Gritty Synthesizers and How to Tame Them


Ok, did some more film music and I used Octopus the FM synthesizer to lay out a sequence background, using as a default startup one of the sequencer presets. It’s easy to make really gritty and over-the-top sounds with FM synthesis, one has to be careful. I had to finally go in and tame the beast, change some of the operator settings and make things more mellow. Some like this kind of over-the-top FM modulations, other hate it. Hard to know. Best not to push the luck.

It’s usually easiest to just change the modulator frequencies or the filter settings in the FM synthesizer itself to tame it down. The second best is to play with the equalizer, try to find the spot where the overtones hit very high, and take this frequency down. This is where very good tools such as Elemental Audio InspectorXL comes to picture. I don’t use Inspector that much, but when I need it, it’s very handy. I could quickly narrow down the problematic frequencies.

Some have very good ears and could just by listening find the sore frequences. Me myself, I’m always surprised when I see inside Inspector where the problem frequencies really are manifest.

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