Anyone disliked FM at first but changed their opinion after getting the Digitone?

Basically what the title says. I don’t particulary find FM synthesis interesting from what I hear online, in line with the sound I’d like to achieve, but I know that it is deep and create some unique sounds. From an ambient/drone standpoint, a mildly capable subtractive synth with good fx and lots of modulation seems to be the most convenient way. I wanted to ask to those who were in the same position, did you have a change of heart after getting the DN? Do you have positive experiences with creating smooth pads or drone sounds? I love the video by Oscillator Sink but other than that, most of the tutorials show metallic leads or hard-to-tame, piercing highs. The sound I am aspiring after is similar to that of Biosphere, Steve Roach, Celer, Oophoi etc. Therefore I am also considering getting a Hydrasynth Desktop+Keystep 37, as an addition to my DT. Any input will be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

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Digitone isn’t a typical FM synth IMHO, it can do nice smooth sounds using the filters which isn’t traditionally what you’d associate with FM, I also feel that it does not do those grainy hard DX/TX style sounds as well as other FM synths, although it can get most of the way there it is a bit cleaner.


Do you put too much effort into taming the sound when you are creating your own patches? With subtractive synthesis, I think you are putting more of the effort to make it sound in line with your style, not make it listenable, which seems to be case for some harsh fm synthesis engines. I don’t know if that’s the case with the Digitone but I really like to avoid that for creating basic pads every single time.

I felt the same way … I was absolutely not sure whether it was the right decision to order the DN. Now it is by far my favorite synth. one of my videos as an example?


The Digitone has blown me away since I got it… I adore the sounds from it.

I can’t imagine how anyone who knows how to get sounds they like from any synth would struggle to be inspired by the DN, it’s superb.


i totaly agree

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This is really good stuff, I think I already watched a couple of your videos before. Keep up the great work!

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thanks a lot !!

Get a Digitone


It‘s easy to create smooth sounds on the DN. Imo that is what it‘s best at.
Just keep the fm amount low. And use the super nice sounding filter.
An advantage for pads and drones of fm also is, that there are more interesting modulation destinations.

On the flipside, I sometimes think that it lacks some punch most yamaha fm synths seem to have.


If you don’t like the sounds of FM synthesis, or if you think they wouldn’t fit to your musical style, don’t bother to get one, until this changes. IMO the sound should be the most important thing to consider.

The DN isn’t as complicated to operate as other FM synths might seem at first glance, but IMO it sounds like a typical FM synth … many of the FM timbres are possible, easy to create, and of hight audio quality.

To use the DN as a “virtual analogue” is possible in some way, but I have it for its FM character and I love it. For “analogue sounds” I tend to use other gear.

Yep … why dig FM synthesis, if subtractive is giving you, what you need.

We can do ambient/drone etc. with the DN … but we have to change, how we think about creating the sounds, because it’s FM after all :wink:

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Digitone sounds lovely. It’s amazing for pads, arps and all sorts of melodic shit.

I always struggled with the low end, I find it lacks a little bit of punch and presence in the lower couple of octaves. I thought it sounded really FM until I played it next to a DX7, then the differences became apparent. The Digitone is very lush and smooth and I’d recommend it to anyone, I think it’s great, but the DX7 just has this almost acoustic depth to it and a much rounder, fuller low end that makes it perfect for more acoustic sounding patches as well as the usual pads and leads and stuff. Also, Digitone doesn’t yet do fixed frequency operators, so you have to waste an LFO for vibrato sounds, but as it has 4 operators, not 6 this feels like a fair omission. Also, this is more than made up for with the ability to cross-fade between the two operator paths, which I believe is unique to the Digitone.

One area where the Digitone kicks the shit out of most FM Synths is percussion sounds. It makes fantastic percussion sounds. If you find it lacks a certain grit, you can always grit it up with something like the Analog Heat or whatever.

The genius of the Digitone is that you can go for pure FM kinda sounds or just treat it as a subtractive synth with a really complex oscillator.



I go back & forth trying to decide on getting another DN, but when i’m in the mood to do so i always watch your videos for inspiration.

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Great advice, thank you!

I didn’t like FM because of the harshness and metallic aspects,…the classic thing.
And as i’ve damaged my hearing with a bad manipulation long time ago, i’m always cautious with high frequencies.
So FM was out of the equation for anything.

Last year, I was ready to get my first real synth.
At that time I started to play “Hyper Light Drifter” and was blown away by Disasterpeace’s music. That’s also when i found Ivar Tryti’s channel and i suddenly decided that i was going to get a Digitone instead of any analog synth.

So it was a bit of a gambling, but after a very short time spent with it, i knew that it was one of the best decisions i’ve ever made in my life.
I’m still learning the machine and the synthesis but the joy i get from creating sounds with it is gigantic.

So yeah, the metallic hear piercing sounds are what you will get out of it with no efforts.
But you will enter lush territories when you’ll learn how to tame the beast and the most delicate sounds can be found with fine tweaks.

The Digitone made me pretty obsessed with FM because of it’s sonic possibilities and the emotions i get when i create a sound, especially with the happy accident factor.

To conclude, i can safely say that i’ll get a second Digitone one day, just to be sure to have a back up unit in case…


Totally agree with OP. Before DN came along, my impression of FM (or PM technically) was horrible glassy and bell-like sounds from the 80s. DN has a fantastic range and it gave me the ideas/skills to take it further elsewhere. I highly doubt I would be using FM/PM within Bitwig’s The Grid were it not for discovering the fantastic DN in the first place.


The Digitone is an incredible synth and well worth the purchase. The sound design aspect alone is worth the cost.


I too have tinnitus and have extreme sensitivity towards high frequencies, thus I am wary of getting a device that would not leave me trying to tame resonances for long hours only to feel drained to make music thereafter. However it was great to hear that it was not your experience at all. People also seem to have experienced ear fatigue with Hydrasynth, but it might just be anectodal, you never know.

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I think the thing with the Digitone is it sounds harsh if you want it to sound harsh. It was pretty rare that I’d be tinkering and accidentally make sounds that were full of harsh resonances.