FM drum synthesis


I’m trying to build an FM percussive sound engine but with my limited knowledge, I end up with basic, lame sounding patches ad I feel like I’m going around in circles. The 2 Op Drum patch I found here is awesome but I was looking for something more basic, just a framework to get me started. Any help appreciated. Thanks a lot !


Having designed the 2 Op Drum module, I tend to think of it as being basic, but I can see how the multitude of parameters can be overwhelming.

The Basic building block is an envelope being sent to both the pitch and the amplitude of an oscillator, which is a basic tom sound. Then you add another oscillator modulating the first one in addition to the envelope to create some timbral variety.

FM drum basics.audulus (39.2 KB)

I would encourage you to mess around with the levels of the envelope and the pitch ranges being modulated. And of course feel free to ask if you have any questions.


Thank you. I’ll give it a shot !


Hey @Schafferdavid,

If you haven’t checked it out already, I would highly recommend you watch @robertsyrett’s YouTube series called Know Your Nodes. You can search the playlist and watch them one after another.

The one I have included above is really informative, and he goes over some of the basics of FM, which I had some trouble reconciling initially. Maybe this will help you in your search?

If you haven’t seen them, they are all worth watching, as they are super well done and you will walk away feeling like you understand things a lot better.

Robert is not really one to self promote, but check out any of his videos on there, and you will gain a better understanding of whatever the topic happens to be. I hope this helps too! :slightly_smiling_face: