Workshop 4 - FM Synthesis with SeamlessR


Decibel Conference


Lesson Info

Workshop 4 - FM Synthesis with SeamlessR

Our next presenter is going to be talking about techniques for fm synthesis some of these techniques or universal and and what you can apply to any dog and some of them were going to be specific to f l studio our presenter is seamless he's a producer based out of massachusetts he's also an educator you can check him out on youtube and also of course is that he is available in sound design from a creative life so warm welcome for siemens hi I'm seamless and they come here to argue about fm's of this is fm two this is fm the term f m stands for frequency modulation and if you've never used it or you don't really use it a lot not really part of your your workflow you probably know it as that thing you do to whatever you have if you want to turn it into a white hot mess of suffering and pain really fast what we'll talk to you about today is how we can use that to actually do things on purpose and it's mostly involves learning about the needy greedy kind of science pat works because it is i...

t's somewhat intuitive but then it's also a whole lot of not intuitive but once you learned it was to figure it out it gets starts to be much more straightforward and now we have visuals awesome and sound so the very most basic level of fm and this works for both analog and digital and there's, a difference that we'll get to that, but it's a lot of fun. Um, you could think of it as being an extremely fast telephone on the pitch of something from something else. So, like I'm using, I'm using nfl and it's in citrus than fm plug in, and I have a tone that particular pitch and have another town and a really, really slow pitch, and if I fm with really, really slow pitch, we get figures in modulation, it is the frequencies being modulated by another frequency, pretty straightforward stuff, and this is what the tones are using. If you're turning something were complicated by usually modulating it a lot faster to do crazy, crazy things, if it has been around for a long time, it's pretty basic function of regular analog the services as well. And there is, however, a fundamental difference between how it works in the analog world, how it works in a digital world. Uh, something about digital world now is that every single plug in that has fm with a few notable exceptions, they all work more or less the same way. Citrus. If I'm a toxic ableto operator, they operate on the same principles also the yamaha dx seven, which was the first kind of it's a hardware that there is a vigil digital sympathizer to do it with this particular method and the method explains interesting phenomenon that we discover if we look at the slow moving at them again right now I have a sign wave creating one frequency out of the sight of wave body winning it by sine wave and you get the motion he mostly expect abba sideways however, if I'm modulated by a triangle life that happens which is not the maiming and inspect from the motion of a triangle it especially if he were to think of it as being just a telephone really fast it's called audio rate by the way when it's not telephone and it's just fast enough to be heard it's a tone um this is actually behavior that we'd expect out of a square wave however, if we were to actually use this where wave even stranger things happen similarly, if we use assault wave doesn't seem to make a lot of sense and that's because digital fm in most cases actually don't directly modulate pitch of the sound with l a foe of something else the association of something else and it modulates the phase and the reason for this is actually it has to do with processing architecture and power in such a way that there's like a resolution for how fast you could move something for some reason I'm not totally sure but the basic result of this is that we are forced to use phase to use fm any kind of meaningful way with a lot of a lot of stacking of oscillators and trains that kind of thing like I said, there are some notable exceptions of some bargains that actually do utilize that them in the direct way although now I think about it they probably aren't doing it directly, just doing it in a way that makes it appears those directed we'll talk about that second um anyway that the result of this is that a model its face and the way this works is that we're basically doing a little mini doppler effect if you're really with a doppler frankly enough without the doppler effect is like if you're on the street and you hear a car coming elections honking his horn whenever you hear they're like as it gets closer towards you it appears to get higher and pitch then as it goes away from you if you get lower pitch albeit veer slightly is because if you play a sound play anything and you move the phase wallace playing you're changing some to the point of origin of it which alters the length of the way the wavelength otherwise known as you know the picture and so if you do that in controlled fashion you khun do it fast enough and do it more directly you get them what this means, though, is that the shapes don't actually directly correlate to the motion of the actual pitch. So with triangle, for example way do that kind of thing what we're looking at, we have to look at the shape not so much as it's actual motion, but we have a look at it in terms of the change in slope so it's like a sign wave, for example, you can see that it's motion is more looks like a sign wave, but it's only because the moat changing slope is more or less also assigned because you see that as this is the way form as the way form gets up and starts moving pretty fast and it slows down is what move very fast that goes down smoothly is transiting through all these things, and so we get a smooth transition from one essentially top pitch to go out on a pitch, but look, trying away, we see we have a straight line and another straight lines. This means that we have no change in slope and another no change in slow, and then we get one pitch and then another, which also explains what happens