Beginning with FM-X

Covers the Yamaha MODX6, MODX7 and MODX8

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mitya
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Beginning with FM-X

Unread post by mitya » Sun Jan 06, 2019 1:58 pm

Hey guys

I was just wondering if anyone could recommend a good book or course to get started with understanding FM(-X) synthesis.

This is an area of MODX I presently have zero knowledge of and to me it's just a set of screens with numbers in it :-)

Would a general knowledge of FM synthesis suffice to use the MODX's FM-X area, or is FM-X sufficiently different and I'd need a specific MODX/Montage-oriented tutorial?

One thing that did baffle me was, when playing with an FM instrument, I couldn't pin down a particular part of the (multi-layered) sound to a given part. In other words, I went through solo'ing the different active parts and never got the sound that I could clearly hear when they were all present. So is it like they somehow depend on/influence one another rather than being simply different sounds happening at the same time? Sort of like quantum do/coherance, to use an analogy :-)

Continued thanks, all.
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Re: Beginning with FM-X

Unread post by Derek » Sun Jan 06, 2019 3:25 pm

Hi,

Well DrSynth (Manny) is the FM Guru, and is doing a series of tutorials. Have you see this post?

viewtopic.php?f=129&t=12425&sid=4648ecc ... 0934b0e641

There would be no harm in starting off with general FM tutorials as the basic principles would apply, and again Manny has the goods

https://www.yamahasynth.com/yamaha-synt ... -synthesis

And Javelin also has some interesting insights. For example, follow the PDF link on the following

http://www.javelinart.com/fm-synth-programming.html

You can also look out for FM Theory and Applications by John Chowning and Dave Bristow as one of the seminal texts on the subject.

In terms of your question, you don't say at what level you were soloing, MODX parts or FM operators. Assuming the latter, then you need to look at the algorithm in use to see how the operators are "wired" together, remembering that an operator can be a "carrier" or "modulator". Carriers are the final operators in the chain and essentially the output of the synth, and modulators are what affects the tone as they modulate the operators they are connected to (other modulators or carriers). As such, when it comes to isolating what the sound components are, it is best to mute the carriers in turn to see what sound element drops out.
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Derek Cook

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Re: Beginning with FM-X

Unread post by mitya » Sun Jan 06, 2019 6:32 pm

Thanks, Derek, helpful as ever. I'll check out the links you mention.

And I was referring to operators, incidentally.
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ZT Scheer
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Re: Beginning with FM-X

Unread post by ZT Scheer » Mon Jan 07, 2019 7:12 am

On of the most valuable pieces of advice I was given about FM synthesis is to remember that the GS-1 was limited to 4 Carrier/Modulator pairs ... nocrazy algorithms. That's 8 operators, just like the FM-X in the Montage/MODX.

If you start there ... just learning how to do one Carrier/Modulator pair at a time ... you can make all sorts of great sounds and learn to wrap your head around how FM works.
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