New to FM synthesis, looking at purchasing digitone

Hi everyone, as someone completely new to fm synthesis, I was looking at getting a digitone. I was wondering if it’s possible to do these things on it:

Create 2 saw waves, one an octave higher than the other. Slightly detune them, Phase set to random for both. Unison set to 3, narrow pan and a low unison pitch. Through a low pass filter with a short decaying envelope.

If it is possible, could someone walk me through, how to do this on the digitone?

That sounds a bit like sub synthesis, do you really want an fm?

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I’m looking at trying to try and replicate the pulsating synth sound that comes in at 1:10.

I was told that it sounds like fm, due it it having a very metallic tone to it. No idea. I’m just starting to get into synthesis myself.

And I was wondering if the Digitone, can make a lead sound like that?

Korg opsix boss.

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If any sound designers on this forum can help, and this lead part can be replicated using any analog synth, I’d still pickup a Digitone. I just asked a guy, who said it has an FM characteristic tone.

Do you mean that plucked percussive sound, which is played at different pitches and seems to be a little rough and springy, and becomes from dull to quite bright?

My first impression is that the sound is played through a filter, which is opening slowly to the beat.

The source could be a sample or a string-patch with some processing, it could also come from FM.

IMO this sound could be patched with FM, at least very close to the audio example. FM is well suited for metallic, wooden, and springy sounds. It would be worth to try it with 2 or 3 operators, simple waveforms like sine or triangle, and some creative modulation. This said, the Digitone might be able to re-create a very similar sound.

This is not how typical FM sounds are created, this is typical for subtractive syntheses. With subtractive synthesis a plucked string sound is easy to achieve. Slightly Detuning saw wave oscillators and set their phases would not create the timbre of the example. It would thicken the sound, like many voices of singers would create a choir.


Yes you can do that, kind of. With DN you can get saw tooth like waveform with modulator-carrier pair with ratios set 1.0 (or 0.5 0.25, as long as theyre the same). So algoritm 3 (if i remember correctly, the one where a modulates c and b2 modulates b1), set ratios to 1.0 1.0 2.0 and 2.0, mix to 0, some detune on b1 and b2, set levels by ear. Filter has an envelope so that can be done. Panning is possible with lfo set to random waveform and sample and hold (modulating panning). And its possible to set three voices in unison and control their detuning. Only thing that would leave something to be desired are the sawtooth waveforms. They get close to real sawtooth but hard to dial in just perfectly. Filter luckily hides that quite well so it shouldn be a problem. Hope this helps!

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That’s exactly the sound I’m talking about in the song, the plucked lead sound, that starts out muffled, and then opens up.

Before you buy a Digitone just for this one sound, I would recommend to try it on some software FM synth first to be sure. Maybe you have one on your computer already …

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How close is Sytrus in FL studio, to Digitone? Regarding what you can do? If I could make the sound in that, then, would digitone be able to make it? Sytrus is FM, I think, is it not?

The Sytrus supports FM, indeed.

From a first look … the Sytrus should be a good starting point. As far as I understand the interface (from an image of their web-site only), all of the operators can be connected to modulate each other very flexible. I own the FM8 and it seems to be quite the same architecture and flexibility, so I would say, yes the Sytrus should be capable to generate such a sound.

Now one thing has to be considered at least. The DN has four operators only and there are predefined “algorithms”. Any algorithm defines the configuration of the operators and herewith, how the modulations can be applied, and they can’t be changed. This said, we could easily create on the Sytrus a configuration of four operators, which would not translate to the DN.

If you like to give it a try on the Sytrus and because your’e starting out to become a FM user, I would recommend just start as simple as possible on the Sytrus, and if you like a sound, compare the Sytrus configuration of operators to the algorithms of the DN and maybe you find something similar.

If you are used to FM, you might easily guess, which of the DN algorithms could be useful for the sound of the example above, re-built it with the Sytrus, give it a try, and later re-buit the Sytrus patch on the DN.

I hope this was not too confusing … and TL;DR :wink:


Buying a Digitone, or any other decent synth, to get 1 sound like you’re after here, is like buying a car because you want the cigarette lighter.

That sound is nothing out of the ordinary and you could get close to it with the DN or multiple others… but understand what it does fully and figure out if that’s for you first.

I had no real FM experience before getting my Digitone, but roughly knew what I wanted and that it would act as a 4-part sound module if I needed it…and honestly, it is SO much better than I thought it was going to be, one of my favourite buys now.


I own a DN and Sytrus, they are worlds apart in sound. The architecture is also quite different, i would say there are things you could do with Sytrus that can’t be done on a DN. And due to the Elektron sequencer, things the DN can do that Sytrus can not.

If you check the presets by seamlessR in Sytrus, most of the vowel / growl dubstep type basses are not possible on the DN…as there are many more possibilities with the matrix style “cross modulating” FM of the operators that is part of the architecture of the plugin…

The DN is more like a TX81Z or DX, …and has 8 fixed algorithm that govern how the operators feedback into each other, each algorithm is employed for different musical outcomes you want to achieve, many things are capable, but the algorithms are fixed and definitely not as infinitely flexible as a matrix that allows any operator to mod any other operator in the matrix by a positive or negative amount. It really can get out of hand and turn into digital noise very quickly though…

The DN is an excellent synth, and i think it would be very capable of the sound example you gave due to the fact it has a filter you could open up…but you could also get this sound from a virus or blofeld just as easy as they allow cross modulation of the frequency of the oscillators, but are not actual FM architecture synths, but subtractive synths that allow frequency modulation of the oscillators/wavetables…if that helps…but probably not…

EDIT:Actually by the time it took me to type this i can see @SoundRider has said exactly the same thing…