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Author Topic: Tips and tricks, one - FM synthesis  (Read 2668 times)

Sweep

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Tips and tricks, one - FM synthesis
« on: July 18, 2009, 01:58:59 pm »
As well as the obvious Moog analogue sounds, the MMV will make quite a lot of sounds you might not expect.  Plucked strings and so forth can be heard on Rainfall in Kyoto on my website, and there are odd little tricks like the modwheel controlled bowed string patch that I got from David Vorhaus via someone who worked with him.  I'll discuss that patch in another topic.  For now it's worth considering what the MMV can do using FM.

A good FM synth like NI's FM8 will do a lot of things that you probably won't get with the MMV.  The trumpet sounds on my Reflections are a good example.  The probably FM-generated clarinet-like solo on Jean-Philippe Rykiel's Conversation from his Under the Tree album would be harder to achieve, but perhaps not impossible.

But basically the MMV offers a good deal of overlap into conventional FM territory and a range of unique possibilities with it. The MMV will make a host of DX7 like clangs and chimes, with the added bonus of Moog-type filters and so on, and with easily tweakable envelopes.

Anyone who's tried using the FM facility on the Moog Voyager probably won't expect much from Moog synth FM.  The original modular obviously did a lot more, like the MMV, but because it was monophonc the uses were of course limited when it came to keyboard work, especially, obviously, with chords.  The MMV doesn't have those limitations, so new areas can be opened up.  As well as really chimey keyboard sounds, the slightly ethnic sounding melody lines that I rather like from FM synths are also available. And because the MMV is polyphonic, it's possible to have the overlap between notes in lead lines that a purely monophonic synth can't get.

There are a number of ways to get the most beautuful bell sounds using the MMV.  Some of my favourite bell patches are MMV produced, and done without using the FM inputs on the oscillator drivers, so there are a number of ways bell and chime sounds can be made.  But to get into DX7 territory, take one or two sine outputs from one of the oscillators, and patch the sine from a different oscillator to the FM input on your oscillator controller.  So if your sine outputs producing the sound are coming from oscillator bank one (the three oscillators after the first driver), take the controlling sine output from an oscillator in bank two.  Altering the oscillator ranges will provide a host of variations, as will patching through a filter or two.  You can try variations such as adding another set of sine outputs from bank three and FM modulating them from another of the oscillators in bank two, for richer sounds.

Using other waveforms than the sines may be too complex and distorted, but then again, that may be just the sound you want.

One of the things I like to do with the DX7 is to leave it in edit mode and change the sound while playing, smoothing the results out using echo, as heard in my piece Frog Hollow.  The MMV offers a range of other ways to vary the sound while playing, and the filters provide a digital-analogue hybrid type range of sounds.  I'm not very familiar with synths like the PPG Wave, but this set of possibilities should move into that kind of sonic area.

The MMV is full of sonic suprises, and it's worth passing these on from time to time as they may not be what we might expect this synth to do.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2009, 02:04:08 pm by Sweep »

UniQue Werkx

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Re: Tips and tricks, one - FM synthesis
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2009, 08:28:23 am »
I was hoping to find a lot more of these type of emails but it appears as though not too many people post on the older product line parts of the forum ..... except to complain about bugs.
I must admit, the capabilities of the MMV 2.2 are way more then I expected.
I really like how you can get filter sounds very similar to the liquid Oberheim OB-Xa type sounds along with the liquid Moog filter sounds!! Looove those filters. :D
MMV 2.2 is occasionally buggy but definitely *very* usable! My new favorite synth... right next to the Waldorf Q!
Christian
UniQue WerkX (electronic music) (ZT Affinity AMD Phenom II 1055T Six-Core Processor 2.8GHz | 12gb ram | 2 TB HD | Nvidia  GTS 450 superclocked | Focusrite Scarlett 18i/6 |  Windows 7 64-bit Home Premium SP1, Cubase 6, Moog Modular V2.6)
http://www.synthmusician.com/members/138/

Sweep

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Re: Tips and tricks, one - FM synthesis
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2009, 11:43:08 am »
Yes, I'm a bit surprised there aren't more posts like this, or links to music people have made.

I'll be posting a couple more tips and tricks when I get the time.

Phil999

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Re: Tips and tricks, one - FM synthesis
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2009, 01:05:58 pm »
please do, your introduction to FM with the MMV is very interesting and accurate. Because I own the FM8 (and have those operators mapped to a MIDI knob controller), I did not try FM with the MMV very much.

Sweep

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Re: Tips and tricks, one - FM synthesis
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2009, 01:51:13 pm »
Well, basically I've stopped doing this because of the way things have gone with Arturia.  I really love the Arturia software I have, but I seem to have come to a bit of a dead-end with the way the company is being run and the decisions being made.

I had two more tips and tricks items to post, but now they're come up with new versions of the software that aren't as good as the old versions, and I don't see how I'm supposed to post anything now unless I laboriously test everything on both versions and cross-refer to see how they work on each.

I did that with the MMV and got thoroughly sick of going from one version to the other.

And I can't really see the point of saying to people "this works on the old version of the software, but if you're a new user and you only have the latest version, who knows? You're better asking Arturia to `downgrade' you to the better version.

Regarding FM, like you I have FM8. I think it's brilliant, but a little more delicate sounding than the DX7 (and possibly FM7). I love that aspect of it, but it's nice to have that more solid feel to the sound as well. The MMV seems to give that, and it's nice to be able to combine the FM sounds with the MMV filters and so on.

