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The Modulator or modulation oscillator is really what's going to create the character of the sound. So essentially what's happening is the Modulator is just an oscillator, very much like the Carrier, and instead of sending a signal to the Amplifier, it's sending a signal to the Carrier. So it's modulating the pitch of this Carrier oscillator, but instead of it doing it at a low frequency, it's doing it at a very high rate. So when I play a note on my keyboard here, so I will play an A, so that's 220 hertz, and then my Carrier is set to a ratio of 1. Notice so is the Modulator.
So what that means is that this Modulator is going to be modulating the pitch of the Carrier 220 times a second. And in order to make that happen, I'm going to use this FM Intensity control to adjust the amount of modulation. (music playing) Turn this up. You can see that the waveform starts to change. When I have this at a low level we can see it starts to look more like a sawtooth waveform just a little bit, and as I increase it, it really becomes different. If you look at our EQ Analyzer we can see there is a lot more harmonic components. And as I increase the Intensity, there's even more.
The sound becomes a bit more harsh as well. (music playing) So that's really what's happening. It's just a pitch modulation. So you might think, well, why not just use an LFO, like a more simple way of doing that? So let's take a look at what happens when we use the LFO to modulate the pitch. So down here in EFM1 we have this LFO section. It can be used to create vibrato, which is pitch modulation. So I will do that. I'm going to take this control and move it a bit to the left.
(music playing) So you can hear the pitch is now vibrating. I can control the rate with the Rate knob, so we can have it be pretty slow or faster. So let's increase the intensity of this modulation. So there is a pretty wide range of pitches. Now if I increase the Rate, and I get past to a certain point, like about 20 hertz, it doesn't really sound like a pitch-shift anymore.
It's more of a texture or a timbre change. You can see also the waveform is much different, and if you look at the EQ Analyzer, there is also a lot more harmonics. There is even sub-harmonics that are happening below the fundamental. (music playing) So that's basically FM synthesis. But when I try to play notes in the keyboard, so I play chromatically-- (music playing) It doesn't really track all that well, so it's not as musically useful.
So if I reset this, whole reason this Modulator uses the harmonic tuning system is so that we can control the pitch modulation so it's musically relevant. So when I have this fast modulation that's going on, so 220 times a second because I am playing A 220 hertz, and so I'll play some notes on the keyboard. (music playing) So no problems tracking pitch, definitely musically useful. So that's why this harmonic tuning system is great.
And one thing that's really going to affect the character of the sound is the relationship, or the ratio, between the harmonics of the Modulator and the Carrier. So right now we have a one-to-one relationship. So if I set the Modulator to a different ratio. (music playing) You can hear it changes the timbre of the sound a bit. It's still pretty constant sound. (music playing) So that kind of relationship has a pretty constant sound, and it's just-- depending on what the harmonic is set to, so if I've got a harmonic of 7, so the 7th harmonic, it's going to bring out that range of frequencies in the Carrier, in the modulation.
(music playing) So the fundamental pitch isn't changing and we're still getting all this texture that's happening. (music playing) We can hear the emphasis of the sound is higher in the higher harmonics. (music playing) So if I want to make a more metallic or dissonant sound then I can adjust the fine-tuning of the Modulator. (music playing) So it still tracks pitch fine, but it's a little bit more of an edgy, industrial kind of sound.
It's harder to hear exactly what the pitch is. So if I set that back, another way we can actually create some radical change with this is if I change the wave shape of the Modulator. So I will go ahead and set this harmonic to 1, so we've got a one-to-one relationship. Turn down the level of modulation, so just a little bit. Now I will adjust the wave shape of the Modulator. So by default, or if you have it all the way to the left, it's going to be a sine wave. So it's a sine wave modulating another sine wave. If I change this, some different waveforms, it really changes the character of the sound.
(music playing) Then if I also adjust the amount of FM Intensity-- (music playing) --I get a wide range of sounds. Here I will play an octave lower. (music playing) So you can almost get any texture you can imagine when you start changing the wave shape and you try to balance the amount of FM intensity.
So I definitely recommend playing around with that, because you will discover a lot of things in that process. Next, let's take a look at how we can shape the sound further with the Modulation envelope and then Volume envelope as well.
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