An FM synth with knobs?

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bassdude
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An FM synth with knobs?

Post by bassdude » Fri Oct 21, 2011 2:15 am

Is there an FM synth with lots of knobs? Like a knob for each function, or close to it? Ive searched around the web and on here, and can't really find anything. Im sort of surprised that, with the amount of DX7s and similar boards that have been sold, that no one has taken the time to either stick a bunch of knobs on an existing FM synth, or produce a new one. Just from the examples ive heard, and the limited FM capabilities of my Ion, its a very interesting form of synthesis. If only it could be controlled easier.

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Re: An FM synth with knobs?

Post by V301H » Fri Oct 21, 2011 3:33 am

The closest thing was the Jellinghaus DX7 Programmer .
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Re: An FM synth with knobs?

Post by Alex E » Fri Oct 21, 2011 3:56 am

There's also the Yamaha DX-200.
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Re: An FM synth with knobs?

Post by zukskywalker » Fri Oct 21, 2011 5:43 am

Yes, the DX200. Alex E beat me by seconds. Although it doesn't address the many FM parameters the knobs on the DX200 do transmit over midi. So, with some creative mapping... :mrgreen:

An interesting box the DX200 is. Marketed as a "groove box" it is oddly capable of doing some rather interesting things like recording and sequencing "knobbage".

DX200 into FS1r: Lions and tigers and bears, Oh my!

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Re: An FM synth with knobs?

Post by mharris80 » Fri Oct 21, 2011 5:06 pm

zukskywalker wrote: DX200 into FS1r: Lions and tigers and bears, Oh my!
FM From h**l!!! :lol:

Another option is the BCR-2000. Someone on the Yahoo group for it contributed a preset that gave it knob-per-function. Granted, it takes 3 memory spaces on the BCR, but sure beats the h**l out of programming it the old fashioned way.

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Re: An FM synth with knobs?

Post by crystalmsc » Fri Oct 21, 2011 6:11 pm

Nord Modular, Korg Kronos/Oasys, Plugiator FMagia.
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Re: An FM synth with knobs?

Post by unearthlychant » Sat Oct 22, 2011 6:23 pm

Hello forum. I'm new here but I'm quite familiar with FM synthesis as I've spent plenty of time programming DX7 and various software FM synths.

In my view, a knob per function for an FM synth would be too physical and too slow to be practical. Imagine having a large array of knobs that you have to visually scan every time you want to make a new patch and then reach out and turn them. It doesn't get any faster than the DX7 front panel with one slider. Due to the nature of FM, the key to successful FM programming is to get a mental image of your patch. Once you have that, the Yamaha's UI system is the most optimal in fact.

I would welcome a couple of programmable knobs, though. 8 would be more than enough - there usually aren't more things that you can do to an FM sound, which are musically interesting. You could assign any parameter to them and save it as a part of the patch or a global setting.

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Re: An FM synth with knobs?

Post by Phollop Willing PA » Sat Oct 22, 2011 6:39 pm

As mentioned before, this seemed to do it:

Image

"Back in the 80s when the cutting edge was digital synthesizers. Yamaha's DX7 was all the rage. The engine behind the innovative beast was not only complicated with 6 oscillators compared with 2 on most analogs. The programming interface was little more than a tiny LCD screen and a slider. Without cheap PCs, explorers of the FM frontier talked about a fabled hardware programmer called the Jellinghaus DX Programmer that had a knob for every DX7 parameter...."

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unearthlychant wrote:....
In my view, a knob per function for an FM synth would be too physical and too slow to be practical. ....
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Re: An FM synth with knobs?

Post by D-Collector » Sat Oct 22, 2011 8:31 pm

Not a dedicated FM synth but the Nord Wave has an FM section and knobs!

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Re: An FM synth with knobs?

Post by Phollop Willing PA » Sat Oct 22, 2011 9:06 pm

Also the Kronos (to a certain degree).

From Wiki:

"The MOD-7 Waveshaping VPM Synthesizer is capable of classic FM sounds and has import compatibility with Yamaha DX7 SysEx formatted sounds. The MOD-7 engine also combines Variable Phase Modulation (VPM), waveshaping, ring modulation, samples, subtractive synthesis, and modular patching to create a wider range of sounds than would have been possible on a classic Yamaha DX-series synthesizer."
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Re: An FM synth with knobs?

Post by tekkentool » Sun Oct 23, 2011 3:08 am

The only time FM interfaces has ever been made right has been since the advent of digitally drawn interfaces e.g FM8.

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Re: An FM synth with knobs?

Post by zukskywalker » Sun Oct 23, 2011 4:33 am

FM8 (with a multitouch screen :D ) pretty much trumps all in terms of fm heaven.
But accidents do happen like chocolate and peanut butter. While not quite right, that lowly DX200, just for the knobs over midi, gives some access to the soup. (Tabletop remote access to FM rack hardware)
And, of course it is a DX of sorts also, the strange cousin in the family (That gets along so nicely with old aunty FS1r).

Yammi cranked 'em out by the thousands in '01 and it even still rates 5 stars here at VSE in its own right as an FM synth.

But look at those knobs!

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Re: An FM synth with knobs?

Post by Nannerfan » Sun Oct 23, 2011 9:45 am

the short answer.. you're screwed.

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Re: An FM synth with knobs?

Post by bassdude » Wed Nov 02, 2011 3:45 am

I wonder how easy, or even possible it would be to install knobs on a DX7 that would control the parameters (at least the major ones.) I couldn't find any examples on the web. Any ideas?

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Re: An FM synth with knobs?

Post by Sir Ruff » Wed Nov 02, 2011 5:13 am

bassdude wrote:I wonder how easy, or even possible it would be to install knobs on a DX7 that would control the parameters (at least the major ones.) I couldn't find any examples on the web. Any ideas?
Well...it's not impossible. Given the DXs all respond to sysex, you would just have to program appropriately. Something like the Encore knobby would do it for limited parameters. For more knobs, there must be little midi interfaces out there that could be programmed this way (doesn't doepfer make one?)

For cheap and easy, nothing beats the Yamaha portasounds - there were at least 4 (PSS-390/470/570 and PSR-41) that had low-resolution parameter sliders that still allowed a pretty wide control over the sound (or presets). The PSR41 actually had midi too. They are all 2 or 4-op, but can still sound really rude!
Do you even post on vse bro?

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