Exploring the strengths of Astra, FM Landscapes focuses on the infinite possibilities of just one of its many oscillator modes: FM synthesis. Short for “frequency modulation,” FM synthesis is one of the most flexible approaches to synthesized sound design, yielding everything from futuristic plasticity to the pseudo-realist textures of bells, drum skins, and more. Explore these FM Landscapes to get a glimpse into one of the powerful forms of synthesis to revolutionize sound from the 80s to the present.
In FM synthesis, the frequency of a waveform is modulated to create harmonic and inharmonic forms. Digital FM synthesis made its way into the many studios in the 1980s by way of Yamaha’s legendary DX-7. Astra’s contemporary layout does away with the tedious menu-diving needed to program early FM synths like the DX-7, and expands upon contemporary FM synthesis with macro modulation and pitch sequencing. The presets in FM Landscapes were designed by Minor Science, Anthony Naples, Eams, Visible Cloaks, and Tristan Arp.