Edit Mode

(Updated for 2.01 firmware)

 

This mode allows you to edit all the parameters of the sound engine.
This is is the default mode when you power on your PreenFM.
PreenFMMain
First the display (10).
  • Line 1:  you can read from left to right : instrument number, instrument name, midi note on activity for all 4 instruments on the right.
  • Line 2 & 3: information on what you currently edit.
  • Line 4: the values of the 4 parameters.
Then the sound edition is spitted into 6 main parts each part. The 5 first ones are accessible through the 5 left buttons.
  1. The Engine (Algo, voices, modulation indexes, mixer). At any moment, hold ‘Eng’ and press ‘Menu’ to see the current algorithm configuration.
  2. The 6 operators (or 3 or 4 depending on the algo)
  3. Navigate through the oscillator and the 2 envelope menus of the operator selected in 2.
  4. The 12 rows Modulation Matrix
  5. The 7 LFOs (3 oscillators LFO, 2 envelopes and 2 step sequencers )
  6. Performance mode : allows you quickly edit the parameters p1, p2, p3, p4 if you use them as source in the Matrix. Accessed by pressing (5) & (7) at the same time or pressing one of the encoders (8) with last PCBs.
In addition if a button is pressed while you turn an encoder (8) :
  • (1), (2), (3), (4) or (5) : navigate quickly inside a part
  • (6) modify value 10 times faster.
  • (7) reset the parameter to its default value
Holding Inst(6) button also allows some useful things when another button is pressed :
  • Inst (6) + one of the 5 left buttons. Tests note, play sound of the current instrument.

 

PreenFMDoc_play

 

  • Inst (6) + Menu (7): Panic. Stop all sound, useful if you have hanging notes.

 

bar

 

Workflow of the PreenFM2 sound generation

 

pfm2_engine

 

 

 

bar

1 – Engine

 

Engine

Algo :

This define the way the operators are plugged with each other.
The backbone of your sound.
27 totally different FM algorithms are implemented.

Here is the first one, which is good to understand how things work.

Algo1

 

See the algo page for an exhaustive list.

Changing the algorithm make it shows up on the LCD. You can press « Eng » + « Menu » to see it at any moment without changing the algo.

 

Velo (1-16) :

1 The keyboard velocity has no impact on the volume of the voices. Volume always full.
..
16 Full impact of the velocity on the volume of the voices.

The velocity source in the matrix modulation is independant from this setting.

 

Voices :

Number of notes that can be played at the same time by this instrument.

What the engine can handle depends on the number of operators of the algo of the 4 instruments.

Knowing that 48 operators can be played real time that means that maximum value of voices is :
. 14 voices for 3 operators algorithm
. 12 voices for 4 operators algorithm
. 8 voices for 6 operators algorithm

The 48 operators are shared by the 4 instruments.

 

Glide :

When the number of voices is set to 1, the glide param shows up.

When higher than 0, the env is not retrigged when a new note is played before the older one is released.
0 : no glide
1 : very quick frequency glide
..
10 : slow frequency glide

 

Modulation

Depending on the algo selected in the main engine screen, IM1, IM2, IM3, IM4 or IM5 shows up.
This is the direct value of modulation index as describe in all the FM documentation.
This is the heart of the FM engine and the more important parameters of the PreenFM. And the first one you’ll want to target from the modulation matrix.
v is the amount of modulation that is injected by the velocity of the note you pressed.

 

 

 

Mixer

 

If you continue pressing the ENG button you’ll reach the mixing parameters. Each of the carrier operator has its Mix and Pan parameter.
It’s interesting to play with the Pan parameter in the modulation matrix.

 

Arpeggiator

 

Arpeg1

 

Arpeg2

There are 22 pre-programmed patterns. After pattern 22 you’ll find 4 user patterns : Usr1, Usr2, Usr3, Usr4.

If you select one of latter, an aditionnal page will show up when you press the ENG button. The Pattern editor :

PatternUsr

Use the left encoder to move the cursor and the 3 other encoders to activate or desactivate the triggers.
The encoder 4 will (de)activate the trigger just bellow the cursor. The encoder 3 will do 4 triggers at the same time separated by 1 beat. And the encoder 2 will (de)activate all triggers of the current beat.

 

Filter slot

 

Filter

 

The available filters are (in firmware 1.04) : Low pass 2nd order, High pass, Bass boost, Band Pass and crusher.

The Filter cutoff frequency and the crusher sampling rate can be modified by the modulation matrix.