when we use salt wave or it square wave is that essentially there's still no change in slope and there's no other way? Alternative either so I mean this is just one pitch although it should be noted that the software is a different pitch than the square wave square wave is just the original pitch because it's that if you look at think of phase is being served agrees we have zero degrees and then three hundred sixty degrees but you're essentially the same point says the same pitch but it keeps trying to move that's why we get the snaps before that happens and this always is a pitch it's a different pitch but again no change in pitch does not mean that we can't use square ways or saul waves to make really cool things well me my gets to some of that is going to kind of short thing so with this in mind whether I said earlier a few minutes ago about making it seem like we could make it direct so if for example the salt wave if I were if I were to like just a straight up lf l a pinch of salt way they would have a particular feel to it of starting up top going back down and cutting back up going up top, that kind of thing somebody you could very easily do with analog hardware was playing in and here's your shitty appears to motion good awesome just do that how could we do that in citrus? We have these way for modifiers up top these things appear and other other fm plans like maybe they might be available is a different set of wave forms and estimated referred to as the tea exploit forms and these reforms you might have wondered why they ever existed and why they're there and what's the point them at all and the port of them is because we're using the way form now not to make generate sound although they do kind of a cool sounds though there too tulis that particular index and specific motion with the phase modulation so also if he didn't know that if you ever saw phase modulation talked about being a plug in it is actually just f ell for example the modulation oscillator inside massive that has thie phase target to any of the oscillators if that was unclear so um this motion if I have e so I want to do the salt way of russian if I want to have it start up top cut down and you know that kind of thing I have to use this particular modifier and then modulated negative or I guess positive and that we've created in the salt wave motion so this is why this is why I really really like I pressed the fundamental understanding of the science behind them because if you try and if you you know you hear later that the r two d two sound was made by everything about us always together that you'd want to, you know, try and copy that an additional role that you would have to know that k just do it with us always. Is that the same thing? Although that's all it does do some very interesting things in the digital version of it that that's the kind of overview of how the science work, they'll talk about sound design in ways that actually are meaningful. I intend to do this mostly in the reference toe base sounds just because I like a lot of bass sounds, but there definitely are lots of cool things you could do that aren't base. I'm so going to base do you do so I'm trying to pitch inside centrist most fm plug ins or of sorts will use a ratio pitch like setting, and the ratio essentially just means that if you want to get up on active, you have to go up twice. The ratio is when I go down active, you have to go half the ratio. Wow, so point two five is a couple actors lower than what I was doing. And I'm doing it because I want the base okay five would be a lot lower than that I want I want come on believing you wait whoa so there's some pretty basic stuff that they ever just experiment with it I'm sure you encountered the thing that really got me like it took me a long time to figure out if it worked is just full years for and no idea what was happening but the thing that really like changed it for me was understanding of how you change like how you actually modulate because plug ins like this will have you know these parameters on that kind of thing but they usually aren't directly like autumn able some of them are I think they are intimate but really what's happening is that if you want change the intensity of fm, you change the volume of the modulating operator. So in this case the modulating operator is number two and we have a carrier operated one and if we change the volume of over two o it changes the ff really all of this matrix is doing if you're one of you centrist is that it's just telling you where the f m is going the actual modulation is handled by chain of volumes of the various operates and as one one trick one cool trick that set me on my on my way, which was, um modulating assigned we were trying a wave already you know just by itself kind of kind of neat but then if you had a higher harmonic into the mess that's when I report to five I want eight I think also trying to with so much higher think five octaves higher and also with this eleven which I think is the same for analog from having to test some intelligence but when you increase the how fast the fm is it also increases the intensity of it so I at one particular speed the range of pitch might have been here but if you double it also increases how how wide the effect is and if you go in particularly fast which posted the audio rate kind of fm is it's a lot louder than it would have been at a lower pitch? So that's why this harmonic is gonna be perfectly fine at like ten percent level versus the full level of the fundamental town I'm also going to rout let's see the modulation input of up to one two months later modifier ex modern mind that's not confusing it all right and this is changing the volumes of all the operators all at once and we get that that is a lot of fun now what's happening here I have the open so you can see this is that if you saw when I was just up here too that behavior existed and that behavior doesn't change that's still there with me on the higher demonic but what's happening with the harmonic if I did just a higher harmonics eyes is that those that