Modern FM synth options?

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wminor
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Modern FM synth options?

Post by wminor » Thu Mar 19, 2020 1:27 pm

I'm looking for a new FM synth. I currently have a Digitone, which is great, but I really want more from it. More LFOs, more envelopes, and maybe even more effects.

To give an analogy in the world of Elektron gear, I want the Digitone's larger sibling, like the Octatrack is to the Digitakt.

It seems like the whole world is wavetable crazy these days. Two synths that have caught my eye are the Hydrasynth and the Modal Argon 8. I think they both have at least some type of FM capability, but I'm not sure it's nearly as much compared to the Digitone.

What are other options for FM synthesis with hardware? Bonus points if it has a sequencer built in... another part of what I love about the Digitone is the "groovebox" playability.
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Re: Modern FM synth options?

Post by Benoist » Thu Mar 19, 2020 1:44 pm

ESSENCEFM : https://kodamo.org/?

Look at the specs, I have preordered it :mrgreen:

The developper is very open to suggestions and the unit will be updated.

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Re: Modern FM synth options?

Post by seta666 » Thu Mar 19, 2020 1:50 pm

I guess you already know you can send digitone midi tracks lfo to FM tracks via midi loop, thst would give you 4 extra LFO. I you want a more "powerful" yet cheap 6 operator fully featured FM synth look for a volca FM, it is not a toy. It sounds very nice, 3 note polyphony only. Sequencer is fun with its own tricks..it is limited but owning a Digitone that should not be a problem

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Re: Modern FM synth options?

Post by orangehexagon » Thu Mar 19, 2020 1:52 pm

I would suggest getting Native Instruments FM8 and a nice midi controller. Spend a half-hour setting up mapping template and then you'll be cruising.

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Re: Modern FM synth options?

Post by orangehexagon » Thu Mar 19, 2020 1:58 pm

Benoist wrote:
Thu Mar 19, 2020 1:44 pm
ESSENCEFM : https://kodamo.org/?

Look at the specs, I have preordered it :mrgreen:

The developper is very open to suggestions and the unit will be updated.
I sincerely love how the UI looks like it's from the 90's

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what gives?
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Re: Modern FM synth options?

Post by what gives? » Thu Mar 19, 2020 2:04 pm

PreenFM2.

Can't say anything about sound quality, since i've never used it myself.

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wminor
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Re: Modern FM synth options?

Post by wminor » Thu Mar 19, 2020 3:32 pm

Benoist wrote:
Thu Mar 19, 2020 1:44 pm
ESSENCEFM : https://kodamo.org/?

Look at the specs, I have preordered it :mrgreen:

The developper is very open to suggestions and the unit will be updated.
:deadbanana: take my money now!

No, seriously though, this looks like exactly the kind of thing I was hoping to find. Looks like pre-orders are closed for now, but I'll be keeping an eye on the project for sure. Thanks so much for pointing it out!
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wminor
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Re: Modern FM synth options?

Post by wminor » Thu Mar 19, 2020 3:34 pm

orangehexagon wrote:
Thu Mar 19, 2020 1:52 pm
I would suggest getting Native Instruments FM8 and a nice midi controller. Spend a half-hour setting up mapping template and then you'll be cruising.
I thought about this a bit. I have both FM8 and Ableton Operator. I've never had great experiences with building more sophisticated MIDI maps for specific instruments in the past, but it's been years and I'm sure things have gotten better since I last tried.

Any particular controllers you'd recommend that would be a good fit for this kind of workflow? I'm open to trying again.
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Re: Modern FM synth options?

Post by wminor » Thu Mar 19, 2020 3:35 pm

seta666 wrote:
Thu Mar 19, 2020 1:50 pm
I guess you already know you can send digitone midi tracks lfo to FM tracks via midi loop, thst would give you 4 extra LFO. I you want a more "powerful" yet cheap 6 operator fully featured FM synth look for a volca FM, it is not a toy. It sounds very nice, 3 note polyphony only. Sequencer is fun with its own tricks..it is limited but owning a Digitone that should not be a problem
Yeah, I know about the midi loopback trick, but honestly I find it a bit cumbersome (though maybe I just need to find a better way to look up the right CC values to do what I want without having to have the manual up on a computer screen).

Will also take another look at the volca FM... thanks :)
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Re: Modern FM synth options?

Post by Voltcontrol » Thu Mar 19, 2020 4:29 pm

wminor wrote:
Thu Mar 19, 2020 3:35 pm
seta666 wrote:
Thu Mar 19, 2020 1:50 pm
I guess you already know you can send digitone midi tracks lfo to FM tracks via midi loop, thst would give you 4 extra LFO. I you want a more "powerful" yet cheap 6 operator fully featured FM synth look for a volca FM, it is not a toy. It sounds very nice, 3 note polyphony only. Sequencer is fun with its own tricks..it is limited but owning a Digitone that should not be a problem
Yeah, I know about the midi loopback trick, but honestly I find it a bit cumbersome (though maybe I just need to find a better way to look up the right CC values to do what I want without having to have the manual up on a computer screen).

Will also take another look at the volca FM... thanks :)
Taking this slightly further perhaps, combine the two sequencing the Volca FM with the Digitone will be a whole lot of fun, p-locks, the midi lfo. 8-)

P.s.
The Kodamo looks epic.

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Re: Modern FM synth options?

Post by Dragonaut » Thu Mar 19, 2020 4:35 pm

PreenFM has been recommended to me repeatedly over time although when I consider the interface I think I’d rather just stick with soft synths. Eurorack has been fruitful for both analog and digital FM mono synth lines and I use Bazille and Serum to make poly patches. If you’re set on hardware and need poly why not the Nord Modular?
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Re: Modern FM synth options?

Post by StillNotWorking » Thu Mar 19, 2020 4:48 pm

We still wonder what this will become
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Re: Modern FM synth options?

Post by TheRosskonian » Thu Mar 19, 2020 7:59 pm

The Expressive E Osmose does FM, which is also not yet out. No idea on the details and from the looks of it, I'm really curious how programmable it is from the interface alone. But I am hoping it has six operators because I'm GASing for that Korg Op-Six and we don't even know anything about it
But, I'm assuming the current state of the world will mean we probably won't know anything until next year at the soonest.

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Re: Modern FM synth options?

Post by Johnny Matta » Thu Mar 19, 2020 10:04 pm

wminor wrote:
Thu Mar 19, 2020 3:35 pm
seta666 wrote:
Thu Mar 19, 2020 1:50 pm
I guess you already know you can send digitone midi tracks lfo to FM tracks via midi loop, thst would give you 4 extra LFO. I you want a more "powerful" yet cheap 6 operator fully featured FM synth look for a volca FM, it is not a toy. It sounds very nice, 3 note polyphony only. Sequencer is fun with its own tricks..it is limited but owning a Digitone that should not be a problem
Yeah, I know about the midi loopback trick, but honestly I find it a bit cumbersome (though maybe I just need to find a better way to look up the right CC values to do what I want without having to have the manual up on a computer screen).

Will also take another look at the volca FM... thanks :)
All you need is selecting MW for LFO destination and select four parameters you’d like to modulate.

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Re: Modern FM synth options?

Post by chachi » Fri Mar 20, 2020 1:51 am

i love my volca FM.

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Re: Modern FM synth options?

Post by seta666 » Fri Mar 20, 2020 3:42 am

Also for those who do not know it, you can use Dexed as an editor for volca fm..with a library with hundreds of dx7 presets available.

https://asb2m10.github.io/dexed/

http://bobbyblues.recup.ch/yamaha_dx7/dx7_patches.html

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Re: Modern FM synth options?

Post by Gribs » Sat Mar 21, 2020 1:19 am

Yamaha MODX series
Yamaha Montage series
Kong Kronos (MOD-7 sound engine)
Prophet 12 and Pro-2 (digital oscillators can FM each other around the ring (1 fm 2, 2 fm 3, 3 fm 4, 4 fm 1) so you can have some basic “algorithms”
Waldorf Quantum Firmware V2 is introducing a new 6 operator FM “kernel” oscillator - not out yet but there are some demos
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Re: Modern FM synth options?

Post by computer controlled » Sat Mar 21, 2020 4:14 am

I have the MODX6, which is about as good as it gets for modern FM synthesis, but it's a full sized keyboard. I don't think anything exists in the form you're looking for. The Model Cycles? Though it isn't a full fledged FM synth.
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Re: Modern FM synth options?

Post by chachi » Sat Mar 21, 2020 11:58 am

finally installed and played with Dexed last night, so pumped, it runs on my old ass macbook too, i can basically just turn that computer over to it. game changer for sure although i was liking the random stuff i was getting programming the volca onboard.

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Re: Modern FM synth options?

Post by Red Electric Rainbow » Sat Mar 21, 2020 12:45 pm

Monomachine
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Re: Modern FM synth options?

Post by gruebleengourd » Sat Mar 21, 2020 1:09 pm

FM on the modor nf-1 doesn't get more complex alogorithms than 2op with or w/o feedback. But you can have 3 sets of that, with looping envelopes, modulation matrix, multimode filter, formant filter, delay and chorus...
I'd say it's worth considering if you want something hands on.

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