PreenFM 2

Amazing little synth, isn’t it ?

Yes!! Sounds amazing and is very fast to use.
My one issue is the whining from the LED screen leaks into the audio path…

[MODERATOR EDIT : too PreenFM-specific conversation from “Is this FM?” thread was moved here…]

I like PreenFM2 ! (VanDaal is currently selling one — new+assembled— for 265€ btw)
The form factor makes it hard to have plenty of knobs, thus the menu diving. But it’s simple enough to apprehend I found.
And you can drive it from any of the old Elektron trinity…
I found that it doesn’t do that bright sounds though, I don’t have deep enough knowledge to know why.

Volca FM is quite good in this area. And it’s internal sequencer is already much fun :slight_smile:
Yet it’s not as controllable as PFM2.

A post was merged into an existing topic: Is this FM?

High @LyingDalai,

do you have a PreenFM2? What do you mean by lack of brightness? Is it possible that the limitation is this 38Khz D/A conversion? Having to prevent aliasing it could be theoretically that they have just filtered away the highest frequencies to stay clear from the Nyquist “boarder”?

I am just on the verge to get this little box from VanDaal.

@SoundRider I have no clue how to answer such question :aw:

First thing first : I’m no expert in FM synthesis. There is quite a difference between knowing the basics and playing with such toy. And with the waveform ^2 you get some treble fine enough. Still, couldn’t really replacate the bright sounds from Volca FM.

On PreenFM you have 4 “instruments” / tracks on which you can choose your algo (up to 6 operators).
On each operator you can parameter

  • envelope (level+timing for each of A/D/S/R)
  • frequency + fine tuning
  • shape (including user defined waveforms !)

And there are 2 mono outs, and you can pan the tracks easily.

So very fast you leave theory to experiment and see what it’s doing concretely.
Even with the little menu diving, it’s pretty fast to go from one parameter to another.

It’s interesting to layer the different instruments : I control it from OT and as there are 4 tracks for 2 outs, I often layer 2 tracks together with different envelopes, thus bringing huge variation…

Thing is, I’d say “go for it !” : PreenFM is so rare these days that if you don’t like it (which I doubt) you would have no pb to resell it.
No risk. Much fun.
BTW I built mine and found it easier to assemble than the Shruthi-1 !

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Thank you for your instant reply … :slight_smile:

Tell you what … just orded this little box straight away, before somebody else catched the fish ;).

I will get it connected to my OT midi and I think using the p-locks will generate much fun. I have also bucket loads of DX7 patches around … and some experience programming FM … feels like beeing happy today :smile:

Cool thing :smiley:
You might teach me new tricks :tongue:

I forgot to underline that each of the 4 MIDI instruments/tracks has its own MIDI channel. So you can go crazy with 20 CC per PreenFM track (using 2 OT MIDI tracks per PreenFM instrument) !!

There is a mod to get rid of this.
Newest VanDaal kit contains a shield.

Perfect!!! Now to find the time to do this mod…

Thanks for sharing

BTW you might ask Ardi Mäesalu from VanDaal (info [a] to send you only the kit for modding (if you’re in UE, that shouldn’t be too expansive).

I noticed that on the two first ending operators you can specify different pannings !
But otherwise one ca use the track FX called “Mix” to specify the general panning of a track.

Other FX are : LP, HP, Bass, BP, Crush

I generally use OT FX above, so Mix FX is quite perfect.

I have downloaded the “downloads” and “printed” the manual from the web and had a short look … :+1:

Since the ReFace of the Yamaha DX I thought it was time getting one of those, but I didn’t feel to be happy with those mini keys and having 4 OPs only.

After a short look in the PreenFM specs, I had found many features I will love instantly. And there are User-Wave-Forms and a decent midi implementation too. WoW :+1:

I think I will combine the little box with one of my Midi controller keyboards providing plenty of knobs and faders. The box is small enough to sit on top of this keyboard giving me a full blown live FM instrument as I never had one before.

Can’t wait to receive it … I have never been the patient guy … :upside_down:

BTW the web site tells about a software editor. Where could I find this? Maybe I missed somethng?

Yeah it’s a nice little synth for sure, and not expensive !

I managed to get brighter sounds today, guess I might have some filter on, on the OT side…

What are you referring to exactly ?

If you look at this web site (referenced by VanDaan info about PreenFM):

and scroll down a little more than the length of one screen, there are two images of an open source editor. Looks pretty cool and useful :slight_smile:

Unfortunately there is no name or location to get it. Maybe SoundForge? is the official website, VanDaal is a seller/builder

So from the PreenFM forum I found the Mac version and the PC version of the editor you were talking about.

Didn’t know about this, so… thanks mate !


Many thanks to you for the links … downloaded it the other minute… now I must be patient until the synth shows up. Expect to get it until end of next week or so …

If I may drop a suggestion while you’re waiting…
You can already create a Project within your OT to control the PreenFM2.
Maybe 2 OT tracks per PreenFM “instrument”, starting with Channel 1…
Choose carefully the CCs : you would be “limited” to 20 plockable ones in such configuration :wink:
You may even prepare a bunch of LFOs e.g. on the velocity…

You might also create the Audio part to be able to add FX on the 2 Mono outs of your PreenFM2.
So 2 THRU machines (mind the first trig) and maybe one or two FLEX tracks to play the recording buffer (might be cool to sample the little beast).


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Yep … this is a good idea :+1:

I have to put the midi implementation list in front of my nose and start planning. I will do this as you suggest with the OT and also with my keyboard, which is a Novation SL MK II. It provides so many controllers that I hope to get the most out of it for live playing. I have watched somebody playing a ReFace DX with a Behringer BCR2000 as a controller and it was impressive what controls he just had at his fingertips.

This planning will be a little project of it’s own - I guess :smile_cat:

Yeh, love the preen. It has a sound of it’s own. But if you’re looking for a 100% yamaha DXreplication, you will be disappointed.

For my tastes, the 12 slot modmatrix and the crush filter, combined with the CC implementation in the more recent firmware, goes way beyond DX. I do wish there was a triangle wave on the stock waveforms, but will just need to roll my own I guess.

Only thing I have probs with is saving my midi ch settings? Every time I try to save settings my preen crashes… So I have to reassign my midi input channels on every powerup :zonked: