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Viewing topic "8 (+) Operator FM on Motif/MOX"

     
Posted on: March 14, 2021 @ 03:32 PM
lastmonk
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While there is difference between FM Modulation and FM Synthesis, one is a form of Frequency Modulation the other is a form of Phase Modulation.  One Modulates Frequency over time, the other modulates the phase or angle of a wave or time.  Both FM Modulation and FM Synthesis both use the carrier-modulator vocabulary.  And FM Modulation and FM Synthesis can and often do generate the same kinds of sounds.  Although both have unique sounds as well.  They both can be used to achieve similar goals in certain circumstances.

So for those Motif/MOX folks that want to go a little beyond the sampled FM sounds (which are very rich) in themselves.  Here is a way to experiment with some pretty awesome 8 operator or more FM modulation on Motif/MOX

In this scenario one or more elements functions as the carrier, and the ring modulator is used as the operator.  The ring modulator is found under Tech Effects.  And for those of you who know what an FM Operator is, The ring modulator has an oscillator that has a coarse and fine frequency that can be adjusted, and it has an LFO that can be used to modulate the carrier over time.  So ring modulator + its frequencies, oscillators, and LFO settings act as the operator.

1. If we set both A & B insertion effects for an element to separate ring operators with different oscillator values and LFOs, we effectively create 2 operator FM Initially route insert A into insert B this cause B to modulate A, but experiment with the operators in Parallel, or with B being routed into A.  Also having a different LFO wave form for the ring modulator assigned to A than what is assigned to B makes for some interesting differences.  Also having different (but complementary) oscillator frequencies on each Ring Modulator will have a dramatic effect.  And if well chosen, can be very musical (if that is what is desirable).

2.  If we set up a Performance (Performance Mode) with all four voices to the same voice, but with each voice having its own 2 operator FM (Ring Modulators settings, we can create an 8 operator FM voice. These voices can be very fat, with a lot of movement and texture, and mixed with normal elements can give stability.

Obviously, we could have designed each of the 4 voices around 1 element each.  But because the harmonics and overtones of FM modulation can produce some extreme sounds, we can add additional elements to a voice to give more strength to the original carrier and fundamental.  In this case the addition elements would be set to bypass the insertion effects so as to not have any ring modulation applied.

Also we could design a voice that uses a sin wave as a single element, and set up a performance voice with 4 of these(sin wave based) voices and do 8 operator FM using only sin waves

What if we want a 16 operator FM voice?  We could setup a MIXVOICE in Pattern/Song Mode, assign all the voices to the same channel so they sound at the same time, and apply the 2 ring modulators on the 8 tracks , and see what happens :-)

Any kind of FM programming whether it be FM modulation or FM synthesis can be tricky because harmonic and inharmonic sidebands produced with the sum and difference of the waves. Using multiples 1:1 or 1:4 between the carrier (Motif Element) and the Ring Modulator (Operator) Oscillator can make it a little easier.  But it still requires effort.  So I’m sharing the above information only for those synth masochists out there that want to experiment with FM concepts on the Motif/MOX I’ve been messing around with this technique for a few days now, and have been able to design some pretty musical sounds.

And using the above techniques I find we can mess around with the notions of 8 Operator FM, or 16 Operator FM on the Motif/Mox

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Posted on: March 14, 2021 @ 07:12 PM
5pinDIN
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The Yamaha DX7 was based on the work of John Chowning. His paper on the topic, for those wanting to delve into this, can be found here:
https://web.eecs.umich.edu/~fessler/course/100/misc/chowning-73-tso.pdf

Some further gory details:
https://sound.stackexchange.com/questions/41119/fm-and-pm-synthesis-what-is-the-difference-and-why
https://www.tutorialspoint.com/principles_of_communication/principles_of_communication_angle_modulation.htm
https://moinsound.wordpress.com/2011/03/04/frequency-modulation-or-phase-modulation-synthesizer-technologies/

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Posted on: March 15, 2021 @ 12:03 PM
lastmonk
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5pinDIN - 14 March 2021 07:12 PM

