FM8 Tutorial

FM8 Explained®

  4.8   (17)  - log in to review
20 Videos | Length: 3hr 11min 51sec
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Chapter 1 : Basics

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    Native Instruments FM8 is one of the most powerful and versatile soft synths on the market. It's primarily a frequency modulation synthesize,r but it can also be used as a subtractive and an additive synth as well. Over the course of these tutorial videos we're going to look in-depth at every page and every parameter leaving no stone unturned, so that by the end you are an FM8 expert!

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    In this video we'll launch FM8 in stand-alone mode and make sure the audio and MIDI settings are set up correctly. We'll then take a brief tour of the synth, examine every page and I'll explain in general terms what everything does.

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    The Browser & Attributes

    In this video we'll learn how to navigate the browser effectively and find the sound we're looking for. We'll learn how to import SYSEX files (I'll explain what one of those is!) and we'll also look at using attributes to categorize our patches effectively and make them easier to find in the browser.

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    The Master Page

    The Master Page contains a lot of global settings which will come in really handy when we come to designing our FM8 patches. In this video we'll go through every knob and button on the Master page so you know exactly what each one does.

Chapter 2 : Effects and Arpeggiator

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    FM8 contains a whole suite of effects which we can use to process our patches. In this video, we'll explore each effect and I'll explain what every parameter does. We'll also look and learn how to call up effect templates as well as saving our own templates.

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    The Arpeggiator

    This is one of the most fun aspects of FM8. In this video we'll learn how to use the various perimeters of the arpeggiator to produce many different rhythmic patterns from melodic broken chords sequences to squelch 303 style lines to retro Chiptune riffs!

Chapter 3 : Hard and Easy

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    Introduction to Expert Mode

    In this video we'll take our first look at expert mode. We'll establish the fundamental principles behind FM synthesis and learn how we can use operators as carriers and modulators to alter the timbre and amplitude of our sound.

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    Easy/Morph Page

    In this video we'll learn how we can use the Easy/Morph page to radically change our patches as well as other peoples. By using the simple parameters in Easy/Morph, we can make changes to complex sounds in a matter of seconds. We'll also take our first look at the X Y morph pad.

Chapter 4 : Operators and Envelopes

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    Operators Pt. 1

    In this video we'll return to expert mode and take a closer look at our operators. Explore in depth everything our standard operators, A - F are capable of, how we can route them using the FM matrix and we'll also take an in depth look at operator X.

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    Operators Pt. 2

    Continued from Operators Part 1.

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    Envelopes Pt. 1

    In this video we'll take our first look at FM8's very sophisticated envelopes. We'll see how we can use them to create innovative warping textures and looping patterns. We'll also have a look at the envelopes in FM8's Keyscale page.

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    Envelopes Pt. 2

    Continued from Envelopes Part 1.

Chapter 5 : Advanced Synthesis and Routing

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    The Modulation Matrix & LFOs

    In this video we'll explore the modulation matrix. We'll see how we can route modulation from a variety of different sources to our operators and how we can use LFOs to control parameters and give our patches a more natural performance feel.

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    FM8 as a Subtractive Synth

    FM8 is not just an FM Synthesizer. in this video we'll take an in depth look at Operator Z and learn how we can use FM8 as a powerful subtractive synth.

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    Routing External Audio into FM8

    In this video we'll see how by using FM8 as an effect plug-in within our DAW, we can use FM8's suite of effects to process external audio. We'll also see how we can use external audio to module FM8's operators as well as using operators to modulate our incoming audio.

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    The XY Morph Pad In-Depth

    The XY Morph Pad is a feature of FM8 which allows us to morph between different settings and can be a fantastic tool for creative sound design. In this video we'll explore the possibilities of the morph pad and learn which perimeters can be morphed and which can't.

Chapter 6 : Sound Design

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    Boards of Canada-esque Pad

    FM Synthesis is often associated with very harsh digital sounds, but FM8 can also produce very warm analog-like tones. In this video we'll use FM8 to create a warm, detuned, Boards of Canada-esque synth pad.

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    Synth Drums in FM8

    FM8 is a really versatile synth. As well as melodic synths, FM8 can also produce percussive drum like sounds. In this video we'll create a synthesized Kick, Snare, Hi-Hat and Tom all using only FM8.

