FM Synthesis in Sylenth1

Although Sylenth1 might seem like a quite simple synthesiser, there a more things you can do with sylenth then you might think!

One of these things is creating cool and interesting sounds by using FM Synthesis techniques.

In this video I am showing you how you can crate some cool sounds using FM synthesis:

Sylenth is of course not ideal when it comes to creating fm sounds. There are synthesisers and plug-ins specifically designed for this job. For example Yamahas DX7 and the plug in emulation FM8 by Native Instruments. There are also some subtractive Synths out there that have some FM option integrated like Massive, Diva. So these synths are better for FM synthesis when it comes down to it.

But making most out of your plug ins can be a cool thing to do, so I think it can make sense to come up with some fm sounds in sylenth even though options are limited.

How you can use fm synthesis in sylenth1

Fm Synthesis is basically altering the frequency content of a wave by modulating its frequency with some source. In sylenth1 you can do this by modulating the pitch of an oscillator with a LFO. LFOs are low frequency oscillators and in sylenth they can only create a frequency up to 192hz. but thats not that much of a big deal since you also use slow modulators or in fm language “operators”. For example if you create FM bass sounds at low ratios.

The bigger problem is the fact that the rate of the LFO is fixed. In proper FM synths the modulating frequency changes based on the frequency of the carrier (in this case the oscillator) and always maintains a certain ratio. In sylenth there is no way to do that. The only way you can create a somewhat more dynamic LFO rate is by using one of the misc modulators and choosing keytracking and your source to modulate the LFO rate. This will change the LFO rate according to what note you are playing on your keyboard, but not necessarily maintain a certain ratio between lfo rate and the oscillators frequency.

Ones you have this set up, you can create some wicked sounds by altering the rate, LFO and oscillator waveforms, the modulation depths and keys you are playing on your keyboard. The cool thing about this set up is that you can create very interesting and unpredictable sounds in very short amount of time. You can create cool bell sounds, bass sounds and many more which you can of course also sample and the process further.

Feel free to comment on the video for any questions you have!