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FM Synthesis : 6 or 8 operators ??
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ITguy54



Joined: 22 Mar 2015
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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 10:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rigel wrote:
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.


Having owned the original 6 operator DX-7 for a number of years I can tell you the sounds were definitely superior to the 4 operator DX-9. There were a number of reasons for that. But I also dug into most of the programs to see how they were constructed.
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mm-pro
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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would take a 4 op FM synth with multiple waveforms over a 6 op synth with only sine waves.

You would either use the extra ops in an 8 op synth in two ways, serially or in parallel. MOD7 is a 12 op synth for parallel purposes (well, with layering 192). If you are looking for more complexity in the serial direction, the extra feedback loops cover a lot of that territory. You could go 6 ops deep twice in one program, and then using the Kronos’ layering capabilities, have up to 32 6 op deep serial stacks.

I really can’t imagine a scenario where the Kronos could be bettered on the FM engine for any practical purpose. Just maybe on spec.
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Rigel
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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 11:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another member with the crooked idea of MOD7 having 12 operators. LOL. Razz

Come on Livinou.
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mm-pro
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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guilty Twisted Evil

Rigel wrote:
Another member with the crooked idea of MOD7 having 12 operators. LOL. Razz

Come on Livinou.

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Liviou2004
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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rigel wrote:
Another member with the crooked idea of MOD7 having 12 operators. LOL. Razz

Come on Livinou.


Yes : just read what he said :
Quote:
MOD7 is a 12 op synth for parallel purposes


That's exactly what I said :
Quote:
it's "only" a two parallel 6 operators synth.
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ITguy54



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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mm-pro wrote:
I would take a 4 op FM synth with multiple waveforms over a 6 op synth with only sine waves.



Having 32 algorithms is important, as well as a feature the DX-9 did not have: fixed frequency as an option. I would rather have that, than multiple waveforms. But of course it can all be had.
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Derek Cook
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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

With an SY77/SY99 you had six ops, different wave form choices, multiple feedback loops, operator input levels, more algorithms and even a “hidden” build your own algorithm option. I’ve never delved much into FM programming (I tend to tweak other patches if I want a change), but this is still one of the best sounding FM engines to my ears. So much so I was surprised when Yamaha brought out the Montage and used the FS1r (or half of it) as the basis for FM-X. The FS1r did have the benefit of better DX7 patch compatibility, so maybe that swayed it.

To answer the question posted, I think the famous quote by Chowning is very correct, but 6 or 8 operators gives you more choice for making compound sounds in the same patch, for those who don’t have the time to fully explore two op FM. Smile
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Kevin Nolan
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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very interesting topic. I'm a huge FM fan - use and program the SY77, 99 and a DX1; an of course MOD-7 on the OASYS.

I had the privilege of being a beta tester for MOD-7 when it was developed for the OASYS. Don't forget to check out Dan Phillips excellent tutorial on MOD-7 in the Kronos Parameter Guide (the opening section of the MOD-7 chapter).

MOD-7 is a fantastic synth engine as is, and has been hugely underexploited. A few pointers to it's amazing capabilities:

1. It's essentially a modular synth because you can configure your own algorithms.

2. It allows PCM samples / waveforms to act as modulators, bringing it quite close to Yamaha's SY77/99 "RCM" or Realtime Convolution and Modulation capability - you're essentially convolving samples with oscillators which then Frequency Modulate other oscillators; and the results can be excellent. I believe the SY range go a bit further (where a PCM wave used in an algorithm can itself be modulated on the SY's but not in MOD-7 - but I'll stand corrected on that).

3. The Korons MOD-7 engine is squarely in DX1 territory (but not quite as exploitable). In particular, why the DX1 stands out is it's use of Polyphonic Aftertouch - and in a particular way - namely - key pressure can affect the amplitude level / output, separately, of each individual oscillator (operator) in an algorithm. What that means is that you can affect the harmonic character of the note under the pressure of the note - polyphonically (i.e. separately for each note).

It transforms FM - it really does. It makes it a truly 'live' and organic / ever moving kind of synthesis, perfectly suitable for real time performance and very close to virtual acoustic type synthesis. The DX7 / SY77 & 99 never benefited from this because they didn't have polyphonic aftertouch (and in any case didn't offer the ability to affect the output of each operator in that way) - so as good as they are, they are very different from a performance stand point to the DX1.

And here's the interesting thing here - MOD-7 does indeed offer the same ability to modulate the output level of each operator as does the DX1! However - since the Kronos doesn't have a keyboard with polyphonic aftertouch, you can't exploit it (polyphonically). But you still can exploit it monophonically - meaning - if you know your way around the MOD-7 architecture, and particularly all about it's formidable oscillators - you could start to exploit this inbuilt capability. Indeed the key to programming MOD-7 is to learn all about it's Oscillator capabilities from the Parameter Guide.


And remember - ALL of Kronos's synth engines are truly polyphonic - meaning - that , when you adjust a setting, you are really adjusting (in the case of MOD-7) - 50 (parallel) settings - one for each polyphonic voice (assuming 50 voice polyphony)

So I've harped on about this for years but - simply making a polyphonic aftertouch keyboard version of Kronos would radically transform it - I mean - in the case of the likes of MOD-7 and STR-1 - it would become THE standout performance keyboard on the market.

Worth also noting that some years ago on the download section of this forum I placed some MOD-7 sounds that exploit their polyphonic character where the vibrato speed is governed by the note velocity - hit the key fast and the vibrato speed is fast, hit the key gently and the vibrato is slow - and polyphonically - meaning that you can press one note gently and hear slow vibrato and at the same time hit another note hard and hear fast vibrato (this was inspired by a Yamaha GS1 (early Yamaha FM keyboard with polyphonic aftertouch) Voice used by Vangelis on a matallic type sound on Movement 4 of Mask where the vibrato speed of the note varies similarly as he solos).

With other MOD7 characteristics such as wave shaping and Ring Modulator - again polyphonically as in - per voice - I can assure you, the least extra requirement MOD-7 needs is two more operators - it is staggeringly specified already, and overwhelmingly under-exploited by all of us here. It's a beast of a synth engine, for which no substantive programming has been done on it, ever.


If anything MOD-7 is too complex. The reason I learnt the SY77 / 99 so well is that Yamaha got the balance right - there's enough programmability to program a vast range of sounds with deep character, and just the right amount of parameters to enable that to happen rapidly. And - so many of the parameters are intuitive and performance orientated so they 'make sense'. By contrast, MOD7 - to me - is too complex - requiring multiples of the effort and time needed on the SY's to create the same result - so I rarely go there.


One _SIGNIFICANT_ feature missing on MOD-7 is loop points on it's envelope generators - these are amazing on the SY's as they enable sounds with perpetual motion when sustained.


Finally - it is worth also pointing out that simply stacking MOD-7's 6 oscillators in parallel makes it a excellent Virtual Analogue synth - probably better than AL-1 - not least because you have 6 oscillators per voice, all with assignable random phase, and detunable, - meaning a staggering 300 oscillators in total (again assuming 50 note polyphony) - for just a single EX instance.
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Drummond
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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great reply Kevin! What about Alesis Fusion's FM? Are you familiar with it and it's differences from Kronos/sy/dx?
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CharlesFerraro
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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 10:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent comment Kevin, very insightful.

Kevin Nolan wrote:
And remember - ALL of Kronos's synth engines are truly polyphonic - meaning - that , when you adjust a setting, you are really adjusting (in the case of MOD-7) - 50 (parallel) settings - one for each polyphonic voice (assuming 50 voice polyphony)

That was something that tripped me out when I first discovered it. I came from programming a Radias which has some features that aren't polyphonic.

Kevin Nolan wrote:
It's a beast of a synth engine, for which no substantive programming has been done on it, ever.

Biased to my own work but I've definitely done crazy programming on MOD-7. There's a showcase where I "battle" FM8 which is kindof relevant to this thread: https://youtu.be/d0mwdLhaW4A
This Thunderstorm patch was very complex and even had different keyzones for different elements of the storm: https://youtu.be/7AFVaGrV5IU
This "3D" beach sound is one of the most complicated sounds I've ever made which relied heavily on MOD-7 https://youtu.be/rzNkShVJbco

Kevin Nolan wrote:
One _SIGNIFICANT_ feature missing on MOD-7 is loop points on it's envelope generators - these are amazing on the SY's as they enable sounds with perpetual motion when sustained.

I'm a little confused by this because MOD-7 does have looping envelopes. https://youtu.be/JePVk79Q4Wo
(The intro sound is actually what I make in the tutorial, just spruced up a little.)

Kevin Nolan wrote:
Finally - it is worth also pointing out that simply stacking MOD-7's 6 oscillators in parallel makes it a excellent Virtual Analogue synth - probably better than AL-1

MOD-7 lacks oscillator sync, the ring mod transformations, cross mod style fm, and the amp drive of AL-1. AL-1 has other benefits too like easy PWM, but that actually is replicable with MOD-7.
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Liviou2004
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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2018 5:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thnak you Kevin for this interisting comment.

Kevin Nolan wrote:
It's a beast of a synth engine, for which no substantive programming has been done on it, ever.


Well, as he said, Charles Ferraro offer us several good video about MOD-7

Also, don't forget Mr Qui Robinez, who did a good work (tutos and soundsets) on each Kronos engine, for free, and particulary on MOD-7 : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4T3tjmlXAU&index=9&list=PLx607dnAaOs4xnuAcvL4WIUCx-DerweeI
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KK
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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2018 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

256. Razz

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Mhbf2EWKo0
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Kevin Nolan
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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2018 7:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Liviou2004 wrote:
Thnak you Kevin for this interisting comment.

Kevin Nolan wrote:
It's a beast of a synth engine, for which no substantive programming has been done on it, ever.


Well, as he said, Charles Ferraro offer us several good video about MOD-7

Also, don't forget Mr Qui Robinez, who did a good work (tutos and soundsets) on each Kronos engine, for free, and particulary on MOD-7 : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4T3tjmlXAU&index=9&list=PLx607dnAaOs4xnuAcvL4WIUCx-DerweeI


Yeah - I'm a bit out of date on it I admit - my view is a few years out of date for sure - thanks for the excellent pointers.
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ITguy54



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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2018 1:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

KK wrote:
256. Razz

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Mhbf2EWKo0


I'm curious as to why you posted this video. I actually met that guy and he demonstrated the Technos to me. I was very excited about the instrument but they never went anywhere. This technology of additive synthesis/resynthesis is something I wish Korg would put in the next gen flagship.
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CharlesFerraro
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2018 7:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ITguy54 wrote:
KK wrote:
256. Razz

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Mhbf2EWKo0


I'm curious as to why you posted this video. I actually met that guy and he demonstrated the Technos to me. I was very excited about the instrument but they never went anywhere. This technology of additive synthesis/resynthesis is something I wish Korg would put in the next gen flagship.


I agree, would be great if Korg tackled additive resynthesis. Alchemy even made it so you can morph partials from one resynthesized sound to another. Kyma also does the same thing but better, just Kyma is a lot more expensive: https://youtu.be/nt9tXXaXRrM
That, along with wavescanning (NI's Skanner XT), and spectral synths are some of the most rare kinds of synthesis types out there. I made a thread talking about how Korg should go down this path with a new workstation if they ever decide to one.
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