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    Dubstep Bass in FM8 Pt. 1

    FM8 can produce some very hard, aggressive, abrasive and complex sounds which are perfect for Dubstep. In this video we'll make five devastating bass patches as well as a sub bass patch.

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    Dubstep Bass in FM8 Pt. 2

    Continued from Dubstep Bass in FM8 Part 1.

Product Overview

Unleash the true power of Native Instrument's FM8 virtual synth! FM8 master Al Swettenham breaks this monster synth down, step by step, so you can grasp the amazing power and creativeness of FM synthesis.

Al begins with the important basics such, as an introduction to the synth, a detailed overview and how to use the main Browser & Attributes page as well as the Master page. Next, Al jumps into FM8's powerful effects and arpeggiator and introduces you to "Expert Mode" as well as the "Easy / Morph" page. Al then reveals the Operators and Envelopes sections, advanced synthesis and routing and finishes up with custom FM8 sound design.

If you use Native Instruments FM8 for your productions, get the most out of it and see how truly powerful it really is. Tune-in to the wonderful world of FM synthesis... Watch "FM8 Explained" today.

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FM8 Explained® is rated 4.8 out of 5 by 17 .
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Good tutorial, well delivered This tutorial is very good, well structured, it covers all FM8 features, and it's well delivered.
Date published: 2021-07-06
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from If you want to get the next level, you need FM8! FM synthesis is a fascinating but somewhat complex subject. Thanks for this FM8 course, now it becomes more clear for me. Clear and helpful explanations, and also a lot of fun!
Date published: 2021-01-25
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Another fantastic tutorial! I've seriously learned so much over the last few months and its mind blowing! thanks again for adding to my musical knowledge!
Date published: 2020-10-28
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from I can create sounds in FM8 NOW!! AI Swettenham is really a great instructor. I was very frustrated and overwhelmed by the look of the synth's GUI and didn't know from where to start exactly. Now, I can easily differentiate between each section and area in the synth and know how they are interrelated. Finally! I no longer have to rely on factory presets only. Creating sound became my dopamine addiction!! Thanks AI Swettenham :)
Date published: 2020-10-21
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Just Right This is the best FM8 tutorial I’ve come across so far. It played right to my weaknesses and coincidentally answered my most pressing questions, mostly to do with modulation and operator Z. Highly recommended all around.
Date published: 2019-01-21
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Really helpful I've just obtained FM8 and this course really helped me get started with it.
Date published: 2019-01-02
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Very Good. I felt daunted by FM8 and its apparent complexity. But this tutorial explains very well each feature in a pleasant way. Thank you very much.
Date published: 2018-06-17
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Excellent Presentation I am just now digging into all the NI Synths that are included in the Komplete 11 Bundle. I needed an introductory course to the FM8 and this by far exceeded my expectations. Thank you!
Date published: 2018-02-10
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Eye opening Tutorial This Course was a great eye opener for a FM8 which i usually only used for pads... Wow did i learn SO much. Thank you for this.
Date published: 2017-12-25
Rated 4.5 out of 5 by from I like Straight forward and simple
Date published: 2017-09-05
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Good for beginners of fm synthesis It's easy to follow if you are trying to learn fm synthesis
Date published: 2017-08-04
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Fantastic! Thank you for creating this. It's so thorough, and fun.
Date published: 2017-07-03
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Brilliant. Clear and easily understandable. This is easily the best tutorial on FM8 that I have seen so far.
Date published: 2017-03-18
Rated 4.0 out of 5 by from Thorough and practical, highly recommended ! Thorough and practical, highly recommended ! Thorough and practical, highly recommended !
Date published: 2017-02-24
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from Excellent Tutorials ! Loved this tutorial, very well explained, makes difficult concepts easy to understand.
Date published: 2016-11-25
Rated 2.0 out of 5 by from Can't handle this guys voice. I really tried to get thru this one. But the guys' voice just gets on my nerves after a while :( I managed to get thru the absynth one, but couldnt do this. Great teacher, but the voice is truly hard to listen to. It kind of sounds like he's panicking. An update would ensure my subscription.
Date published: 2016-11-20
Rated 5.0 out of 5 by from You get all you need to master the FM8! As I wrote in the title you get all you need to master the FM8. The course does a good describing of FM synthesis too. Recommended!
Date published: 2016-05-10
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