Transforming Factory Patches with Native Instruments FM8
This is a great series from the Plugin Guru who has taken the time to break down some great ideas and methods for taking one sound and changing it completely for your projects, with amazing results!
The first five minutes of this video are off-topic, so may want to skip right to the tutorial if you’re in a hurry. It’s more than 20 minutes of info to absorb. But it flies by because the content is solid. We have all flipped through factory presets and simply sighed and started something from scratch because we didn’t hear anything that was a good fit. Well, with FM8 especially, it’s really quite easy (and a lot of fun!) to take one or more of these preexisting patches and manipulate them into something truly awesome. Working in this way allows you to not only see what someone else did while programming their sounds, but you also become much more familiar with how different parts of FM8 interact with each other.
Mixing sounds with the morphing tool is an amazing way to get a huge jump on a new patch that you would never normally end up with. It’s one of those things that FM8 offers that can be truly game changing when used creatively. He touches on the envelopes and how the sounds are developing. Then the harmonics and ability to work well together are dealt with to ensure that the new sound will sound good through a wide range of notes and octaves.
A good understanding of how a sound is built and what needs to be tweaked when you hear something wrong is the mark of someone who has taken the time to get to know their tools. The more sound design sessions you have with FM8, focusing on frequency modulation synthesis, the quicker you will get and the more intuitive the process becomes. When you get to the point where you can design nicely layered sounds, you can begin to really blow things up with the arpeggiator and synching filters (like LFOs).
The rest of the video is spent in the realm of LFOs and arpeggiation, taking the new sound he built and putting them into action. Adding some simple effects and properly programming the mod wheel to modulate the sound on the fly is all that’s left. It’s easy to see that there is no limit to the sounds you can make with FM8. So next time you get stuck or can’t quite find the inspiration for a new sound, grab an old patch (or four) and go to work!
If you have a cool method for taking old sounds and making them into something new, shoot us a message. We’d love to hear what you’re up to with FM8. Thanks for stopping by!