It’s no secret that we love a good retro synth over here at FM. Nothing gets us hot under the collar like an old-fashioned, VCO-packing behemoth, preferably clad in plenty of wood panelling and boasting an impenetrably complex voltage controlled modulation system… Still, we’ll freely admit that for all their warmth and character, the analogue classics can’t hold a candle to today’s most leading plug-ins when it comes to flexibility, complexity and sheer sonic power.
It’s these qualities we’re celebrating in this month’s cover feature. We’ll explore some of the cutting-edge techniques made possible by modern synthesis technology, and show you how you can use these to add power, depth and complexity to your own music.
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Nathan Fake – We track down the new Ninja Tune signee to his Norfolk studio – get a load of his gear collection, and find out why he’s dropped the soft synths for his new album Providence
Teengirl Fantasy – Five years after Tracer, the duo are back with their trademark hypnotic sound
The Magnetic Fields – For his eleventh studio album, songwriter Stephin Merritt has penned fifty autobiographical songs spanning fifty years
The Track: Alan Walker – The Brit-nominated Norwegian breaks down his hit Alone for us in the studio
Classic Album – Sander van Doorn talks his classic LP, Supernaturalistic, track-by-track
Cutting Edge Synth Power – Make your most modern patches yet with this masterclass of futuristic synthesis techniques
Producer’s Guide to DIY Multibands – Build your own powerful multiband effects chains
Modular Monthly – We explore Malekko’s Voltage Blocks CV sequencer
- Roland System-8
- Teenage Engineering PO-32 Tonic
- Waldorf KB37
- Universal Audio Apollo Twin MkII
- Round-up: UAD 9.1 Plugins
- Roli Blocks
- Group Test: Looping Tools
- And more...
SH Collection – Loops, hits and multis generated with the gritty sound engines of Roland’s iconic SH-101 and SH-09 monosynths
Bendy Basslines – Diving and swooping loops and lines giving you the gritty, pitchbend-heavy sound of modern D’n’B and EDM
Access the FM sample archive: – Download the ‘Archive’ packs and get over 8GB of loops, hits and instruments from our back catalogue of high-quality and royalty-free samples. From vintage synths and drum machines to esoteric instruments and FX – think of it as our best of. All the samples you need to create great music!