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Drum synthesis tips for the essenceFM

Can you share your drum synthesis tips for the Essence FM ?
Good idea to have a thread like this since the EssenceFM is phenomenal for drums 😀

I started with just messing around with sound design and a lot of sounds arose from that. Then when you come back to the EFM subsequently you will probably find ways to improve the sounds you made and refine them. It’s so cool that you can make kit’s on the EFM! So you can have a kit with 128 sounds (layers) placed in just one Performance slot... I find that pretty insane.

Learn from what you can - like find some presets and see how they were made. Maybe you can change them to something that fits you own music better. Search for drum synthesis and I think you’ll find a lot of sites or videos that will give you ideas about how to make different sounds.
Start with kick, snare and hi hats since they are the easiest or most used.
Colin Muir Dorward
I've been struggling to make a good snare sound. My thinking is locked in the traditional analog architecture, which can be replicated to a degree with EFM, but I think there are more sophisticated methods that I'm missing.
Cool thread! Yes having the ability to map layers to make a kit is an insane feature that is so useful!
A way to make sound design easier is to separate a sound into multiple sub-sounds, for example for a snare :

- Initial hit
- Wire sound
- Drum body resonance

So you'll need three separate operator stacks in your Voice, that may be 1+2+3, 2+2+2 or other combinations.

For each sub-sound, think about their main characteristics:

- Initial hit : short click sound => very short envelopes, high modulation
- Wire sound => metallic, almost white noise (high modulation), fast-ish decay
- Drum body resonance => almost sine wave (no/low modulation), slow decay

Then choose which operator stack to use for each sub-sound. Usually big uperator stacks should be used for complex tones (wire sound), and single operators for simple tones (drum body resonance).

Pitch envelopes are also very useful for drums. Usually, the snare body drum resonance starts at a medium pitch then quickly goes down. That's what happens on acoustic instruments but it's often exaggerated on electronic snares. For example, TR-909 snare is just white noise + sine wave with pitch envelope.

Look at the existing drum presets, deconstruct them or mute/unmute parts to see how they work. They've been mostly done by ear, that required some trial and error but the EssenceFM was exactly made for that with the ability to quickly make a change and undo it.
The process is usually to keep playing a note on the keyboard while tweaking parameters to get closer and closer to what you need.

Looking at sampled drums wavefoms on a computer may also help, for example you'll see that a Clap sound is often made of quick bursts of filtered noise. Once you know that, it's easy to know what to do with the envelopes to recreate this sound.

We're currently working on a book dedicated to FM sound design, that will provide many tips and tutorials for all EssenceFM users.
Thanks ! Can't wait for that book !
Any update on that sound design book ?
Is this kit I found on this other site part of the Kodamo presets?

It is pretty amazing and exactly the kind of thing I am hoping to get out of my EFM.
Yes all sounds on this page are part of the presets. Some with "CO5MA" in the name are custom
Heh, +1 wondering about that sound design book. I would really love to have some expert guidance to help accelerate my learning on the Essence FM/FM sound design in general!
+1 waiting for the sound design book.