behavior upon up top the high frequencies pops up and then they get spread apart too when the fundamental tone gets a vault and in conjunction with the lower behavior of the original phone middletown it creates the opening and closing of the frequencies which gives us that talking kind of former d stuff which is how you just do that kind of stuff even even without fm if you just had a television beautiful just do that that's what's out like almost it wouldn't quite have the bites that doing specifically this does now in centrist there's actually ways to have done this inside only one oscillator if I if I got this osc window I could actually engage higher harmonics in the oscillator which does a lot of really thought stuff the city of specific things that kind of talk about it in general scope but there was a benefit to having separated the harmonic into its own a slayer and that's because most fm since we usually allowed some kind some kind of chaining of loss leaders and if I have exposed the harmonic I can then modulate that harmonic by a fundamental town but that is not because I forgot twenty five way and so it is just that much a little tiny bits welsh here. Also, the idea of squelch is mostly an effort process. If you ever hear that sort of feel, you might attribute if you ever used massive attributed to the bend plus or minus idea. But if you ever look at, like, aaas later on a sale, a scope of what that does, it looks an awful lot like what the then the regular from does talyn's, which is kind of cool, not the men, possum eyes, and then the same thing is just somewhat similar. So now this tone has a bit of that kind of witness to it. There's a lot of fun. So I guess that before controlling and testy about families done by moving the bar around. So if I, if I link the volume of this particular oscillator to the other thing and modify that I now have essentially primary and secondary fm control, or I am modulating, the main thing on this other thing for just strangeness is pretty cool. This platform, this particular sound of the low, the fundamental in the higher demonic and then the secondary is a basis for looking just a huge swath of stuff that I've done for years and years, because you could just keep adding things at them while very unpredictable, even when you know what you're doing it's still you know it could take it could take a lot of things and just turned them into very new interesting things even if still you know same story place so it's a pretty good place to start but I will now show you another neat idea about fm in general this has to do with sort of understanding saul waves versus square waves now it's always a square was are defined not only by the shape of the way form but also by the harmonic content so we gotta saw way we turn on the precision water see that particular syriza harmonics is referred to as the four year series wait you can see that there's actually like a bit more space in between her marks that's because the square wave actually has every other harmonic in the series all the odd numbered harmonics versus always that's pretty cool but even if the sound itself is not I said that this determine bites are my content but then you start to screw with phase of its system look like us I saw we were square anymore. And if you're offending things and doing homework stuff and make all kind of sound the sound the white you create is probably going to have either saw way we're square with harmonics it would actually be very hard to have not celibate square harmonics although it is possible and I'm mentioning this because you probably heard sounds that sounded like really complicated almost fm like but with square wave harmonics and you're curious as to how that worked out there's a lot of ways you could do that some of them involve just by having square waves and making filters that caring about it but they didn't want to with them uh the trick is that if you have just any kind of sound even way more complicated you know craziness you can immediately turn it into the square way version of it by taking the modulator and turning it up one active so that would be point five and making it a lot louder because why more or less the same distribution of harmonic and movement but it's distributed over square wave remarks I suppose a solid harmonics so really way could've done the everything if they want to turn down into that version but square waves just making fire you make everything else doing it are two fires well so if you do if you do like secondary fm that's a fundamental telling which is still do five you can see how that immediately turns it back into having square saw type harmonics but that if you remember ok cool active it comes back and it's still a square wave type there's a lot of fun so I did mention that you could do fm with uh saw wages square where is actually did something primarily it's always had over the use square with a lot but anything you can do is a form of what's referred to as oscillators sink also interesting is where you have you have to weigh forms you have a master and slave and then the master way form sets the pitch for everything and the slave away form could turn into whatever shape of pitching want but it will always restart its period at when the master restarts now actually when I discovered this about abouts always I thought that this meant that cost later sink was just fm with saul waves but it just is more or less a happy accent because also saying gives actually a specific process so what's happening when I said before that because of the no change and slope being done by this saul wave um it is still changing the pitch though it isn't it's not the original picture so if you keep it the right like the same pitch together as the normal thing when you're offending at you here something that sounds an awful lot like that particular is out and you can change the pitch of either of them and they're still kind of relate to each other and it's not exactly like the sink relationship is extremely similar and I like it a lot remember I said about turning up the