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Our Roland Aira Modular tutorials have been our most popular posts, so in this latest video, we’re examining how to work Frequency Modulation into the Aira Modular Customizer virtual environment to get richer, more interesting tones.

We’ve looked at the Roland Aira Modular EFX before, using the Aira Modular Customizer app to route internal Oscillator voices as well as Drum sounds. Let’s take our previous Kick Drum routing and reconfigure it to get a more complex tone that can be tweaked from deep and heavy to gritty and noisy.

The Customizer does not have standard “Oscillators” however the LFO modules can be set at a fast rate to get audio rate oscillation (20 to 20,000 cycles per second) that conveniently responds to the 1 Volt per Octave Eurorack standard. The LFO modules do not include FM inputs either. Instead we can route one LFO (the Modulator) output to the Rate input on another LFO (the Carrier), with both oscillating at audio rates to achieve the same effect.

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Using this routing combined with a VCA and an Envelope, we can mold the resulting FM tone into a fast Attack/slower Decay Drum shape. With further attenuation of the Rate and Mod controls on both LFO modules, we can start to bend the tone closer and closer to a Kick, using the Wave controls to dial in the timbre of the sound.

FM Synthesis plays a major role in many of the most popular Drum modules currently on the market. With this technique, we can apply this important Synthesis method inside of the Roland Aira environment.

What other sounds are you making in the virtual environment? Let us know in the comments?

Want to know more about Frequency Modulation? Check out our Modular 101 Course starting next week!

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Roland Aira Modular FM Kick Tutorial

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