The thought process that went into building a compact yet comprehensive starting modular synth system for my Learn Modular Synthesis course that covered a wide range of both East and West Coast techniques.
One way to create more complex waveforms (and therefore, harmonics) than traditionally supplied by oscillators is to use one oscillator to modulate the frequency of another. In this article I’ll describe how to set up an “FM” (frequency modulation) patch, and include a movie from my Learn Modular Synthesis course that demonstrates the “exponential” flavor of FM.
I’m at the NAMM music show in Anaheim California, and thought I’d summarize some conversations and share some quick impressions of a few of the booths I visited on the first day of the show.
One of the primary reasons to make the move from pre-configured synthesizers to patchable modular synthesis is the ability to create your own instrument – be it to pick and choose your favorite flavors of synth building blocks, to expand it in ways you prefer, or to explore new signal paths and configurations. A common question is: Where do you start? Keeping in mind there’s no single right answer (and very few wrong ones), here are a few different approaches and their potential trade-offs.