PRO 2 FM capabilities? Melodically playable sounds?

The Dave Smith Instruments Pro 2 Analogue Synthesizer

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Bach
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PRO 2 FM capabilities? Melodically playable sounds?

Post by Bach » Fri Jan 30, 2015 6:41 pm

I was wondering how good the PRO 2 is at creating playable FM-type sounds with the lack of linear FM. Does the lack of linear FM mean that although you can create nice FM-type sounds; as soon as you play melodies with them on the keyboard, they don't react how one might desire?

Bach
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Re: PRO 2 FM capabilities? Melodically playable sounds?

Post by Bach » Sun Feb 01, 2015 9:43 pm

"The ability to apply linear FM on the Pro 2 is on our feature request list. I ,however, have no information as to when/whether this would be implementable."

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Daj
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Re: PRO 2 FM capabilities? Melodically playable sounds?

Post by Daj » Mon Feb 02, 2015 9:23 am

+1
Pro2, Tempest

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elmquist
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Re: PRO 2 FM capabilities? Melodically playable sounds?

Post by elmquist » Mon Feb 02, 2015 11:27 am

Bach wrote:"The ability to apply linear FM on the Pro 2 is on our feature request list. I ,however, have no information as to when/whether this would be implementable."
The best way to develop this feature - along with user wave shapes - is to develop it as a feature for a new instrument and then backport it to Prophet 12 and Pro2. Thereby DSI can feel that they get something for their effort as it was done while it had to be done anyway.

nd792001
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Re: PRO 2 FM capabilities? Melodically playable sounds?

Post by nd792001 » Wed Jul 08, 2015 6:31 am

Hi,

To chip in on this thread...

Situation: I have a new Pro2 and have been learning it over last few weeks. Been scratching my head on how to get musically usable results with the FM. It was clear that the FM implementation is different than in phase-modulation type synths (such as DX7 and softsynths like FM8, the latter of which I'm familiar with). From another thread (the "Pro2 vs Nord" discussion also on the forum), people who sound like they know more about synthesis than I do said the Pro12 and Pro2 have an old style "cross-modulation" implementation of FM vs. the phase modulation of DX7 etc.

Some findings: tweaking Pro2 FM settings a lot, I'm finding it REALLY helps to adjust the fine tuning of the modulator (for example, adjust fine tuning of Osc 2 to do FM on Osc 1). By tweaking the fine tuning, one can almost arbitrarily adjust the frequency of beats heard, and reach a sound that has a fairly stable timber when played on a single note (say C3) as well as up and down the keyboard. Before finding this method relying on adjusting fine tuning, I would basically program an FM sound that sounded good on a single note, but moving up or down the keyboard would destroy the timbre. By "fairly stable" I mean that audible beating can be reduced or eliminated, leaving only a slow moving phasing type sound; I haven't been able to get an adjustment so fine as to eliminate the phasing also. Please note, tweaking the fine tuning will work only if you've already dialed in the ratio of modulator to carrier frequencies (say at a 2:1 ratio such as C3:C2) and also adjusted the FM amount to get close to a musical and pleasing timbre. A further challenge resulting from this method of producing musical results is that the modulating oscillator is significantly detuned to the point where it is often best used as a modulator only and not also with an OSCLevel contributing to the combined output of all 4 oscillators -- in other words, you may effectively reduce your osc count from 4 down to 3 or 2 oscillators depending on how much FM with fine-tuned modulators you run. Lastly, modulating FM parameters (such as FM amount via Envelope or LFO) I find to be almost musically useless in the current implementation, whereas those types of modulation are a mainstay of phase-modulation patch programming.

Conclusion: I was <really> excited about the FM possibilities on Pro2 and am disappointed the implementation is not the very musically useful phase-modulation I'm more familiar with from FM8 and similar architectures. The Pro2's existing implementation may also be musically useful, but in different ways from phase modulation FM. Net net, I'm finding this implementation a limit on the usefulness of FM on Pro2, and assuming this implementation is the same on Pro12 and stays the same in the future, it's the main reason I'm not also interested in a Pro12. Yet all told, I'm still liking my Pro2 and think its quite deep in terms of sonic possibilities and has a range of powerful and pleasing sonic capabilities. It's a pretty bad ass synth IMO.

Requests: I would love if DSI folks or strong synth programmers from the forum would chip in some more ideas about how to use the as currently implemented FM in a variety of musical ways. Some descriptions plus patch examples would go a long way. Apologies if something of this sort already exists on the forum -- I"M not on a ton. As to the user request of "linear FM" vs "exponential FM" I really have no idea what this means technically or in terms of musical usability; to my mind the question is more around FM architecture/implementation of "cross-modulation" vs "phase modulation" synthesis. I would be thrilled if an updated Pro2 OS version had a highly usable phase-modulation architecture, or some other update on the current implementation to make the FM a really killer, very usable musical feature. Given the waveform set and huge options around modulation, great FM implementation would make for a nearly bottomless sound machine.

... but all told Pro2 still has many musical strengths, so I'll make the best of FM as it is, and look to plumb the other depths and capabilities of the instrument. Tunable feedback is very killer in many instances, and something I haven't seen anywhere else. So I still love you Pro2!

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BobTheDog
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Re: PRO 2 FM capabilities? Melodically playable sounds?

Post by BobTheDog » Wed Jul 08, 2015 7:27 am

DSI are currently getting linear FM working on the P12, I guess they are pretty close a couple of betas have been released and then pulled as they introduced other problems.

I am sure when this is working properly these changes will be ported to the P02.

owensands
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Re: PRO 2 FM capabilities? Melodically playable sounds?

Post by owensands » Wed Jul 08, 2015 6:06 pm

That would be sweet!

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Re: PRO 2 FM capabilities? Melodically playable sounds?

Post by Pym » Wed Jul 08, 2015 6:35 pm

Assuming there isn't a processor limitation we would like to bring this into the Pro2 as well but I can't say for certain right now
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Dave Smith Instruments

nd792001
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Re: PRO 2 FM capabilities? Melodically playable sounds?

Post by nd792001 » Thu Jul 09, 2015 3:28 am

+1 -- I would LOVE to have linear FM on Pro2. Don't own a P12 as yet but linear FM on that would make me much more interested.

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sbookholt
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Re: PRO 2 FM capabilities? Melodically playable sounds?

Post by sbookholt » Mon Jul 13, 2015 10:08 am

Yeah +1 for linear FM. Although it's fun to use the current FM implementation, it's hard to get useful sounds from it that track the keyboard well too. Hope this will make it some day in the p2.

jobinho
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Re: PRO 2 FM capabilities? Melodically playable sounds?

Post by jobinho » Sat Jan 23, 2016 11:17 pm

Yes please DSI! 'Linear FM' would enhance this synth no end.

Quite honestly I would buy a second unit just for home studio to tweak on. :lol:

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nielsd
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Re: PRO 2 FM capabilities? Melodically playable sounds?

Post by nielsd » Sun Jan 24, 2016 6:34 am

+1
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Signifier
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Re: PRO 2 FM capabilities? Melodically playable sounds?

Post by Signifier » Mon Jan 25, 2016 1:10 pm

Let's hope the OB-6 development does not hinder the Pro-2 update any more than is necessary

Bach
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Re: PRO 2 FM capabilities? Melodically playable sounds?

Post by Bach » Thu Jan 28, 2016 4:16 am

Signifier wrote:Let's hope the OB-6 development does not hinder the Pro-2 update any more than is necessary
This. PLEASE

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