FM Drum


The Im­pact’s FM Drum chan­nel uses fre­quency mo­du­la­tion to cre­ate per­cus­sion sounds with ex­tra com­plex­ity. This uses two os­cil­la­tors, the car­rier – the main sound you hear – and the mod­u­la­tor, an au­dio rate sig­nal which mod­u­lates the fre­quency of the car­rier when the FM Amt ro­tary is turned up. With­out FM en­gaged, the FM Drum sounds much like a high tom, handy for sim­ple top-end per­cus­sion hits. Di­al­ing in mo­du­la­tion makes things much more in­ter­est­ing though; al­low­ing for dis­cor­dant hits, clan­gor­ous tones and dark FM bass throbs. The FM Drum has a de­cay ro­tary too, which lets it range from short per­cus­sive knocks to longer synth hits. Sadly, how­ever, you can’t se­quence or au­to­mate the pitch. The lack of CC con­trol or au­to­ma­tion over­all is less bother­some, but the FM Drum re­ally misses it. The drum sounds best when you start tweak­ing the pitch of the two os­cil­la­tors as a se­quence plays, and it’d be good to do this au­to­mat­i­cally. An ex­pres­sion/CV in­put for ei­ther car­rier or mod­u­la­tor pitch would’ve been great. Al­ter­na­tively, pitch se­quenc­ing would let us use the FM Drum as a ba­sic synth; it’s a shame that’s not an op­tion.

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