The History of FM Synthesis With Dr. John Chowning
In this video from this year’s Knobcon synth convention, we hear composer and musician, Dr. John Chowning explain the rich history behind FM synthesis – the mode of synthesis that serves as the basis for many of today’s famous sounds.
Nick Peck, the YouTuber who recorded and uploaded this video, explains in the video’s description:
Dr. John Chowning is a legendary scientist, musician, and composer best known for the discovery of frequency modulation (FM) synthesis for musical applications. He did not invent the Yamaha DX7 synthesizer, but he discovered the principles underlying the technology, and worked tirelessly to get it into the hands of a company that would develop it into a product. That product, the DX7, became one of the best selling synthesizers of all time.Dr. Chowning’s lecture at Knobcon 2019 delves into the history of the discovery of FM, as well as detailed information on how it works, ending with the creation of the DX7. This discussion is dense and scholarly, but has charts and animations to help explain the principles of the topic. It is a long lecture, but will bear fruit to the student of electronic music that is willing to delve in.My apologies for the quality of the camera work – it was hand held for two hours. But I hope that the quality of the content transcends the quality of the recording.Under the Big Tree is Nick Peck’s YouTube channel, focused on music and sound design equipment and techniques, composition, production and performance of music, modular synthesizers and electronic music in general, and tabletop board games.
Knobcon 2019 took place from September 6-8, and you can visit the event website to learn more about what the convention had to offer and what to expect for next year!