The green buttons select different editing pages. So how does FM7 measure up to the original DX?
Native Instruments FM7 Update
When something in synthesis is good, even if it goes out of fashion you can be sure it'll be back. It happened with analogue, and for the past couple of years it's been happening with FM. FM7 offers polyphony of up to 99 notes, though high polyphony values increase CPU overhead. However, the multitimbrality situation is different.
And if you're an inveterate DX Preset collector, thousands are downloadable from the Net. There are also two extra 'operators' that can interact with the others. Your computer's keyboard can also be used polyphonically. Smaller LCDs show the harmonic content and waveform of the current Preset, which is attractive and sometimes informative during Preset editing.
You can even fold up the Editing window and keyboard when not needed, with two dedicated buttons. The central Editing Window can behave in one of several ways, depending on what you're doing. A choice of 'Aggressive' or 'Cautious' randomness is available, oddly, in Preferences. Perhaps there wasn't room anywhere else for this setting! However, Randomise works quite well, often producing results worth saving and refining.
Something similar appeared on later Yamaha instruments, allowing you to edit an FM Preset like an analogue patch. The Easy Edit screen allows you to make quick yet significant changes to a Preset's timbre and response. Note the Stereo Width slider; all operators can have a pan position, and this control spreads them across the stereo field.
FM7's envelope generators are sophisticated and flexible, but in Easy Edit there are two simplified envelopes, Timbre and Amplitude, each with standard attack, decay, sustain and release parameters. There's also an 'Effect' window, with 12 preset effects settings. Overall, the two synths sound identical, with two major differences.
At the time of going to press, we hadn't got to the bottom of this. The DX7 offered 32 preset algorithms; you could switch operators on or off, but couldn't otherwise modify algorithms. The FM Matrix. You create algorithms here by activating operators shown in their 'off' state, apart from Operator F , clicking the background grid to make connections, and setting feedback, level and pan.
The screen above shows a completed algorithm, the one for 'Ufftzz', which is mentioned in the 'Sound Stuff' box. While this all might sound like the start of something rather complicated, in practice it isn't. This gives FM an air of modular synthesis — but there are factory algorithms if you don't want to dabble! These include the original DX7 algorithms, though they are not labelled as such.
Here you can easily choose which operators will be in the algorithm, by clicking on boxes while holding down the Option key. Then it's necessary to determine which operators will be carriers and which modulators. Dragging as you click increments the output level of the modulating operator being sent to the carrier, making its effect more obvious.
The bottom row of the FM Matrix functions as an operator 'mixer'. Just click, then drag to increase the operator's level. Pan position is set in the same way operators working only as modulators don't need to be heard independently — they are only there to affect the sound of the carrier — but modulator output can be heard if desired, another departure from classic DX FM. The Operator Feedback control is located immediately above each operator box.
Not only can operators feed back on themselves, they can feed back on other operators. The FM Matrix provides an extremely neat and effective method of algorithm creation. The only negative points are that the value dragging can be fiddly boxes and numbers are small and that the method for turning the audio input 'operator' on and off could be better. If you simply turn on the 'Operator' box in the Matrix to enable the audio input, nothing happens; you have to turn on the audio input in an Audio Settings window first. All operators have identical controls, though operators X and Z each have an extra page of parameters.
The FM Matrix is visible whichever operator you're editing, unless you toggle the display to show the operator's graphic envelope. An operator editing window, with the graphic envelope display showing on the right. At the bottom left of all operator windows is an Amplitude Modulation grid. Many modulation sources are assignable in the main Modulation Matrix, but to save you from constantly swapping screens, the part of the Modulation Matrix specific to each operator is thoughtfully reproduced here. Next to the Amplitude Modulation grid is the operator waveform display.
You can only change waveforms by grabbing the tiny number underneath it and dragging up or down. Much more complex waveforms can be generated as part of the FM process, and interesting sounds can be created even without FM, simply using the operators in parallel, with no modulation. The pitch of the operator is determined by Frequency Ratio and Frequency Offset controls. For example, if you play middle C roughly Set the Ratio to '2', and the operator will sound an octave higher One application of this in classic FM synthesis is to simulate the unpitched hammer or tine attack in acoustic and electric piano patches.
In FM7, however, you determine how many stages breakpoints an envelope has, up to 31! You can then control each stage's level and position in time, and the transition, or 'slope', between each breakpoint. The combination of looped envelopes and Tempo Sync can result in remarkable moving, rhythmic textures with held notes and chords. In the Key Scaling display you can change the response of an operator across the keyboard, causing it to play louder or quieter at different points. No exclusions. We pull it all off with our strategically placed, coast-to-coast warehouses. Buy it, try it, like it, or return it to us for a full refund.
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- Native Instruments FM7 Software Synth (Macintosh and Windows)?
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Shipping to Saint Louis. When you call, mention priority code X62T. Advanced Graphical Editors. Rate and review this product. Ships to:. Sorry, this product is no longer available on zZounds In most cases, a product is unavailable because it has been discontinued by the manufacturer Please shop our site for related products:. Overview Reviews. Not only does the FM7 read the complete sound library from the classic FM synths, but it goes far beyond emulation.
It adds distortion and filter operators, extensive modulation capabilities, a comprehensive effects section, audio input and much more to the traditional FM architecture. The user interface of the FM7 makes it comfortable and easy to explore the fascinating new possibilities of FM - Native style. Reproducing the FM classics The lively and punchy FM sounds were a breakthrough in sound synthesis when they were first introduced in the early eighties. Nowadays, their special aesthetics are still highly appreciated by musicians and producers worldwide. FM sounds complement the sounds of analog and virtual analog synthesizers very well.
Extended sound processing and effects The FM7 is more than an emulation.
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- Native Instruments FM7 | zZounds.
Enjoy the authenticity of the classic presets, and then transform them into something completely new. For example, each of the operators of the FM7 offers many waveforms besides sine. Additionally, a distortion operator with noise and an analog filter operator complement the waveform operators and increase the sonic range of the FM7, far beyond classic FM synthesis. Unlike the classic, FM routing can be set freely - you are not limited to preset algorithms. The effect section of the FM7 offers high quality stereo chorus, flanging and delay effects.
NATIVE INSTRUMENTS FM7 (MAC/WIN) - EMusician
It's never been that easy to discover the enormous sound potential of frequency modulation zZounds is an authorized dealer of Native Instruments products. This review has been selected by our experts as particularly helpful. If you want a great FM sound, look no further.
Feature: I was very impressed at the sound sculpting capabilities of this synth. You could go VERY deep with this one. Ease of Use: There are sections for simple edits to sounds which I find intuitive. You can get as complex as you are willing to get. Quality: The best FM synth there is. Value: This will the only FM synth I will ever need. Manufacturer Support: Just visit Native Instruments for a demo, update, forums, or what have you.
I think this is better than Absynth.
Native Instruments FM7
Did you find this review helpful? Feature: it's insane. Ease of Use: well, it's like alien technology at first. Quality: totally stable. Manufacturer Support: never needed it. The Wow Factor: awesome possibilities with this thing.