With the MEGAfm, Twisted Electrons has put one of the most unique FM synthesizers on the market in recent years. The sound demos show a synth for beautiful, imperfect sounds.
At NAMM 2020 but without a physical stand, the French manufacturer Twisted Electrons presented the MEGAfm, a new polyphonic FM synthesizer. This has caused a lot of interest in the Synthesizer communities because, on the one hand, it does not have a very classic FM engine (not very DX7 like), on the other hand, it has a one-knob per function interface (32 faders, 14 knobs & 15 buttons), which is less common in frequency modulation synths.
Alex of Twisted Electrons uses for its MEGAfm two YM2612 chips that offer each 6 voices of FM with 4 operators per voice and 8 algorithms. So in total, you have a 12 voice FM Synthesizer spread across two outputs or summed to one. The Yamaha YM2612 chips are less known from synth but more from gaming consoles from the past. Among the most prominent consoles with these chips were the Sega MegaDrive/Genesis. So that the MegaFM can also be used as a full-fledged, modern synthesizer, it has further features: 3 LFOs, 7-mode arpeggiator, an SH-style step sequencer , 4 voicing modes & more.
From Theory To Practice
The device was still in full development for NAMM 2020. The device has been officially available for sale for some time and has thus changed from the theoretical (draw board, developing, trailers…) to the practical stage. Some YouTubers have also been able to make videos with the device. In my opinion, it’s time to report on the sound of the MegaFM.
In the last few hours, I watched many sound demos from less and more well-known YouTubers. The somewhat unique sound character is sure to attract attention. It certainly doesn’t sound like one of the well-known Yamaha FM synthesizers (DX7, …). No clean at all. Describing the character of the MEGAfm is not that easy, but I try. For me, it sounds unperfect, noisy, or even glitchy. Something you don’t expect from a classic FM synthesizer. However, that makes the Twisted Electrons Synthesizer very unique and interesting in my opinion. The YouTuber and artist Cuckoo demonstrates this well in its MEGAfm sound demos.
Normally you would send a Synthesizer with this kind of sound behavior back to the shop, but this is simply part of the MEGAfm character. To be honest, I didn’t expect anything else from Alex aka Twisted Electrons. In the last year, he always showed synthesizers that went against the current Synthesizer trend. Dirty, noisy, 8-bit,… some words to describe his sound spectrum.
What he has perfected in the MegaFM is the interface. Where his earlier synthesizer had fewer knobs, this one has plenty of control options to design the perfect “imperfect” sound. He goes his own sound way, which I like a lot.
The DIY king among all Synthesizer Youtubers “Look Mum No Computer” also has a device to play with. As usual, his demo is very wild again. Whoever hears the depths of the MEGAfm should not miss the video. In addition to sounds, there is also a lot of talks, but it elicits many interesting crazy sounds from the device.
If you want to hear the softer, imperfect side of the new FM Synthesizer from Twisted Electrons, you should listen to the demo from CO5MA. Very ambient, however, also with the urge for the strange and bizarre.
All these sound demos show us: the Twisted Electrons MEGAfm is not a Synthesizer for everyone. Anyone expecting a DX7-like Synthesizer in desktop format will be bitterly disappointed. It’s more like the evil, imperfect sister of the DX7. Full of character, with small mistakes and glitches that make the synth very unique.
Twisted Electrons MEGAfm is available now for 545€.
More information here: TE
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