When Propellerhead Software released their new PX7 FM synthesizer for Reason last fall, I bought it on sale because I fell in love with the sounds of my childhood. It comes with over 100,000 patches that are translated from the Yamaha DX7, and that’s great.
But there’s one small problem: I don’t know anything about programming an FM synthesizer. I understand the basic theory behind FM synthesis and how it works, but I don’t know how to turn that into PX7 patches that sound musical and not like train horns. Yes, I could just use the 100k I got from the Props, but I’d also like to make my own.
Someone on the Propellerhead User Forum suggested this book: “FM Theory and Applications by Musicians for Musicians,” by Dr. John Chowning and David Bristow, Yamaha, 1986. I went to my local library and requested a copy, and they got it through an interlibrary loan. It just came in today. Looking forward to reading it, and maybe untangling those FM mysteries.
Also, I’m really enjoying the sound design class on Coursera so far. It’s all pretty easy to understand and relatively straightforward. Some of it I already know, some I don’t.
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