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Author Topic: Is FM Synthesis really that hard to program?  (Read 6445 times)

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penultimatedoomguy

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Is FM Synthesis really that hard to program?
« on: April 21, 2016, 02:10:44 »

I am into playing around with hardware synths.  Right now, I only have a Korg DSN-12 (for the 3DS), a Korg M01D (also for the 3DS), and some VSTs.  I originally thought of getting a Korg Minilogue or a Waldorf Blofeld for my first hardware synth, but I found out that FM synths such as the DX 7 and TX81Z are cheaper than these.  However, I heard that many of these FM Synths are hard to program.  The only FM synths I know that are easy to program are the Korg DS-8, Yamaha Reface DX, and the Korg Volca FM.  The problem with these is that the DS-8 is not that unique (maybe limited) and lacks a sequencer, the Reface DX is 4-op with 4 voices and lacks a sequencer, and the Korg Vocla FM has 3-voices (fortunately has 6 op). Any suggestions?
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raina

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Re: Is FM Synthesis really that hard to program?
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2016, 09:26:58 »

User interfaces aside, I think the consensus is the more limited an FM synthesizer is, the harder it is to make it sound good.

Saga Musix

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Re: Is FM Synthesis really that hard to program?
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2016, 13:33:45 »

And in that sense, older synths like the DX7 are both limited and don't really have the nicest user interface. Many people say FM is hard to program because it's less intuitive than subtractive synthesis. It needs a lot of practice but it's not impossible to master it. :)
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zzo38

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Re: Is FM Synthesis really that hard to program?
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2016, 07:18:32 »

FM synthesizers I have used include: Csound, VRC7 (Famicom expansion audio; like OPLL), and one I implemented myself (part of AmigaMML).

OPLL (and VRC7) is very limited; only two operators and two choices of waveforms. Nevertheless it seems many people make music with it even these days; see Famicompo for some of these. Note that you might even use multiple channels for one instrument if you want to make more complex instrument sounds.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2016, 07:21:00 by zzo38 »
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penultimatedoomguy

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Re: Is FM Synthesis really that hard to program?
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2016, 14:18:44 »

Have you heard of Dexed? 
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Saga Musix

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Re: Is FM Synthesis really that hard to program?
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2016, 17:33:15 »

Dexed is certainly easier to get around than a DX7 since you have a lot more visual interface to work with.
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