INTRODUCTION

Today I’ve made a pad synth in FM8 that might remind you of something from an ambient Squarepusher track like Tundra or Tommib. It consists of 3 carriers, enveloping, frequency modulation, low pass filtering, and reverb. The patch is easy to create but requires a lot of listening and fine tuning. These low frequency sinusoidal components tend to interact with each in undesirable ways if you don’t mix them carefully.

The PATCH sounds like this…

Possible Context

 

OPERATORS

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F – A key synced sine wave, carried to the low-pass filter (Z) by 80% and modulating E by 20%. This tone has been transposed up an octave by moving the “Ratio” parameter to 2.

E – A key synced sine wave, carried to low-pass filter (Z) by 70% and modulating F by 30%. This tone has been transposed up 2 octaves by moving the “Ratio” parameter to 4, which increases the amount of side-bands created by the frequency modulation. It also has 10% feedback implemented.

D – A key synced square wave, modulating E-F amount by 10%. Its “Ratio” has been moved up to 5.

C – A triangle wave carried to the low-pass filter (Z) by 40%.

Z – A non-resonant low pass filter carried to the output by 85%. The cutoff frequency is set to somewhere between 1 and 2 kHz. Carriers F, E, and C are collected here.

 

ENVELOPES

F – Main Carrier

This is the envelope of the main audible signal, a centered sine wave.

2

E – Carrier/Modulator

This is the envelope of the frequency modulation on F and the secondary carrier. This signal is similar to F except an octave higher.

3

D – Modulator

This is the envelope of the modulation operator, modulating E-F amount.

4

C – Carrier

This is the envelope of the third carrier. This carrier provides the brassy timbre you hear in the onset of the patch.

5

Z – Low pass filter

This is the envelope of the low pass filter. It starts immediately and the release is long enough to filter all carriers and modulators.

6

 

MODULATION

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LFO2 is a triangle wave modulating the amounts for D, E, and F by 45 %. The rate is not synced but is about 3 Hz. Key scale and velocity scale affect the rate by 50%. Consider assigning the Mod Wheel to control one or more of these parameters.

 

MASTER

Transpose – the entire patch is transposed an octave down (12 semitones).

Polyphony – 16 available voices.

Unison – 4 voices, detuned about 30% and spread about 60%.

 

FX

Reverb – long bright decay, but not too wet.

 

CONTROL

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Parameter Assignment

1) D-F amount: X axis.

2) E-F amount: Y axis.

3) Filter Resonance.

Automation

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