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FM Synthesis : 6 or 8 operators ??
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Liviou2004
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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2018 2:38 pm    Post subject: FM Synthesis : 6 or 8 operators ?? Reply with quote

Hello,

Some FM synths have 8 operators available (FM8, Yamaha Montage, ...), while the Kronos has only 6.

For those who master this kind of synthesis, do you think the 2 additional operators are really usefull ? Do they allow sounds impossible to create with 6 operators only ?
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robbie50
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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2018 3:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very Happy
Yamaha DX7 has 6 operators!
So all the old patches are sounds good! Exclamation


rob
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CharlesFerraro
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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2018 8:15 pm    Post subject: Re: FM Synthesis : 6 or 8 operators ?? Reply with quote

Liviou2004 wrote:
For those who master this kind of synthesis, do you think the 2 additional operators are really usefull ?


To answer your first questoin, no I don't think the extra operators are really useful. Rumor has it that at an FM synth seminar someone asked John Chowning, "When are we going to have more than six operators," and he responded, "As soon as I find out what two operators are fully capable of."
My source for that is: https://youtu.be/mjkYMLmwQ5g?t=10m45s
I was unable to find a primary source but he does express a similar sentiment in this CCRMA article: https://ccrma.stanford.edu/~aj/archives/docs/all/800.pdf

Most FM tutorials rarely go beyond four operators... If they do I usually find the added adjustments subtle or unnecessary.

Liviou2004 wrote:
Do they allow sounds impossible to create with 6 operators only ?

Well yes, from a technical standpoint. I would still take MOD-7 with it's waveshaping abilities and audio-in over any amount of extra operators.
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Mike Conway
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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2018 8:48 pm    Post subject: Re: FM Synthesis : 6 or 8 operators ?? Reply with quote

Liviou2004 wrote:

Some FM synths have 8 operators available (FM8, Yamaha Montage, ...), while the Kronos has only 6.

...do you think the 2 additional operators are really usefull ? Do they allow sounds impossible to create with 6 operators only ?


Sure, 2 extra operators could be useful, especially when having more than one carrier in a program. If you're using 2 or more carriers, you can just load up a dual MOD-7 program (12 operators).

Then, you have do consider what MOD-7 oscillators can do. The DX7 only had sine waveforms and one feedback loop for a 6 operator program. If you wanted to make a Square type of sound, you needed 2 operators and feedback. MOD-7 has multiple waveforms and 6 feedback loops for its 6 operator program. Just select Square wave and you're there with 1 operator.

CharlesFerraro wrote:
I would still take MOD-7 with it's waveshaping abilities and audio-in over any amount of extra operators.


Me, too! As Charles points out, MOD-7 has sample (PCM) modulation, ring modulation, wave shapers, filters, step sequencers, etc., etc. It really is an infinite playground. I don't think Montage and FM8 can do PCM modulation with FM/PM/VPM.
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CharlesFerraro
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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2018 9:18 pm    Post subject: Re: FM Synthesis : 6 or 8 operators ?? Reply with quote

Mike Conway wrote:
MOD-7 has sample (PCM) modulation, ring modulation, wave shapers, filters, step sequencers, etc., etc. It really is an infinite playground. I don't think Montage and FM8 can do PCM modulation with FM/PM/VPM.


For sure! With all that synthesis under the hood... MOD-7 is just a total beast. And pointing out that you can stack two MOD-7's is an important insight. You can even cascade MOD-7 programs into each other. Mimicking 8 operators is not a problem.

FM8 and the Montage are great and they can do their own unique things too but I love MOD-7. Best thing is to just pick a synth and stick to it. Use what you have rather than wanting more! And anyone with MOD-7 already has more than most.
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ITguy54
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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 2:55 am    Post subject: Re: FM Synthesis : 6 or 8 operators ?? Reply with quote

Liviou2004 wrote:
Hello,

Some FM synths have 8 operators available (FM8, Yamaha Montage, ...), while the Kronos has only 6.

For those who master this kind of synthesis, do you think the 2 additional operators are really usefull ? Do they allow sounds impossible to create with 6 operators only ?


Everything I've read about FM8 says it has six operators.
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Rigel
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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 5:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MOD7 has 12 operators, not 6. Smile
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Liviou2004
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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 6:15 am    Post subject: Re: FM Synthesis : 6 or 8 operators ?? Reply with quote

ITguy54 wrote:
Liviou2004 wrote:
Hello,

Some FM synths have 8 operators available (FM8, Yamaha Montage, ...), while the Kronos has only 6.

For those who master this kind of synthesis, do you think the 2 additional operators are really usefull ? Do they allow sounds impossible to create with 6 operators only ?


Everything I've read about FM8 says it has six operators.


Yes, you're right. 6 operators, from A to F.
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Liviou2004
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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 6:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rigel wrote:
MOD7 has 12 operators, not 6. Smile


No. MOD7 has 6 operators. Here is an excerpt of the Parameter's Guide, page 345 :

Quote:
Features include:
Six VPM Oscillators. Each can be used as a sine, saw,
triangle, square, or waveshaping oscillator with FM and
ring modulation, or as a waveshaping and/or ring mod
processor for other signals.
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Liviou2004
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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 6:21 am    Post subject: Re: FM Synthesis : 6 or 8 operators ?? Reply with quote

CharlesFerraro wrote:
Mike Conway wrote:
MOD-7 has sample (PCM) modulation, ring modulation, wave shapers, filters, step sequencers, etc., etc. It really is an infinite playground. I don't think Montage and FM8 can do PCM modulation with FM/PM/VPM.


For sure! With all that synthesis under the hood... MOD-7 is just a total beast. And pointing out that you can stack two MOD-7's is an important insight. You can even cascade MOD-7 programs into each other. Mimicking 8 operators is not a problem.

FM8 and the Montage are great and they can do their own unique things too but I love MOD-7. Best thing is to just pick a synth and stick to it. Use what you have rather than wanting more! And anyone with MOD-7 already has more than most.


I do agree !! To all that, we can add the possibility to use two MOD-7 EXi in one Prog, and route the first one output to the second one "Audio In" module. That way, the first full MOD7 Exi works as a single modulator for the second MOD7 Exi !!!
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Rigel
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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 6:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Liviou2004 wrote:
Rigel wrote:
MOD7 has 12 operators, not 6. Smile


No. MOD7 has 6 operators. Here is an excerpt of the Parameter's Guide, page 345 :



I know a MOD7 EXi has 6 operators which all 6 can modulate each other in incredibly complex permutational ways. However, there is no meaning of having more than 4 operators modulating the other ones. 8 operator FM synths use them in various algorithms, usually aiming to have multitimbrality, not more complex FM synthesis. Kronos has the advantage of being able to have two distinct MOD7 EXi's for reaching this goal and more, and this provides you with 12 operators.
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Liviou2004
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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 6:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rigel wrote:
Liviou2004 wrote:
Rigel wrote:
MOD7 has 12 operators, not 6. Smile


No. MOD7 has 6 operators. Here is an excerpt of the Parameter's Guide, page 345 :



I know a MOD7 EXi has 6 operators which all 6 can modulate each other in incredibly complex permutational ways. However, there is no meaning of having more than 4 operators modulating the other ones. 8 operator FM synths use them in various algorithms, usually aiming to have multitimbrality, not more complex FM synthesis. Kronos has the advantage of being able to have two distinct MOD7 EXi's for reaching this goal and more, and this provides you with 12 operators.


We can't consider it as a full 12 operators synths. Except the fact that it's possible to route the output of one Exi toward the Audio Input of the second one, it's "only" a two parallel 6 operators synth.
we can't connect all operators to all others (for example, operator 1 output to a supposed operator 9 input !!)

We can have 5 operators modulating the other ones, not 4. (5 outputs in one input)


Last edited by Liviou2004 on Wed May 30, 2018 7:22 am; edited 1 time in total
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Liviou2004
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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 7:14 am    Post subject: Re: FM Synthesis : 6 or 8 operators ?? Reply with quote

[quote="Mike Conway"]
Liviou2004 wrote:

CharlesFerraro wrote:
I would still take MOD-7 with it's waveshaping abilities and audio-in over any amount of extra operators.


Me, too! As Charles points out, MOD-7 has sample (PCM) modulation, ring modulation, wave shapers, filters, step sequencers, etc., etc. It really is an infinite playground. I don't think Montage and FM8 can do PCM modulation with FM/PM/VPM.


It's my opinion too. Considering the huge possibilities of the MOD-7 system, and considering its complexity, I'm not sure there are many people who are really mastering the full system !!
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Rigel
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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 7:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Liviou2004 wrote:
Rigel wrote:
Liviou2004 wrote:
Rigel wrote:
MOD7 has 12 operators, not 6. Smile


No. MOD7 has 6 operators. Here is an excerpt of the Parameter's Guide, page 345 :



I know a MOD7 EXi has 6 operators which all 6 can modulate each other in incredibly complex permutational ways. However, there is no meaning of having more than 4 operators modulating the other ones. 8 operator FM synths use them in various algorithms, usually aiming to have multitimbrality, not more complex FM synthesis. Kronos has the advantage of being able to have two distinct MOD7 EXi's for reaching this goal and more, and this provides you with 12 operators.


No, we can't consider it as a full 12 operators synths. It's "only" two parallel 6 operators synth. Just because we can't connect all operators to all others (for example, operator 1 output to operator 9 input !!)

In MOD-7, we can have 5 operators modulating the other ones, not 4.


No. You don't seem to comprehend my point. What I say above is clear. 8 op FM synths use the extra operators for enriching the sound by multitimbrality without sacrificing polyphony or resources. Connecting more than four oscillators (actually three is the maximum, according to Dr Chowning's FM cookbook) results mostly in noise and the outcome is highly unpredictable. For overall more complex sounds, the Kronos has got not only plenty of oscillators running simultaneously through welding two EXi's together in one patch, but it also has lots of filters and mixers, and most importantly, a patch bay, which altogether forms a flexible and versatile platform that other FM synths lack (but still struggling to behave like one with their pathetic preset rigid algorithms).

Dr Chowning's (the inventor of FM synthesis) "FM Theory and Applications" book is a concise yet definitive resource for sound designers, I strongly suggest you to read it.

Again, for your point of view and your reasoning, and to end the argueing: We've all read the f** manuals, and we all know that VPM synthesizer inside MOD7 has SIX operators.
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Liviou2004
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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 8:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rigel wrote:
and to end the argueing: and we all know that VPM synthesizer inside MOD7 has SIX operators.


I don't argue, I just try to undestand what you want to say !!

You began saying :

Quote:
MOD7 has 12 operators, not 6. Smile


And now you are saying

Quote:
we all know that VPM synthesizer inside MOD7 has SIX operators


So, I must admit I have some difficulties to follow you !

Well, all in all, it doesn't really matter.
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