In this post we’ll be taking a look at the Expanded FM algorithms that comes with the new Expanded Algorithms pack in TF7. I shan’t go into the details of Frequency Modulation – you can check out this article by PoD for a layman’s introduction to Frequency Modulation.
With the introduction of the 32 new algorithms, some explanation for the parameters are in order. Let’s take Algorithm 35 for example.
Here you see 6 operators (all the Expanded FM algorithms are 6 operators) comprising of 3 Modulators and 3 Carriers. 1 Modulator is assigned to each carrier so each of them is doing their own thing. Do note that a ADSR Envelope is available for each modulator, so you can tweak how the modulating wave behaves as you wish. Note also that you can control the modulation amount for each modulator. Basically, this is the amount of modulation you are feeding to the carrier.
Too complicated? Don’t worry, the Expanded Algorithms comes with 200 presets based on these algorithms for you to tweak. You can just create new sounds from the existing presets.
And if this doesn’t scare you off too much, read on.
Think of each modulator-carrier pair as one component to the final sound. The ADSR after the carrier controls the pattern of the signal that gets added to the final sound. The volume of the carrier indicates how much of the signal from this particular modulator-carrier pair is being added to the final sound. This explains how you can create a say, percussive piano sound.
1st Mod-Car Pair : Short decay, percussive sound
2nd Mod-Car Pair : Medium decay, overtones
3rd Mod-Car Pair : Long decay, main sound
When you understand this, you can begin to design original sounds of your own. For example, you can have a short decay sound which is like a bell, and “background” sounds of long decay and sustain which behaves like a pad/strings. This creates a new sound when fused together in an algorithm like this.
That’s all for Part 1. Let me know if this is useful!