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Synthesizing "air"

Colin Muir Dorward
My habit with EFM is to make darker sounds with lots of HF roll off, most of my programs don't really have much above 5kHz, and usually nothing over 10kHz.

Anyone have any tips for synthesizing sounds that fill out that upper so-called "air" region? It would be nice to contrast all my other gear which is full of LPFs.

Most of my attempts have been leading to harsh sounds.
Making sounds with more harmonics is probably the way yes. If they get harsh that’s too much so dial it back and find a good balance. Also if you lower the (LP) filter dry/wet on sharper sounds you’ll have some of the “sizzle” come through.
You could also add a voice layer to your sounds with just those higher frequencies. Maybe just noise with a high pass filter and setting the volume to taste in the layers.
Colin Muir Dorward
Thanks, yes I suppose what you're saying is all true, but I was hoping for a discussion about what it takes to get pleasing upper-most harmonics at the voice level. Obviously I can just drop a crisp square or saw wave operator down, apply highpass, and it's all there, but I'm looking to learn some creative approaches to synthesizing something unique, special...

I think it's also a theoretical question about what we even want in that frequency range. FM provides opportunity to synthesize in such great detail... but sometimes it helps to know where to aim.
Harsh sounds comes maybe from the fact that these high harmonics have too much well-defined upper frequencies. Try lowering these (lower modulation amount on your modulators), and mix them with slightly high-passed, maybe slighly resonant noise.
The kind of highs that are pleasing the the ear seems to be quite "diffuse", not really precise.
That probably matches with speech and natural sounds we hear since millions of years, most content in the upper range is noise-like and very rarely of a defined frequency.