The Yamaha DX7 was based on the work of John Chowning. His paper on the topic, for those wanting to delve into this, can be found here:
https://web.eecs.umich.edu/~fessler/course/100/misc/chowning-73-tso.pdf

Some further gory details:
https://sound.stackexchange.com/questions/41119/fm-and-pm-synthesis-what-is-the-difference-and-why
https://www.tutorialspoint.com/principles_of_communication/principles_of_communication_angle_modulation.htm
https://moinsound.wordpress.com/2011/03/04/frequency-modulation-or-phase-modulation-synthesizer-technologies/

5pinDIN thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!!!  for posting these.  They are absolute gems!!!!!

1rst they did make me appreciate my minor in mathematics during my undergrad degree.  A little trig, differential calculus , and integration goes along way here.

2nd I had read bits and pieces of Chowning, but the whole paper was just an absolute treat.  For those interested in FM, PM these links are rich!

3rd And moinsound’s blog piece WHOAA!!!!!!  Had never seen it, I loved every word of it.  Very very informative!  The article hits the nail right on the head....

Again thanx so much for the post!

The whole discussion just excites me more.  And I realize more and more every day that the AWM2 synthesis engine in the Motif/Mox as well as in other instruments in the Yamaha line of synthesizers goes far beyond just subtractive synthesis techniques.  I understand Yamaha’s focus on marketing Motif as a Music Production Synthesizer.  But the deeper you dig OMG!  It so much more.  Its a powerhouse synthesizer, notwithstanding the music production features.

Its probably best not to try to pigeon whole the AWM2 synthesis engine at all, and just take advantage of all of the sound shaping and programming tools available.  If one wants to put in the time and effort one can explore subtractive, AM, FM, and granular synthesis techniques on Motif.  And by programming the envelopes, 18 filter types, the tech effects, the key scaling, cross fading, velocity sensitivity possibilities, XA control, MIXVOICES, etc, Motif/Mox has an extraordinary rich and expansive sound palette.

So much comes down to how much one truly understands and explores the instruments they have.  After all this time with my Motif/Mox I’m still afraid I probably haven’t even scratched the surface yet in terms of sound design. 

Thanx again for the awesome articles, they’re just what I needed!!!

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Posted on: March 15, 2021 @ 01:20 PM
5pinDIN
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I’m glad you liked those links. You may have already seen the following, but here goes anyway…
https://www.soundonsound.com/techniques/introduction-frequency-modulation
https://www.soundonsound.com/techniques/more-frequency-modulation

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Posted on: March 15, 2021 @ 03:23 PM
lastmonk
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5pinDIN - 15 March 2021 01:20 PM

I’m glad you liked those links. You may have already seen the following, but here goes anyway…
https://www.soundonsound.com/techniques/introduction-frequency-modulation
https://www.soundonsound.com/techniques/more-frequency-modulation

Yea, a couple of years ago, I skimmed them, but I’ve learned so much since then, these articles mean so much more.  The first link also references:

https://www.soundonsound.com/techniques/amplitude-modulation

Which is again priceless.

The Tech Effects on the Motif/MOX are really in a different category than the other effects like reverb, chorus, delay.  The 7 tech effects are really building blocks of a simple synthesizer, the Tech effects include:  oscillators, filters, modulators, amplifiers that can be accessed dynamically through the CTLSET and combined in many ways to build different synthesis techniques or to build mini synthesizers that can be used to modulate elements in a Voice of MixVoice.

Yea, I think there are 7 Tech effects: Ring Modulators, Dynamic Filters, Tech Modulation, Auto Synth etc

If we can combine any two of those effects in a voice as insert effects.  Then we have

C(7,2), or nCr(7,2) = 21 combinations of those 7 effects if taken 2 at a time.  And since we could Route insert A, into B, or B into A, or run them in Parallel I think that comes out to
3 * nCr(7,2) = 63 ways we could combine these synthesizer building blocks together (taken 2 at a time) and then combine them with elements of a Voice, MixVoice, or 4 Voice Layered Performance.  This opens up some really extraordinary possibilities for exploring FM, AM, Subtractive, and some Additive synthesis techniques.  All on the Motif/Mox.  Wow!!!!!  And then to realize that we have almost 3000 samples that can be used as the initial oscillator sound sources, is really exciting.

The odd thing is those Tech Effects have been around in Yamaha Synthesizers, Samplers, Workstations for a long time (maybe 2 decades or more) .  But if you look back a the old documentation going back as far as you can find documentation, the 7 Tech effects were not really explored much.  Yes there are basic definitions for the parameters.  But it was not made clear in any of the documentation that the Tech Effects are essentially a collection of simple synthesizer or synthesis building blocks.  And by combining and routing them in the insert effect process you can explore several types of synthesis using the AW2 Synth engine.  Its almost like those Tech Effects are meant to be a secret or found as Easter Eggs LOL

Anyway I’m still neck deep into Rob Papen’s book

https://www.robpapen.com/RP_Book_and_Video.html

And Pejrolo and Metcalf

https://global.oup.com/us/companion.websites/9780199921898/

Both of these are excellent books imo for learning the basis of synthesis of all kinds and both books have opened up my view of the Motif/MOX considerably.

I now understand what a powerhouse AWM2 is, and on a Motif/Mox the possibilities for sound design are truly endless. And if you throw in the ISS on the Motif its pretty much a wrap.

We really have only scratched the surface in programming this instrument.

Thanx again 5pinDIN for the references.  I have added them all to my library.

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Posted on: March 15, 2021 @ 06:39 PM
5pinDIN
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lastmonk - 15 March 2021 03:23 PM

[...]
If we can combine any two of those effects in a voice as insert effects.  Then we have

C(7,2), or nCr(7,2) = 21 combinations of those 7 effects if taken 2 at a time.  And since we could Route insert A, into B, or B into A, or run them in Parallel I think that comes out to
3 * nCr(7,2) = 63 ways we could combine these synthesizer building blocks together (taken 2 at a time) and then combine them with elements of a Voice, MixVoice, or 4 Voice Layered Performance. [...]

It’s been a long time since I’ve had to think about combinations (or permutations, factorials, etc.).

I’m going to go back to playing my synths. Perhaps I’ll write a random-Voice generating program where you can specify certain Parameters to be fixed and others variable - but that sounds like too much effort, so maybe I’ll just start working outdoors again as soon as the weather permits.  ;-)

Of course, I don’t want to discourage anyone else…

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Posted on: March 15, 2021 @ 08:30 PM
lastmonk
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LOL, right LOL, But it does make such a big difference on the insert effects with these Tech effects when A is routed to B versus when B is routed to A or when they are combined in parallel.  Very dramatic sonic differences.  Setting some of the parameters to 0 to free up the oscillators for instance, or changing frequencies to be higher than 20hz (pushing them into the audible range) and the 63 variations on the synth building blocks could keep you going for quite some time.

Yea if we go too deep its hard to get back!  At the end of the day it is what your ears hear and what sounds good to you and what you want to add to your music.

Its just good that Motif/Mox owners who want to experiment with FM type sounds, or AM type sounds can do so on their instruments without fiddling with VSTs, or having to buy more gear.

But then part of the fun is buying more gear LOL.  So I guess we don’t want to take all of the excuses away.

I have been setting up four layer voices in Performance mode, with each voice being a 1 element voice, assigned to a Sin or Saw wave and then playing around with the Ring Modulator, Dynamic Filter, Tech Modulation, and Auto Synth WoW!!

Dave Polich’s Sound Advice DVD set:

https://shop.motifator.com/dvds/motif-series-yamaha-dvds/sound-advice-dvd.html

explains these synth building blocks more and adds some additional information on the Tech Effects, but these things are so flexible he could have easily done an entire DVD just on using the Tech Effects for FM and AM synthesis. 

Even after all of the documentation and Dave’s Sound Advice series, there is still a great deal of experimentation to be done before getting a solid grip on this.

Its some good programming for the brave....

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