I sent someone an FM soundbank for the MMV after we had a similar discussion on another forum. If you'd like that soundbank as well, email me at sweep.1@virgin.net and I'll send it to you. (No charge, BTW.)

Phil999

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Re: Tips and tricks, one - FM synthesis
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2010, 06:27:03 am »
oh, that's a bit worrying. I have notices some negative comments about the 2.5 update. So does the 2.5 behave differently to FM, or is it just a nuance? Is it really necessary to switch forth and back between 2.2 and 2.5?

From the description and user comments it is the lowpass VCF that has changed, and the rest is only GUI and protection changes. Is that correct? Now, to tell differences of a VCF is not always easy, but how would you describe the differences between 2.2 and 2.5?

To my ears the 2.2 filter sounds very 'wide' and 'full', more than my hardware VCF's. Maybe the 2.5 filter is more accurate to the original Moog filter, having less spectral parts?


Besides, you may wonder why I ask those questions. The reason is, I became aware of the update before christmas, and my login does not work anymore because I did not use it for years. Without login, I can't get the data for the Syncrosoft registration, etc. The only way was to send a PM to the right thread in this forum, and because it's holyday season I still got no reply.
So I am a bit worried indeed. No update e-mail, no login, no update, no encouraging comments from users. At least I can read and write about it. :D

Sweep

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Re: Tips and tricks, one - FM synthesis
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2010, 11:59:26 am »
I probably wasn't entirely clear. When I mentioned the swapping back and forth between versions, that wasn't specificaslly because of any changes with the FM behaviour.

What I meant was, there are changes in the new version that make me want to stay with the old one. Reading other forums and speaking with other MMV users, this is the way many of us feel. I spent a lot of time swapping between the two versions before giving up on the new one. I didn't do that to compare the FM patches, but if I'd continued with posting stuff about the MMV I would have had to do that, and every time I said anything about the MMV I'd have to go swapping back and forth between the one that works to my satisfaction (and the satisfaction of most other people, as it seems) and the one Arturia want people to use and which new users will have by default. That's a ridiculous situation and I don't see why I should have to do it simply because Arturia has messed things up. So basically supporting the MMV online with comments and advice has become unnecessarily complicated now that many of us prefer the old version.

With regard to the changes, I think we established that the filters have been changed a bit, as you've said, and this was the major change to the sound. That's why I had to spend so much time comparing sounds - some sounds haven't changed, while others have, depending on the filter settings.

That in itself isn't a major problem. I'd tweak the setting to what I wanted when using it anyway. The problem is that there were no real advantages at all with the new version, the previous version worked fine, and there were some really stupid changes - most particularly the removal of the `save' and `save as' labels on the switches. Even as an experienced user I was clearly going to accidentally overwrite something before too long, and for less experienced users it was asking for trouble. I mentioned this oversight several times and Arturia never did anything about it (or if they did, they never said so). It's quite unbelievable.

So basically there are no real advantages with the new MMV, a ludicrous disadvantage, and the fact that so many people have no confidence in the new version that they've stayed with the old one, which has split users into two camps, some using the old one and some the new one. Much as I love the old versions of the Arturia software and I've supported them, it's time to give up unless things change at Arturia, and there's no sign of that happening.

Phil999

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Re: Tips and tricks, one - FM synthesis
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2010, 01:53:00 pm »
I see. Now this is indeed a bit disappointing, one expects improvements in an update, not disadvantages. Maybe Arturia should give a detailed description what they changed in the filter.

But, from the bright side of life, there still is a phantastic version, 2.2. I just received the reply to my request for the 2.5 update, so I will be able soon to judge myself.

I am interested in the way circuits behave when they are driven and modulated to their limits, and surprising sounds occur. Some of these effects even work in the digital domain, and I still think that, after all these years, Arturia has remained one of the leading programmers in software synthesis.
Now, I'm really looking forward to this update! Expectations are not high, maybe the 'improved VCF' has to be tested in extreme patches too. Will report back as soon as possible. Thank you by the way for your patches, I will take a look at them after my first tests.


EDIT: I just compared some simple sounds and must admit that I prefer the 2.2 filter. Will try some complex things tomorrow.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2010, 08:37:05 pm by Phil999 »

Richarius

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Re: Tips and tricks, one - FM synthesis
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2013, 06:38:47 pm »
Bummer that this thread ran dry.  I'm currently 'on the fence' wondering whether to purchase the Moog Modular V or not.  I know it's a few years later now since the last posting, but ... even mp3 postings of patch differences between the ancient V2.2 and V2.5 could be something of an assistance.  In my demoing of the current version (2.6.1?), I didn't think the filter sounded anywhere nearly as 'warm'/'phat' as the original modular itself.

Still trying to decide.  I DO own a fair sized modular myself, that I've built over the years, but the convenience of a software modular in which I can save patches, is quite attracting. :o

Ryk - recently purchased, Spark owner

dreamreal

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Re: Tips and tricks, one - FM synthesis
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2013, 04:26:47 pm »
I haven't been able to really *really* leverage what the MMV can do. There're various reasons for that: demo, plus my own time, plus the SEM-V... but I can say that the MMV has (even in more recent versions) some really, really nice sonic possibilities, and if you're looking for a tuneable signal path, you're looking at the MMV or reaktor, with MMV making more "real-world" sense.

 

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