Modular FM Bell

Classic DX7 tubular bells created with a Buchla inspired dual oscillator...

The story

I’ve recently finished building a Buchla inspired dual oscillator (a Stroh 258J, in MU format of course) and decided after a lot of energy being focussed on FM synths at the moment to try some real, raw, analogue and unsanatised linear Frequency Modulation with my modest modular set up (not all this digital stuff that pretends to be Frequency Modulation whilst it’s actually Phase Modulation).

The patch I ended up recreating was the classic DX7 tubular bells, but limited to 4 operators by the amount of envelopes and VCAs in my system (thus the FM Algorithm I went for were two dual operator pairs at ratios of approximately 1:3.5 which due to all operators being slightly detuned gives it this nice organic chorusing).

After having some fun playing some sequences on that patch I just wanted to play it polyphonically, so decided to quickly sample it. This was done in major thirds with 4 round robins over 4 octaves, which required retuning of the modulators as those exponential converters are sadly not as good as the ones in the Buchla clone. Sadly this is where a slight accident occured when I was readjusting the modulators and inadvertently changed the FM ratio to 1:4 for the top two octaves.

There are two instrument patches which includes a stereo one that layers 2 round robins for some extra width and chorusing.
Also I should mention that this sound is slightly out of tune; in my opinion just by about as much as one can get away with to call it chorusing rather than being detuned, but you may have to adjust some notes if you get annoyed by imperfect pitch.

Signal chain was balanced out from the final VCA, into the Mic Pre on a Studer Console, through the busses and sum into a Babyface and recorded & edited in Cubase.

Reviews for Modular FM Bell

  • Sound
  • Character
  • Playability
  • Inspiration
  • GUI

Leave a review to let others know what you thought of the instrument!

  • Resonant synthy bells

    This download will offer you three different patches, and all of them are based on the same one sound. Although at first it might seem a litte fuzzy and too resonant, the samples are very well made and the sound produced is very synthy but it still resembles a bell. The sound is very resonant with a long tail, and you can make it a little more wet with the included splosh knob. The pad and stereo patches are a very welcome addition. I can see many people who are into retro sounds enjoying all of them.

    Alex Raptakis30 October 2021
  • FM Bells keys and pads

    These FM bell and pad sounds are carefully created and well recorded. I was left wishing that I could shorten up the attack on some of the sounds, but some were recorded with a long attack, so that can't be shortened, even by digging into Kontakt. It's cool that the creator has given us stereo and mono versions of these sounds, and also great that they were sampled dry with an option to add reverb to taste later rather than slathering them with too much reverb at the sampling stage. While these sounds aren't particularly unique, they are very playable and usable and a worthy download.

    Sam Ecoff28 October 2021
  • Kind of regular bell sounds

    These sounds feel kind of regular to me. Theyre definitely unique but personally i like more organic bells with a more natural tone and mechanical noise and stuff like that. This sound is pretty resonant and with reverb they kind of bounce off each other in a cool way. Its cool that you synthesized something to sound somewhat natural but personally ive never been into this kind of sound design. I think others will enjoy this a lot though. Its fun to play with and and can kind of evoke a somber feeling

    septemberwalk09 November 2021