which can be both good and bad, depending on what you are trying to accomplish. Obviously, the more you use this method of sound design, the more adept you will become. You may want to spend some time with just these ideas and not introduce any effects, filters, etc into your session to see what you are able to do with the very basic tools at the beginning of the sound chain in FM8.
Have more basic questions about FM Synthesis or FM8 in general? Let us know by leaving a comment below or posting on our Facebook page!