Waveformless: John Chowning's "FM Synthesis Theory …
How does fm synthesis work compared to additive synthesis, ..
John Chowning "Origins of FM Synthesis" - Moog Music
In part 1, Chowning explains his early work with FM, and describes the convoluted pathway that connected his original theory of digital FM to its current pinnacle of commercial success - the Yamaha DX7 synthesizer.
The concept behind FM Synthesis was first expounded by John Chowning in his landmark paper The Synthesis of Complex Audio Spectra by Means of Frequency Modulation. Yamaha bought the patent from Chowning and began producing digital synthesizer prototypes in the late seventies. In the early 80’s they released the DX series and the became their best seller. This landmark product “ushered in the transition from analog to digital technology.” (Russ 28) Ironically, 30 years later we find ourselves in the midst of an Analog renaissance with musicians diving into the analog market with the same exuberance exhibited at the birth of digital audio.
John Chowning first described FM Synthesis technique in 1967
Offering a then-staggering 16 voices of polyphony, a full-sized, velocity and aftertouch capable keyboard, the DX7 was different on the outside as well as under the hood. You see, the DX7 was the first mass-produced instrument to make use of FM synthesis, a technique devised by John Chowning at Stanford and licensed by Yamaha.
If the Minimoog was designed to simplify modular synthesis for mass consumption, then the ARP 2600 was created to haul the whole kit and caboodle into the hands of performing musicians. Rather than limit the options with a written-in-stone signal path as Moog did, the 2600 presented a fully patchable instrument in a fairly compact package.
Frequency modulation synthesis - Wikipedia
The time domain signals are illustrated above, and the corresponding spectra are shown below (spectrum amplitudes in ).In and frequency modulation synthesis (or FM synthesis) is a form of where the of a simple waveform is changed by it with a modulating frequency that is also in the audio range, resulting in a more complex waveform and a different-sounding tone.
When the first successful commercial digital synthesizer, the Yamaha DX7, hit the music scene in 1983, it changed the course of music history. That highly successful synthesizer was the result of an amazing discovery by a young Stanford University faculty member, John Chowning, whose musical ear led to a discovery that would revolutionize the world of music. He discovered and patented Frequency Modulation Synthesis (FM Synthesis), which overcame computer limitations of the day and became a standard in every modern synthesizer. It revolutionized the field of computer music in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
The Father of the Digital Synthesizer - Priceonomics
An FM chip; Stanford Special Collections Library
Legendary computerized sound expert John Chowning changed the course of music with his discovery of FM Synthesis
FM Synthesis Examples | Frequency Modulation | …
John Chowning - Wikipedia
The Basics of FM Synthesis — The Pro Audio Files
Korg X3, Yamaha DX7, and Steinway piano players …
In 1971 Max Mathews suggested to Chowning that he create a library of recognisable sounds exploiting FM Synthesis’ ability to emulate harmonic rich timbres – brass, percussion, strings and so-on – and to use Stanford University to approach companies for him. After being turned down by several US based companies such as Wurlitzer and Hammond, Chowning and Stanford approached, somewhat desperately, Yamaha in Japan. Yamaha were looking for a new type of electronic instrument having failed to capitalise on the success of the CS80 and GX1 Synthesisers. Yamaha’s Organ Division bought a license for one year; enough to investigate the commercial potential of FM synthesis. The first application of Chownings FM algorithm was in 1975; a monophonic prototype digital synthesiser called MAD. This was soon followed by a polyphonic FM synthesiser prototype released as a production model in 1981 as the Yamaha GS1.
The 10 greatest synthesizers of all time | MusicRadar
Chowning was born in Salem, New Jersey in 1934. Following military service and four years at Wittenberg University, he studied composition in Paris with Nadia Boulanger. He received the doctorate in composition (DMA) from Stanford University in 1966, where he studied with Leland Smith. In 1964, with the help of Max Mathews of Bell Telephone Laboratories and David Poole of Stanford University, he set up a computer music program using the computer system of Stanford’s Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. Beginning the same year he began the research that led to the first generalized surround sound localization algorithm. Chowning discovered the frequency modulation synthesis (FM) algorithm in 1967. This breakthrough in the synthesis of timbres allowed a very simple yet elegant way of creating and controlling time-varying spectra. Inspired by the perceptual research of Jean-Claude Risset, he worked toward turning this discovery into a system of musical importance, using it extensively in his compositions.
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