IXOX preenFM3 is the next generation of the beloved DIY FM Synthesizer from France with more voices, control options, and a built-in sequencer.
(News from September)
The preenFM2 from the French manufacturer IXOX is one of my favorite synthesizers. This is a DIY multi-layer FM Synthesizer that is heavily inspired by the Yamaha DX7. Even if it can read thousands of DX7 patches from an SD card, the preenFM2 doesn’t sound like the legendary Yamaha synth. It sounds different but not bad at all. One of the reasons why this is here the case is the missing operator feedback in the engine, with other timbres, are possible.
Today there is the great news that Xavier Hosxe has something new. After 7 years on the market, the preenFM2 is getting a successor, the preenFM3. The sound engine remains plus or minus the same, but there are more power and control options.
The PreenFM3 has been redesigned and offers now a new MCU with more memory. Thanks to this upgrade, it has now 16 voices with 6 operators FM means you can layer up to 6 independent instruments, the sample frequency now is 48Khz vs 42 Khz for the preenfm2 and the selected effect is now applied per voice and not for the full instrument.
It comes now with a 240×320 pixels color TFT display that gives you more information including a better UI and an oscilloscope. Midi filter and note shift per instrument, a scala scale per instrument, three dual-channel 24 bits DAC to offer 6 independent audio output instead of one stereo (p2), and a mixer section. Another highlight is a new sequencer section that offers real-time and step sequencer. The new hardware gives the developer more leeway to provide updates for the device
This is not an official release with pre-build units but a kind of beta phase. The developer writes:
Please, make sure you understand this is the first run of those PCBs. So documentation is a bit weak, and the firmware likely have bugs. The forum is here to discuss all problems you may have. And also to report a good experience.
Good news at the end: he will continue to deliver bug fixes for the PreenFM2.
I’ll continue fixing bugs when they’re found and add new features when they’re not to hard to implement, such as the recent second target per row in the modulation matrix.
Back in September, I reported about the new preenFM3 desktop FM Synthesizer. At that point, there were only DIY kits available. Today, he announced that the first assembled units are available. Just before Christmas. Van Daal Electronics from Estonia is one of the shops where you can order the PreenFM3, now also ready-to-use instrument.
At first glance, the preenFM3 is a worthwhile upgrade that makes the synth ready for the future. I especially like that it now has more voices, more controls and that it has a built-in sequencer. Unfortunately, there are no finished units yet, so you have to build one yourself.
IXOX PreenFM3 is available now in different settings: PCB set for 85€ from the IXOX shop or from Van Daal Electronics the case (63€), DIY kit (250€) or for 340€ in assembled version.
More information here: IXOX