FM

I’m curious what a simple 2 x Modulator 1 x Carrier Patch would look like for you and what method you employ to switch between say 2 simple algorithms? Anyone willing to share a patch screenshot or short video?

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  • edited August 14

    This would be a [3] --> [2] --> [1] OP configuration without feedback.

  • i knew it would be interesting…first one and not an FM Operator Module in sight!

    Trying to recreate it, can you tell me the blatantly obvious mistakes I’ve made in the fail below please 😬


  • edited August 14

    Hi. The first Add adds the scaled osc 1 output to the Pitch signal from MIDI to CV, so the result is an oscillating pitch value. That oscillating pitch feeds Osc 2 pitch, modulating its frequency. Repeat the process for the second group. That should do it.

    Edit: By the way, the osc Tune settings are determining the freq ratios. Leave them at 130 Hz (Drambo C2) for 1:1. Osc 1 is set to 520 to give 4:1. Any freq away from an exact mutliple will be detuned. Note that equal-tempered C2 is actually 130.81 Hz; draw your own conclusions.

  • edited August 15

    @Burner

    • Set the XY pad to unipolar
    • Make sure each Add module draws one of its inputs from MIDI to CV Pitch and the other from the previous Amp module
    • OSC2 and OSC3 pitch go to the Adder's output in front of each

    @uncleDave 👍🏼

  • My god that’s a thing of real beauty @rs2000 and @uncleDave You can happily lose yourself for hours with that. Thank you 🙏 

    I’m curious (again) would you just swap out the Oscillators for FM Operators or do you approach differently with the FM Op Module?

  • @Burner Of course you can, and they'll be more straightforward to work with.

    The only reason for using plain oscillators is simplicity. I find it easier to demo such concepts in a simple way for the purpose of education.

  • @rs2000 I’ve just been lost in that patch for a few hours. It’s delivered strange Kicks, lots of glitchy percs, drones, pads, plucks, fx. It really is a thing of beauty. The track I’ve been lost in is so hypnotic!

    I wish some of you guys (You, Ben, UncleDave, Lala, Giku) would release some short masterclasses via the BeepStreet YouTube Channel, perhaps backed by Patchstorage, to really show off Drambo’s capabilities and showcase use cases for each of the modules.

    I feel like there’s a whole lot of people, like me, who have or want Drambo, who’d love to build more rather than just load AUv3’s.

    The ‘Help’ function per module is an improvement but some of the modules are still baffling, till your taught what they do. Case in point was the ‘Add’ module in this patch.

    i appreciate you’re all busy and have lives, I just wonder how many more people you’d inspire and get really using Drambo in a series like that?

    No pressure (intended or felt I’m sure 🤣) just a thought.

    Thanks again for you help, it really is wonderful stuff.

  • Thanks for your motivating comment @Burner. I really appreciate it.

    Modular synthesis is nothing you click with overnight.

    It can be a lifelong learning path that never stops to surprise you with new findings.

    (c) rs2000 in August 2022 😂

  • That sounds like a long series than I thought 😂

  • Swapped out the 3 x OSC for 3 x FM Operators.

    I have some questions 😬

    Why do the Operators produce a much more tame sound than the Oscillators?

    Can anyone tell me why the FM Index and Ratio on Operators 2 and 3 need to be so high for the FM Index and Ratio on Operator 1 to have any real effect on the sound?

    Also, can someone explain what the FM Index is?

    Thanks 🙏

  • @Burner FM index is the amount of modulation being applied from the modulator to the carrier. The FM operators are designed for FM modulation in mind - read about the difference between linear and exponential FM: https://learningmodular.com/understanding-the-differences-between-exponential-linear-and-through-zero-fm/

    The regular oscillators are exponential, so they go out of tune very quickly when applying frequency modulation.

    The FM operators can ado both phase and frequency modulation. They can produce similar results, but are not the same thing.

    Index on the right most (carrier) needs to be greater than 0 for you to hear ANY modulation. So if you have 3 -> 2 -> 1, you wont hear any of 3 and 2 if 1's index is zero.

