Samples and FM

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2ManyKeys
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Samples and FM

Post by 2ManyKeys »

I was intrigued to read in the manual that each sample in a sample mode voice can be frequency modulated by another sample or the filter. This is a very unusual feature. The only synths I can even think of that can employ FM using samples are the SY77, TG77 and SY99. Yamaha used what they called RCM (realtime convolution & modulation) to use samples as modulators in an FM algorithm on those synths. Even so the Yamaha's did not allow the FM sines to modulate the sample waveforms. This has not been repeated since then as only the SY's had RCM. I don't think even the Montage does this with it's FM-X. Yamaha's RCM was rarely ever employed by users because the architecture was so complex in the first place and RCM could quickly turn into noise if you didn't know what you were doing.

Does the FM (cross modulation I believe) used in Fusion sample mode voices resemble something like this? I haven't heard anything about anybody using it. Is this yet another untapped area of this beastly architecture?

Regarding using the filter for this I assume that means using the filter output as the modulator which of course means self modulation which is also rather interesting. Or is that referring to the "minimized" filter of a given sample in which case it's quite a bit more flexible and closer to the RCM implementation.

I would imagine any of these techniques could quickly become chaotic but if applied subtly, and with fairly simple samples as the modulators, it should ad some interesting harmonic content.

Has anybody tried this? I love the idea but I don't know how useful it is.

I can tell you I will be trying it soon after getting my 8HD.

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Jesse
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Re: Samples and FM

Post by Jesse »

I am enjoying reading your posts, they are very interesting and should help create a lot of discussion.

Another topic you might like to delve into is Tables

Take Care ... Jesse
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Re: Samples and FM

Post by EXer »

2ManyKeys wrote:I was intrigued to read in the manual that each sample in a sample mode voice can be frequency modulated by another sample or the filter. This is a very unusual feature. The only synths I can even think of that can employ FM using samples are the SY77, TG77 and SY99. Yamaha used what they called RCM (realtime convolution & modulation) to use samples as modulators in an FM algorithm on those synths.
On the WALDORF BLOFELD any of the 3 oscillators, be it a Waldorf/PPG wavetable, a modelled analog VCO or a sample, can modulate the frequency of any oscillator, including itself, through the modulation matrix.

Jesse wrote:[...] they should help create a lot of discussion.
Ok, you got me started :mrgreen:

I'm still wondering if someone has ever obtained something else than noise by FM-ing a sample with another sample Image
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Re: Samples and FM

Post by 2ManyKeys »

I almost bought a Blofed. There are many who love them for their deep synth engine. The disappointing thing with Waldorf is that they seem to reach a certain degree of "good enough" and then just leave the bugs intact. The Blofeld is famous for sync issues. The Sledge is likewise saddled with stuff that doesn't seem to get fixed.

As for the FM. I agree, the only sensible approach would be to select a very simple waveform as a modulator and then slowly increase the FM amount. I will have to play around with this. It would seem that using something simple like a sine or triangle wave as the modulator for another sample would be a good place to start. Then you could modulate the FM amount and modulate the modulator wave itself with standard LFO's or envelopes to add some life to the sound.
Last edited by 2ManyKeys on Wed Feb 14, 2018 4:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Samples and FM

Post by 2ManyKeys »

Jesse,

Yeah the table feature is cool. This is basically identical to the "tracking generator" in the Alesis Ion which is more or less derived from the Oberheim Xpander. It's a very cool transform and really one of the only ways to introduce non-linear behaviors which can result in truly unique sounds. Again though, this is one of those features that I think cause most people to just glaze over. I haven't had my Ion all that long, but the Tracking Generator is on my list to try out. As opposed to FM that can quickly get out of control, the tracking generator is much easier to grasp.

Scott
Last edited by 2ManyKeys on Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Samples and FM

Post by EXer »

2ManyKeys wrote:[...]As opposed to FM that can quickly get out of control
On Fusion FM, the modulation index is lower and it can be controlled more precisely than on DX FM, so it's much easier to obtain musically useful results.

see here
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Re: Samples and FM

Post by 2ManyKeys »

Thanks for the link. Good info there.

