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In part one of this month's featured series, Johnny shows us how to efficiently use the FM...

FM8 Tutorials

Tips and Tricks For The FM Matrix In FM8

In part one of this month’s featured series, Johnny shows us how to efficiently use the FM Matrix in FM8 to quickly make better sounds.

One word that aptly describes FM8 is deep. Frequency modulation synthesis can be confusing and when you combine that with a synth as deep as FM8, things can get tricky. Luckily, Native Instruments added some useful features that make using the synth more efficient. One of those features is the FM Matrix in FM8.

Want a deeper understanding of the FM Matrix? Try our expert FM8 course – click here

The FM Matrix in FM8 is the heart of the synth. The FM Matrix is where you dictate just what your sound(s) will sound like after you have some waveforms loaded up in your Operators. Unlike other synths like Massive, where the oscillators and filters are often what dictate the characteristics of a sound, in FM synthesis you have Operators (which you can think of as Oscillators) and Carriers. The modulation of the Carriers is what creates FM synthesis. So when you go the the FM Matrix in FM8 and start clicking and dragging until squares appear and you drag the values up, what you’re doing is modulating the frequency of your operator through a carrier, thus getting frequency modulated synthesis. That’s as about as “laymen terms” as I can think of explaining it! Just a quick side note, FM synthesis can at any time utilize filters to effect the sound, it’s just not as significant of factor as in other forms of synthesis like additive or subtractive.

One of the coolest features of the FM Matrix in FM8 is the fact that you can load up presets. Many of the presets have various operators activated and they can be used as a quick tool to give you a head start when making sounds!

Want a deeper understanding of the FM Matrix? Try our expert FM8 course – click here

Cheers

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