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XFM2 is a tiny FM synth module that you can put together for $99

Futur3soundz' XFM Synthesizer Project has a sequel: XFM 2 is a 64-voice, 2-part, 6-operator FM synth with two built-in effects processors, and you can put it together for around $99.

OK, it’s not exactly a Yamaha DX7, but this little module promises up to four times the capacity of its predecessor, with improved digital-to-analogue converters. It’s based on pre-assembled development boards - the Digilent CMOD A7-35T (FPGA, USB, SRAM) and the Adafruit UDA1334A (DAC) - and fewer than 10 components are required in total (we’re told that these can be purchased for a combined cost of less than $100).

The two parts can work individually or be layered, and each operator offers two independent oscillators, eight waveforms and a loopable envelope generator. There’s also a loopable pitch envelope generator, per-voice LFO, extensive MIDI implementation and four assignable performance controls per program.

There are more than 300 synth and effect parameters in total, all adjustable via MIDI SysEx messages (the XFM2 can be programmed from a computer via USB).

You can find out more about the XFM2 synth project on the Futur3soundz website.

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Group Content Manager for MusicRadar, specialising in all things tech. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 20 of which I’ve also spent writing about music technology. 

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