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WIGGLING 'LITE' IN GUEST MODE

Which FM synth?
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> General Gear Goto page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next [all]
Author Which FM synth?
mg05
I'm not familiar with FM synthesis.
I'd like to figure it out with a hardware device.
But I'm not sure which FM synth is best to start with:

Yamaha?
- FS1R
- DX200
- Reface

Digitone?

...?
pelican
None of the above
sutekina bipu-on
volca fm
adam
it's way easier when you've got all the controls in front of you, a 2 line lcd is slow
J3RK
Digitone. There are tons of ways you can go about this, and in the case of this type of synthesis software is a very valid approach as well. If you want hardware, want an interface that will make sense, and then some additional functionality for when you get properly moving with this approach, the Digitone is perfect. You can immediately start making music with it too, and it gives you visuals on what you're doing with your modulation.
Knights Who Say Neve
Akemie's Castle puts all the controls in front of you.

But that's the exception.

And unless you already have a functional euro setup to put it in, the Digitone would be far more useful.
bambrose
Volca fm u can't control parameters such as operator level / frequency via sysex dynamically (only via momentary bulk dump)
Dx series you can.. So can assign sliders on ext. midi device to wide range of parameters (rather than half dozen or so assigned ccs)
Dx200 all the way as far as I'm concerned (I own volca)
J3RK
Knights Who Say Neve wrote:
Akemie's Castle puts all the controls in front of you.


This is also a good recommendation assuming euro/modular is an option.
porphyrion
In my pre-eurorack days I liked the Korg DS-8. It even boasts some sliders. It's limited (and far removed from the hifi 8-op FM of the FS1R), but very fast and you don't ever need a computer for it.
mritenburg
Get a used TX7 module (it's a DX7 in a desktop module). There are plenty of free software editors for the DX7/TX7 that make visual editing quite easy.
rean1mator
I own, dx200, digitone, sy77, volca fm. Always wanted an fs1r but for the price dont' think it's worth it.

I've owned my dx200 since new circa 2001(?) if that tells you anything. Only downside is that there are no patch editors for it. There is the Yamaha one but I've never been able to get it to work for patch editing, only got it to work as a librarian. I've been begging the patchbase guys for an editor for a while now. no luck. with that said. even without the editor you can tweak the sound quite a lot with what is available on the panel. the Free EG parameters with the ability to record them on the sequencer does a lot just by itself. Love mine, will never get rid of it.

The Sy77 is pretty dope too and FM Alive has a great editor for it. It's a tank tho'.

Digitone has some superb sounds to it, although it is dumbed down considerably and you don't get endless level of control over the FM synthesis, but the way it sounds, you don't need it. A keeper for sure.
Ranxerox
I have an FS1R and a DX7 II-FD, and for purely FM things I prefer the DX7. The DX11 is also surprisingly good and well-featured for being only a 4-op.

If space is an issue, I would recommend a DX100, or a TX7, TX802 or TX81Z with a computer editor.
dopefiend
DX7llFD or something like the DX5. Two patches stacked make for excellent rich sounds.
rean1mator
one other note, if it's your first fm device just get a cheapo volca fm to see if it's for you or not. Patchbase has an excellent Editor/Librarian for the Ipad.
supersuper
mg05 wrote:
I'm not familiar with FM synthesis.
I'd like to figure it out with a hardware device.
But I'm not sure which FM synth is best to start with:

Yamaha?
- FS1R
- DX200
- Reface

Digitone?

...?


oh FFS the best fm is in software. If you really want to have understand FM dive into FM7, Arturia's new offering, or Ableton operator first; you only need one of these to explore but demos are free?!

It takes a very rare savant to have the patience for FM in the hardware format with a multi layer interface.
bambrose
rean1mator wrote:

I've owned my dx200 since new circa 2001(?) if that tells you anything. Only downside is that there are no patch editors for it. There is the Yamaha one but I've never been able to get it to work for patch editing, only got it to work as a librarian.


I've managed to get it (TG works) to work on my Mac running OS X ok..
J3RK
supersuper wrote:
mg05 wrote:
I'm not familiar with FM synthesis.
I'd like to figure it out with a hardware device.
But I'm not sure which FM synth is best to start with:

Yamaha?
- FS1R
- DX200
- Reface

Digitone?

