FM Sweep Comparisons

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dioxide
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Post 18 Nov 2023

Yesterday I saw a couple of videos on FM synthesis, so I thought I'd do some comparisons between the FM synths I have to see their strengths and weaknesses. So here is a Song files containing a bunch of FM Sweeps with 1:1 ratio between Operator and Modulator. Yes, a bit boring but every now and then I like to do this kind of shoot out between similar devices to see which ones are the best at certain tasks. Here you'll see that the results are not as close as you might imagine.

Synths tested:

Thor (several methods)
Subtractor
Monotone
Europa
Complex-1
Viking VK-2
SubBoomBass
PX7
FM4
ES400
RYM2612
Algoritm
ReSpire

EDIT: Corrected a mistake with the Spire test.
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dioxide
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Post 18 Nov 2023

And another one here showing single operator feedback for the synths that allow this. There could be errors in this, for example I wasn't sure how to set this up for Complex-1.
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crimsonwarlock
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Post 19 Nov 2023

No Zero Hybrid, the absolute FM monster synth RE?
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dioxide
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Post 19 Nov 2023

crimsonwarlock wrote:
19 Nov 2023
No Zero Hybrid, the absolute FM monster synth RE?
I don't own it.

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Jagwah
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Post 13 Dec 2023

dioxide wrote:
18 Nov 2023
And another one here showing single operator feedback for the synths that allow this. There could be errors in this, for example I wasn't sure how to set this up for Complex-1.
Would have liked to have seen this but still happily using R10, did anything stand out as odd or better or worse than the others? I'm a big fan of Algoritm btw :thumbup:

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BRIGGS
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Post 14 Dec 2023

Thor's audio routing and feedback, through the mod matrix, is super powerful. Which why I'm using it more, lately.

What other synths do that?
r11s

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selig
RE Developer
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Post 14 Dec 2023

BRIGGS wrote:
14 Dec 2023
Thor's audio routing and feedback, through the mod matrix, is super powerful. Which why I'm using it more, lately.

What other synths do that?
Haven't messed with this idea before, but you inspired me to dig into it.
(BRB)
Wow, you can go from sine wave to white noise quickly with FM feedback. Feedback through a filter gets even more interesting. Modulating FB amount and filter cutoff (and using the Multi Osc instead of simple sines) makes for sounds I don't recognize as "FM".
If I heard them without knowing the source I'd have no clue where to start!

May have to post the patch if I can get it fine tuned a bit more, but here's a shot of my starting point. Makes a great drone if you hold down a few notes.
Screen Shot 2023-12-14 at 2.17.12 PM.jpg
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Selig Audio, LLC

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dioxide
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Post 14 Dec 2023

Jagwah wrote:
13 Dec 2023
dioxide wrote:
18 Nov 2023
And another one here showing single operator feedback for the synths that allow this. There could be errors in this, for example I wasn't sure how to set this up for Complex-1.
Would have liked to have seen this but still happily using R10, did anything stand out as odd or better or worse than the others? I'm a big fan of Algoritm btw :thumbup:
Algoritm came out well. There were a couple that didn't sound so great but I don't want to name names as I don't want to put people off developing instruments. There were some quirks also, such as Subtractor's FM is stepped when you automate the FM amount knob. With modulation sources it is smooth but this control has audible steps as does the RYM2612 although that is based on the chip from the Sega Megadrive. Then you have some synths which have what I think is an FM style wavetable oscillator. Not really FM synths but I included them to see how they sound.

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Jagwah
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Joined: 16 Jan 2015

Post 15 Dec 2023

dioxide wrote:
14 Dec 2023
Jagwah wrote:
13 Dec 2023


Would have liked to have seen this but still happily using R10, did anything stand out as odd or better or worse than the others? I'm a big fan of Algoritm btw :thumbup:
Algoritm came out well. There were a couple that didn't sound so great but I don't want to name names as I don't want to put people off developing instruments. There were some quirks also, such as Subtractor's FM is stepped when you automate the FM amount knob. With modulation sources it is smooth but this control has audible steps as does the RYM2612 although that is based on the chip from the Sega Megadrive. Then you have some synths which have what I think is an FM style wavetable oscillator. Not really FM synths but I included them to see how they sound.
Interesting find on Subtractor!

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BRIGGS
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Joined: 25 Sep 2015
Location: the reason rack

Post 15 Dec 2023

selig wrote:
14 Dec 2023

Haven't messed with this idea before, but you inspired me to dig into it.
(BRB)
Wow, you can go from sine wave to white noise quickly with FM feedback. Feedback through a filter gets even more interesting. Modulating FB amount and filter cutoff (and using the Multi Osc instead of simple sines) makes for sounds I don't recognize as "FM".
If I heard them without knowing the source I'd have no clue where to start!

May have to post the patch if I can get it fine tuned a bit more, but here's a shot of my starting point. Makes a great drone if you hold down a few notes.
Screen Shot 2023-12-14 at 2.17.12 PM.jpg
Thor still has a lot of depth, for sure.

I've often had those 'how did I do that?' moments. :lol:

Why this feature wasn't carried over to europa/grain, is beyond me. At least, they have noise as a dedicated mod source, which is awesome.
r11s

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