Elektron Digitone - Ultimate Guide to FM Synthesis


The video was removed by the user… :frowning:
I was actually hoping to find out today if FM is the addition of signals or multiplication?
Or is is technically both? This is what I am having trouble understanding.
FM Test.audulus (6.6 KB)

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In what sense? Like any modulation except ring modulation, you are adding a signal to the frequency of the note you are playing.


Thanks for the quick reply! I mean as far as math expressions in Audulus, is it a or b in my example, or both, or neither (all seem possible, as it is quite probable that I have misunderstood how to represent it)? Did you happen to see my example patch?

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I checked out the patch. The easiest way to explain it is that regular oscillators don’t go to 0 Hz unless you power them off. In Audulus though the starting frequency is 0 Hz and you add to it to modulate the frequency.

You might be thinking that you are multiplying that signal by some value, what’s that about? That would be the index of modulation.

So to review, modulation is added to the frequency but modulatibe by ±1 Hz isn’t that amazing most of the time so we multiply the signal by an index amount.

Fm demo patch.audulus (124.0 KB)


Weird wonder why! Here’s another good one by loopop, which does some great gear stuff:


Apparently she was getting trolled in the comments and thought it would be better to shelve the channel for a while. Oh the perils of the internet…

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Jeeeeze…what was her name? I just saw it pop up on Reddit and didn’t pay attention to the channel name.

Also, I honestly had the thought while I was watching, “Man, finally there are some women doing nice long in depth gear reviews!” I thought she did an amazingly thorough job.

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Pax_Libertas I am pretty sure, same as her reddit user name. I was curious too so I messaged her.

I am also pretty fond of the faux videogame music she was making too. It kind of inspired the animation over hardware jam format of “Overhead Vibes.”

Hopefully she’ll get back to posting online soon.

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What’s the deal with the sausage party in this whole modular synthesis thing? Any thoughts? Am I imagining this divide? Girls round these parts were equal, if not better, at math in school. So I don’t think that’s it. Girls appreciate music just the same… So that’s not it. Same goes for making music. But it’s like females gravitate towards acoustic/organic means of creating music. Is it a maternal singing lullabies to a baby thing I wonder? Or a societal conditioning thing? I bring this up because I’d like to see more girls post here.

I think it’s a two-pronged thing. Historically, the way our school systems structurally tend to push women away from engineering and other sciences contributes some to this - there’s definitely some gendering of instruments, at least when I was growing up, like it was “gay” if a guy played piccolo, French horn, or sometimes even violin, and it was also “gay” if a woman wanted to play percussion, trombone, or even sax, let alone the tuba. You also see more women playing ukes or acoustic guitar rather than electric guitar, though that’s changing recently.

So modular synths were seen as a kind of “techy” thing and thus the “domain of men.” If it’s self-segregating (women decide themselves they wouldn’t be into it) then I’m sure for some women it’s a part of the structural sexism in education.

As a subset of that, too, there are more men who have electronics as a hobby, and modular synths aren’t too long gone from the days where you basically had to DIY everything if you wanted a modular synth. Not saying women can’t DIY or aren’t into electronics, but back in the day, it wasn’t encouraged or expected of women (or actively discouraged) to get into electrical engineering or even hobby soldering. For keyboard synths, though, especially ones like the Korg Triton, I’m sure they sold more to women than the average selling is for modular synths.

This is all just conjecture - never read any studies about it, but it’s an informed hypothesis at least. And of course I’m not denying the rich history of women in synthesis, this is just to say for the general public some reasons there might have been a barrier to entry.

A much, much bigger reason is simply that men harrass women out of this hobby. I’ve spoken to many women into modular synthesis, and what they say happens is either they’re condescended to, or harassed openly, or they’re getting creepy PMs from guys who see the one woman on the forum and decide they need to make a move on them. So basically they’re more into it than everyone realizes, but they end up being forum lurkers or just watch videos on YouTube without commenting on them or making them themselves.

According to our stats on Instagram, 10% of our audience are women/girls, and yet that % isn’t reflected in our forum. I wish we could do something to change that proactively, but I don’t know what it would be. It’s not a bad idea to mention that we have a zero tolerance policy for harrassment on this forum, so if any women here have had problems with men like that, let me know and we’ll deal with it swiftly.

Be careful about drawing conclusions or even conjecturing stuff like that. That’s the kind of thing a woman might read and be like “Is this guy for real?” There are more differences within the sexes than between them.

*girls and women, lol - don’t lump them together :slight_smile: We’re definitely welcome to having young people on this forum (with parents’ permission if you’re under 13), but we’d also like adult people on it as well.

I find it quite easy to find and enjoy female electronic music composers. Generally I am not alarmed by large groups of men who like synthesizers, but I suppose if they do present a problem I would say it’s no different to any sort of group that is in an echo chamber.

I think it is preferable to be proactive in my personal listening habits than it is to be proscriptive of others behavior. Obviously it’s wise to not harass people, but I don’t think attempting to socially engineer a 50% female synthesizer user base would be a good idea. There is too much weirdness in the human condition to think I have the answers. To sum it up, be nice.

I agree with the heart behind your post, but what you said above is ignoring that the lack of balance in the modular synth community is something that was engineered. If someone claimed it wasn’t, it would be like they were saying there’s something essential about men and women that makes them like or not like modular synths.

It was unconsciously engineered by the culture at large, unconsciously engineered by men who unconsciously talk to women differently when on synth forums, and consciously engineered by men who harass women out of the conversation. The last of those three might be the least of them by numbers, but they have a disproportionate impact, and it’s why we have a zero tolerance policy for harassment.

So my point is if we do nothing proactive, then the status quo stays. What I personally do and what I hope other people do is see women in their lives that might be into modular synthesis and introduce it to them in a non-condescending way as a cool hobby to be into. The other way I can personally do it is give out free codes to cool lady musicians I see around and hope they tell their friends. What I hope to do more of is helping programs like www.girlsrocknc.org in whatever way we can as a synth company.

In short, I don’t necessarily disagree with you, just that “being nice” is the least anyone can do to help change this. If 98% of the people are nice, then the 2% of not-nice but prolific commenters can definitely spoil the bunch. It’s a conversation that’s been done time and time again in all the synthesizer Facebook groups, for example.

There are things we can do if we want to to make synthesizers a more inclusive hobby, and it’s not a bad idea, for example, to do some outreach in schools and make sure you take an extra second to let the girls know it’s not just a boy activity like you sometimes have to do when introducing something to a large group.

In short, it’s a complex problem and if everyone just decided to do nothing be be nicer to one another or listen to more female artists, it wouldn’t get solved as quickly as it could if we all brainstormed ideas, with a heavy dose of listening to women synth artists and asking what helped them or would have helped more, and then execute those ideas.

It’s also totally fine to feel like it’s not your fight to take up, too, as long as not too much energy is spent arguing about whether or not this is an actual issue that should be addressed.

The whole “be carefuleful” thing:

I don’t mean to generalize and say these things are facts. Not at all. I’m not trying to say that girls are just good at singing lullabies. What I am trying to do is bring forth stereotypical ideas and challenge them. Pull them apart. Analyze them. Ask why. Ask others why. Discuss. Look for solutions. Make a plan. Organize… It’s like me asking why males should sing in the lower ranges. Is it because we need to be intimidating as if wardancing all the time? Or asking why males shouldn’t be go-go dancers. Is it that we should be playing football and running into each-other insted? I think girls/women/females, whatever, should think and do whatever they want. And I think males should be the same way. Who is to say what the right way to do things are? Mind your own business. If you don’t like the way I do things, stop watching, leave, or talk to me about it. I’ll leave it at that for now.

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Word I getcha :slight_smile:

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I wasn’t aware I was being mean (well the music I post does have some bite though). Maybe “sausage party” was the wrong term to use. It’s a figure of speech. I should of just said something more like “why don’t females post here”. Bad delivery. My bad. I don’t want to harass people, or this forum. I like it here. I respect the work that is being done here. I appolgize if I have been being too prolific. I’ll lay low for a bit (after I finish one kick patch tonight) and let the dust settle.

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I don’t think I or Robert thought you were being mean at all. I also didn’t think you were saying anything wrong per se. I thought you phrased a couple things a little carelessly, but it’s clear where your heart’s at and where you’re coming from. Sorry for the miscommunication! This kinda stuff is always easier to hash out in person :slight_smile:


It’s all about communication. And learning to communicate with new people. There is a “get to know you” period for sure.