...?


oh FFS the best fm is in software. If you really want to have understand FM dive into FM7, Arturia's new offering, or Ableton operator first; you only need one of these to explore but demos are free?!

It takes a very rare savant to have the patience for FM in the hardware format with a multi layer interface.


IMO the Digitone is actually easier to get excellent sounding results from than any FM/PM software that I've ever used. Not that the software is bad in any way, but the interface on the Digitone is ridiculously easy to follow, while still providing good depth and flow. I like FM8 quite a bit, and Octopus was pretty fun way back, but being able to sit back with some headphones and explore this form of synthesis in comfort is VERY VERY nice.
PrimateSynthesis
mritenburg wrote:
Get a used TX7 module (it's a DX7 in a desktop module). There are plenty of free software editors for the DX7/TX7 that make visual editing quite easy.


This. And there are thousands of patches online w00t
commodorejohn
Yeah, the answer to this question really depends on whether you want it for The Sound (go with the TX7/DX7/DX7-II, no point cutting corners) or as a means to play around with learning and exploring FM on (where one of the slightly knobbier options mentioned would probably be a better choice.)

Personally, my heart will always lie with the DX7. Just can't beat that thing.
diophantine
I was in this same boat a couple years ago. I wasn't looking for "that sound", but I mostly wanted to experiment with it and try it out. I was all ready to pull the trigger on a Volca FM when my next paycheck came (they'd just been announced), but then my friend came over, pointed to a DX7IID in the back of his van, and asked "hey, you want this?". While I do wish that it had a knobby interface, it is still a lot nicer to program and grok than a "normal" DX7.

If you can get a Volca FM for a cheap price and are primarily just interested in this synthesis method, I'd say go for it... I'm sure it'll be fun & educational.

If you're able to get a nice DX7II for a reasonable price, and have the space, go for it. It is a great instrument. Worst-case scenario, if you decide that you hate FM, it is a very nice keyboard controller.

If you have the cash and want a new instrument, I'd go with the Digitone. I've not used one, but from what I've seen it is a really interesting and capable instrument, and it looks quite tempting...
Technologear?
I have a 4 operator FM synth (dx27) which I like, but does having more operators help with more interesting patch creation? Should that be a consideration for the original poster?
emmaker
I have owned an TX81Z, TX7, DX7-II and FS1R.

The FS1R in my opinion is the best. 8 operator FM, format synth built in and is the quietest of the FM synth I've heard. Biggest shortcoming is programming them with the front panel. You really need a patch editor on your computer to make it easy.

The FS1R's have held their value and cost about as much as there were new if you can find one for sale. So that is a down side.
commodorejohn
Technologear? wrote:
I have a 4 operator FM synth (dx27) which I like, but does having more operators help with more interesting patch creation? Should that be a consideration for the original poster?

Yeah, the six-operator synths are a lot more flexible - not only because they have 32 algorithms to choose from instead of just 8, but also because of features like more complex EGs, more fine-grained oscillator tuning, and the ability to leave oscillators running at a fixed frequency. That said, some of the 4-operator synths (the TX81Z and V50, plus a few others) offer somewhat finer-grained oscillator tuning as well as multiple oscillator waveforms, which opens up a whole different area of FM sounds that are difficult to reproduce on the DX7 series.
Ranxerox
Technologear? wrote:
I have a 4 operator FM synth (dx27) which I like, but does having more operators help with more interesting patch creation? Should that be a consideration for the original poster?


When all I had was a 4-op FM synth (DX11), I don't remember feeling cheated of options? I seem to recall that according to John Chowning (inventor of FM synthesis), more than 6 operators is too many, as the maths involved in predicting the harmonic output from each algorithm becomes too complex to be useful for composition.

However, once you have a few dozen algorithms, in my opinion the next level is having more control over the FM modulation routing, as this is where the articulation and expression derives from. So you want things like a proper mod matrix, MIDI controller sources, complex envelopes, function generators... That's how synths like the FS1R, Kronos and Montage add more power to FM synthesis (as opposed to just adding more operators).
Michael O.
The three you listed are as different from one another as an mks80, a tb303, and a virtual analog are from one another.

The best place to start is to figure out what you are looking for in an FM synth and go from there.
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