FROM THE LAB: Friday, we’re launching our new live streaming series, Additive Voices!

The Make Noise 0-Coast is a great tool for generating complex timbres using the Overtone and Multiply sections. The FM input on the Oscillator is another important element for shaping interesting tones. The cycling Slope section can be used as an oscillator itself, (as we’ve seen in a previous video) acting as a frequency modulation source.

Frequency Modulation is one of my favorite synthesis techniques. By routing a wave out from one oscillator (called the modulator) to the FM input on another oscillator (called the carrier). the pitch of the carrier can be modulated. As we see on the 0-Coast, these FM inputs generally include an attenuator, to control the amount (or index) of the frequency modulation.

When the carrier is modulated at a low frequency and low index, we can apply one of the more identifiable forms of frequency modulation, vibrato. Routing the cycling Slope section into the FM input on the Oscillator on the 0-Coast, we can get this effect by just barely increasing the index above zero. When the attenuator goes too high, the vibrato starts to spread across too large of a range of notes, sounding unnatural.

At faster, audio rates, frequency modulation causes the pitch to fluctuate so quickly that natural overtones and harmonics are generated. These metallic, abrasive tones are unique compared to the Overtone and Multiply functions, but can be combined with them to reach a new range of timbres. By employing an extra Eurorack VCA and envelope, we can shape and control the FM signal and craft even more finely tuned sounds like bells and thick FM basses.

How are you getting complex sounds from the 0-Coast? Let us know in the comments!

And be sure to check out our new live streaming show this Friday at Noon PST, with special guests Black Line featuring Cyrus Rex, Douglas McCarthy, Bon Harris, Anthony Baldino, Brad Apodaca and Baseck!


FM Synthesis with the Make Noise 0-Coast

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