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FM Sweeper

Sweeps through spectra, doesn't use filters.

(320 Votes)
0.6 (Updated 16 years ago)
17.9kB
April 08, 2004
Reaktor 5 or lower
FM

DESCRIPTION

This a little synth based on a patch I created for my TG77 many years ago. On the TG77 the idea was to use one carrier with five modulators set to ratios going up in a harmonic series. I used the envelopes to fade between the carriers in sequence to give a sweepy type effect. This sounded pretty good but was tedious to set up and limited in its scope.

Using Reaktor I can go much further. Each source consists of one carrier and three modulators. The modulators are scanned in a kind of Escher staircase/barber pole type way so that using only three oscilators I can simulate unlimited harmonics.

Drive controls the FM level - no drive and all you'll hear is a sine wave. Peak kind of controls the frequency ratio (but not quite). Step controls the series of partials which are swept through. A step value of 1 gives a harmonic series. Steps greater than 1 spread the partials out more (step of 2 ought to give the harmonic series of a square wave I think). Steps less than 1 give partialis that are more densely packed. I've thrown in a few step values which are irrational numbers. These create enharmonic overtones - which is nice. The idea is that you modulate the peak position and this picks out a partial from the series selected. As the modulation changes you get a smooth cross fade between adjacent partials. This very different from the sound you'd get by sweeping the modulator frequency. It does indeed sound similar to a very resonant filter - yet strangely different. Which is what we like isn't it.

To keep the thing simple there are only three modulation sources - amp env, mod env and an LFO. The LFO is driven from the midi clock - no clock, no LFO. There are a couple of buttons which control env mod routing which I'm sure you can work out for yourself. Finally the two sources can be mixed with their ring modded selves. Oh, and there's a simple stereo delay line too. What fun. I think the sound is pretty unique. Let me know what you think.

What's new?

Main thing is I've added the fix button to the oscilator sections. This sets the carrier frequency to zero - or as near as damn it. In FM terminology this is called a stationary operator. In terms of what you hear the effect is to removed the fundamental frequency from the output. The oscilator kind of acts like a waveshaper.

I've also added tool tips to everything, renamed a couple of things and added some more snapshots.o Oh, yeah. This version is created with 4.1.2.

Still to do - I want to optimise two of the par oscilators out of existence but so far both time and technique ellude me.

COMMENTS  (26)

year zero
10 years ago
just stumbled upon this beauty! great work. thanks so much!
Omar Sharan
12 years ago
impressive
CinningBao
14 years ago
oh yes - wonderfully strange noises. a great example of FM power.
Robert Austin
15 years ago
great little device. thanx dude.
daniel lemke
16 years ago
super clean, from the interface, to the snaps to the cpu. a must have in your FM directory.
Guy Sigsworth
16 years ago
Very distinctive.
daniel battaglia
16 years ago
this is a very interseting FM synth, i like that i can actually make something useful in fairly quickly
Andreas Bertschi
17 years ago
NWS Simply great and easy to use!!!
Phillip Brown
17 years ago
Simple and sounds really good, generates complex yet simple textures - nice approach well-thought out.
Ian Clay
17 years ago
Wonderful, now the Snowflakes are Dancing.
Al Watson
17 years ago
i'm a bit tg77 / sy99 fan too. how about a tg77 simulator that can load tg77 sounds.........hehehehe! tha'd be a challenge!
Al Watson
17 years ago
i like this. big fm fan anyways but its a bit like a ppg in places. cool! :-)
Phil Durrant
17 years ago
one of the best FM synths in reaktor and very easy to use/programme. nice one.
Adam Luckhaupt
17 years ago
I am going to agree with #6. This synth is simple to use and meaty. Very impressive. Thanks.
Norman Wilson
17 years ago
Thanks for all the replies. To quote from a famous TV series - "I love it when a plan comes together". I didn't know what this would sound like until I had it working. When I finally got it going I was pleasantly suprised. (The TG77 patch I based it on made a sort of thromp sound - which was unique in its own way.) I've been busy lately so no time for creating new snaps. Will post some soon though.
Rob Klippel
17 years ago
VSP... Very Strong Post.... nicely layered sounds are possible and promoted by this unit, at the same time it can be very subtle, this is an exceptionally tasty synth tool .... thanks
peter colpaert
17 years ago
very nice;I really like the sound of the bass-presets.Nice one
N Marsh
17 years ago
thanks for renaming the file, I really like your work on this,lots of flexibilty (nice snapshots too) good one!
Cliff Douse
17 years ago
Nice synth. Like the presets! :-)
Stefan Knauthe
17 years ago
hello norman! thank you for sharing this very nice ensemble.i'm gonna use this a lot.the only critics i have is that there could be more snapshots.for people like me...not so much into programming the beasts but makin' music with them...:-) thanxx,s.
Robert Croft
17 years ago
Hey Norman, I think this is a great ensemble. Really useful snapshots too. I like to find synths that are relatively simple to use and still sound way above average. FM Sweeper nails this. I'll be using this one for sure - thanks for sharing it.
Norman Wilson
17 years ago
I've renamed the ensemble file.
N Marsh
17 years ago
this thing sounds like it's right up my street and I really want to try it out, but unfortunately I'm having trouble loading the file. could you possibly rename it and add ens. to the file name.... cheers
Bodo Kuznik
17 years ago
Hi,realy nice sounds ,but i must spend more for it, to check it out... resomusic.de
Norman Wilson
17 years ago
Go on, some one give me a comment.
Norman Wilson
17 years ago
now