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Re: Samples and FM

Post by EXer »

2ManyKeys wrote:The Blofeld is famous for sync issues.
Sync issues?

I believe the main issue is users as, sadly, frequently occurs.

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/12553575-post156.html
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Re: Samples and FM

Post by 2ManyKeys »

Never had one, but the number of threads on LFO/arpeggiator MIDI sync with Blofeld dissuaded me from buying at least for now. The Sledge, which is also a Waldorf engine, is well known for stuck notes and the like. I guess the encoders are also an issue, but they are often an issue on many synths. The truth in all this I don't really know but it kept me away and seriously considered the Blofeld.

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Re: Samples and FM

Post by Drummond »

in the fusion you can choose osc1, 2, 3 or 4 as sources to modulate each other and set the FM amount from 0% to 100%.

Yamaha Montage fm-x allows its oscillators to feedback themselves, thus making it easier to create sawtooth or square waves (Reface DX does also). I don't remember if it allows you to use samples as modulators.

Korg Kronos allows an oscillator to feedback itself and allows using samples as modulators, with up to 4 velocity zones:
6 VPM/Waveshaper/Ring Modulation Oscillators:
Phase and modulatable pitch per oscillator.
101 Waveshaper tables plus modulatable Drive and Offset.
Use as oscillators, or as Waveshapers or Ring Modulators for other signals.
PCM Oscillator: KORG’s ultra-low-aliasing technology, as introduced in the HD-1. 4 velocity zones per oscillator. Uses any mono Multisamples, including ROM, EXs, User Sample Bank, or Sampling Mode. Supports Virtual Memory.
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Re: Samples and FM

Post by EXer »

And you have Self FM FDSP on the Yamaha EX synths.

From the user manual:
FDSP, or “Formulated Digital Sound Processing,” is actually an adjunct to AWM synthesis. It adds a
sophisticated note-dependent effect processor to the basic AWM synthesis system. In contrast to a
standard effect stage, the FDSP synthesis stage uses individual note and velocity data to control effect
parameters, thus making it possible to simulate the characterics of a number of real-world musical
components, as well as produce totally new effects.
[...]
01: EP Pickup (Electric Piano Pickup)
02: EG Pickup (Electric Guitar Pickup)
03: Water
04: PWM (Pulse Width Modulation)
05: Flange
06: Phaser
07: Self FM
08: Tornado
09: Ring Mod (Ring Modulator)
10: Seismic
Self FM lets you add extra richer harmonics to the
sounds. The mechanism how the Self FM type is
formed is as follows: first, input signals are sent to the
delay unit. Next, the phases of each signal sent from
the delay unit are modulated (phase/frequency) by the
input signals themselves, to cause the waves distorted.
Consequently, extra harmonics are obtained.

Image
► Btw, Yamaha FM (so-called Frequency Modulation) is actually PM (Phase Modulation).
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Re: Samples and FM

Post by 2ManyKeys »

Drummond,

Thanks for the info on those units. I've always liked Korg's thinking. They just do things differently. My little R3 is an amazing machine. When you actually read the manual you find out what a monster is housed in that lightweight little board. Only 8 notes, but that thing is capable of stuff few synths can pull off.

Exer,

I have read about the FDSP on the EX's and they are certainly on my short list of synths. How useful is the FDSP in your opinion? It seems the major complaint with the EX5 and moreso the EX7 is that they really didn't include enough DSP horsepower as opposed to the Fusion where they just kept sticking in more DSP's. :-)

Yamaha is so frustrating in that they pull off great innovations like RCM (77's and 99 only), Physical modeling (VL series, EX series), FDSP (EX's only), formants (FS1R) and then they just drop it and move on. It's nice to see FM finally coming back in grand form on the Montage, but what about those great features and the customers who really them! :-(

It underscores the reality that most synths are played for presets because most users simply don't understand sound design and will never use all the powerful features of an architecture.

Yup, know about the whole Yamaha FM isn't really FM thing. The Alesis Ion will do both and of course real FM can quickly transition into craziness, but it's also rather interesting when applied well.

Thanks,

Scott

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