Advanced Modular Research #2 ~ Analog thru-zero linear FM

FM is a synthesis method that's been covered in detail on this blog, but so far in the digital realm only. Here's an analog patch, featuring the Doepfer A-143-9 VC Quadrature LFO. Basic DX-style FM sounds are really easy with this module: it has thru-zero linear FM capability.

This thru-zero linear FM patch for analog modular systems produces some simple, classic FM bell sounds. The yellow signals are control voltages, the green signals are audio. For musical inspiration, check out this mp3, featuring the Doepfer FM-patch and some drums.

In 2007 the Cyndustries Zeroscillator shook up the modular synthesis landscape. If was one of the first modules (the first??) available in Eurorack format, that could do analog thru-zero linear FM. Most analog oscillators have a kind of linear FM that's not thru-zero (no negative values). This doesn't give you those crucial bell sounds.

If the Zeroscillator is over your budget, check out the Doepfer A-143-9 (described as 'experimental' in the case of FM applications, as it doesn't have proper 1V/oct response), the Intellijel Rubicon and the Happy Nerding FM Aid, or digital modules like the Cylonix Cyclebox, The Harvestman Hertz Donut MKII and Piston Honda MKII.