active and the intensity that does happen a lot think if I go back up to that's fun and then you could also you could do is to whatever way from you want I'll still kind of have that effect on it. That's a cool sound I think that I think a lot of stuff that's happening, you could push him pretty hard that's still functional, I recommend when you're experimenting with, I found that you don't push stuff too hard, too fast unless you turned it down because that will hurt most of the time. So other funds about fm includes that right now I've been mostly doing static pitches where they're all kind of multiples of each other, and they're going to keep kind of stable um however, a lot of fun like reese, bases and stuff can be done even using regular re spaces have done by piling on, use the voices and then detaining them so that they create with rhythmic face cancellation, that kind of thing and that still happens even with that, even with basic had turned into a not pitch. So with anything so I just you could hear it start to do that kind of emotion involved in there. And so far, we've also been doing everything essentially just piers of this is we haven't done any any kind of post processing, and, you know, my favorite kind of post processing to do on fm is usually just distortion. Because everything sounds about it. With this order, where is it? Where shaper oh, do do do do do do do go way, way, that's pretty basic illustration of that. But another fun things you could do it with them is the square is the triangle way so that we have been doing it's pretty sweet all its own way for morphing thing is something that's unique tio citrus and its implicate inman implementation of them, you have a player I could think of it can do that that's not citrus, is serum, then, through usage of the way table more bring it can kind of do some more stuff, and I kind of I mean, one percent can do that. So even this basic, um, there's normal kind of trying a way thing could work out pretty good using the story way to make extra fund with the morphing I mentioned and the story and you get, like, basically all of two thousand twelve, right there, at least people will assume is that like a funny story about how I actually came to learn fm, which was that I assumed that all the sounds that killed and always was making back then was that turns out now that totally wasn't but because I believe so hard that it was I tried really, really hard for like a year and a half to try and make those sounds without them we're in a whole bunch of stuff by that fact, but still didn't do it because no one's made without them, not the city to ultimately can't just to say that I personally did not if I was a ludicrously powerful tool, which it should say that it is because it's it's among the first kinds of services that you could do because when analog, since we're first became a thing like immediately, the one of the things you could do is that you could just patch an oscillator into the other oscillators input for pitch, and then it would just do that, and a whole whole lot of that happened that they gave a thing, and one of the reasons why digital fm took off so much is because of the inherent sort of in perfect nous of analog hardware sort of makes it a bit difficult to make things with anything more than just two oscillators doing doing nothing to each other. He started doing chains and links in that kind of thing that starts to get to be a problem when the oscars were always different pitches because pitches determined speed and of love of motion in this kind of thing with this idea, so it's a bit hard to do well in and like uh, what else is a fun thing to do with him? Um, I mean, really pretty pretty basic common thing as well is way doing most of the sine wave everything about doing it but didn't get the starting with except for when I was doing the the, uh, scribe so wave with the o's are way, but he could still just do so always with your stuff if it's not there, it is again, you know, two thousand twelve that's a fun there and some of the same thing with square waves like really they don't even have to try very hard to make that they have any distortion really, because also it's very harmonically rich distortion if you're unaware in the digital world, well, it does change the shape of some things that ultimately over the dozen and adds harmonics, the sounds and if you start off of something they already hasn't. Crafton harmonics liking rapidly oscillating tribe wait for me like a square way than distortion doesn't add a lot unless you really make it there's lots of stuff there. So I mentioned that there are still some things you just think you could do with this that aren't based related, and is there a lot of cool lead stuff you could do with well, like if I made this guy apparently turned down because that whole idea of the also to sink business with with the s all wave actually sounds pretty sweet as a lead canceled that punkish can eat. A lot of a lot of sub focus songs also used stuff like that, uh, modulated square. Where is my kind of thing? Ultimately, though, um, while there are some sort of ground rules like they have for fm is a very open kind of thing, and, like I said, because however old it is as if so, this is type. I hate that word, so this isthe type people are still coming up with new and crazy stuff to deal with it, so I should tell you something about its veracity. Um, so if you want to learn more about fm and similar things, I have made literally a thousand videos on the subject, and some are subjects on my youtube channel, which is seamless are with youtube dot com slash st lazare are is not a typo it's descendant.

Class Description

The Decibel Conference is three days of panels, workshops and other events that runs in parallel to the Decibel Festival. Now on its 12th year, Decibel is one of the nation's longest-running and most respected electronic music festivals, and CreativeLive is proud to partner with Decibel to produce the 2015 Conference. For details on the schedule and content, please visit the official Conference page.