 

2 – Operator

User Op button to select your Operator number and the button just bellow to select « Oscillator », « Env A » or « Env B ». A different behavior can be selected in the settings.

OpOsc

 

Depending on the algo you’ve selected, you can have between 3 and 6 operators.
The operator number you’re currently editing always show up on the lcd. 3 in the above screen.

You can trying to edit only with your ear but it’s always good to have in mind the algo picture so that you can understand how the knob you turn will modify the sound.

Shape :
This defines the waveform that the oscillator is using. Pure FM snthesis only use sin waveform.
PreenFM proposes you several waveofms, and even a noise (rand) waveform very usefull to create percussive attack or to add noise/breath to your sound.

You can chose for each operator independently between sin, saw, square, noise and 3 sinus variations.

User waveform : In firmware 2.01 have been added the user waveforms feature.
You have 6 aditional waveforms that are read from the preenfm2 usb drive.

Put you own waveform in /pfm2/waveform/ of the preenfm2 usb drive.
They must be called usr1.txt, usr2.txt… usr6.txt
Format is simple :

<4 chars for name>
<number of samples>
<sampe1> <sampe2> <sampe3> ….

Samples must be float values between -1 and 1 with a « . » as decimal separator.
Samples can be separated by what you want : tab, space, comma, return….

See message here for user waveform examples and here to turn wav files into preenfm2 format.

The preenfm2 will create a usr*.bin from your txt to read the waveform faster and so boot faster.
If you modify your waveform you have to remove the bin so that it’s recreated.

The waveforms can be found in « Operator>Shap » after « Off ».

FType:

Keyb : the frequency of the oscillator depends on the key you pressed and on the 2 following params : Freq and FTun.
Fixe : the frequencry of the oscillator is always the same. The 2 following params allow to change this frequency. In this case the LCD will show you the frequency that the oscillator will produce in Hz.

Freq:
IF Ftype i set to « Keyb », the this param is the ratio between the real note asked by the key you pressed and the frequency the oscillator will produce.
1.0 : real frequency
1.5 : a fifth above.
2.0 : An octave above
3.0 : An octave and a fifth above
4.0 : two octave above
etc…

If FType is set to « fix », the frequency of the oscillator won’t depend on the key you press, you can then change this frequency with button 3 and 4.
Ftun:
Fine tune… Small adjusment to the main frequency.

 

OpEnvA

 

The envelope of each operator has 8 parameters, copied from the DX7 enveloppe.

 

OpEnvB

 

You still get the usual Attk, Decay, Sustain release. The first parameter set the time this state lasts. And the second parameter « lv » (level) the value that must be reached at the end of this state.
When a note off is sent, the enveloppe jumps to the Release level.
For the carrier operator you should avoid having the Release level different from null.

 

3 – Modulation Matrix

Each instruments has 12 matrix rows to modulate its parameter.

Matrix

Each row has the usual 3 parameters : source, multiplicator and destination.

As source parameter you can choose between the 7 Lfos (see next part), modulation wheel, pitch bend, after touch, velocity, 2 values based on key note (Not1, Not2 : see LFO 4.4 for more info), and 4 performance parameters.

The multiplicator’s range is -10 to 10.

The desination matrix can be one of these values :
IM1 , IM2 , IM3 , IM4 , IM* : One of the 4 modulation index or all at the same time : IM*.
Mix1, Pan1, Mix2, Pan2, Mix3, Pan3, Mix3, Pan3, Mix*, Pan* : Mix value or Pan value of the 3 first carrier. Or all Mix or Pan at the same time.
o1Fq, o2Fq, o3Fq, o4Fq, o5Fq, o6Fq, o*Fq : Frequency of the operator oscillators.
Att1, Att2, Att3, Att4, Att5, Att6, Att* : Attack of the operator enveloppes.
Rel* : Release of all enveloppe
mx01, mx02, mx03, mx04 : Multiplicator of the 4 first matrix row.
l1Fq, l2Fq, l3Fq : Frequency of the 3 LFO oscillators.
e2si : modify the silence duration of the LFO Env 2.
s1ga, s2ga : gate value of step sequencers
Fltr : cut off frequency of the filter or sampling rate of the crusher FX.

 

 

4 – Modulators

Each of the 4 instruments in the PreenFM2 can use 7 low frequency modulators.

  • 3 LFO
  • 1 free enveloppe
  • 1 free enveloppe with loop and silence (LFO Env 2)
  • 2 step sequencers.

The role of these 7 LF modulators is to be set as source in the matrix rows.

 

 4.1 LFO

LFOsc

Shape :
The waveform of the LFO.
You have the choice between 5 possibilities : sinusoid, sawtooth (up then down then up…), ramp up (up then go to begining then up…), square (max value then min value then max value….) and random values.

Freq :
The frequency in herz of your lfo. Can go down to 0.1 Herz and up to 24 Herz.
After 24 you’ll find the MidiClock synchronization values : MC/16, MC/8, MC/4, MC/2, MC, MC*2, MC*3, MC*4, MC*8.
Bias : 
If set to 0 the values of your LFO will be between -1.0 and 1.0.
If set to .5, the LFO will oscillates between -.5 and 1.5
If set to 1.0 you’ll get values between 0 and 2.0
So using Bias you can chose to have only positive or negative values.
KSyn:
Key synchronisation.
Off : the lfo live on its own… and is never modified by any event.
0.0- 16.0 : the lfo reset when a key is pressed. The time it takes in second for the LFO to reach its full range.  0 is different from Off because it will reset the phase of the Oscillator when a key is pressed.
After the 3 LFO pages, you’ll find a page where you can specify the phase of each LFO.
LfoPhases

 4.2 Free Enveloppe 1

LFOEnv1

The 4 standard ADSR enveloppe  parameters. All values are in seconds.
Nice on filter cutoff frequency.

 4.2 Free Enveloppe 2

LFOEnv2

Silence, attack, decay and Loop.
After the decay the Loop parameter allow you to loop back to the begining of the silence, to the begining of the attack or not to loop at all.
Silence values can be targeted from the modulation matrix. Random LFO can nicely modify the silence time to make an organic/alive enveloppe.

 4.3 2 step sequencers

StepSeq

 

The step sequencer output can be routed in the matrix modulation to any available destinations : « mix* » to give punch to one of your carrier operators, « IM* » to shape the spectrum in rythm or « o*FR » to write a melodic line.
In this latter case, set the matrix multiplier to 10.0 and you’ll get one step sequencer value per semi-tone: 0, 3, 7, C for minor chords.

The steps are a bit smoothed to avoid click/noise in the sound between 2 values very different such as 0 and F.
 BPM:
Beat per minute. The tempo of your sequence.. The sequence has 4 beats of 4 sixteenth.
Value from 10 to 240.
After 240 you’ll find the MidiClock synchronization values : MC/4, MC/2, MC, MC*2, MC*4.
Gate:
The steps are « gatable ». When the step value is gated its output is 0.
A gate of 0.5 means that half the sixteenth, the value is sent, the other half 0 is sent.
A gate of 0.01 is the shortest value when you hear your sequence… most of the sixteenths are gated.
A gate of 1.0 means no gate.
Gate is available as the matrix destination and can give interesting result when modulated by a slow LFO1/3 (bias = 0) or modulated by the pitchwheel of your keyboard.
Steps:
Then on the right part you can see the 8 first steps… the  8 following ones show up when your cursor exceeds the step limits.
Use the encoder 3 to move the cursor, and encoder 4  to change the value.
There are 16 values : from 0 to F.
The values are not linear so that routing them in the matrix modulation to a frequency destination can give one semitone per step value. 2 is a tone, 7 a fifth, ‘C’ an octave. For that, the matrix multiplier must be set to 64.

 

4.4 Note Midi Scaling

As written in the matrix part, you can modulate your destination parameters by 2 values based on midi note values (0-127).

 

Note1MidiScaling

 

 

Those 2 « note midi scaling » pages allow you to fine tune the value you want depending on the midi key note entry.

You can select the break note (or middle note) then 2 curve that starts from this point in both direction.
Before and After describe the kind of curve you want the respond to follow :

Flat: 0 for any note
+Lin : 1 per step from the break note value.
+Lin8 : 8 per step from the break note values
+Exp : exponential curve, starts slowly and go up faster as you go further from the break note.
-Lin, -Lin8, -Exp : same as the 3 above but with a negative value.

Simple use case example :
Stereo panning over the keyboard. Low note on the left, high note on the right : (-Lin, 60, +Lin) that you multiply by Pan* in the modulation matrix.
Decrease the IM for high notes to get rid of aliasing. ( Flat, 60, -lin8) that you multiply by IM* in the modulation matrix .

 

 

5 – Performance

The performance page show up when you press one of the encoder or both MOD&MENU if you don’t have clickable encoders.

Performance

 

This page’s goal is to allow you to control from one page the important parameters of you preset.
p1, p2, p3, p4 have to be specified in the modulation matrix and can be used in 1 or more matrix rows.