Sort of a separate point and not directed at just you, but just to zoom out a bit from the FM conversation specifically: I’d urge people to remember that there are no rules with music unless you’re trying to achieve something specific. I love messing around and learning what works for my ears by doing. If your ear doesn’t like FM, don’t utilize FM. If your ear doesn’t like FM because you haven’t messed around with it enough, keep messing around with it.
Seconding this. This also is probably why I’ve been dissatisfied with my DPO… It seems almost entirely oriented towards FM but i was having trouble getting it to do anything that wasn’t a crazy sideband miasma. Looking forward to playing today!
I feel like I’ve unlocked an upgrade this afternoon. An hour ago “FM” was harsh and chaotic, but thanks to the kind folks here I’ve been able to dial in something that sounds like a Casio electric piano, then a marimba sound…
Now to figure out how to put Cold Mac back in to the patch.
I officially have two mangroves to play with, so this thread has been great, specifically the conversation around FM strategies from this morning. I have some sounds coming out of these things that I love.
I’m hoping someone can clarify this quoted text. Does this mean experiment with modulating barrel & formant on the carrier as opposed to the amount of modulated signal being applied to the carrier?
EDIT: or I guess it’s more like the patch described in the same post, where different manipulations of the same audio rate signal are being appleid to air, barrel & formant?
My understanding of that is: try sending the modulating oscillator’s formant output into the formant or barrel input of the carrier (rather than the FM input typical of a complex oscillator patch). Given that barrel and formant create pitch divisions it makes sense that it’d be within the wheelhouse of FM.
Haven’t tried it myself, should try that when I have my friend’s system next to mine…
General observation and not a criticism of our dear goose whose modules I’m obsessed with… But this is precisely the problem with tutorials, demos, and manuals that talk about making the FM. They fail to disambiguate the general from the specific.
Normally YouTube demos just do a “Pbbtbtbtbtbtbtbtbtbtb” sound and say what type of FM it is: linear or the other one. Ok? How can I make a piano sound then.
When Galapagoose posted that patch I could not discern the context. I assumed tuning the oscillators closely to each other was a specific instruction to achieve the patch, not a general guideline for doing an FM. I tried the patch but nothing happened.
I should produce a “Mangrove guide for busy middle-aged people.” Something like the doudoroff
Demos and manuals often assume that you already understand the general concept of something and just want to know about the specific implementation of this concept in the particular module they’re talking about. Even videos that pass as “tutorials” on youtube often make this assumption. I usually just try to find a book or article about the underlying principles and read that so that I have an understanding to then go explore with. For FM there’s Chownings “FM Theory and Applications”, which is full of decent explanations and Roads “Computer Music Tutorial”, which among a million other things also explains the basics of FM quite well. There’s probably a lot more good resources on the topic, but these are the two that came to mind.
Those books are good.
Learning is not always a straightforward path. It is sometimes an awkward process figuring out what you don’t know. It’s ok to be uncomfortable or frustrated.
Apart from checking the frequency ratio of both carrier and modulator oscillator and dialing in the right amount of modulation or a curve of FM depth modulation over time, classic FM tones are mostly done with pretty clean sine waves. While the main purpose of the Mangrove is not exactly delivering clean sine waves, I think.
Is STO a good pair for a Mangrove to act as modulator? I note many oscillators say they’re “triangle core” but STO has a sine out. I’m hesitant to stray too far from Mannequins or Make Noise—I don’t really know anyone else’s products except my digital osc Plaits—but if there’s a better clean sine option than STO I’m all ears.
I’ve used self oscillating ripples for a clean sine wave, sounds great fm-ing Mangrove, and can be FM-ed itself for even more fun - even try self-patching ripples to its own FM input
Before you consider an STO, do you have a self-oscillating filter?
will get you a sine wave you can modulate with the Mangrove.
EDIT: @xeric beat me to the punch
I’ll have to post a video later, but one thing I’ve had fun doing is having one Mangroves synced to the other, and then FM-ing the barrel output of the first Mangrove with the square output of the second. Then using my slewed sample-and-hold Teletype scene, have formant slowly shift over a couple of seconds on each new note, so I get shifting partials out of both oscillators for a few seconds, creating unpredictable two-note chords and melodies.
Apologies if this isn’t making sense, but I had a lot of fun jamming with this patch the past couple weeks
I’ve got Three Sisters obviously. People talk about self-oscillation with that one a lot. I tried it one time and it just sounded kind of bad. “Just ping it,” they say, but I have literally no idea what that means. I bought a filter, then people move the goalposts and say “oh I use it as a sound source”
Yes I think I follow you. Formant and Barrel are crystal fucking clear to me as panel controls but modulating them hasn’t been as rewarding as just doing Formant by hand. I’ll give it a try!
To ‘ping’ Three Sisters, you can send a gate or fast envelope into Quality. This will push the filter to resonate and you’ll hear sound.
Regarding a clean sine, does Plaits do that? Sine waves from digital oscillators should work well.
Ok got it. What am I doing with the rest of the ins/outs on Sisters?
Use the low output since that tracks best when feeding pitch cv into the v/8. That’s about it for a sine ping.
Pinging allows you to play the Three Sisters as an self contained oscillator without needing a VCA to lower and raise the volume. It is primitive if just using a gate into it. Nicola Ratti made a whole album pinging filters though.
If you just want to feed a sine into a Mangrove input, turn Quality all the way up and use the Low output if you’re using pitch cv into the Three Sisters.
I’ve had Three Sisters for several years and I’m still finding new things. You don’t have to use it as just a filter or oscillator, but it can be either.
Could you share some patch examples of this? Which inputs and outputs of Cold Mac are you using?
If you put it on the edge of oscillation - you can also get some nice sounds by sending gates into the various inputs!