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Good tutorials on FM Synthesis?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Production Techniques  
Author Good tutorials on FM Synthesis?
kf6gpe
(Dunno if this belongs here or somewhere else. Is sound design production? It's kinda part of composition in my book. Anyway...)

I did a quick forum search tonight looking for good primers on FM synthesis. I have the basic idea down, but I want to get a better understanding of how the math corresponds to how it's implemented in popular hardware like the DX and Volca FM, and emulators of same. I have a hard time mapping what I understand to the notion of operators, so I'm obviously missing something important.

I've found the Sound on Sound tutorials, and they're on my tablet to read at lunch tomorrow. I could google, but I imagine some of you folks have the best things bookmarked, and I won't be wading through stuff I either (a) already know or (b) don't yet know enough to understand.

Thanks!
commodorejohn
I see you've already found the Synth Secrets articles, which I can't recommend enough; Gordon Reid's explanation of how FM actually works was the thing that helped me get beyond blind guesswork to...um, educated guesswork.
sloth713
you might find these two videos helpful



JakoGreyshire
I read this a while ago when I got my DX7... It blew my mind... It obviously goes through the actual synth and whatnot... But if I remember correctly there is some FM synthesis explanations in there... This PDF is not pleasant to look at.... There might be some jewels in there...

http://yates.ca/dx7/The%20Complete%20DX7/The%20Complete%20DX7.pdf
adam
i think john chowning wrote a book, no idea if it's still in print

this one is good

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Computer-Music-Synthesis-Composition-Performa nce/dp/0028646827/ref=sr_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1519219572&sr=1-6&key words=computer+music

not sure why it's £84.99 at the moment, i paid about £25 i think, there are some used hardback copies for about £22
kf6gpe
Excellent! Thank you all!

I came across both Chowning's book and The Complete DX7 today. Purchased the one used (almost could have bought a Volca for the price, but I digress), and downloaded the other. Good to hear recommendations of both.

The SOS explanations are definitely helping --- I'll try to fit them to the videos when I watch them tonight! And it is finally sticking that an "operator" is just Yamaha's way of talking about an oscillator _with_ an envelope. When it stuck, I remembered I'd read that before and hadn't retained it. So I'd go off and read other stuff about particular pieces of gear and try to map claims about the number of operators back to what I knew about FM, and be totally lost.
kf6gpe
A note to future readers of this thread --- the videos are must-see we're not worthy . sloth713, thanks so much for posting them! I think I'll be watching the second one a few more times, too.
mt3


Made by The Flashbulb.
His additive synthesis vid is the best I've ever seen.

ear ear
https://ccrma.stanford.edu/software/snd/snd/fm.html
bnek
I would also recommend 'madFame's videos on youtube, for example: https://youtu.be/Y1xPT5D7Oc0
Joe.
Andrew Huang released a video yesterday, introducing FM basics to the masses... expect this thread's views to skyrocket hihi

kf6gpe
@mt3, those are great. Anybody that has a melodica's up there in my book. Thanks!!

@ear_ear, it's funny that that page didn't turn up in my first Google search, given that it's hosted where FM all began. Thanks for the link! Another good resource.
mt3
Learning Modular just posted:
https://www.patreon.com/posts/understanding-fm-16420660
greymadr
I love this guy, great intro into what it is and how to do it.

frated
Useful.
kf6gpe
Wow, thanks for the additional videos! @LoFi_Jungist, we posted at the same time. Thanks. smile

@greymadr, I had to smile at the beginning of that video, and I'm going to watch other stuff in his feed later today.

@mt3, I'll have to look at his other stuff to see if I want to be a Patreon.
decklyn
I think the best way to grok FM synthesis is to start listening to a very slow modulation and turning it up until you can see the sideband harmonics coming into play.

I kind of hate FM synthesis because it's really difficult to intuit what things will sound like once you start modulating things. It's a crapshoot and more of an experimentation thing vs actually sitting down and going "okay I'm going to do x and the result will be y" - it's more like "every time I touch a dial it sounds different again. Less is more so just try to be subtle - that helped me a lot.
astrodislocate
decklyn wrote:
I kind of hate FM synthesis because it's really difficult to intuit what things will sound like once you start modulating things. It's a crapshoot and more of an experimentation thing vs actually sitting down and going "okay I'm going to do x and the result will be y" - it's more like "every time I touch a dial it sounds different again.


Conversely, that's why I love it Rockin' Banana!
adam
i like switching algorithms while a patch is playing for unexpected craziness
Passersby
Lynda.com had some great tutorials as well. It's a subscription service but my library included a subscription. You might want to check in at your library.
zeit
How to Make a Noise: Frequency Modulation Synthesis by Simon Cann is what I'm reading to get a basic understanding. I think I paid $2 for it.
Panason
LoFi Junglist wrote:
Andrew Huang


The cringe is strong with this one.
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