  • Thanks Ben much appreciated. Will definitely have a read of that. Exponential is so much fun, especially for the glitchy short percussive sounds or longer moving textural waveforms.

    in my example, FM Index & Ratio for OP1 (far left) wasn’t having much effect without FM Index being above 2 and Ratio above 10 for both OP2 (middle) & OP3 (far right). Even then, the effect of OP1 on the sound isn’t very significant. Not when compared to moving FM Index &/or Ratio for OP2 or OP3.

    Changing the Mod from Phase/Freq had some interesting effects especially when combined with the X/Y.

    It’s nuggets like that I wish were in a Playlist by Module (On BeepStreets YouTube Channel). Short (or longer) guest clips showing use cases for each module/function and sound design tips. Helping the masters educate the enthusiastic, even more than you guys/girls do today and have done since 1.0 🤔

  • I'm not sure if you still need those Amps and Adds. They were important when you were sending the signal straight into the Pitch input of simple Oscs. I expect the FM Op does all that internally, and just needs the modulation input, which would be the output of the previous Op in your setup. That may be affecting your results.

  • So you think just link 3 FM Operators via the Audio/Modulation Signal (which would be automatic anyway)?

    Before I give that a go, where would you suggest linking the X/Y Pad in that instance?

  • The FM Indexes determine the strength of the modulation, so that would be a start. You may need to scale it up to get CV values up to 10 or so.

  • Went with 3 inline Operators as suggested, the just mapped the FM Index & Ratio for each OP to its own X/Y. It was different but I think I definitely prefer exponential FM. Still found something very usable with this to fit with the rest the current FM Playground track 🛝

    What’s the consensus when it comes to Operators, is 6 better than 3 in terms of the range or type of sounds you can create?

  • How would one scale up the FM Index? (Janet/John version please 🙏). I must admit the FM Index doesn’t seam to do too much so maybe that’s it 🤷‍♂️

  • Send X and Y through Scale modules, with the range set to 10, use the Scale outputs to control the Indexes. Looking at my notes, Index of 1 is just the beginning of FM effects. You need values up to 10 for interesting results.

    I would tend to set the Ratios and leave them alone, they determine the overtones when set to integer values. Use 1:1 for all harmonics, 2:1 for only odd harmonics, other values for interesting effects.

    And when you ask about 6 operators vs 3, the idea is not only to stack them. If you look at the DX7 or ID700 algorithms, there are many ways of generating FM sounds: 2 stacks of 3, 3 mods into one carrier, etc. Stacking can easily lead to mush unless you have a specific objective.

  • edited August 17

    Deleted

  • Thanks @uncleDave that delivered some much more interesting results. Adjusting the Delay for each OP has some significant influence too.

    The stacking/algorithm point is an interesting one. Putting the OPs in-line is one thing but wouldn’t it be something to be able to switch to different common algorithms and add Feedback to a specific OP. I’m seeing a beautiful new routing module 🤔🤞

  • Damn @ZhouJing 😁 I’m curious what you were going to add. Love your work in Drambo, it’s exceptional!

  • Okay, I posted in the wrong place, but it's also relevant to this topic. I'll post it again


  • That’s beautiful, so elegant!

    What do you think about uncleDave’s suggestion about scaling up the FM Index for even more interesting results? Definitely had a positive influence for me 🤔

  • I can't give you any advice, I just recently started learning FM synth ( yes, because NAMBU 😅)

  • Haha! 😆 No, me too. I meant more for including scaling, in your patch, for the FM Indexes. It was good advice from @uncleDave (see above) and made a real difference to the sounds coming out of my patch 👍


  • Oh, that's what you mean, sorry my English only allows me to understand the sentences literally. That's a very basic patch, in fact just some simple audio routing. You can replace the OP in the layer module with anything, or you can modulate it in any way you want.

  • @ZhouJing this is so good :) it’s a ‘Nambo’.

  • Promising :) Speaking of "Nambo", is it possible to configure any of the Drambo samplers so that a sample is triggered on note release? My guess is; yes, with some flipping of gate signals.


    Btw, the Help text for FM refers to "FM Amount" parameter, while the UI says FM index.

  • @bleep yeah, use gate inverter module under Misc/Utility

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